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Americano Hannibal, Jim Stempel

Americano Hannibal, Jim Stempel


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Americano Hannibal, Jim Stempel

Americano Hannibal, Jim Stempel

O relato extraordinário do herói da guerra revolucionária Daniel Morgan na batalha de Cowpens

A batalha de Cowpens foi um assunto bastante menor para os padrões da maioria das guerras europeias da época, envolvendo cerca de 3.000 homens no total, mas teve um grande impacto no curso da guerra. Em seu resultado, Lord Cornwallis tentou capturar os vitoriosos americanos, que estavam se retirando para evitar serem presos por um número superior, mas falhou. Isso deu aos americanos tempo para reunir reforços e, no Tribunal de Guilford, Cornwallis estava em grande desvantagem numérica. Embora ele tenha obtido uma vitória no campo de batalha, foi muito caro, enfraquecendo ainda mais seu exército. Ele então decidiu invadir a Virgínia, uma campanha que terminou com a famosa rendição em Yorktown, a derrota que finalmente convenceu o governo britânico de que a guerra não poderia ser vencida.

É justo dizer que este livro não se destina ao leitor britânico. Se você não acredita no excepcionalismo americano, as afirmações na introdução soarão um tanto vazias e o subtítulo deixa claro qual atitude o autor vai tomar.

O autor dá muita importância ao fato de os britânicos terem caído em uma "armadilha" em Cowpens. No entanto, em um exame mais atento, essa afirmação simplesmente não se sustenta. Morgan veio com uma maneira altamente eficaz de usar suas tropas, que jogou com seus pontos fortes, mas isso realmente não conta como uma armadilha. O incidente que o autor tem em mente é a retirada acidental da infantaria continental, causada pelo mal-entendido de uma ordem. Este realmente acabou sendo um ponto-chave na batalha, quando os britânicos perderam sua disciplina e perseguiram os americanos que se retiravam, apenas para sofrer pesadas baixas quando os americanos formaram uma nova linha. No entanto, este não foi de forma alguma um movimento deliberado, então realmente não pode ser chamado de armadilha. Os comandantes americanos ganham muito crédito pela maneira como transformaram um erro potencialmente desastroso em um momento de vitória da batalha, e a Infantaria Continental por sua capacidade de parar e virar depois de começar a recuar, mas só teria sido uma armadilha se o o movimento inicial fazia parte de um plano deliberado. A breve tentativa de comparar a vitória americana com Canas também não é convincente - em Cowpens uma parte do exército britânico em retirada e derrotado foi cercada e forçada a se render por forças muito mais fortes, enquanto em Canas o exército menor conseguiu cercar e esmagar o maior ..

O autor afirma repetidamente que o exército britânico era o melhor do mundo na época (muitas vezes em seções sobre o quão impressionante foi a conquista americana em Cowpens). Embora seja verdade que batalhões individuais de infantaria britânica muitas vezes tiveram um bom desempenho neste período, o exército como um todo não estava no seu melhor durante este período. Durante a Guerra dos Sete Anos, as tropas britânicas costumavam ter um bom desempenho, mas seus comandantes eram menos impressionantes (o mais famoso é Lord Sackville, que foi amplamente culpado por permitir que os franceses escapassem relativamente intactos após a batalha de Minden, e então passou a servir como secretário de estado para americano durante a maior parte da guerra). Toda a condução da campanha que levou a Cowpens demonstra antes as falhas do exército neste período, com unidades isoladas lutando em uma campanha desarticulada e planejamento e comunicação deficientes entre as alas do exército britânico.

Eu também discordaria da análise do autor do plano britânico para a vitória, que se baseava na suposição de que os legalistas surgiriam em grande número assim que os britânicos tivessem alcançado uma vitória militar clara no sul. O autor afirma que os eventos provaram que essa teoria era falsa, mas eu diria que os britânicos nunca realmente alcançaram aquela vitória militar - apesar de terem conquistado várias vitórias importantes, eles nunca foram capazes de eliminar o exército americano do sul, então sempre houve um foco para resistência. Também vale a pena lembrar que a Legião Britânica de Tarleton era composta por legalistas americanos, com fortes elementos de Nova Jersey, Filadélfia e Nova York (talvez um dos motivos pelos quais Tarleton era tão impopular), e o relato frequentemente menciona milícias conservadoras locais.

Depois de desabafar, passemos agora aos aspectos positivos, que são muitos. Em primeiro lugar, este é um relato muito legível dessa campanha, trazendo os personagens à vida. O livro é bem escrito e bem estruturado, geralmente alternando entre os dois lados dos capítulos, então podemos ver as duas versões da campanha com muito mais detalhes do que normalmente acontece. Também sentimos muito bem os problemas colocados a ambos os lados pelo terreno no que na época era muito uma região de fronteira, com travessias de rios desempenhando um papel importante na campanha, assim como a falta de abastecimento em cada área.

Morgan surge como um comandante habilidoso e inteligente, perfeitamente adequado para obter o melhor de suas tropas de milícia. Seu plano para Cowpens tirou proveito de sua excelente pontaria, mas também reconheceu que era improvável que eles ficassem e lutassem quando enfrentados pelos britânicos (como demonstrado não muito antes em Camden). Ao permitir isso em seu plano, ele reduziu a chance de um colapso da milícia, desencadeando um colapso mais amplo, e também tornou mais provável que eles permanecessem no campo de batalha após o término de seu papel inicial. Morgan também era um homem muito mais experiente do que Tarleton, que afinal era um oficial de cavalaria relativamente júnior em seus vinte e poucos anos, com uma reputação amplamente conquistada por ataques frontais a oponentes menos capazes. Não foi preciso muita habilidade para perceber que a abordagem de Tarleton seria um simples ataque frontal, mas inventar uma tática para contra-atacar isso foi impressionante. Cowpens foi uma conquista impressionante para Morgan e uma das vitórias mais unilaterais de toda a guerra, e este é um relato interessante dessa batalha.

Capítulos - vinte e quatro, com o nome do personagem principal em cada um

Autor: Jim Stempel
Edição: Brochura
Páginas:
Editora: Penmore Press
Ano: 2017



Aníbal americano

Em 17 de janeiro de 1781, uma batalha notável ocorreu no sertão da Carolina do Sul. O tenente-coronel britânico Banastre Tarleton, escolhido a dedo pelo general Charles Cornwallis para o comando devido ao seu traço e recorde de realizações, teve a oposição do general-de-brigada Daniel Morgan, um filho violento da fronteira americana. Morgan empregou um esquema tão brilhantemente concebido e executado com maestria que, em uma hora, os britânicos se viram oprimidos, envolvidos e expulsos do campo. Em resposta a esta impressionante vitória americana, Cornwallis embarcou em uma jornada imprudente e desesperada para o norte em busca de Morgan - uma estratégia que acabou levando à sua própria derrota em Yorktown.
Em seu relato convincente da Batalha de Cowpens, Jim Stempel afirma que a vitória de Morgan espelha de perto o triunfo extraordinário de Hannibal em Canas, considerado por muitos como uma das maiores realizações militares de todos os tempos. Com um estilo narrativo que mergulha os leitores no centro dos eventos, o americano Hannibal irá encantar os estudantes de história americana e os recém-chegados ao assunto.


RESENHA DE LIVRO: Resenhas de livros de Becky Valley, American Hannibal

Livros de Beck Valley
Aníbal americano
Revisado por Hubbie
12 de junho de 2019

O americano Hannibal encantará todos os estudantes de história na arte do comando de batalha. O relato de Jim Stempel & # 8217s da Batalha de Cowpen foi pesquisado e escrito com habilidade.”

O americano Hannibal encantará todos os estudantes de história na arte do comando de batalha. O relato de Jim Stempel & # 8217s da Batalha de Cowpen foi habilmente pesquisado e escrito. Numa época em que não havia tecnologia moderna e as ordens / planos eram feitos no local e o puro instinto dos soldados se mantinham vivos. Como um pesquisador pode dar vida aos eventos e pensamentos das pessoas envolvidas é um feito notável.

O leitor é levado a uma viagem fantástica pela história e pode vislumbrar as imagens, sons e cheiros dos soldados e compartilhar de suas esperanças e sonhos por meio da excelente escrita descritiva do autor. No auge da batalha, os heróis surgem e seus feitos e façanhas são registrados.

