Hurricane Katrina: Levee Failure Essay

Hurricane Katrina: Levee Failure Essay.

Blame for Katrina Damage: The Corps Alone?

In august 2005, the State of Louisiana was hit with one of the most devastating natural disasters the United States has ever seen. New Orleans specifically was among the cities who felt the full force of Hurricane Katrina. While the storm itself was very powerful the damage wasn’t caused necessarily by the hurricane but by the failure in the levee system. According to Jennifer Trevedi, In the book, Encyclopedia of Disaster, Jennifer Trevedi describes the extent of the damage through breaches of the levee.

Trevedi says, the levees were breached in over fifty different spots flooding the St. Bernard and Plaquemine parish. Some of the most significant breaches occurred at the Industrial Canal, the 17th Street Canal, and the London canal (322-325). Once the initial shock of the situation subsided, people wanted answers.

Why did the levees fail? Who was responsible for this catastrophic mistake? Initially the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) who was put in charge of the construction of the levee system took the blame.

But, after further research on the topic I’ve found that yes, the Corps took part in the breaching of the levees but prior to Hurricane Katrina the corps dealt with a tremendous amount of local, state, and federal stipulations that affected them in their attempt to build a safe and secure levee system. With this in mind the Corps cannot be found completely responsible for the disaster that occurred in the city of New Orleans. IIwhat happened

IIIwhy do some blame the corps

After hurricane Katrina struck the city was destroyed. The residents of New Orleans had lost practically everything. Most of the devastation happened in the poorer parts of the city with a predominantly African American population. Everyone was angry with how little effort was put into the evacuation of the low income areas and many people who had pre-determined that the levee failure was the fault of the Corps compared the two situations. In the essay by John White called “the Persistence Of Race Politics And The Restraint Of Recovery In Katrinas’s Wake,” published in the book “After The Storm,” White talks about the comparison between discussions of race and arguments about the blame for the damage from Katrina. “Set in symbolic terms, the discussion of race and Katrina takes on the Same tone as arguments that Louisiana built inadequate levees (it did not, as the Army Corps of Engineers Designed and built the Levees) or that the levees were dynamited (true during the Great Flood of 1929, but unsupported today)” (43).

The African American community of New Orleans felt because they were poor, and black they were interpreted as if they were to blame for not leaving prior to the storm hitting the city. Just like the Corps was to blame because people misinterpret their responsibility in the overall decision making in the building of the flood control system. The problems with the levees goes back to another storm that caused a lot of damage. According to J.D Rogers In the article “Development of the New Orleans Flood Protection System prior to Hurricane Katrina,” the U.S Army Corps of Engineers took on more responsibility for the building of the hurricane protection system after Hurricane Betsy.

However, because of the growing population of New Orleans and constant lawsuits involving different ideas of how the levees were to be built, the Corps never were able to properly complete the flood protection plan (616). While the construction and design of the flood control system was part of the Corps responsibility, they never really had control of putting their plan into effect because of constant disagreements between different agencies.

In addition, the article “Overview of New Orleans Levee Failures: Lessons Learned and Their Impact on National Levee Design and Assessment,” G.L. sills, et al. the authors write about how the Corps was sued because of different opinions on how the flood protection system should be designed after Hurricane Betsy, saying, “with the effects of the storm still lingering, the Corps was sued over the authorize hurricane protection plan” (557). While the Corps came up with a design they thought would be able to protect the city of New Orleans they were subject to constant legal obstacles that restricted them from achieving their overall goal of protecting the people from a disaster like Hurricane Betsy.

In fact the city of New Orleans wasn’t the only place where the Corps had problems trying to get their design pushed through. In Jim Yardley’s “Battle Beside the Levee: Hold Back Big Muddy or Let It Roll,” written in the New York Times, Yardley talks about the Mississippi Delta and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers desire to build the levee strength up before there is a flood that would ruin the farmland. However, environmentalist are fighting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, stating that the land that is used for cotton farming would have better use if it was returned to its natural state as a wetland (3, 4). While the local farmers are in favor of the Corps building the levees strength up to protect their cotton farming, environmentalist are stalling the Corps efforts because they want the area to be returned to its natural state as a wetland.

