Wolfe, Washington & The French and Indian War

Last of the Mohicans Movie still image set during the North American colonies French and Indian War of 1763
Montcalm attempts to stop native warriors from attacking the British. A number of British soldiers were killed after the Siege of Fort William Henry.
Montcalm attempts to stop native warriors from attacking the British. A number of British soldiers were killed after the Siege of Fort William Henry.

The French and Indian War of 1754 – 1763 pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, each side supported by military units from the parent country and by American Indian allies.

1755- The Territory of the US During the French-Indian Wars
1755- The Territory of the US During the French-Indian Wars

In the 1700s the British and the French began to show interest in the Ohio River Valley.  Both countries viewed the valley as theirs. The French had a fur trade with Native Americans in the region, and had no interest in sharing their business with the British settlers.
The french built a chain of forts from Lake Ontario south to the Ohio River in order to protect their claims in the valley. The British responded by starting to build a fort in what is now Western Pennsylvania. The French seized the site before they could finish. They later built their own fort on it naming it Fort Duquesne.
The Ohio River Valley
In 1754 the governor of Virginia sent a Militia, lead by George Washington, to drive out the French. After Marching to Fort Duquesne  Washington made a fort of his own called Fort  Necessity.The fort was soon attacked by the French and their Native American Allies. The combined army won the battle and forced Washington’s soldiers to surrender. They were later released by the French and returned to Virginia.
Early French Success
The first four years saw nothing but severe reverses for the British regulars and American colonials, primarily because of superior French land forces in the New World. Braddock was killed and his army scattered in July 1755 when the force was ambushed while approaching Fort Duquesne. In 1756 the defenders of Fort Oswego on Lake Ontario were obliged to surrender, as were the defenders of Fort William Henry near Lake Champlain in 1757. Lord Loudoun’s amphibious expedition from New York City against the great French fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island ended in dismal failure that year. In July 1758 Gen. James Abercrombie attacked the French stronghold at the northern end of Lake George, Fort-Carillon (later renamed Fort Ticonderoga). Despite outnumbering the French defenders under Gen. Louis-Joseph de Montcalm-Grozon, marquis de Montcalm, almost four to one, Abercrombie’s army was almost destroyed. Moreover, the frontier settlements in what are now central New York, central Pennsylvania, western Maryland, and western Virginia were deserted while thousands of families fled eastward in panic to escape the hostilities.

The Redcoats - The Soldiers of the British Army
The Redcoats – The Soldiers of the British Army

British Advantages And Victory
Under these circumstances, the French tide in North America reached its crest by the end of 1757. In 1758 Amherst captured Louisbourg. Soon afterwards, John Bradstreet compelled the garrison of Fort Frontenac to capitulate, and that same year Forbes and Henry Bouquet brought about the fall of Fort Duquesne. The following year Sir William Johnson forced the surrender of Fort Niagara. Amherst pushed the French out of Fort-Carillon and Crown Point. The climax came with the British victory at the Battle of Quebec (September 13, 1759). Montcalm, were fatally wounded. Faced with hopeless odds, on September 8, 1760, the governor-general, the Marquis de Vaudreuilt was obliged to surrender not only his last stronghold, Montreal, but all of Canada. Thus, the North American phase of the Seven Years’ War came to a close.
British Advantages And Victory
Under these circumstances, the French tide in North America reached its crest by the end of 1757. In 1758 Amherst captured Louisbourg. Soon afterwards, John Bradstreet compelled the garrison of Fort Frontenac to capitulate, and that same year Forbes and Henry Bouquet brought about the fall of Fort Duquesne. The following year Sir William Johnson forced the surrender of Fort Niagara. Amherst pushed the French out of Fort-Carillon and Crown Point. The climax came with the British victory at the Battle of Quebec (September 13, 1759). Montcalm attempts to stop native warriors from attacking the British. A number of British soldiers were killed after the Siege of Fort William Henry. Montcalm, were fatally wounded. Faced with hopeless odds, on September 8, 1760, the governor-general, the Marquis de Vaudreuilt was obliged to surrender not only his last stronghold, Montreal, but all of Canada. Thus, the North American phase of the Seven Years’ War came to a close.
Wolfe and The Battle of Quebec
General James Wolfe, (born Jan. 2, 1727, Westerham, Kent, Eng.—died Sept. 13, 1759, Quebec), Ccommander of the British army at the capture of Quebec from the French in 1759, a victory that led to British supremacy in Canada.