As comparações são sempre feitas entre as batalhas e os comandantes encarregados para discutir as semelhanças em seu processo de pensamento e bravura que o autor faz neste livro entre Hannibal e Daniel Morgan.

A inteligência afiada e o raciocínio rápido na implementação de um excelente esquema que foi executado com maestria garantiu uma vitória planejada e catapultou Daniel Morgan, que foi um verdadeiro Revolucionário Americano para os livros de história.

Este é o segundo livro que li de Jim Stempel e sua paixão e entusiasmo pela história da batalha americana transparecem, uma leitura obrigatória para qualquer pessoa interessada no assunto.


Hannibal americano: o relato extraordinário do herói revolucionário Daniel Morgan na batalha de Cowpens

Em 17 de janeiro de 1781, uma batalha notável ocorreu no sertão da Carolina do Sul. O tenente-coronel britânico Banastre Tarleton, escolhido a dedo pelo general Charles Cornwallis para o comando devido ao seu traço e recorde de realizações, teve a oposição do general-de-brigada Daniel Morgan, um filho violento da fronteira americana. Morgan empregou um esquema tão brilhantemente concebido e executado com maestria que, em uma hora, os britânicos se viram oprimidos, envolvidos e expulsos do campo. Em resposta a esta impressionante vitória americana, Cornwallis embarcou em uma jornada imprudente e desesperada para o norte em busca de Morgan - uma estratégia que acabou levando à sua própria derrota em Yorktown.

Em seu relato convincente da Batalha de Cowpens, Jim Stempel afirma que a vitória de Morgan espelha de perto o triunfo extraordinário de Hannibal em Canas, considerado por muitos como uma das maiores realizações militares de todos os tempos. Com um estilo narrativo que mergulha os ouvintes no centro dos acontecimentos, Aníbal americano irá encantar estudantes de história americana e recém-chegados ao assunto.


American Hannibal Paperback - Illustrated, 8 de janeiro de 2018

O autor argumenta com sucesso que a Batalha de Cowpens foi um momento decisivo na Revolução Americana. Antes dessa batalha, as coisas não iam bem para os americanos no Sul, tendo perdido inúmeras batalhas e confrontos. Horatio Gates, antes de perder a batalha de Camden, pediu a seu antigo colega da Batalha de Saratoga, Daniel Morgan, para se juntar a ele e liderar suas tropas leves. Morgan concordou, se o Congresso o votasse como Brigadeiro-General, para que pudesse lidar de forma mais eficaz com os oficiais da milícia. Quando Nathaniel Greene assumiu o lugar de Gates, ele continuou essa proposta e dividiu seu exército. O livro apresenta todos esses fatos de forma eficaz e sem esforço e o pano de fundo da batalha. Banastre Tarleton, o oficial britânico encarregado das tropas leves de Cornwallis, incluindo sua própria legião, com cavalaria, também é destaque. Esses eram os dois comandantes protagonistas: Tarleton, que foi precipitado, mas muito bem-sucedido, e Morgan, que tinha os pés no chão e um líder natural de soldados. O livro cobre a campanha que conduz à batalha e a batalha em si, a luta para frente e para trás entre os dois lados. A batalha de Cowpens na verdade parece ser um caso curto, com relativamente poucos soldados de cada lado (1000), mas foi muito sangrenta e decisiva. Foi um ponto de inflexão porque mudou a trajetória da guerra no Sul e da Revolução Americana em geral, levando ao Tribunal de Guildford e Yorktown.

Sempre que leio um livro tão excelente, me pergunto - eles não deveriam fazer um filme sobre isso? Bem, neste caso eles têm - 2 deles para ser exato, mas se eles fizessem um filme seguindo o livro, isso forneceria uma história precisa. O segundo filme foi O Patriota, estrelado por Mel Gibson, lançado em 2000. Este filme é terrivelmente impreciso - a batalha no final retrata o que parece ser Cowpens, embora Cornwallis esteja lá e Tarleton morra no final (nas mãos de Gibson, claro). Talvez ii deva ser uma combinação das duas batalhas: Cowpens e Guilford Courthouse. O primeiro filme se chama Doce Liberdade, estrelado por Alan Alda e Michael Caine sobre a filmagem de um filme sobre a Batalha de Cowpens. A descrição do filme é totalmente imprecisa (como O Patriota) e Alan Alda, que é o professor de história e autor do livro, fica furioso com isso, tudo de uma forma engraçada. Sim, o filme é uma comédia.

Finalmente, é bom ter livros como este publicados, porque eles fornecem uma descrição precisa da história em um formato muito legível. Na verdade, este livro parece um romance histórico. Com todas as imprecisões em torno de nossa história, por exemplo, O Patriota e a falta de compreensão de nossa história pela maioria dos americanos, livros como este são extremamente necessários. Parabéns ao autor por dedicar seu tempo para escrevê-lo.

O livro é muito legível e não consegui largá-lo. O autor tem um estilo que parece um romance sem banalizar a história.

Eu sabia sobre Cowpens como uma batalha na Revolução sem entender seu significado. Este livro explica o que aconteceu e, o mais importante, por que aconteceu. Morgan é descrito como um tático brilhante, um líder do campo de ataque geral, e ele entendia perfeitamente seu oponente, Tarleton. Também explica como Cowpens foi o início dos eventos que levaram à rendição em Yorktown.

Eu recomendo fortemente o livro para qualquer pessoa interessada na Revolução Americana e / ou táticas militares.


A corrida para Bastogne

A princípio soou como uma tempestade, distante, estrondosa. Então o solo começou a tremer quando colunas de tanques e transportes com esteiras finalmente emergiram da floresta densa.

Era 16 de dezembro de 1944, e o que os alemães chamaram de operação Watch on the Rhine, e o que os americanos mais tarde chamariam de Batalha do Bulge, acabara de explodir ao longo de três estradas em uma frente de 136 quilômetros na Floresta Ardennes, na Bélgica.

Pego de surpresa, uma fraca defesa de americanos exaustos e mal equipados foi rapidamente dominada.

Os generais alemães Rundstedt, Krebs e Jodl planejam sua última ofensiva de fosso nas Ardenas, em novembro de 1944.

Hitler, contra o melhor conselho de seu general, ordenou a ofensiva, destruindo as densas florestas das Ardenas, a objetiva Antuérpia, o porto de abastecimento dos Aliados na costa belga.

Seu objetivo era dominar rapidamente as cansadas tropas americanas e proteger o porto, cortando os aliados de sua linha de abastecimento.

Feito isso, ele esperava encerrar a guerra em termos negociados. Para conseguir isso, os alemães lançaram 30 divisões de infantaria e blindadas completas contra os americanos, 200.000 soldados, ao todo.

Doze divisões panzer de elite lideraram o caminho, indo instantaneamente para as cidades flamengas de Houffalize, Sankt Vith, Stavelot e Bastogne.

Um metralhador alemão marchando pelas Ardenas em dezembro de 1944.

A resistência americana foi a princípio escassa, mas se intensificou à medida que pequenas unidades se recuperavam e lutavam furiosamente, atrasando com sucesso o avanço alemão.

Recebendo relatórios iniciais perturbadores, o General Dwight Eisenhower - Comandante Supremo Aliado - percebeu quase imediatamente a escala e a intenção do ataque alemão e identificou a pequena vila belga de Bastogne - com sua rede regional de estradas de conexão - como o elemento geográfico chave.

A área das Ardenas na Bélgica e na Alemanha pouco antes da contra-ofensiva alemã nas Ardenas, 15 de dezembro de 1944.

Se a Wehrmacht tomasse Bastogne, eles poderiam rapidamente virar e correr em direção a Antuérpia. Três colunas alemãs estavam avançando sobre Bastogne, assim, pequenas unidades de blindados, reconhecimento e engenheiros americanos foram despachados para tentar retardar o avanço nazista.

Ações de atraso desesperadas e heróicas foram travadas em Noville, Longvilly e Wardin, explodindo pontes, destruindo tanques de chumbo e atrapalhando o rolo compressor alemão.

Prisioneiros americanos capturados pela Wehrmacht nas Ardenas em dezembro de 1944.

Eisenhower percebeu que agora seria uma corrida entre americanos e alemães para chegar a Bastogne, e então mantê-la. Infelizmente, ele quase não tinha tropas para trabalhar. Em um vôo, ele localizou a 101ª e a 82ª Aerotransportada, então descansando e se reabilitando em Mourmelon após uma longa e árdua campanha. Infelizmente, eles estavam a 107 milhas de Bastogne.

