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Old February 2nd, 2016, 06:06 AM   #1
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Gen. Howe's decision


Why didn't Gen Howe follow orders to meet up with General Burgoyne at Albany? Rather he took Philadelphia. If Howe's army faught with Burgoyne's history might have been different?
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 06:22 AM   #2

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Perhaps. On the other hand, that would have allowed Washington to work with Schuyler/Gates and the army of the North. There are a lot of what ifs involved. The Saratoga Campaign is something that went on over several months and involved some very difficult terrain. As Burgoyne discovered at Bemis.
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 08:48 AM   #3
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Perhaps. On the other hand, that would have allowed Washington to work with Schuyler/Gates and the army of the North. There are a lot of what ifs involved. The Saratoga Campaign is something that went on over several months and involved some very difficult terrain. As Burgoyne discovered at Bemis.
I am also curious why Howe decided not to go to albany?
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Old February 2nd, 2016, 11:04 AM   #4

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I am also curious why Howe decided not to go to albany?
According to Stephen Taaffe in The Philadelphia Campaign, 1777 - 1778 , Howe had already abandoned any plan for Albany by the end of 1776. He submitted a plan on 20 December 1776 "predicated on the 19,000 men he had on hand. Howe wanted to exploit the considerable loyalist sentiment that observers assured him existed in Pennsylvania by attacking Philadelphia. * * * * Although to many observers it was only common sense for Burgoyne and Howe to cooperate in a joint operation down and up the Hudson River, Howe did not see it that way. Howe expected Washington to follow him to Pennsylvania, in which case Burgoyne would face minimal opposition in his march down the Hudson. Howe never guessed that the Americans would organize and deploy an entirely new army to confront an invasion from Canada. Besides, as far as Howe was concerned, defeating the rebel armies in battle was not a problem, assuming they were willing to fight in the open. After all, he had beaten Washington innumerable times, and he believed that any British general worth his salt could follow his example. * * * [Howe] unbent only enough to reinforce Clinton in New York City and give him the option to go upriver to help Burgoyne if he thought it was necessary."


I suppose the question should become, why didn't Clinton get more aggressive in moving north to get some of the pressure off of Burgoyne?
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Old February 4th, 2016, 07:18 AM   #5
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According to Stephen Taaffe in The Philadelphia Campaign, 1777 - 1778 , Howe had already abandoned any plan for Albany by the end of 1776. He submitted a plan on 20 December 1776 "predicated on the 19,000 men he had on hand. Howe wanted to exploit the considerable loyalist sentiment that observers assured him existed in Pennsylvania by attacking Philadelphia. * * * * Although to many observers it was only common sense for Burgoyne and Howe to cooperate in a joint operation down and up the Hudson River, Howe did not see it that way. Howe expected Washington to follow him to Pennsylvania, in which case Burgoyne would face minimal opposition in his march down the Hudson. Howe never guessed that the Americans would organize and deploy an entirely new army to confront an invasion from Canada. Besides, as far as Howe was concerned, defeating the rebel armies in battle was not a problem, assuming they were willing to fight in the open. After all, he had beaten Washington innumerable times, and he believed that any British general worth his salt could follow his example. * * * [Howe] unbent only enough to reinforce Clinton in New York City and give him the option to go upriver to help Burgoyne if he thought it was necessary."


I suppose the question should become, why didn't Clinton get more aggressive in moving north to get some of the pressure off of Burgoyne?
Very good points. Howe was correct about Washington moving to protect Philly.
Burgoyne for some reason misread the terrain and pretty much everything else in planning and executing his misadventure.
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