So while government agencies can stall the process of building levees up there are also many different organizations that have their own idea of what is best for the area where the levees will be built. The environmentalist surely have valid points to why the levees shouldn’t be built but when a natural disaster hits everyone will immediately put blame on the Corps instead of looking at the fact they were kept away from doing their job due to an outside source. This is also seen in In Andrew Revkin’s “Lost Chances to Avert a Disaster; Competing Interests Stalled New Jersey Flood Project,” written in the New York Times on September 26 1999, Revkins talks about how over a dozen communities in New Jersey were susceptible to floods. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came up with multiple plans over a 30 year period. but, because Federal, State, and Local agencies had different ideas of what was the best plan the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were left in a stalemate (3,4).

Whether it’s the State of Louisiana or others the Corps have been under constant push back because everyone involved in the planning of the levee system has different ideas of the safiest and most beneficial design for the area. Unfortunately not every design is going to benefit all parties involved. While a dozen communities are involved in the decision making of how to build the levees so every town will have maximum protection the Corps is put in a situation where with so many people involved they cant get much accomplished. And, when a disaster happens everyone points the finger at the Corps which isn’t right considering the constant push back from other sources. History has shown that the Corps has to deal with outside sources when they make a decision to build the levee system up. In Karen O’Neill’s essay “Broken Levees, Broken Lives, and a Broken Nation after Hurricane Katrina,” she tells us that the development of the rivers does not fall under the authority of a single entity. Different federal bodies, plus state and local governments, all have some degree of influence in the direction of levee maintenance.

This has the effect of spreading the responsibility and makes it impossible to assess full blame to any one of them (99). No one expected a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina to cause so much damage to the United States. It forced our leaders to take a good hard look at how prepared we are for a disaster situation. In McGarity and Douglas Kysar’s “Did Nepa Drown New Orleans? The Levees, The Blame Game, and the Hazards of Hindsight,” they discuss the different reasons for the breach of the levees. The authors determine that no matter how much planning was involved in the construction of the levee system by the Corps, that the Corps specifically can’t be put to blame. However, more time should be put into research of future disasters to allow the people in charge and residents of a disaster area to make a more educated decision on whether to stay or relocate (43). It is easy for people to put blame on the Corps because they are the designers of the levees.

But, why don’t people acknowledge that they decided to settle in a low level or in some places a below sea level location.This is discussed in Assessing Pre-Katrina Vulnerability and Improving Mitigation and Preparedness, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers will be challenged in the future with properly communicating the risks of residing in an area were floods occur. But, the people who decide to build homes in a known flood area need to take responsibility for their decision and actively seek information on future plans to keep them safe from future floods. The Corps can only do so much and it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure they know what is happening within their community. the storm was determined to be too strong for anyone to foresee. Assessing Pre-Katrina Vulnerability and Improving Mitigation and Preparedness, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers will be challenged in the future with properly communicating the risks of residing in an area were floods occur.

But, the people who decide to build homes in a known flood area need to take responsibility for their decision and actively seek information on future plans to keep them safe from future floods. The Corps can only do so much and it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure they know what is happening within their community. Whether you put the blame on the Corps of Engineers the organizations that prevented the Corps from properly building the levees the way they wanted to originally or the people who The Corps of Engineers made mistakes in not securing the levees just in case there was a flood of this magnitude.

But, when the corps had multiple plans and designs over the years and they were unable to execute them because of different agencies stepping in it makes the job that much harder. Hopefully Katrina will show all agencies involved that regardless of conflicting opinions all parties involved need to come together and do what’s best for the people that live in a disaster zone. No one entity can completely eliminate a disaster but if we work together we can possibly help make sure the damage is less.

Works Cited
Andersen, Christina F., et al. “The New Orleans Hurricane Protection System: What Went
Wrong and Why.” American Society of Civil Engineers. ASCE. 2007. Web. 13 March
McGarity, Thomas O. and Kysar, Douglas A. “Did Nepa Drown New Orleans? The Levees, The Blame Game, and the Hazards of Hindsight.” [email protected] Law:A Digital Repository (2006). Web. 25 March 2012. New Orleans Hurricane Protection System: Assessing Pre-Katrina Vulnerability and Improving Mitigation and Preparedness. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press, 2009. Ebook Collection (EBSCHost). Web. 6 March 2012.