Além disso, o frio estava em níveis recordes, nevoeiro intenso e granizo dificultando as operações de campo, tornando impossível um lançamento aerotransportado.

Warren Spahn, então um soldado de infantaria de 22 anos servindo com os americanos, mais tarde um arremessador do Hall da Fama, disse: “Eu era de Buffalo, pensei que conhecia o frio. Mas eu realmente não sabia do frio até a Batalha do Bulge. ”

Soldados americanos assumindo posições defensivas nas Ardenas.

Assim, as tropas aerotransportadas foram carregadas às pressas em um imenso comboio, em seguida conduzido por uma noite de neve e granizo em estradas traiçoeiras para seus objetivos, o 82º desdobrado para Werbomont, o 101º Bastogne. Durante a tarde do dia 18, uma cansada 101ª chegou para descobrir os alemães se aproximando rapidamente.

A 101ª estava então sob o comando do Brigadeiro General Anthony McAuliffe e, percebendo a situação desesperadora em que se encontrava, McAuliffe foi direto ao trabalho. Ele enviou pára-quedistas para reforçar as unidades do exército já em campo, tentando retardar o avanço alemão.

Em Noville, por exemplo, uma equipe de pára-quedistas, apoiada por uma unidade de destruidores de tanques autopropulsados, destruiu 17 tanques alemães em combates ferozes, forçando os alemães a se retirarem momentaneamente.

Apesar das ações heróicas, no entanto, as unidades avançadas americanas foram eventualmente invadidas, ou chamadas de volta a Bastogne, enquanto o ataque alemão, aparentemente imparável, avançava ruidosamente.

O general de brigada Anthony C. McAuliffe, comandante de artilharia da 101ª Divisão Aerotransportada, dá aos pilotos de planadores instruções de última hora na Inglaterra para a Operação Market-Garden em 18 de setembro de 1944, antes da decolagem em D mais 1 da operação.

Enquanto as colunas alemãs cercavam Bastogne, McAuliffe circundou a vila com um anel de tropas, posicionando um grupo de artilharia configurado às pressas em seu centro em guerra.

Essa implantação eriçou-se com 36 obuseiros de 155 mm, efetivamente lançando fogo direcionado em todas as direções, explodindo muitos tanques alemães conforme eles se aproximavam do perímetro americano.

Os pára-quedistas lutaram furiosamente, unidos agora por várias unidades adicionais, incluindo a artilharia de campanha totalmente afro-americana 333ª e 969ª, tornando o elogio americano em Bastogne a primeira unidade de ação dessegregada desde a Revolução Americana.

Mesmo assim, os americanos ainda estavam em desvantagem numérica de 5 para 1, e no final do dia 21 com falta de munição, suprimentos médicos, equipamento de inverno e rações. Na verdade, eles pareciam à beira da aniquilação.

O general de brigada Anthony McAuliffe e sua equipe se reuniram no quartel Bastogne & # 8217s Heintz para o jantar de Natal em 25 de dezembro de 1944. Este quartel militar serviu como posto de comando principal da divisão durante o cerco de Bastogne, na Bélgica, durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Surpreendentemente, por dois dias os alemães hesitaram, trazendo reforços metodicamente para dar um empurrão final e esmagador. Eisenhower, no entanto, sentindo a situação precária de McAuliffe, não perdeu tempo. Percebendo que o avanço alemão já havia causado um enorme “inchaço” na defesa americana, em 18 de dezembro ele convocou os generais Bradley, Devers e Patton para uma reunião de emergência em Verdun.

Lá foi acordado por todos que o Terceiro Exército de Patton - então se preparando para cruzar o rio Saar e continuar a leste para a Alemanha - giraria noventa graus e correria para o norte - uma manobra logística extraordinária que em tempos normais poderia levar dias, senão semanas, realizar.

Progresso da contra-ofensiva alemã nas Ardenas, 16-25 de dezembro de 1944.

Patton, que sentira o movimento alemão semanas antes, já havia dado instruções para sua equipe começar a operação, antes mesmo de se encontrar com Eisenhower. Por volta da meia-noite do dia 18, Patton tinha a 4ª Divisão Blindada na estrada norte, com as 80ª e 26ª Divisões de Infantaria saindo no dia seguinte.

Assim começou a segunda bateria da corrida para Bastogne, com os tanques de liderança de Patton ainda 150 milhas ao sul da vila flamenga, "Old Blood and Guts", normalmente conduzindo homens e máquinas como se sua vida dependesse disso.

General George S. Patton no comando das forças dos EUA na Sicília, 1943

Enquanto isso, de volta a Bastogne, no dia 22, paraquedistas americanos foram presenteados com uma visão incomum - quatro soldados alemães se aproximando sob uma bandeira branca de trégua.

Os alemães, ficou determinado, queriam apresentar um ultimato por escrito do general Von Lὓttitz, conclamando os americanos a se renderem. A nota estipulava que McAuliffe tinha apenas duas horas para refletir sobre seu destino, após o que os alemães enterrariam Bastogne sob uma avalanche de fogo de artilharia.

Depois de ler a nota, McAuliffe mal conseguiu se conter. “Porcas!” ele fumegou. Mas sentindo que aquela mensagem direta pode ser interpretada como um pouco grosseira, sua resposta por escrito foi alongada para “Ao Comandante Alemão: Maluco! Do Comandante Americano. ”

Von Lὓttitz, sem ter ideia do que a mensagem significava, fez com que fosse interpretada por um coronel americano como “Vá para o Diabo”, o que, eu suspeito, foi uma interpretação extremamente educada.

Infantaria da 110ª Infantaria, 28ª Divisão, 1º Exército dos EUA após o avanço alemão naquela área, Bastogne, Bélgica, 19 de dezembro de 1944.

De qualquer forma, a demanda alemã tinha sido um blefe, pois eles não tinham a artilharia disponível para cumprir sua ameaça e, além disso, no dia 23 o tempo melhorou. No início daquela manhã, o céu azul sobre Bastogne floresceu com o C-47 dos EUA, despejando centenas de toneladas de munição, comida e suprimentos médicos para os defensores em guerra.

Então, gritando logo acima da copa das árvores, o P-38 americano Relâmpagos e P -47 Raios apareceu, atacando tanques alemães, comboios e posições de infantaria.

Os grupos de bombardeiros Lancaster e Halifax da RAF adicionaram seu peso, visando pontes, ferrovias e comunicações, tudo isso dando às desesperadas tropas terrestres organizadas em Bastogne uma enorme elevação emocional.

A foto acima mostra os excrementos dos C-47 sobre o bolsão Bastogne cercado. Foi um daqueles C-47 que fez um voo rasante para cair na véspera de Natal de 1944 e foi alvejado por uma arma alemã de calibre leve.

Mas o tempo claro congelou o solo lamacento, tornando a manobra muito mais fácil para os panzers, e os alemães atacaram com força, exatamente quando a luz do sol começou a diminuir na 24ª véspera de Natal.

O golpe caiu na porção sul / leste da linha americana. Inicialmente bem-sucedido, McAuliffe respondeu mudando paraquedistas e, eventualmente, os alemães foram rechaçados em combates selvagens.

Mais tarde naquela noite, bombardeiros alemães apareceram sobre Bastogne, lançando toneladas de munições, destruindo grande parte da vila, mas não conseguindo mover os defensores

De manhã, as divisões de Patton estavam fechando em Bastogne, 133.178 veículos e tanques, esmagando a lama e lama. Como resultado, os ataques alemães aumentaram em ferocidade, desesperados para dominar a 101ª antes que Patton pudesse passar. O tempo ficou nublado mais uma vez, mas, com reforços a caminho, os americanos lutaram ferozmente,

Bradley, Eisenhower e Patton na Europa, 1945.

A ponta da lança de Patton era o 37º Batalhão de Tanques, comandado pelo tenente-coronel Creighton Abrams. Eles vinham lutando contra a furiosa resistência alemã desde a partida, sofrendo pesadas baixas ao longo do caminho.

Agora nos aproximando de Bastogne, o tanque líder Sherman, denominado Rei Cobra , foi comandado pelo tenente Charles Boggess. Enquanto o 37º se dirigia para Bastogne, eles passaram por um selvagem desafio de fogo alemão, uma cena assustadoramente reminiscente de um videogame de combate moderno.

