, 31 tweets, 6 min read
Psst. Hey. Kids. Wanna learn about this bitchin battle where a rag tag group of Continentals take on a dude called Gentleman Jonny and a buncha German mercs in upstate NY?

Obvs you do. Who wouldn't?

Yeah, that's right. It's #drunjhistory time

Ok. So. It's like 1777. Cool year. We just declared Independence and all that but we kinda are having a hard time backing that shit up


Anyways. Things aren't looking great. We've got troops errywhere and we're like "where those perfidious albionites gonna come from next"
The Brits are poised - oh yes, I'm cogent enough to say poised - to attack from anywhere from Philly to NYC to literally anywhere along Lake Champlain.

Wait. Hold up. I'm being a bad officer. I gotta define the AO and AOI. 5 points from Hufflepuff.
Ok so. You got the Brits in Quebec, which at the time was basically what we'd call Canada today, whose whisky I'm drinking, which is ironic n'est-ce pas?

Governer of Quebec is Guy Carleton. SIR Guy Carleton, thank you very much. He led the defense of the province in 1776
Now, see, Guy, he's a cool dude. Thoughtful. Deliberate. But that's not what Whitehall wants. No Whitehall wants ACTION. NOT THAT KIND YOU DIRTY MINDED SCOUNDRELS well actually, prolly that too

Anyways, they send in General John Burgoyne to run shit for 1777.
Burgoyne is all about thatdash and flair. He loved flair. His whole wagon train was just pieces of flair errywhere. And he's like "I can split the dirty rebels in twain, attacking down Lake Champlain while Howe attacks from NYC"


OK. TERRAIN. Key avenues of approach are Lake Champlain from North to South, giving the Brits a fine shot at penetrating - giggity - into the interior of NY. And the Hudson River rrjnning south to North from Brit held NYC. Brits can also flex via sea routes because Royal Navy
So Gentleman Jonny Burgoyne is all dashing and shit and wants to make a name for himself. He and Howe, who's got NYC, do some long distance stratwgery with Whitehall over the winter of 76-77 but it's kinda hard when it takes 3 weeks each way, on a good passage, to communicate
You got Lord Germain trying to run intermediary as the dude responsible for the war in America, but letters are slow. So they're all playing this game of long distance telephone with no one really on the same page. Burgoyne wants Albany. Howe wants Philly. Germain wants a drink
Like, by 1777, everyone's realized this ain't no passing thing but that the key problem is those assholes in New England.


So the plan that Burgoyne develops is aimed at cutting off NE from the middle colonies & then stomping on Boston

Meanwhile, good ol GW is like "I don't even know how many troops I have, my teeth hurt, my generals are arguing with each other, and Congress is broke"

He's got Horatio "I break tape" Gates in charge of the northern department, along with Phil Schuyler who is always sick
Okay, so, this is where it gets good. Burgoyne sets off from Quebec in June Of 1777 with just under 8k men. He travels down MSR CHAMPLAIN and hits Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Independence, which are some seriously nice forts but r compromised by high ground
There's Mount Defiance which overlooks both which if ANYNE had listened to the engineers, namely Tadeusz Kosiuszko, they woulda fortified, but nooooo, infantry gonna infantry. So Burgoyne goes "where a goat can go a man can go and where a man can go he can haul a gun"

So Arty St Clair sees the British guns on Mount Defiance and is like "deuces" and withdraws his Garrisons from both forts and et voilá, Lake Champlain is WIDE FUFKIN open for Gentleman Jonny

So far so good for this dude. He's all "rule brittania" & planning his knighthood
Btw St Clair is gonna get his ass court martialed for this but then exonerated which will make him in charge of US forces against the Miami and Shawnee after the war where he gets his ass actually handed to him in the worst US defeat until the Philippines in 1942

So Jonny begins to make his way South buuuuut things aren't going totally to plan. A contingent of Hessians and Brunswickers meet some pissed-off Vermonters at Hubbardton, & while they win, they take so many losses that they're combat ineffective

Don't fuck with VT, guys
Burgoyne is having some supply problems tho, and this dude likes stuff. So he sends off a force to seize supplies and they get SHWACKED at the Battle of Bennington, by John "I will FUCK YOU UP, IM FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE" Stark & his militia.