Revkin, Andrew C. “Lost Chances to Avert a Disaster; Competing Interests Stalled New Jersey Flood Project.” New York Times 26 September 1999: 43. Newspaper Source Plus. EBSCO. Web. 21 March 2012

Rogers J.D. “Development of the New Orleans Flood Protection System prior to Hurricane

Katrina.” Journal of Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Engineering 134.5 (2008): 602-617. Academic Search Premiere. EBSCO. Web. 13 May 2012.

Sills, G.L., et al. “Overview of New Orleans Levee Failure: Lessons Learned and Their Impact on National Levee Design and Assessment.” Journal of Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Engineering 134.5 (2008): 556-565. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 18 March 2012. Trevedi, Jennifer. “Hurricane Katrina (2005)” Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief. K Bradley

Penuel. Matt Statler. Los Angeles: Sage Reference, 2011. 322-325. Print

White, John Valery. “the Persistence Of Race Politics And The Restraint Of Recovery In Katrinas’s Wake.” After The Storm. Ed. David Dante Troutt. New York: The New Press, 2006. 41-63 Yardley Jim. “Battle Beside the Levee: Hold Back Big Muddy or Let It Roll.” New York Times 8 December 1998. Newspaper Source Plus. EBSCO. Web. 21 March 2012.

Hurricane Katrina: Levee Failure Essay

Army Profession of Arms Essay

Army Profession of Arms Essay.

The Profession of Arms Campaign is mandated by John M. McHugh, secretary of the Army, and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Army chief of staff, to assess the state of the Army and take a critical look at how the past decade of war has impacted the military and civilian workforce.

“The overall objective of the campaign is for Soldiers and leaders to refine their understanding of what it means to be professionals — expert members of the Profession of Arms – after over nine years of war and to recommit to a culture of service and the responsibilities and behaviors of our profession as articulated in the Army ethic,” Dempsey said.

Another Army leader talked about what the campaign means for all those serving in the Army, whether Soldier or civilian, and how it is designed to help transition from the past decade of continuous conflict into a still-uncertain future.

“The Army has decided to introduce the campaign for the Profession of Arms to develop leaders of character and competence required to meet the dynamic challenges of the 21st century,” said Lt.

Gen. Robert L. Caslen, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kan., commanding general. “This campaign is designed to define and reinvigorate what it means to be a professional in the Profession of Arms. As we embark on this mission, we must reflect on the values and traits that define and distinguish us as a unique profession.”

Lt. Gen. Richard P. Formica, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command commanding general, has initiated a command-wide review of what it means to be in the Profession of Arms.

This review is part of a broader Army wide effort and leaders across the command are getting involved in this open collaborative process to solicit and capture feedback from its Soldiers and civilians. This campaign will also be a teaching opportunity to help better understand what it means to be in this profession and what it means to be in public service that distinguishes a profession from a career.

For the workforce at USASMDC/ARSTRAT, the Profession of Arms Campaign is a chance to give input to the Army on how the past decade has influenced, both good and bad, those serving their nation in wartime.

“For the Army as a whole, this is a chance to assess a lot of what impact the last 10 years of being at war has had on our workforce. It is a chance to take note of what we need to do right now, what we need to do in the future and what direction we need to go in, and I think this could have a great effect on SMDC as a whole,” said Lisa Ratley, Concepts Division, Future Warfare Center-Battle Lab. “We will conduct some roundtable groups and town hall-type meetings with civilians, officers and noncommissioned officers that will take input from everyone.

“This is a great opportunity for SMDC to gather input and have something to say to the Army as a whole,” she added.

In the Profession of Arms Campaign, there are five ‘cohorts’ that the Army is looking at. They are officers, noncommissioned officers, warrant officers, junior enlisted Soldiers and civilians.

The campaign focuses on three questions:

— What does it mean for the Army to be a Profession of Arms? — What does it mean to be a professional Soldier? — After nine years of war, how are we, as individual professionals and as a profession, meeting these aspirations?

“The Army chief of staff and secretary of the Army are concerned about what effect the last 10 years of war is having on the Army,” said Donald Long, FWC-BL. “They want to assess the impact of it and to keep ahead of what has actually changed, and how do we implement fixes to any problems or issues that may come up so we can continue to be a professional Army.