Exército dos EUA na Segunda Guerra Mundial perto de Bastogne.

“Nós nos movemos a toda velocidade, com os outros tanques atirando para a esquerda e para a direita”, disse Boggess. “Estávamos passando rápido, todas as armas disparando, direto naquela estrada para explodir antes que eles tivessem tempo de se preparar.” Os projéteis estavam explodindo, ricocheteando, gritando em números numerosos demais para serem contados.

“Usei o 75 como se fosse uma metralhadora”, disse o artilheiro Milton Dickerman. Rei Cobra finalmente rompeu o desafio alemão e, no final do dia 26, colidiu com elementos da 101ª, a duas milhas do centro de Bastogne. Mais tarde, McAuliffe saiu e apertou a mão de Abrams - o cerco de Bastogne havia sido levantado. A desesperada corrida foi vencida.

Membros da 101ª Divisão Aerotransportada, Bastogne, Bélgica, a cidade em que esta divisão foi sitiada por dez dias. Esta foto foi tirada no dia de Natal.

A Batalha do Bulge continuaria em meados de janeiro, os alemães se agarrando desesperadamente ao terreno que haviam conquistado.

Mas o surpreendente avanço que Hitler imaginou nunca se materializou e, ao longo do tempo, maciços reforços americanos, superioridade aérea e escassez de combustível na Alemanha condenaram o avanço nazista, fazendo com que Winston Churchill declarasse: "Esta é sem dúvida a maior batalha americana da guerra, e , Acredito ser considerada uma vitória americana sempre famosa. ”

A Batalha de Bulge foi o maior confronto já travado pelas forças americanas, mas o sucesso custou caro: 100.000 baixas.

Acima, uma imagem dramática de um M18 Hellcat e M3A1 Halftrack destruídos no pano de fundo do 705º Batalhão de Destroyers de Tanques que apoiou o 101º Aerotransportado em Bastogne. Supostamente, durante o cerco de Bastogne (20-27 de dezembro de 1944), os americanos atiraram em cerca de 40 tanques alemães e perderam apenas seis deles.

Ainda assim, durante o período de um mês entre 16 de dezembro e 16 de janeiro, o poder aéreo aliado destruiu 11.378 transportes alemães, 1.101 tanques, 507 locomotivas, 6.266 vagões ferroviários e 472 posições de artilharia, enquanto a força terrestre americana infligiu 100.000 baixas próprias, efetivamente quebrando a parte de trás da Wehrmacht. Três meses depois, Adolph Hitler estava morto e seu Reich de 1.000 anos estava em ruínas.

Por Jim Stempel

Para obter uma lista completa de seus livros atuais, clique aqui: amazon.com/author/jimstempel

Jim Stempel é autor de vários artigos e nove livros sobre história americana, espiritualidade e guerra. Seu livro mais recente, American Hannibal: The Extraordinary Account of Revolutionary War Hero Daniel Morgan na Batalha de Cowpens, está atualmente disponível em praticamente todos os estabelecimentos online.

Seu mais novo, De Valley Forge a Monmouth: Seis Meses Transformativos da Revolução Americana será lançado neste outono pela McFarland e está atualmente disponível para pré-venda na Amazon.


Lightning Strikes Twice & # 8211 American Hannibal of the Revolutionary War

É madrugada de 2 de agosto de 216 aC e um raio está prestes a atingir a República Romana. Em uma crista com vista para a extensa planície, Hannibal Barca observa como uma enorme força romana.

Oito legiões enormes consistindo de 87.000 infantaria e cavalaria - marcham diretamente, irresistivelmente em direção a suas tropas dispostas no solo abaixo.

Dois anos antes, ele comandou seu exército nos Alpes e descera ao norte da Itália para perseguir e derrotar os romanos repetidas vezes.

Agora, liderados pelo Cônsul Varro, os romanos reuniram uma força massiva com um único propósito - destruir Aníbal e seu exército.

Ele observa enquanto a poeira gira em torno dos romanos que se aproximam, suas couraças brilhando aos raios do sol nascente. Ele estava esperando por eles.

Um busto de mármore, supostamente de Hannibal, originalmente encontrado na antiga cidade-estado de Cápua, na Itália

Fingindo recuo, Aníbal atraiu os romanos por vários quilômetros de terras áridas e áridas até o pequeno vilarejo de Canas, no sudeste da Itália, onde agora pretende lutar.

Ele tem à sua disposição, no máximo, 50.000 soldados e cavalaria, mas as chances sombrias não o incomodam. Perto de Cannae, ele colocou sua linha de frente em um crescente na boca de um pequeno vale que se eleva como a letra V da planície.

Em cada flanco, Aníbal posicionou sua melhor infantaria cartaginesa, um tanto destacada em pequenas colinas. Sua cavalaria pesada - uma força substancial - também espera escondida no terreno inclinado atrás de Canas.

Os romanos são a maior potência militar da época, suas legiões bem treinadas, armadas e comandadas. Mas Hannibal estudou seus métodos cuidadosamente, e porque ele sabe exatamente como eles lutam, ele sabe exatamente como derrotá-los.

Através da poeira rodopiante os romanos marcham, uma formação que se estende por uma milha de flanco a flanco, uma força enorme e aparentemente imparável.

Implantação inicial e ataque romano (em vermelho)

Finalmente avistando os cartagineses dispostos para a batalha adiante, os romanos avançam apressadamente. Na boca do vale, os dois lados se encontram em uma colisão terrível de espadas reluzentes, lanças voadoras, gritos e derramamento de sangue horrível.

Lentamente, os cartagineses cedem terreno, recuando para o vale - exatamente como Aníbal ordenou.

Os romanos, sentindo a vitória - esperando dominar o centro da linha cartaginesa - avançam sempre, sem saber que estão sendo atraídos para uma armadilha.

Do alto, o líder cartaginês observa as enormes formações romanas se esmagando no terreno cada vez mais estreito abaixo.

Satisfeito, ele se vira e acena com a cabeça. Um sinal de fumaça sobe, e a infantaria cartaginesa destacada desce sobre ambos os flancos expostos dos romanos desavisados. A cavalaria de Aníbal sai de seu esconderijo, expulsando a cavalaria romana e depois voltando para atacar os romanos por trás.

Só assim, as legiões foram cercadas. Além disso, devido às limitações cada vez maiores da paisagem, as unidades romanas não podem manobrar, mudar de frentes ou mesmo fazer valer a sua vasta superioridade numérica.

Eles foram presos virtualmente ombro a ombro, como gado em um enorme curral.

Destruição do exército romano (vermelho), cortesia do Departamento de História, Academia Militar dos Estados Unidos

Durante todo o dia os cartagineses recortam as bordas da formação romana, reduzindo-a por hora, até que no final da tarde os romanos não existam mais.

O historiador Políbio escreve que no fundo do vale cerca de 76.000 romanos e aliados jaziam mortos. Outros 10.000 foram capturados. Os cartagineses sofrem apenas 5.700 baixas. Sua vitória é incomparável.

A surpreendente vitória de Aníbal sobre um inimigo substancialmente superior será considerada talvez a maior vitória militar de todos os tempos.

De acordo com o historiador militar Robert L. O’Connell, as perdas de Roma naquele dia totalizaram "mais soldados mortos do que qualquer outro exército em qualquer dia de combate em todo o curso da história militar ocidental."

Como tal, Cannae lançou uma longa sombra sobre o pensamento e as tradições militares ocidentais, virtualmente santificados ao longo do tempo como o “Santo Graal” do brilho marcial.

Aníbal contando os anéis de sinete dos nobres romanos mortos durante a batalha de Canas

Muitos comandantes tentaram, sem sucesso, replicar o estonteante envolvimento duplo de Aníbal: Frederico, o Grande, von Molke e von Schlieffen, entre outros.

It is said Napoleon marched his army through numerous Alpine passes just to walk in the great Carthaginian’s footprints, while Dwight Eisenhower wrote that every military leader “tries to duplicate in modern war the classic example of Cannae.”

We now fast-forward to January 1781, for lightning is about to strike again. Pursued by a strong British force under command of Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton, American general Daniel Morgan feigns retreat, drawing the weary British ever deeper into the cold, wintery backwoods of South Carolina.

