Amphibious Warfare: Conjunct Expeditions and the American Defense of New York in 1776

  • 2016

Amphibious Warfare: Conjunct Expeditions and the American Defense of New York in 1776

Author:
Bradley Hood
Abstract:

On June 28, 1776 General Washington received reports of over 130 British ships arriving off Long Island. This expedition, launched against New York by the British in the aftermath of Boston, represented the largest expeditionary force that Britain had ever assembled to that date. The resulting American defense of that city, located at the intersection of three rivers and easily accessible by seagoing transports, was necessarily an amphibious one. This paper identifies gaps in the existing scholarly literature on amphibious operations and the American Revolution. Next, the author addresses this gap by applying concepts from historians and theorists such as Theodore Gatchel and Thomas More Molyneux as a lens for study. Finally, he argues that the qualification of this campaign as amphibious is important for two key reasons; first, to understand the development of early American amphibious warfare, and second, to gain insight on an emergent American way of war. While this paper is narrowly specialized, it argues for further study, and emphasizes the importance of what Dr. Gary Ohls has aptly named the amphibious “Roots of Tradition” in North America.