The Battle Joined
This chapter examines the defeat of the British Royal Navy at the Battle of the Chesapeake. It provides a brief background on the professional careers of the commanders of the opposing navies, Thomas Graves of the British Royal Navy and Francois-Joseph comte de Grass of the French Navy. During the September 5 sighting of the opponent, de Grasse was in a disadvantaged position because he was anchored and had about sixteen hundred officers and men ashore engaged in various tasks. However, Graves failed to take advantage of the situation and the French inflicted a tactical defeat on the Royal Navy which led to the fall of the government of Lord North and ultimately the independence of the U.S.
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