British attack at Cowpens, the first phase of the Battle of Cowpens

Tarleton has risen to become General Charles Cornwallis’s handyman of choice. Cornwallis, a crafty and hard-driving general, has used Tarleton to impose his will across the rebellious countryside, and in this the young cavalryman has not disappointed.

But Tarleton has made his reputation generally running roughshod over small bodies of American cavalry or backwoods militia Morgan, a proven battlefield commander, may prove a tougher test.

Portrait of Daniel Morgan

Moving sluggishly across the wet, freezing landscape, Morgan finally locates ground he likes at the Cowpens, a crossroads where local farmers bring their herds for branding.

The American and British forces are roughly equal in numbers, but the British are pursuing with an elite force, while two thirds of Morgan’s men are rural militia, untrained in the basics of battlefield warfare.

Morgan understands that if he is defeated the American Revolution in the South will collapse, but he realizes his militia will never stand-up to British bayonets.

He also knows that Tarleton is a young, extremely aggressive officer, with a penchant for immediate attack against all odds. O que ele fará?

American counterattack, the second phase of the Battle of Cowpens

Like Hannibal, Morgan devises a plan to turn his command’s deficiencies into pluses, while simultaneously using Tarleton’s over aggressiveness to lure him into a trap.

Cowpens is a wooded area of small hills and swales that Morgan believes can be used to advantage. Rather than forming one battle line, he decides upon three, the first a small group of crack rifleman, the last two hidden by the terrain.

The first and second lines will be militia, asked only to fire twice before falling back to the final line of veteran Continentals.

This will spare them from British bayonets, while giving Tarleton the appearance of retreat, thus luring the Redcoats into Morgan’s trap. At the final line both the militia and Continentals will make a stand.

Lieutenant-Colonel Banastre Tarleton by Sir Joshua Reynolds, in the uniform of the British Legion, wearing a “Tarleton Helmet”.

At daybreak, January 17, Tarleton’s detachment marches into Cowpens, 1,100 strong. Initially facing only a small contingent of riflemen, they immediately deploy for combat, as Morgan’s crack shots blast away, felling many Redcoats before falling back, as planned.

Tarleton, noticing the Americans in apparent retreat, leads the British forward even before they are properly formed, only then to stumble headfirst into the second American line, precisely as Morgan had anticipated.

The militia stand and unleash a furious blast of musketry at virtually pointblank range, savaging the Redcoat infantry, before falling back themselves to the waiting line of Continentals.

The Battle of Cowpens, painted by William Ranney in 1845. The scene depicts an unnamed black soldier (left) firing his pistol and saving the life of Colonel William Washington (on white horse in center).

There both sides slug it out before an error on the American side sends the British rushing forward in hopes of victory. But the Continentals recover and fire a volley into the faces of the charging Redcoats, then lower the bayonet themselves.

Stunned, the British turn and run for their lives, Continentals on their heels. American militia and cavalry spontaneously join the pursuit, the militia closing on both flanks of the fleeing British as the cavalry sweeps around, surrounding the Redcoats in a scene eerily reminiscent of Cannae.

Fortunately for American posterity, the British throw down their weapons, and slaughter is avoided. The British have fought with great spirit and bravery, but they have been undone by their commander’s rash decisions. Tarleton, along with a few dragoons, escapes, but his entire detachment has been annihilated. American casualties are trivial.

Battle of Cowpens January 17, 1781. Right flank (cavalry) of Lt. Col. William Washington and (left flank) of the militia returned to enfilade

Morgan’s well executed plan saved the Revolution in the South for the American cause. Moreover, he is one of the few battlefield commanders who has ever come close to duplicating Hannibal’s masterpiece, this in a tactical scheme entirely of his own creation.

While Cowpens was hardly of the magnitude or sophistication of Cannae, I suspect it was a victory that even the great Carthaginian would have admired.

The United States rejoiced wildly upon receiving word of Morgan’s success, but today his dramatic victory seems all but forgotten.

The 13-striped, 13-starred American flag, with a single star in the center of a circling constellation, once believed to be flown during the battle, became known as the Cowpens flag.

For a full list of his books simply click on: amazon.com/author/jimstempel

Jim Stempel is a speaker and author of numerous articles and eight books on American history, spirituality, and warfare. These include The Nature of War: Origins and Evolution of Violent Conflict, and his most recent, American Hannibal: The Extraordinary Account of Revolutionary War Hero Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens.


  • Publisher &rlm : &lrm Penmore Press LLC (8 January 2018)
  • Idioma & rlm: & lrm inglês
  • Paperback &rlm : &lrm 418 pages
  • ISBN-10 &rlm : &lrm 194640926X
  • ISBN-13 &rlm : &lrm 978-1946409263
  • Item Weight &rlm : &lrm 608 g
  • Dimensions &rlm : &lrm 15.24 x 2.36 x 22.86 cm

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The author makes the case successfully that the Battle of Cowpens was a turning point in the American Revolution. Prior to that battle, things were not going well for the Americans in the South, having lost numerous battles and engagements. Horatio Gates prior to losing the battle of Camden requested his old colleague from the Battle of Saratoga, Daniel Morgan, to join him and lead his light troops. Morgan agreed, if the Congress would vote him as a Brigadier General, so that he could more effectively deal with the militia officers. When Nathaniel Greene took over for Gates, he continued that proposal and split his army. The book lays out all of these facts effectively and effortlessly and the background to the battle. Banastre Tarleton, the British officer in charge of Cornwallis' light troops including his own legion, with cavalry, is also highlighted. These were the two protagonist commanders: Tarleton who was rash but very successful and Morgan who was down to earth and a natural leader of soldiers. The book covers the campaign leading up to the battle and the battle itself, the back and forth fighting between the two sides. The battle of Cowpens actually seems to be a short affair, with relatively few soldiers on each side (1000) but was very bloody and decisive. It was a turning point because it changed the trajectory of the war in the South and the American Revolution in general leading up to Guildford Courthouse and Yorktown.

Whenever I read a book this excellent, I ask myself - shouldn't they make a movie of this? Well, in this case they have - 2 of them to be exact, but if they would make a movie following the book it would provide an accurate history. The second movie was The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson, released in 2000. This movie is terribly inaccurate - the battle at the end depicts what appears to be Cowpens, although Cornwallis is there and Tarleton dies at the end (at the hands of Gibson, of course). Maybe ii is meant to be a combination of the two battles: Cowpens and Guilford Courthouse. The first movie is called Sweet Liberty starring Alan Alda and Michael Caine about the filming of a movie on the Battle of Cowpens. The depiction of the movie is totally inaccurate (like The Patriot) and Alan Alda who is the history professor who is the author of the book is enraged by it, all in a funny way. Yes, the movie is a comedy.

Finally, it is good to have books like this one published because it provides an accurate depiction of history in a very readable format. In fact, this book reads like a historical novel. With all the inaccuracies around our history, e.g. The Patriot, and the lack of understanding of our history by most Americans, books like this are sorely needed. Kudos to the author for taking the time to write it.

The book is very readable and I couldn't put it down. The author has a style which reads like a novel without trivializing the history.

I knew about Cowpens as some battle in the Revolution without understanding its significance. This book explains what happened and most importantly, why it happened. Morgan is described as a brilliant tactician, a lead from the front field general, and he thoroughly understood his opponent, Tarleton. It also explains how Cowpens was the beginning of the events which led to the surrender at Yorktown.

I most highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the American Revolution and/or military tactics.


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American Hannibal - Jim Stempel

The American Revolution was without question the seminal event in terms of the founding of the United States, but it also initiated the spread and acceptance of both democratic principles and civil liberties across the globe a process that in many ways and in many places is still ongoing. Thus any grasp of the American nation, or of the world as it exists today, without a reasonable grasp of the Revolution remains fundamentally uninformed by definition and therefore flawed at best. For generations the American people took great pride in this heritage, worked to grasp and understand, if not all the details, at least the general flow of events and the personalities that comprised the revolutionary tale, but sadly today that dedication seems all but lost.

Indeed, the leaders, events, even the razões the American Revolution was fought seem to be rapidly disappearing from the collective knowledge of the American public. In a recent survey conducted by the American Revolution Center of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for instance, a shocking 83% of American adults were found to be lacking even a basic understanding of the Revolution. How bad was it? Half of the respondents actually believed that the Civil War was fought antes the Revolution that is, the country was almost torn in half antes it had even come into existence, and over 33% had no idea in which century the War for Independence even took place. The average score on the survey was a 44% and many taking the quiz could not answer more than four of the twenty-seven questions listed in the questionnaire. Knowledge of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence were determined to be equally as dismal.

