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A well-executed failure : the Sullivan campaign against the Iroquois, July-September 1779

by Joseph R Fischer

  Print book : State or province government publication

Diplomatic or Military Failure? That is the Question   (2012-10-24)

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by bibsinger

Dr. Fischer is perhaps brilliant at tongue-in-cheek humor.  At first blush while considering the title of this book, one might conclude General Sullivan as being the failure.  Initially, this was an irritation because of the involvement of my ancestor in the Sullivan campaign.  Giving away the "ending," Dr. Fischer commends Sullivan for a "tactical military victory."  The author pins the "failure" to achieve a strategic military victory on General George Washington.  Implied is the suggestion that a strategic military victory would have meant genocide for the tribes of the Iroquois Confederation which sided with the British.  How else could a strategic military victory been achieved.  There was, however, a diplomatic victory as the British, in the final treaty hammered out, chose to protect its American Indian allies.  It was an offer of protection in Canada which those tribes could not refuse.  The tongue-in-cheek part, perhaps, allows this author, a military man, the ability to gracefully avoid endorsing a wrongful military solution without also endorsing the diplomatic solution.  Lesson learned:  never judge a book by its cover.




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