“The Profession of Arms Campaign was officially going to end in December but the commanding general of SMDC wants to extend it to include the next 18 to 24 months of professional development for the civilians, Soldiers and officers in the command to provide professional development on what it means to be a professional in this Profession of Arms,” Long added.

The Army has also sent out 20,000 surveys to civilians across the Army to get an input from the workforce.

“To me, working for the Army is not just a job, it is an understanding that we are here to serve the American people,” said Ginny Partan, FWC-BL. “I think the Profession of Arms Campaign is going to help us bridge the gap between 10 years at war and where we need to head in the future. It is going to help us take a hard look at ourselves, across the spectrum from Soldiers to civilians, to see what we are doing right and where we can improve so that we are better in the future.”

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Army Profession of Arms Essay

DBQ: The Battle of Gettysburg Essay

DBQ: The Battle of Gettysburg Essay.

It is 1863, and the people of the United and Confederate States are wondering who will win this Great Civil War. Southern General Robert E. Lee decided to make a bold move and marched his troops to Pennsylvania to achieve a victory on Union soil. As the news of Lee’s army reached Northern General Meade, they followed in immediate pursuit. The Battle of Gettysburg is a crucial turning point in Civil War due to the termination of the Southern advance into Northern States and it resulted in a damaging impact in the Confederate Army’s supply of soldiers.

Since the Battle of Gettysburg ceased the Southern progression into the North, it became a critical moment in the Civil War. Document A has shown that battles continued in Southern Territories, such as Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri after Gettysburg. Without Gettysburg’s powerful effect, the Southern Army would have continued to have advanced into Northern Territories. The battle proved to be a dramatic change in the Northern Army, since it allowed more battles to form in the South, but never again in the North.

Due to the Battle of Gettysburg, the Union army stomped on Southern efforts to create a win on Union soil and lead to destructive battles in the South.

Furthermore, the battle also consequently caused numerous deaths in the Confederate Army. At Gettysburg, twenty-three thousand men of the North’s nine-hundred and eighteen thousand army died, while twenty to twenty-five thousand soldiers died out of two-hundred and seventy-eight thousand Southern Army. Therefore, Gettysburg proved to be a major impact on the Southern Army’s power to fight the North and diminished the chances of a Rebel victory. These casualties reflected in the Confederate Army’s commanding generals, which lead to the substandard training and execution of the Southern soldiers in later battles. Without a doubt, Gettysburg demonstrated the power of the Union and shattered the Confederate Army in countless casualties.

Through ceasing Southern advances and extinguishing their army, the Battle of Gettysburg proved to be a tremendously significant turning point in the Great Civil War for the North. Although other major Battles, such as Vicksburg, which gave complete control of the Mississippi River to the North, Gettysburg resulted in more substantial effect in the War. The significance of Gettysburg is shown by the impacts in the Civil War, mainly negatively to the South. The Battle of Gettysburg can be related today because it shows that through perseverance the odds will come in your favor.

DBQ: The Battle of Gettysburg Essay

The Seven Army Values Essay

The Seven Army Values Essay.

In the United States Army we are taught to live by the Seven Army Values. They are broken down to us in the acronym ‘LDRSHIP’ which is short for Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. We are all taught these 7 Army values repeatedly from day one in the United States Army. First we memorize these values. Then we are trained to live by them. All of these 7 values coincide with each other, and play an important roll in our Army lives.

These 7 Army Values also play well into life outside the Army in our personal life. People sometimes do not realize the importance these values have on the way we are viewed by the people who look up to the men and woman who are privileged enough to represent the United States Army by wearing this uniform.

Many people know what the words Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage mean. Unfortunately, sometimes you see our Army brothers and sisters not living up to these values.

Soldiers learn these values in detail during Basic Combat Training and from then on most of us live up to them in our every day lives. On the job or off it is our responsibility as soldiers to stick strongly to the Seven Core Army Values. Listed below are the Seven Core Army Values and how they apply to our job in the United States Army. Loyalty is to “Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. constitution, the Army, and other soldiers.” Bearing true faith and allegiance is believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone. To be a loyal Soldier is to support the leadership and trust the actions they take as leaders. Just by wearing the uniform it shows your loyalty and commitment towards the United States Army.