These are shocking facts, and facts that may well have far reaching consequences. As the English author George Orwell once pointed out, The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history. Is it reasonable to assume that citizens will handle their civic responsibilities sensibly (no matter what their political philosophy or orientation) when they have no grasp whatsoever of the history of their own nation, the structure of their government, and the laws by which they are called to govern themselves? Eu acho que não. A country without a memory is a country of madmen, wrote George Santayana. In this case our educational system (from elementary school through graduate school) has clearly failed the fundamental needs of our society, and it has much to answer for in that regard, but that failure remains an issue for another forum.

Importantly, while many respondents to the Revolutionary survey faired poorly, over ninety percent still firmly believed that a grasp of their American origins was vitally important for the health of the nation, and it was that remarkable sense of historical appreciation that inspired this book. To best accomplish this, I have chosen a presentation in narrative nonfiction, the nonfiction aspect providing the reader with an accurate and well documented look at history (often in the words of those who lived it), while the narrative formula embeds that history in a storyline that is at once strong and compelling.

The American Revolution was fought over a six year period (1775 – 1781), while the Treaty of Paris that officially ended the war and recognized the infant United States as a sovereign nation was not signed until 1783. During that six year period many men and women served the American cause, yet their names – beyond, perhaps, George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, or possibly a few members of congress like Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson – are today virtually lost and forgotten.

This book is about one of the more important and exciting engagements that took place during the course of the American Revolution, and it is populated by many of those same unknown characters who gave years of their lives over to hardship, danger, and constant toil to see the issue through to its final conclusion. The story is most principally about Daniel Morgan, a rough and tumble son of the American frontier who through hard work, intelligence, and strength of character rose through life to become a brigadier general, a man of wealth, and a United States Congressman, but many more lives than Daniel Morgan’s shine through its pages.

By and large these were unremarkable people who did remarkable things simply because they were placed in situations where they were forced to rise to the occasion. They were far from perfect – some were coarse, many uneducated, others unfair, biased, or self-serving – but that tarnished humanity, I think, only serves to underscore what they accomplished all the more. Against almost incalculable odds they achieved something the world had never before witnessed – the founding of a new, democratic republic predicated upon the rule of law and civil rights of its citizenry.

In that sense, then, this is a book, not just about war or revolution, but rather about the emergence of a new way of life and a new way of conceiving ourselves as human beings. The American Revolution freed the human spirit in a way it had never before been freed, and while that accomplishment was at its inception surely limited by our standards of morality and inclusion today, from tiny acorns mighty oaks do grow. Ultimately that freedom, the capacity, not just to dream, but to aspire to be something far more than what we once were, was what the American Revolution was really about, and that sense of aspiration is hardly a uniquely American phenomena.

Thus the initial formation of the United States might best be viewed as an imperfect gift, secured through enormous blood and sacrifice, and bequeathed from one generation to all those that followed, yet a gift every citizen today enjoys, whether aware of it or not. But just as a flame slowly dies if unattended, that remarkable gift will surely wither and burn out in the hands of those who neither understand nor value what they have been gifted. The great Indian activist Jawaharlal Nehru once observed that History is a record of human progress, a record of the struggle of the advancement of the human mind, of the human spirit, towards some known or unknown objective, and the Revolution was, I believe, a giant leap forward in the advancement of that human condition, repercussions of which still reverberate throughout our world to this day. In other words, the democratic revolution that began in the thirteen colonies is today far from over, its ultimate outcome still very much in question. As the young Frenchman Alexis De Tocqueville observed at the dawn of the 19th Century after visiting the infant United States, The nations of our time cannot prevent the conditions of men from becoming equal but it depends upon themselves whether the principle of equality is to lead them to servitude or freedom, to knowledge or barbarism, to prosperity or wretchedness. On those important issues the jury remains out, and that is why a basic understanding of the American Revolution matters a great deal, indeed perhaps today more than ever.

Almost everyone has heard of the soldiers of the Revolution being tracked by the blood of their feet on the frozen ground. This is literally true, and the thousandth part of their sufferings has not been told, nor ever will be told.

Private Joseph Plumb Martin, A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier: Some of the Adventures Dangers, and Sufferings of Joseph Plumb Martin

America, then, exhibits in her social state an extraordinary phenomenon. Men are there seen on a greater equality in point of fortune and intellect, or, in other words, more equal in their strength, than in any other country of the world or in any age of which history has preserved the remembrance.

– Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy In America

Daniel Morgan was the quintessential American, precisely the type Crévecoeur had in mind in Letters from an American Farmer, a new man who had left behind in the Old World the designation and status of peasant… A commanding presence combined with valor, a high natural intelligence, and a stirring capacity to lead men would take him from the bottom of the heap to the very uppermost rank in the pantheon of heroes of the Revolution.

– John Buchanan, The Road To Guilford Court House

A summer dawn was rising along the mountain’s slope as the lone rider picked his way across Virginia’s sparkling Shenandoah River in the early morning hours of the 28th day of June, 1780.¹ The horse carried him easily, as if it recognized the route, and perhaps it did, for the rider had traveled the road from Winchester to Fredericksburg many times before. He was a big man, almost a giant by the measure of his day, over six-foot two inches in height and carrying over two hundred pounds of hard earned muscle. For most of his life he had been fast and fierce and tough as nails, but now it was June, 1780 and his body had begun to betray him. So today he rode gingerly in the saddle and nudged his horse around a few scattered rocks in the road, slowly making his way up the lower rise of the Blue Ridge toward the tavern that was his objective, now not so terribly far distant. Behind him the Shenandoah Valley stretched out in all its scenic splendor towering mountains and undulating hills of green and stone, some of the most beautiful vistas in North America. Legend had it the Valley’s name meant beautiful daughter of the stars, christened, many said, by the Native Americans who lived and hunted and fought there even hundreds of years before, but no one could say for sure.

Surrounding him as he rode, the rising hills were green with fresh growth, for the long, brutal winter – one of the coldest ever – had finally given way to a gentle spring which in turn had given birth to summer. He’d mounted early that morning for the ride up the Blue Ridge to Ashby’s Gap, and as he neared Berry’s Tavern it is hard to imagine that he was not feeling a great sense of joy, for this was a day of particular importance. Indeed, throughout a life of violence and tumult the rider had experienced many decisive and consequential days, but few if any held more importance or meaning than the one he now faced. It was as if he had been given a new lease on life and, despite weeks of illness, pain, and fatigue, on that June morning, he rode with newfound confidence and hope.

The horse ambled up to the tavern on the Ridge’s western slope where he dismounted, perhaps handing the reins over to an eager youngster, for everyone there knew he was coming, and that soon he was expected inside. It is easy to imagine a crowd of respectful onlookers gathering to gawk as the rider dismounted, smiling and pointing, for in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley he was by 1780 a legend of some significance. Now forty-five years old – give or take a year or two – he was still tough and hard as granite, yet the truth of the matter was the war for American independence had taken its toll on his health which now seemed to rise and fall sporadically like waves on a fickle ocean. Today he felt strong enough to ride, but tomorrow he could easily be back suffering in his bed. The rider’s name was Daniel Morgan.

In the fall of 1775 Morgan’s regiment had spearheaded an expedition through Maine, the objective Quebec, Canada. It was hoped by the Continental Congress at the time that victories in that territory would reduce the British threat from the north, and hopefully even bring Canada into the war on the side of the Americans. Poorly provisioned and poorly planned, the expedition had struggled its way through hundreds of miles of frozen wilderness across creeks, mountains, and rivers. Often in cold or even freezing water up to his neck, with little or nothing in the way of food or warmth or support, through the sheer force of his physical strength and uncompromising willpower, Daniel Morgan had driven the lead element forward until finally reaching Quebec in December of that year.

