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Osprey Campaign 47 : Yorktown 1781 : The World Turned Upside Down

By 1781 Britain's struggle to contain the rebels in her American colonies had reached an inglorious stalemate. Six years on from the British defeat by the New England militia at Boston, George Washington's rebuilt Continental Army - with support from the French - now systematically began to seek out and destroy British forces even if protected by seemingly impregnable defences. Yorktown would be a salutary lesson to the British Crown about the odds she now faced in holding on to her colonies. The siege of Yorktown began in late September 1781 and ended in mid-October when Lt. Gen. Charles, Earl Cornwallis surrendered. Although the British officers captured were allowed to sail home, the rank and file marched off into captivity. The Franco-American victory at Yorktown extinguished the British campaign to reconquer the south and ended their chances of winning the war. Brendan Morrisey recounts and explains the campaign in Virginia, the naval operations between March and October 1781 and the siege of Yorktown. The military and political background to these events and their effects on the course of the war are all examined. The siege of Yorktown was a crucial action in the American War of Independence and was important in demoralising the British enough to finally prompt them to make peace. Text by Brendan Morrissey with illustrations by Adam Hook.

    Contents
  • The Road to Yorktown
  • The Seat of War
  • The Opposing Commanders
  • The Opposing Armies
  • The Campaign in Virginia 1781
  • Naval Operations March-October 1781
  • The Siege of Yorktown
  • Aftermath
  • The Battlefields Today
  • Chronology
  • A Guide to Further Reading
  • Wargaming the Yorktown Campaign

 

Osprey Campaign


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