In Today’s article I’ve gone back to the American War of Independence theme I mentioned earlier in the week.
This article is the tale of one of the most well known British Generals of the war, ‘Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne’, who, when you first read about him, appears to have lost one of the most important and crucial battles of the war at Saratoga. A defeat which as the title says ‘..lost his majesty’s empire and gave victory to the rebellious Americans..’
It’s only when you look into this further, as this article does, do you realise that, yes he did lose the battle but the background behind it leads you to believe it was not entirely his fault. Although he was the scapegoat in the whole affair and faired the worst for it. The real protagonist, was one Lord George Germain, Secretary of State for the Colonies, who in simple terms was an extremely poor and incompetent communicator, and failed to give the proper orders to General Howe, leaving Burgoyne and his troops alone at the crucial place and time. Burgoyne with too few men and no reinforcements was forced into a surrender.
What I found interesting when researching for this article was that as you read more about Lord Germain, you see that he was an incompetent fool who made incorrect assumptions, suggested badly thought out campaigns and failed to communicate critical information on a number of occasions which resulted in battles being lost. The other notable occasion in which he did this was the battle of Yorktown, where again he failed to give the correct orders to the Generals on the ground, which subsequently lost the battle.
Unfortunately for Burgoyne, and probably a few other military figures of the day, Germains’ high ranking position and influence in the British Government resulted in others taking the blame, which ultimately cut short their careers. Germains’ poor handling of the war did have an adverse affect on his career but he always seemed to come through and get what he wanted eventually. To read more about him, visit his Wikipeadia page here: Lord George Germain
The complete article can be found here: Articles / Interesting People / The Tale of ‘Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne’
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