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 The French had reason to be proud of the manner in which they had met and repulsed the attack, but much of the explanation for the victory lies in the inefficiency of the New England force.  The great Bostonian historian Parkman penned in 1877 what may be regarded as the best possible commentary: "Massachusetts had made her usual mistake.  She had confidently believed that ignorance and inexperience could match the skill of a tried veteran, and that the rude courage of her fishermen and farmers could triumph without discipline or leadership ... A trading republic, without trained officers, may win victories; but it wins them either by accident, or by an extravagant outlay in money and life."

Frontenac's defensive measures were well calculated.  As we have said, the only serious allegation that can be made against him is that of over-caution.  He repulsed the enemy, but because he did not feel equal to taking the offensive he did not destroy him.  It must be said in Frontenac's favour that with the season so far advanced (when Phips appeared it was over a month later than the date of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759) the Governor had only to hold his position for a limited time, and the approach of winter would then inevitably drive the invaders away.  All the same, he had a larger force than Phips', and it was of better quality; and he had an opportunity, by running some risk, to strike a most telling blow at the English in America.  We can admire his realistic recognition of the shortcomings of European-trained troops in American warfare; but did he not, perhaps, overdo it?

It may seem almost ludicrous to discuss this small episode, which sometimes verges on the comic, in terms of the Principles of War.  Nevertheless, in this as in every action the operation of those principles can be observed.

The static defensive measures of Frontenac and Prevost made ample and most useful provision for Security; what was lacking in the French operations in the final phase was the Offensive Action, which might so usefully have been launched from this firm base.  The failure of the English to implement effectively their plan for a double attack enabled Frontenac to effect at Quebec a Concentration of Force, which made their success there virtually impossible.  This concentration was facilitated in turn by the Flexibility conferred upon the French by their possession of easy and rapid water communications, by way of the St. Lawrence, from one end of the colony to the other.

The English colonists, on the other hand, seem to have sinned against almost every sound principle of action that has ever been enunciated.  Notably, the slowness of their proceedings at every point deprived them of all chance of achieving that Surprise which was their best hope of victory.  Not entirely through the fault of the colonial planners, their Administration was inadequate; the expedition was launched without being provided with the supplies essential to success.  The spirit of Co-operation was sadly lacking within the New England force, with the results that might have been expected.  Finally, as the consequence of many circumstances, but mainly the absence of energetic, determined and informed leadership, it seems clear that the Morale of the expedition declined steadily from the moment when it arrived before the enemy.  The New Englanders were fortunate not to suffer a worse disaster than the one that actually befell them.


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