Doing what your told also shows your loyalty to your leadership and your unit. How is Loyalty defined in the Army today? Loyalty is a characteristic that cannot be forced upon a soldier through punishment. Loyalty is developed through trust from other soldiers around you, especially your superiors. Creating trust will enable a soldier to develop loyalty in their unit and their chain of command. explains Loyalty is defined as, “Characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations, etc.” (“Loyalty”, 2012, p. 01-01). When you join the military you take an oath and swear that you will bear true faith and allegiance to your country, the President of the United States, and the officers appointed over you.

In summary nothing explains Loyalty better than the Army’s definition “Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. constitution, the Army, and other soldiers.” Duty is to simply “Fulfill your obligations.” Doing your duty is more than carrying out tasks you are assigned. Duty means being able to complete tasks as part of a team. The U.S. Army is constantly in motion due to the need to complete many missions daily. Assignment after assignment compiled on top of one another is what we do nonstop throughout our army careers. And with all of these responsibilities we need “Duty” to fulfill our obligations as a part of a unit. Without Duty in the work environment we would take shortcuts that could hinder the integrity of the success of a mission.

Every soldier has duties and responsibilities. We need to know what these are and how they apply to us as Soldiers. One of the obligations we need to carry out is to fulfill our duties to standard and to the best of our ability. Duties are general requirements to be performed everyday for the completion of a mission. Duty begins with everything required of you by regulations, direct orders, and law. A duty is an obligation to further a units mission readiness by completing a task given to you. Soldiers are dependent on leadership to make difficult decisions to complete tasks they are given. Junior enlisted soldiers (such as myself) have a duty to obey the lawful orders of superiors. Leaders assume all responsibility for the actions, accomplishments, and failures of their soldiers. Every soldier has a responsibility to perform his or her duties to the best of his or her ability. Also improving their performance is a necessity to make a more stable unit.

Respect is to “Treat people as they should be treated.” Every soldier is responsible for treating other people with dignity and respect. As Soldiers we pledge to treat others with respect and dignity while not expecting anything in return. Respect allows us to appreciate what our Army leaders and Friends do for us. Respect is to have trust that people will fulfill their duties and accomplish what is expected of them. Respecting ones self is an important factor of the Army value of respect. We, the United States Army are one team and we each have something to contribute. What is respect? Respect has numerous forms. It can be self-awareness, character, understanding, trust, honesty, and a positive attitude. Respect must be earned. If someone does not respect himself or herself then they are not able to respect others.

To gain respect you must treat others the way you would want to be treated, as you have heard many times before. If a unit lacks respect it cannot have teamwork and sympathy for the well being of others. It creates devotion to the success of the team. Respect goes both ways up and down the chain of command. A leader must respect his or her soldiers as their soldiers must appreciate the sacrifices and skills their superiors and vice versa. by respecting the people around you with effort, and in time soldiers come to respect each other. Respect grows into devotion towards leaders and peers. When a soldier shows respect to his or her coworkers it creates a bond of trust throughout the unit.

Without it there is no coordination or espirit de corps throughout a unit. Disrespect proves to un glue previous acts of respect and can make for an unorganized and un trustworthy bod of soldiers. If a leader disrespects his or her soldiers he or she can loose all respect and trust of a unit and will create tension within the team. Attitude can also cause the downfall of a unit’s cohesion and can damage morale, which in turn will hurt the mission readiness and combat effectiveness of a unit as a whole. Bottom line is, without respect a unit is ineffective in most circumstances.

Selfless Service is to “Put the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates above your own.” Selfless service is not only about yourself but your peers and leaders can affect the way you look at it. Without influences of soldiers around you pushing you to be a more selfless soldier you can become more selfish than selfless. When serving your country, you are loyally doing your duty without thought of recognition. Which is true selfless service. FM 6-22 summarizes selfless service, as “The leader knows that the Army cannot function except as a team for a team to excel, the individual must give up self-interest for the good of the whole.” Duty is often confused with Selfless Service.

Here in FM 7-21-13 the following points show how selfless service and duty are separate from one another: Focus your priorities on service to the Nation. Place the needs of the Army, your unit and your fellow soldiers above your personal gain. Balance the mission, your family, and your personal needs. Accept personal responsibility for your own performance. FM 7-22.7 says “Placing your soldiers’ welfare before your personal desires has always been key to the uniqueness of the American NCO,” which is a good reference to what I think of when I her selfless service. Although honor and selfless service differ, I believe you cannot have one without the other. Honor and selfless service hold one another up, as you will see with the following paragraphs about Honor.