On December 31 an assault on the city was launched which soon, due to confusion, bad weather, and overconfidence, disintegrated. Leading one of the attacking columns directly into Quebec, Morgan was eventually trapped in a cross-fire on the city’s streets and ultimately forced to surrender. Still in a fighting rage, he’d been surrounded by British soldiers, but he hated the British for the 500 lashes they had given him years before during the French and Indian War, and he refused to give up. Furious and stubborn and incapable of backing down, he probably would have been shot to pieces in a hail of bullets had not a local priest wandered by to whom he finally relinquished his sword.² Taken prisoner, Morgan spent months in confinement before finally being exchanged. While still strong and determined, the frigid expedition north had taken a severe toll on his health, leaving him often in distress with fevers, body aches, and weakness, all of which seemed to come and go with no more warning than the bad weather that tumbled over Massanutten Mountain from time-to-time near his valley home.

No, Daniel Moran was no longer the powerful presence who had marched a band of Virginia frontiersmen all the way to Boston five years earlier – every last one of them a crack shot with the long rifle, and an expert with the tomahawk – to the amazement of the locals en route. Morgan’s Riflemen they were called back then and their mere presence in Upstate New York in 1777 had caused the Redcoats to hesitate, and their Iroquois allies – known as terrifying and fearless fighters themselves – to simply flee the field. Now a colonel in the Continental Line, perhaps its finest field officer, Daniel Morgan had ridden that morning up to Berry’s Tavern hoping for a new opportunity to serve the cause of independence. Good with men and serene in combat, Morgan was by 1780 known on both sides of the Atlantic as a crafty tactician and fearless fighter. For weeks he had been down again with the condition he called sciatica – fevers, weakness, and extreme muscle aches – while ruminating unfavorably as to his future role in the revolution. Things had not been looking terribly good for him. Then the letter arrived.

That letter seemed to change everything in a single stroke. Penned by his old friend and military commander, General Horatio Gates, who was then at his country residence named Traveler’s Rest on the Potomac River near Shepherdstown, Virginia (present day West Virginia), the letter could not have done more for Morgan had it been a magic potion. Once forlorn and out of the war, it seemed now that he would not only return to duty, but return in the manner he felt he deserved.

For on May 12 of that year, Charleston, South Carolina had fallen to the British, General Benjamin Lincoln surrendering some 5,500 men and mountains of ordnance and supplies to the Redcoats under the command of generals Sir Henry Clinton and Lord Charles Cornwallis.³ That defeat proved a devastating blow to the cause of American Independence, indeed the most significant defeat of the entire war. Worse still, it left the entire South open to the potential of British control, as there was now no organized resistance of substance to oppose them. The British had simply to march north through the Carolinas clear to Virginia in order to subdue half of the United States and perhaps destroy the rebellion as a consequence. That could not happen if the infant nation was to survive. Something had to be done.

That something was contained in the letter Morgan received from Horatio Gates. Congress, frantic to respond to the situation at Charleston, had appointed Gates – the hero of the Battle of Saratoga, and one of the American luminaries of the war as a result – as new head of the Southern Army, and Gates wanted Morgan to handle a full corps of light infantry under this new command. It was precisely what Morgan excelled at, and the thought of returning to the war at the head of his own corps brought Morgan’s blood to an immediate boil. Would to god you’d a had it six months ago, Morgan wrote back immediately, referring to the debacle at Charleston, our affairs would have wore a more pleasing aspect at this day than they do. ⁴ Morgan was convinced Gates was the right man for the job, and that he would breathe life back into the American war effort in the South. Gates wanted Morgan to come to Traveler’s Rest in order to work out all of the details of the new command, but Morgan was still feeling far too feeble to make a trip of that distance. So they agreed to meet roughly halfway, at Berry’s Tavern in Ashby’s gap on the morning of June 28 as Gates began his trip south.

Flushed with fresh hope, Daniel Morgan made his way through the front door of Berry’s Tavern. It was an establishment with which he was entirely familiar. For Morgan, unlike Gates – who was English born and had risen as an officer in the British Army, serving on the expedition to Halifax in 1749 and later in the French and Indian War prior to settling down at Traveler’s Rest – had wandered into Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley at the tender age of only eighteen, raw, uneducated, and virtually penniless. His place of birth was said to have been New Jersey or Eastern Pennsylvania, but of his past and origins Morgan rarely spoke. What he had done was trabalhar. Big, strong, and athletic, the Shenandoah was then the American frontier, and there was no shortage of good work for a youngster willing to toil. First taking a position as laborer, then as a wagon driver for a local farmer, he quickly saved enough to buy his own wagon, and before long had his own thriving business hauling goods over the Blue Ridge between Fredericksburg and Winchester. The Old Wagoner he still loved to call himself, as much a tribute to all he had overcome as it was a badge of genuine modesty. As well it made the troops under him aware of the fact that their leader was no different than them, a man who had worked and struggled his way to the top, no aristocrat’s son, born to wealth and a life of ease. The two men – Gates and Morgan – were very different, but this was not Europe where one’s station in life was virtually fixed at birth, but the newly minted United States of America where excellence and effort could set a man off on a course of his own creation.

Morgan instantly recognized his old friend, and Gates rose to greet him warmly. The two were about as physically different from one another as could be imagined. Horatio Gates was then fifty-four years of age, short in stature, ruddy-faced, and bespectacled, with thin graying hair, ⁵ while Morgan stood over six feet two, was broad at the shoulders, thickly muscled, with a jaw like an anvil. Morgan looked every bit the soldier he was, while Gates could easily have been mistaken for Morgan’s tailor, but the two men liked and respected one another and had been friends in the Valley of Virginia for years. At Saratoga they had stopped the British Army dead in its tracks.

The credit for the victory at Saratoga – surely the most important American victory of the war thus far – had gone to Gates, but in the field it had been Morgan and Benedict Arnold who had fought the British to a standstill. In 1777 the British had initiated a plan to sever New England from the rest of the United States, and hopefully strangle the young rebellion as a result. In June of that year General John Burgoyne (Gentleman Johnny, as he was called) began the trek south from Montreal, Canada with some 9,500 British regulars, Hessians, and Indian allies. The goal was to march south along Lake Champlain, take Fort Ticonderoga at its southern end near Lake George, then continue down the Hudson and force the capitulation of Albany, New York, by siege if necessary. The plan was for General Howe to march north from New York City with his own British army and rendezvous with Burgoyne, the two armies meeting somewhere near Albany on the Hudson. With the Hudson River then under full British control, New England would be cut off from the rest of the colonies, the head of the rebellion, so to speak, severed from the body. Initially Burgoyne’s march proved successful, but in early September, as he slowly made his way south along the river north of Albany, he ran headfirst into Gates, Morgan, and Arnold deployed and waiting for him at a place called Bemis Heights, New York.

Gates had been sent north by Congress specifically to confront Burgoyne, and he had selected his position with care. It [Bemis Heights] was a high plateau, covered with broken elevations separated by deep ravines through which creeks turned and twisted. The region was densely wooded except for occasional farms and wagon trails stretching down to the Hudson. ⁶ While the position was highly defensible even against the formidable British Army, it would still be a difficult test for the waiting Continentals. Marching directly into battle and fighting in tight linear formations required tremendous discipline and confidence in one’s officers and comrades. England’s army excelled in all these categories and was (and still is) universally recognized as the finest military machine of its age. ⁷ Yet Bemis Heights was the worst sort of terrain for the highly coordinated and disciplined British units to fight upon, while simultaneously a home away from home for Morgan’s frontiersman.

By early September Gates had been able to cobble together an army of over 7,000 militia and Continentals to oppose Burgoyne, Morgan and his famed unit of riflemen having been transferred north reluctantly by General Washington from his army near New York City in late August. Oh, for some Virginia riflemen, ⁹ one New York resident had bemoaned, and once Morgan’s unit arrived they were considered the very cream of Gate’s entire army.

On September 19 Burgoyne advanced in three columns against the American position. The column on the far right headed for the highest and most critical position on the American line held, of course, by Morgan, who had wisely deployed his men behind trees, rocks, etc. to take advantage of the natural cover the Heights provided. Now heavily reinforced, it was Morgan’s plan to fight from cover and let the British sacrifice themselves against his crack riflemen, who could kill a squirrel at two hundred yards. Indeed, one British officer later noted that he never in my life saw better rifles (or men who shot better) than those made in America. ¹⁰ Known generally as the Kentucky long rifle, the weapon had been developed on the American frontier, where a lighter, more accurate piece with greater range was required for hunting. Spiraled grooves in an elongated barrel gave the weapon both its unparalleled accuracy and range, and in the hands of a skilled marksman it could be lethal at ranges unheard of by the musket carrying British, who often fought at distances inside of fifty yards. American riflemen could not stand up to a furious bayonet charge (the long rifle had a slow rate of fire and, individually crafted, could not be fitted with a bayonet), but used properly, skilled riflemen could make an enormous impression on any field of battle, and Daniel Morgan knew how to use them wisely. Morgan deployed in the woods overlooking the open fields of a farm owned by a man named Freeman and opened a severe fire on the British as they advanced, bringing the Redcoats to a sudden halt.

