The Fort

The Fort

Audiobook CD - 2010
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'Captivate, kill or destroy the whole force of the enemy' was the order given to the American soldiers. THE FORT is the blistering new novel from worldwide bestseller Bernard Cornwell. Summer 1779. Seven hundred and fifty British soldiers and three small ships of the Royal Navy. Their orders: to build a fort above a harbour to create a base from which to control the New England seaboard. Forty-one American ships and over nine hundred men. Their orders: to expel the British. The battle that followed was a classic example of how the best-laid plans can be disrupted by personality and politics, and of how warfare can bring out both the best and worst in men. It is a timeless tale of men at war, written by a master storyteller.
Publisher: London : HarperCollins, p2010.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9780007377404
Characteristics: 11 compact discs (ca. 12 hrs.) :,digital ;,12 cm.
Additional Contributors: Bowerman, Robin


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Cdnbookworm Feb 14, 2013

This novel covers the real American Revolutionary battle over the settlement of Majabigwaduce on Penobscot Bay (in present-day Maine) in the summer of 1779. We follow characters on both sides. On the British side we see things from the point of view of Brigadier General McLean and Lieutenant John Moore (later a well-know British military leader). On the American side we see things from the viewpoint of General Wadsworth, a former schoolteacher. The British have three warships and a couple of transport ships and a half-finished fort (the titular Fort George), a Scottish brigade of professional soldiers, and control of the harbour. The Americans have the largely untrained Massachusetts militia, a few Continental Navy ships with marines, and several Privateers. They outnumber the British in both ships and men. General Saltenstall is in charge of the Warren and the American naval forces, but worries more about the safety of his ship than his responsibilities to attack the enemy when appropriate. The leader of the army is General Lovell, a former farmer and nervous in his role. Paul Revere is a Colonel in charge of the artillery and comes across very badly as vain, self-important, and a bad military leader. The bullheadedness of Generals Saltenstall and Lovell create a standoff in which Saltenstall refuses to attack the British ships until the fort is taken, and Lovell refuses to attack the fort until the ships are vanquished. The bad leadership of Revere leads to ineffective artillery, lost equipment, and captured men. The resultant siege allows the fort to be further fortified and the British Navy to send reinforcements. Wadsworth is angry and frustrated with all of them, rightly so, but lacks the authority to force the correct responses to the situation. Both Wadsworth and the Continental marines come across well here, as well as a few other American officers and men, but the amateur nature of the majority of the men on the American side is part of the problem that leads to the final outcome of the battle. Definitely a case where personalities and training, or lack thereof, showed. It was interesting, historically enlightening, and an overall good read.

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