Honor is to “Live up to the army values.” Honor is not just given to you. Honor must be gained through a persons respect loyalty and selfless service. Along with these and other all of the other army values you can achieve honor. A persons honor can be seen through their word. For example, if someone does dot uphold to their word they are not trusted or respected therefor has no honor. The highest military award is The Medal of Honor. This award is given to Soldiers who live up to all of the army values, especially honor and Selfless Service. Soldiers, who show their devotion of being honorable, in my opinion, are the most respected soldiers there are. Honor is summarized as the ability to carry out and live the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in all hours of the day, 365 days a year.

Integrity is to “Do what’s right legally and morally.” Living to morals and doing what is right, is the only way to acquire integrity. Integrity is to not do and nor say anything that deceives others. With more integrity comes more trust. The more integrity one possesses can make a person feel better about them self. It also makes those around you, friends and family, trustworthy of you. Webster’s Dictionary states: “a firm adherence to a code of moral or artistic values.” Integrity, to me, is only achieved and goes right along side of honesty and character. Integrity keeps you honest and persuades you to do the right thing all the time. With integrity you want to do the right thing no mater if you’re being watched or alone. You do something because its right, nothing else.

Personal Courage “Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral).” Personal courage has always held its place in the United States Army. One type of courage is physical courage, which is enduring physical stress and at times risking injury or personal safety. Mental courage would be to face fears or challenges that you are worried about enduring. Building your personal courage is as easy as standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are honorable on a daily describes courage as “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”

Without personal courage the United States Army would not exist. In summary the 7 army values is what the army is about. Without the 7 army values we would not have a United States Army. Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage are quite possibly the one thing keeping our army strong and resilient to everything the world can throw at us. If everyone lived up to these 7 values the world would be a better place.

The Seven Army Values Essay

Movie “The Patriot” and Historical Reality Essay

Movie “The Patriot” and Historical Reality Essay.

Movies are made to be sold and not history to be perfectly told. If movies include a complete history, it wouldn’t be known as a movie anymore. However, it would be called a documentary, which most people get fed up of. So interpretations, exaggerations and idealistic scenes are added to the movie to make it more interesting for the audience. “The Patriot” is a similar film made during the modern day time about a time period in which none of the experienced the real revolution.

Politically, socially, and culturally, “The Patriot” attempts to give a sense of the scope of aspects involved in the American Revolution. Despite succeeding in this regard, it still lacks details that reveal the true complexity of the mixed sentiments present in this time period.

Starting with the protagonist, Marion was originally the lead character in the script, but because of controversy and to allow for more dramatic storytelling, Martin was introduced. Martin is an amalgamation of several American Revolutionaries; Francis Marion, Elijah Clarke, Daniel Morgan, Andrew Pickens, and Thomas Sumter.

Martin’s hit and run tactics and nickname ‘The Ghost’ were inspired by Francis Marion, known as the “Swamp Fox”, while the tactics of using the militia on the front to draw the British in the final battle were based on similar tactics used by Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens. Thomas Sumter and Andrew Pickens’ influence seems to be that both rejoined the fight after the British burned their homes (Online).

Similarly, the antagonists (villains) in the movie are exaggerated orhave a melodramatic appearance in the movie.

Adding a pure villain in a movie makes it more appealing as people get interested in the movie to find out what will happen at the end. Colonel Tavington is based on the historical figure Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, who was renowned for the violence and brutality he inflicted on his enemies. He believed in total war, which meant that civilians who helped the enemy were the enemy. This is accurately shown in the movie when he kills civilians in the movie who helped the continentals. Before even killing in the movie, he declares “Let it be known if you harbor the enemy you will lose your home” (The Patriot).However, one accurate part cannot be matched with the several inaccuracies of the movie.

