The Naval War of 1812: How The United States Escaped Defeat Part I
While the opportunity to a celebrate a bicentennial has the United States Navy, and several supporting organizations, reveling in that service’s achievements during the War of 1812, these efforts at commemoration are perpetuating a distorted view of the past. The war did produce a series of engagements that remain of inestimable value in establishing the ethos of the American naval profession, however, claims that the war saw the Navy assume the role of guarantor of American freedom of the seas obscures the facts that the United States Navy did not emerge from the war as a force capable of imposing its will on foreign powers, and that its most significant victories occurred far from any ocean. Despite a remarkable string of victories in ship-to-ship encounters with the Royal Navy early in the conflict, the American Navy was eventually brought to heel on the high seas. Notwithstanding the decline in fortunes in the best-known arena for naval warfare, American sailors would make their chief contributions to the war effort on two lakes. The battles of Lake Erie and Lake Champlain afforded American sailors the opportunity to achieve clear-cut operational and strategic level victories that were vital to staving off disaster for the fledgling republic. This program addresses the first of these two most important battles of the War of 1812.
The lecture will be held at 7PM on 5 Sep 13 in the Carnegie Reading Room of the Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, and is open to the public.
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