Reason 1 - Navy The Americans had next to no navy, especially compared to the British. The British had the ability to appear wherever they wanted on the coast, which made it even more difficult for the Americans to anticipate their tactics.
Navy Having a superior navy to the Americans allowed the British to take their time and build up a larger force. This tactic did lose them the chance to use surprise on the Americans, as Washington was aware of the British location long before the Battle.
Reason 2 – Sheer Numbers The British army on Long Island numbered double the Americans. The Americans would have had more men, but Washington insisted on placing men in Manhattan, as he thought that Long Island was just a smokescreen, The fact the British had stayed in the one area for nearly two months had allowed them to accumulate this many men.
Reason 3 - Planning During the two months between the British landing in New York and the Battle of Long Island, both sides had time to plan their attack. The Americans made a fatal error. There were four passes the Americans had to defend at all costs.
Planning The Americans placed decent amounts of guards on the first three passes, but at the fourth they placed only five men. The Americans were relying on the fact that the British would not find out about the fourth pass (called Jamaica Pass).
Reason 4 – Public Popularity A large section of the population still supported the British over the American Revolutionaries. When the British arrived in Long Island, they were quickly informed by local loyalists about the Revolutionaries poor defense of Jamaica Pass.
Public Popularity On the day of the Battle of Long Island, the British led a small attack head on against the Americans. During this encounter the rest of the British army came around behind American lines through Jamaica Pass.
Reason 5 - Discipline One thing that the British had that the Americans did not was military discipline. It was their bad luck that discipline was one of the things they were tested on that day.
Discipline When the Revolutionaries realized that they were surrounded by the British they ran for it. It was only for the leadership of the American General Lord Sterling and the bravery of 250 of his Maryland troops that kept the entire American army from being killed or captured.
Aftermath Lord Sterling was captured and later exchanged for a British Governor Washington organized a daring nighttime retreat by boat, managing to allude the British ships and soldiers and safely getting 9500 soldiers to the mainland.
Aftermath The British forced the Revolutionaries out of New York and continued a string of victories along the New England coast.
Bibliography (2010). The Battle of Long Island. Available: http://www.britishbattles.com/long-island.htm. Last accessed 2nd April 2011. Adams, CF. (1896). The Battle of Long Island. Available: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=gmail&attid=0.1&thid=12f3 77fe1f732d1c&mt=application/pdf&url=https://mail.google.com/mail/ ?ui%3D2%26ik%3D7e04f30ce1%26view%3Datt%26th%3D12f377f e1f732d1c%26attid%. Last accessed 1st April 2011. Brogan, H (1999). The Penguin History of the USA. London: Penguin Books Ltd.
Bibliography Gallagher, JJ. (1999). Battle of Brooklyn: 1776. Available: http://books.google.com.au/books?id=0KcOdML0UHcC&lr=&source =gbs_navlinks_s. Last accessed 1st April 2011 L, EJ. (1880). Britain's Hired Troops. Available: http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive- free/pdf?res=F00812F9395B1B7A93C5AB1789D95F448884F9. Last accessed 11th April 2011 McCullough, D (2005). 1776: America And Britain At War. London: Penguin Books Ltd.
Your consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.