Colonel William Tavington did believe in total war, but to the point of coming down like an all out evil sadistic villain who can order to burn a church was one of the biggest blunder in the movie. Accordingly, tensions between General Cornwallis and Tarleton were not as bad as depicted in the movie between Cornwallis and Tavington. “In fact, Tarleton considered Cornwallis his mentor and they stayed in touch for many years” (Online). The biggest flaw in the movie was that it showed Tavington die near the end of the movie whereas “he returned to England safely, became MP for Liverpool and lived to the age of 78” (Online). This part was basically to a have “happy ending” and to convince the audience that good takes over bad. General Cornwallis, not a real villain, but still an antagonist is another character who is exaggerated.

General Cornwallis was the only main character (Not counting Greene and Gates as main characters) who had the same name in the movie. However, once again, the character has been embellished. General Charles Cornwallis was not the really old and proper guy that the movie portrays him as being. He was actually in his early 40’s. He is also portrayed to be someone arrogant. This may not have really been the case, since he often stood at the front lines in harm’s way alongside his soldiers, rather than hanging back and watching the battle from the safety of afar. Villains can be considered a “key to success” of a movie and similarly good side vs. the bad side has to be shown.

“The brutality of the British regulars is, in the world of star Mel Gibson, ‘juiced up’ for dramatic effect” (Online). The depiction of the British in the movie is quite accurate but there are still some errors. They were very brutal in their actions. They were also very organized in battle as shown in the movie, and that’s why they didn’t know how to deal with militia men. However, the brutality wasn’t as much as shown in some parts of the movie. It is done to show the evilness of the British and so when the patriots killed any British, it seemed that they are taking revenge and so the brutal actions of the patriots were acceptable. In one scene, the British regulars order the execution of a colonial soldier captured in uniform.

In fact, such war crimes by regular troops rarely happened. In the most incongruous scene, the people of the entire town are locked in a church which is then set on fire. It is very hard to believe that any British soldier would actually burn a church, because mostly everyone at that particular time was either Puritanical or Catholic. To desecrate such a sacred ground would be tantamount to sin; something that a British general would never order, nor would his soldiers follow, even if the order was given. As historian Thomas Fleming puts it: ‘Of course it never happened. If it had, do you think Americans would have forgotten it? It could have kept us out of World War I’ (Online). The events that people were exposed to in the film, were extremely violent, not to mention, only one side of the story is given.

The colonists on the other hand were no more humane than the British, even though in the movie it tries to show that they were working on becoming more humane. This assumption comes from the fact that hatred and violence breds hatred and violence. The movie did not quite represent the war methods of the Patriots. Although the movie showed the militia using un-gentlemen-like war methods, the viewer felt proud when they saw the actions of the Patriots, because their unconventional methods were portrayed as being acceptable. One blunder is that a handful of men could hold off all those troops until the French was able to aid. In the movie the patriots seemed short handed but in reality “the patriots were numbered 1/5 to the British army” (Online). Not only was this part wrong, the whole movie is full of factual errors.

Various parts of the movie were full of factual errors and most came during battles. One of the biggest mistake was that the soldiers led by Tavington, the Green Dragoons, wore green in real life, but in the film they are given red coats to align them with the rest of the British army.

They became known as the Green Dragoons because their uniform was predominantly green with red trim, rather than the recognizable red uniform with the addition of green trim as in the movie. (Online)Another change that may annoy historians is the merging of two important 1781 battles – Cowpens and Guildford Courthouse – into one. Although they were almost the same in some aspects, one cannot just mix two battles and have a result as one. The weapons were another very inaccurate part. The cannons used in the final battle scene were 32 lb guns.

These weren’t used in the field at that time. The correct gun was the much smaller 6lb gun. “While solid cannonballs and other projectiles such as chains were used to rip through battle lines as in the movie, explosive projectiles had not yet been invented”(Online). This shows that “The Patriot”, although trying to be accurate, is a modern movie and the director thought that bigger booms will be have a dramatic effect whereas reality would be just small booms having no effect on the audience. Similarly, some of the battlefield tactics were incorrect. The movie shows that militia charged armed British soldiers. This never happened during the revolution.

There is no way militia would ever charge armed British regulars, they almost always ran the other way – unless the British had been routed and they had the proper support of Continental troop.(Online)Furthermore, the lack of French and Spanish soldiers was somewhat incorrect. Only one French soldier was depicted throughout the movie; the Spanish victories along the Mississippi were ignored completely. The muskets were shown to be so much accurate in the movie; however, in reality, they were so inaccurate that “misfires were common” (Online) and battle cries at Bunker Hill started that “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” (Gordon s. Wood). Similarly, in the movie Martin advices his sons “aim small, miss small”(The Patriot) which clearly meant that the muskets were highly inaccurate.

