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Oxford University Press Inc
01 March 2021
In the late summer and fall of 1777, after two years of indecisive fighting on both sides, the outcome of the American War of Independence hung in the balance. Having successfully expelled the Americans from Canada in 1776, the British were determined to end the rebellion the following year and devised what they believed a war-winning strategy, sending General John Burgoyne south to rout the Americans and take Albany. When British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga with unexpected ease in July of 1777, it looked as if it was a matter of time before they would break the rebellion in the North. Less than three and a half months later, however, a combination of the Continental Army and Militia forces, commanded by Major General Horatio Gates and inspired by the heroics of Benedict Arnold, forced Burgoyne to surrender his entire army. The American victory stunned the world and changed the course of the war. Kevin J. Weddle offers the most authoritative history of the Battle of Saratoga to date, explaining with verve and clarity why events unfolded the way they did. In the end, British plans were undone by a combination of distance, geography, logistics, and an underestimation of American leadership and fighting ability. Taking Ticonderoga had misled Burgoyne and his army into thinking victory was assured. Saratoga, which began as a British foraging expedition, turned into a rout. The outcome forced the British to rethink their strategy, inflamed public opinion in England against the war, boosted Patriot morale, and, perhaps most critical of all, led directly to the Franco-American alliance. Weddle unravels the web of contingencies and the play of personalities that ultimately led to what one American general called the Compleat Victory.
By:   Kevin J. Weddle (Professor and Deputy Dean Professor and Deputy Dean U.S. Army War College)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 243mm,  Width: 164mm,  Spine: 42mm
Weight:   976g
ISBN:   9780195331400
ISBN 10:   0195331400
Series:   Pivotal Moments in American History
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   01 March 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kevin J. Weddle is Professor of Military Theory and Strategy at the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. A West Point graduate, he served in the US Army for 28 years on active duty in command and staff positions in the United States and overseas, including Operations Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom, before retiring as a colonel.

Reviews for The Compleat Victory:: Saratoga and the American Revolution

The fullest, most accurate, and most readable account of this most decisive battle of the Revolutionary War. -- Gordon Wood, author of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815 and Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson The Battle of Saratoga must be seen in the immediate context of the American Revolution, but Kevin Weddle's book goes far beyond that, showing how it fits within the larger story of the British Empire, and why it was influenced by events that took place from London to Philadelphia to Montreal. Though the breadth of the book's scope is wide, the center of the story remains the bloody combat at Freeman's Farm and Bemis Heights, and its beginnings and aftermath. The book that emerges is nearly flawless, beautifully written, learned, and insightful -- in one word, superb. -- Robert Middlekauff, author of The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (Oxford History of the United States) Kevin Weddle's account of the Saratoga campaign offers a thoughtful and detailed analysis of the strategy, leadership, and tactics of a turning point in the American Revolution. In addition to telling a fine story, he illuminates the motives, decisions, and actions of the principal characters, including the ambitious and pompous John Burgoyne, the aloof and fatalistic Philip Schuyler, the militarily able and politically devious Horatio Gates, and the brilliant and mercurial Benedict Arnold. -- Craig L. Symonds, author of The Battle of Midway A significant contribution to the military history of the Revolutionary War. --Kirkus A gripping account of a campaign that was crucial in the struggle for American independence. Weddle ably explains both how the Patriots won and how the British lost, teasing out the interactions and offering an explanation at the strategic, operational and tactical levels. -- Jeremy Black, author of Fighting for America: The Struggle for Mastery in North America, 1519-1871 The Compleat Victory promises to become a classic account of Saratoga, which Kevin Weddle describes as not merely a battlefield defeat but 'a strategic, operational, and tactical catastrophe' for the British. With a balanced critique of the leadership on both sides and meticulously researched, this interpretation is of particular interest for being written by a former soldier, who served in two combat deployments, in addition to teaching at West Point and the U.S. Army War College, during which he led staff rides to Saratoga. -- Andrew J. O'Shaughnessy, author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire


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