Battle of the Plains of Abraham Part of the French and Indian War The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West. Oil on canvas, 1770
The Battle of Quebec and the Plains of Abraham  Part of the French and Indian War The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West. Oil on canvas, 1770

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D-Day

maxresdefaultAs we in the West celebrate and pay tribute to the remaining veterans, possibly for one of the last times, of ‘Operation Overlord’ the invasion of Normandy, the 6th. of June 1944,  which took place 75 years ago today..,  let’s look back and see why many historians of world affairs include this as an extremely important episode in the fight against the pure destructive evil force of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi war machine. And why if not for the sacrifices made by so many Allied troops and considered so acutely important the Allied leaders and their military advisers planned the largest land, sea and air combined military operation the world has ever seen so meticulously and with such amazing fore thought and brilliance that nothing was left to chance and everything, well nearly everything as a consequence went exactly as it were planned.
An outstanding successful military operation that even today we here in the West 75 years on, democracy and freedom still thrives here in the UK and in most of Europe and the rest of the democratic nations of the modern world (be it often threatened) ‘So much owed by so many to so few.’

d-day-invasion-map
D-Day invasion map 6th of June 1944

I visited Normandy during the 70th anniversary of D-day and the invasion of the Normandy beaches 5 years ago. My mother, God bless her soul, treated me to an all expenses paid trip of a lifetime to see the battlefields around Caen, Bayeux and the Normandy coast.The beaches of Normandy is where on June the 6th., 1944, the British, American, Canadian, French and Polish troops stormed into Europe in an invasion that included 3 million men and 100’s of 1,000’s of 1,000,000’s of dollars worth of equipment in what was history’s most ambitious battle and the biggest ever amphibious and aerial invasion the world has ever seen.It became clear on my trip to France, clear that the ‘Invasion of Normandy’ – ‘D-Day,’ the 6th. of June 1944, was Britain’s and America’s finest moment in military history.
Epic! Historical! Legend!
It will be told for centuries as the time when the English speaking world made its dramatic entrance into Europe and displayed its ultimate superiority and dominance in both military action and economic might.

German SS HMG - Heavy Machine Gunner soldiers in typical 1944 combat battledress
German SS HMG – Heavy Machine Gunner soldiers in typical 1944 combat battledress

The poor bloody Germans! We totally annihilated them! We completely outwitted the foolish Prussian and German Generals.

‘The Desert Fox’ – Rommel

Erwin Rommel: The Old ‘Desert Fox’ was completely checkmated in minutes by Eisenhower and Montgomery. It was strategically and militarily a superb success. From the very outset of D-Day, 6th of June 1944, we had the upper hand.

6th. June 1944: ‘Pegasus Bridge,’ Normandy, Northern France.
The very first troops in. Three British Horsa gliders crash land onto marshy backwater land adjacent to the bridge over the river with pinpoint accuracy. Even pitching the nose of the first lead Horsa glider right under the barb wire perimeter defences surrounding the heavily guarded and really important strategic location. The British soldiers took the key strategic ‘Pegasus Bridge’ in just minutes, and held on to it for all of the next day, until they were relieved by the English and Scottish seaborne troops. Who landed on Sword beach many hours later.

The three British Horsa gliders with the distinctive B&W striped markings 6/06/1944 at Pegasus Bridge, Caen Normandy
The three British Horsa gliders with the distinctive B&W striped markings crash land at 0000 hours 6/06/1944 at Pegasus Bridge, Caen Normandy

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