Click here for a nice little artilce about the French admiral De Grasse's victory in Chesepeake Bay which led to the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.
Coming up on our Independence day celebrations we so often forget about the help France and
Spain lent us so we could achieve it. From France we were given muskets, cannon, shot, powder and troops under two generals. Spain provided an army and aide from Florida. What is little known is that there was fighting between the French and English in India, Spain and England in central and South America and a combined fleet from Spain and France beseiged Gibralter. One has to give credit to Admiral Howe. He bungled his advantage when Washington was trapped on Manhattan and Long Islands. I mean without a fleet the American army was trapped on two islands surrounded by the greatest navy in the world only a complete incompetent would let them out of such a trap. But when the one spot on the globe Britain absolutely could not afford to lose was threatened he provided England with the most brilliant naval victory prior to Nelson's victories agains Napoleon.
The writer of the article mentioned above credits Chesapeake Bay as the battle which really won the war for America. I think it was Gibralter. It was a victory, but Parliament was faced with continuing this war and it expanding to another global conflict similar to the Seven Years War (French and Indian War) with no end in sight. At this point the cost of the war was greater than they were willing to pay just to compensate the British East India Company for some lost tea.
When will we ever get to that point where our involvement in Western Asia has become too costly in men, money and military dominance to prop up Exxon, Shell, BP and Aramco?