So now Jonny is in a pickle
He's down to 7000 dudes and supplies are a problem. Meanwhile, Gates, because Schuyler got sideshowed because Congress liked large ineffective New Yorkers who were good at politics but little else, has about 8000 troops at hand. He's got two key dudes: Benny Arnold & Dan Morgan
Oh, did I mention that Burgoyne is now running blind because he pissed off his Native American allies so much that they bounced? Yeah. He's got no Intel. He decides to cut from his base of supplies and March down the river towards the Americans


Meanwhile, Kosciuszko does some engineer magic and digs the whole Continental force in whick Gates is cool with because the idea of maneuver is as foreign to him as diet

Taddy K also starts dropping trees and cutting bridges in front of the Brits because my boy gets EA dev
Burgoyne spots the American left flank as weak and is all "what ho! I'll jolly well break that & beat these buggers" but Arnold sees this too and sends off Morgan's riflemen & some ornery light infantry from New England to Freeman's Farm to await Burgoyne's arrival
They meet at Freeman's Farm, and Morgan's rifleman SLAY Burgoyne's lead elements but eventually enough British troops arrive to push the light force back, although Burgoyne loses about 600 men in the action

Gates is all pissy at Arnold & Morgan for this. Not a good look
Burgoyne meanwhile digs in & is all "uh, little help here?" but Howe has runnoft to take Philly and Henry Clinton in NYC is all "meh"

Arnold wants to hit the Brit flank

Gates acts nlike a petulant child and dismisses Arnold. Who is little pissed off, as ya might expect
On October 7, 1777, Brit Recon elements are hit by Morgan's fuckin deadly accurate riflemen and some Granite and Empire Staters who are not gonna back down. Burgoyne tries to fall back but his orderly & 2d in command are shot

Check out @WarStoriesCast season 2 for this.
Ok, so it's general battle now except Gates is like 'i wonder when they'll come attack me in my fort" and doesn't commit most of his force

ENTER Benny fuckin Arnold who is PISSED THE FUCK OFF & grabs a horse & rides down to the battle, NOT DRUNK well prolly not drunk but maybe
Arnold gets on the field and basically rallies the fuck outta erryone. He spots a break in the Brit defenses and RIDES THROUGH IT and dudes run after him. Then his horse gets shot under him breaking his leg, which is a bummer cause had he been killed there GREATEST HERO EVAR
Anyways, a Continental brigade pours thru the Brit line and wham bam, the position is taken. Suddenly Gentleman Jonny is like "hell and damnation, I've got to fall back" which he does over two days but then gets his ass surrounded - that shouldn't have been that hard to type
So at this point GJ is at Saratoga like "uhhhhh I have no plan for this" and straight up surrenders & Gates is like " uuuhhhh I have no plan for this because I'm a shitty commander" but the surrender happens & eventually 1000 Brits in captivity will escape...to go settle land

A professional army of British and German troops had SURRENDERED TO A BUNCHA AMATEURS

Completely unfuckinheard of. Whitehall loses its mind. Continental Confess is confused. France is like "yasssssss let's fuck shit up, Bros"
And just like that, the threat to New England is done, France and Spain enter the war, Ben Franklin probably gets laid a couple times, and all is good


Arnold & Morgan both get passed over. Gates gets the credit.

Morgan leaves. Straight up drops his commission and is like "imma go farm, fuckheads." Arnold... Well... We know how that goes. Arnold will eventually go treason. Morgan reluctantly reenlists later.

Lesson being: don't fuck your officers over or they gon leave

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