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Synopsis

This book provides an in-depth account of the most decisive operation of the American Revolution, examining how the Americans and French moved land and naval forces from Rhode Island to Virginia, where they gained the tactical advantage over their opponents at Yorktown. Although the allied forces quickly surrounded the British army on their arrival at Yorktown, the ensuing siege would not have been as successful if the march from Rhode Island to Virginia had not gone as planned. The movement to Yorktown was complex because it had a combined (French and American) as well as joint (land and naval) aspect. French and American military commanders had to overcome formidable barriers of culture, language, tactical doctrine (American and French forces operated under different sets of war-fighting rules), and national political agendas. No one forgot that a mere fifteen years before Yorktown, the American colonists had seen the French and their American Indian allies as implacable enemies.

In writing this work, Dr. Robert Selig has done an excellent job not only of conveying how allied commanders overcame these formidable obstacles, but also in showing how the march itself had a solidifying impact on American communities along the route. These communities willingly laid aside local and regional prejudices in order to provide logistical support to the troops, minimize the potential for civil-military friction, and pave the way for a decisive victory at Yorktown as well as the creation of an independent American republic.

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