Again and again the British tried to advance into the fury of Morgan’s rifles, only to be shot to pieces in the process. Meanwhile Benedict Arnold led his Continentals on counter thrusts across the open farm fields, only to be driven back time and again. Burgoyne then tried to force Morgan’s withdrawal by having his artillery blast away at the woods where the riflemen were hidden, but Morgan responded by having his crack shots focus on the crews manning the guns, and by late afternoon Burgoyne’s artillery had been silenced. Facing disaster, the British general was forced to withdraw.

Unable to move forward yet unwilling to retreat, Burgoyne had little choice but to dig-in and await Howe’s arrival. Unfortunately, Burgoyne’s supplies began to dwindle as the days wore on, and Morgan’s men made life miserable for the British, peppering the Redcoats from a distance and constantly bushwhacking their patrols and foraging parties. Moreover, unknown to Burgoyne, Howe had unilaterally abandoned the Hudson plan, and had moved his command south instead toward Philadelphia without notifying Burgoyne of his change of plans. Burgoyne, watching his manpower wither away daily, finally made the fateful decision to try and force his way past the American position, again in the hopes of reaching Howe’s phantom army that he still believed was marching to his relief. On October 7 he shifted his remaining force south of Freeman’s Farm and took up a defensive line. Morgan immediately reconnoitered the new British position and suggested two flanking assaults to Gates, one led by his own corps which would pass quietly through the woods and take the British right by surprise, while another column simultaneously struck the British left. Gates immediately agreed.

The twin assaults were launched, and in only fifty minutes Morgan – assisted once again by Arnold – drove the British from their forward positions to a secondary line of redoubts back at Freeman’s Farm. Morgan, sensing victory, attacked again and again, his men finally overrunning the key redoubt that exposed the British flank and rear to the surging Americans.

Burgoyne, his army now in tatters and in danger of being cut-off and destroyed by Morgan’s efforts, pulled his battered force back from Freeman’s Farm. Gates, at Morgan’s urging, followed promptly and surrounded the beleaguered British. There was now no place for Burgoyne to go, north or south, and on October 17 he formally surrendered his entire command to Gates at the small country village of Saratoga, New York.

The victory at Saratoga proved monumental for the cause of independence. Not only had the British been thwarted in their plans to split the colonies in two, but they had lost a major army in the process, a debacle that provided profound and prophetic evidence that British arms were not invincible. Even more importantly, the victory at Saratoga convinced the skeptical French that the American cause now appeared viable, and brought that nation into the war on the side of the Americans – an enormous boost for morale, finance, and material for the fledgling Continentals. Horatio Gates received the glory for the victory at Saratoga, but it had been Morgan and Arnold who had conceived the strategy and executed the attacks that had brought the British to defeat.

But that had been 1777. It was now 1780, and since the impressive victory at Saratoga the cause of independence had vacillated between the opposite poles of hope and doom. The British had finally shifted their attention away from New York and New England toward the Southern colonies, and in May they had successfully taken Charleston. It was a stunning victory for the Redcoats that marked the beginning of a campaign also aimed at splitting the colonies asunder – but this time from the other end. After Charleston’s fall Clinton departed again for New York, leaving General Charles Cornwallis behind with a substantial force to lead the charge through the Carolinas. Cornwallis was a tough and able general. Who would stop him?

After Saratoga, Morgan and his riflemen returned to Washington’s army about New York City where he handled the light infantry (Washington’s rangers) with panache. But the rewards and promotion he thought due him had not been forthcoming, and in the spring of 1779 Morgan – suffering physically – quietly resigned his commission and returned to his home near Battletown (present day Berryville, Virginia). No man thought more of George Washington or cherished the cause of independence more than Daniel Morgan, and while he was a man of enormous spirit and talent, Morgan was also a man of pride, and that pride had been pricked one too many times.

But now things had changed. The British were once again on the march. Horatio Gates – the hero of Saratoga – had been summoned by Congress to confront them, and Gates, as before, desperately wanted Dan Morgan to handle a full light corps under his command. Though still ill and weary, Morgan could hardly resist such an offer.

So here now were the two old friends and compatriots meeting again at Berry’s Tavern on the morning of June 28, the diminutive Gates and the imposing Morgan greeting one another warmly. Pleasantries aside, Gates quickly got down to business. Horatio Gates realized, of course, just how central Morgan’s role had been to the American success at Saratoga. Not only did Morgan excel with light troops – in particular with backcountry riflemen – but he was also an instinctive warrior, quickly discerning the enemy’s strength and intentions, always moving rapidly to employ counter measures. Moreover, unlike the fiery Arnold, who Gates had to order off the field at Bemis Heights for insubordination, Morgan took and received orders with professional calm. Although known to have a temper – Morgan had once cuffed a Congressional representative whom he considered disrespectful of Washington – Gates was confident he and Morgan could work together successfully due to their past relationship and mutual respect. "Whereas the previous


Biografia

Jim Stempel is a speaker, novelist, and author of numerous articles and nine books regarding history, spirituality, and warfare. For over thirty years he has had the good fortune of living with his family at a country location in Western Maryland overlooking the Blue Ridge. His wife, Sandie, is on staff at nearby McDaniel College where she is a professor of astronomy and physics, while his three children—a daughter and two sons—have moved on to professional careers.

An avid athlete for most of his life, Stempel helped coach his children in basketball and baseball while they were young, while active as a runner and handball player himself. He was born and raised in Westfield, New Jersey, and is a graduate of The Citadel, Charleston, S.C.

Jim is considered an authority on the Eastern campaigns of the American Civil War, as well as the politics and engagements of the American Revolution. His book, The Nature of War: Origins and Evolution of Violent Conflict, has been well received by an international audience for its wide grasp of human conflict, its willingness to delve into the basic motivations of human warfare, and the true prospects for peace those motivations suggest.

Stempel's other published works reflect a wide range of interests, with numerous articles appearing in such varied journals as Concepts in Human Development, New TimesNorth & South, History Net, History News Network, War History Online, The Edge, e New Dawn Magazine, among others. Many of his historical pieces have been selected to reappear on the highly respected, Real Clear History.

When Beliefs Fail, Jim's nonfiction analysis of science, psychology, and modern spirituality, brought high praise from fellow authors Ken Wilber, Dr. Larry Dossey, and Mark Waldman. His novel Albemarle was nominated for the James Fenimore Cooper Prize in Historical Fiction. o West Coast Review of Books wrote of his novel American Rain, “Lovers of political satire may consider this book a masterpiece because of Stempel’s sly wit and insight.”

Jim's historical novel, Windmill Point – a Chanticleer Awards Finalist – brings to life one of the most exciting and critical periods of the American Civil War. Of American Hannibal, his nonfiction account of the Battle of Cowpens during the Revolutionary War, one critic wrote: “As one who reviewed Jim Stempel’s Windmill Point, I was again drawn into a fascinating story, told by a master historian, writer, and a man with the painter’s palette that left me with a most wonderful read.”

Stempel has now followed-up the success of American Hannibal with a new nonfiction work, Valley Forge to Monmouth: Six Transformative Months of the American Revolution, due out in October 2020. Pre-Release reviews have to date been excellent. John McElroy, for instance, historian, author, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona, writes “Anyone interested in knowing what America’s independence from Britain required should read this book.”

Jim’s focus for over thirty years has been to present thoughtful literature, along with historical accounts – accurately e enjoyably – to the widest range of readers possible a mission he intends to continue.


Assista o vídeo: Hannibal Trailer (Julho 2022).


Comentários:

  1. Guyon

    Eu considero, que você não está certo. tenho certeza. Sugiro que discuta. Escreva-me em PM, comunicaremos.

  2. Ixaka

    Eu acho que você não está certo. Eu me ofereço para discutir isso. Escreva para mim em PM, conversaremos.

  3. Cullan

    exatamente ao ponto :)



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