Lead: By failing to bottle up the French Navy British naval units faced an almost impossible task and may have given lost the American Revolution.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: For nearly a century the key to Royal Navy success against France had been to confine the French Navy to home waters. This would strangle French commerce and expose France’s overseas colonial territories to capture. This had succeeded before and would again in the Napoleonic Wars, but during the American Revolution, strategic timidity and incompetence in the government of Lord North delayed the Royal Navy’s response to the threat and French naval units escaped into the Atlantic. Britain never regained the initiative as the French captured British possessions in the Caribbean, assaulted British interests in the Far East, and harried British garrisons up and down the American coast.