Cover image for The war for America : 1775-1783
The war for America : 1775-1783
Mackesy, Piers.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, [1993]

Physical Description:
xxvi, 565 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
General Note:
"Bison Books."

Originally published : Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press, c1964.
Reading Level:
1260 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E208 .M14 1993 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The events of the American Revolution signified by Lexington, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, Saratoga, and Yorktown are familiar to American readers. Far less familiar is the fact that, for the British, the American colonies were only one front in a world war. England was also pitted against France and Spain. Not always in command of the seas and threatened with invasion, England tried grimly for eight years to subdue its rebellious colonies; to hold Canada, the West Indies, India, and Gibraltar; and to divide its European enemies. In this vivid history Piers Mackesy views the American Revolution from the standpoint of the British government and the British military leaders as they attempted to execute an overseas war of great complexity. Their tactical response to the American Revolution is now comprehensible, seen as part of a grand imperial strategy.

Author Notes

Piers Mackesy is a noted historian who lives in Scotland. John W. Shy is a professor of history at the University of Michigan.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xiii
Preface: The Servants of Kronosp. xxiii
Abbreviations Used in Footnotesp. xxx
Introduction A Government at Warp. 1
Part 1 The Citadels of Rebellion 1775-7p. 25
Chapter I Lord Dartmouth's Warp. 27
Chapter II The Coming of Germainp. 46
Chapter IV The Arrested Offensivep. 73
Chapter V The Planning of Saratogap. 103
Chapter VI Philadelphia and Saratogap. 121
Part 2 The World War 1778p. 145
Chapter VII The Morrow of Saratogap. 147
Chapter VIII The Naval Mobilisationp. 162
Chapter IX War Plans and Preparationsp. 180
Chapter X The Command of the Seasp. 190
Chapter XI Crisis in Americap. 212
Chapter XII The Southern Offensivesp. 225
Part 3 The Bourbon Alliance 1179p. 235
Chapter XIII The Cracks in the Foundationsp. 237
Chapter XIV The Strategy of 1779p. 249
Chapter XV The Western Atlantic: The Design Miscarriesp. 267
Part 4 The Edge of the Knife 1780p. 299
Chapter XVII Towards the Caribbeanp. 301
Chapter XVIII The Loss of the Initiativep. 319
Chapter XIX Gain and Loss in Americap. 338
Chapter XX The Home Frontp. 353
Part 5 Catastrophe 1781p. 365
Chapter XXI The Shadows Gatherp. 367
Chapter XXII The Defence of the East Atlanticp. 388
Chapter XXIV The Anatomy of Disasterp. 413
Part 6 An Empire Salvagedp. 431
Chapter XXV Saving the Shipp. 433
Chapter XVII The Ship Afloatp. 446
Chapter XXVII The End of the Ministryp. 460
Chapter XXVIII The New Broomsp. 471
Chapter XXIX The Sky Suspendedp. 487
Conclusionp. 503
Appendix: The Armyp. 523
Indexp. 539