During the part in the movie when Martin and his two sons fight for rescuing Gabriel from the British, it is shown that both the kids shoot very accurately and confidently. In reality, the musket shot had such a hard back-kick that the kids would have propelled backwards. An online website provides us with the information that “old fashion muskets and cannon would often backfire causing serious injuries to the Whitemen” (Online). This clearly explains that there was no way a child would fire a musket. Even more, a kid wouldn’t be able to carry a musket as muskets were really heavy. Although having many inaccurate parts in the movie, one accurate part is shown. In the Colonial era, armies fought by standing shoulder-to-shoulder in a line, firing at one another and this is, somehow, accurately shown in the movie. Moving back to characters, slaves and women were one of the biggest flaws in the movie.

The biggest flaw in the movie occurred due to the acts of the slaves shown in the movie. During the 18th century freed slaves were nonexistent but in the movie, the black workers on Martin’s farm introduce themselves as “free” and able to come and go as they please. This is a total blunder. This point is used to make Martin stand out as a hero from the start and to make the audience sympathize with him. Another mistake is the depiction of the black community that seems to be a stretch. The living conditions may have been realistic, but the fact that Martin hid his family within this camp seems impractical.

During those times, the blacks would be not willing to help and would be in hiding from a Patriot. Moreover, during that time, many slaves fought on the British side to gain freedom from their merciless masters. In the movie, Tavington states “By order of King George, all slaves of the American colonies who fight for the crown will be granted their freedom with our victory.”(The Patriot). Equally important, “Pursuing the promise of freedom, at least 50,000 blacks served the British…” (Dibacco, 100). However, no slave can be seen in the movie fighting for the British.

Equally important to the acts of the slaves, the acts of the women were as well a big mistake in the movie. The women in the movie didn’t seem to be refined or ready for a war. They didn’t want to participate in the war and one can see no women on the battlefield. However, in reality, women went to the battlefield with their husbands.

Whatever their reason, women busied themselves washing, cooking, nursing, sewing, and mending. A few women joined their men on the battlefield. Martha Washington was the most famous of those who followed their husbands in the army. (Dibacco, 99)The sister of Benjamin’s dead wife was a role which was totally unbelievable. She seemed to be unmarried, and she seemed to have a lot of wealth. For that time no women was allowed to own a land and live unmarried. Women didn’t have enough or maybe no rights at that time. This also shows that The Patriot is a modern day film because today, women have a lot of rights.

Another big blunder is when Gabriel enters a church to gather men to form a militia. As no church member complies with Gabriel, a young woman stands up and reprimands the men in the church and indirectly calls them hypocrites and cowards. The response of the church was to then act in accordance with Gabriel Martin by participating in a militia. In historical eighteenth century no woman would dare speak out, especially during church, and if one had, probably she would be punished. So it could be clearly seen that women were a big fault in the movie script.

On countless occasions in the movie, one can clearly point out an error. From characters to battles, numerous mistakes can be counted if compared to reality. Regardless of its fallacies, “The Patriot” still represents the scene of the Revolutionary War very well. The set of the movie characterizes the period with the small towns, the churches, and Martin’s plantation. The clothing of the characters is typical for the 1700s and the soldiers’ outfits resemble the real uniforms very closely. The viewer is intrigued by the action scenes of the battles and is taken into a journey of struggle, pain and death, all in the name of freedom. Although the movie can give an idea of the revolution, it is still totally biased and can’t be trusted as a historical source.


Wood, Gordon S. The American Revolution: A History, New York: Random House Inc, 2002.

Krawczynski, Keith, ed. Dispute in History. Vol. 12. New York: St. James P, 2003.

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Dudley, William, Teresa O’neill, and Bruno Leone, eds. The American Revolution Oppsing Viewpoints. San Diego: GreenHaven P, 1992.

Werner, Kirk D., ed. Turning Points in World History-the American Revolution. San Diego: GreenHaven P, 1999.

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Furmuzachi: Gabriel. “The Intolerable Acts”. Geocities. 20 October 2007.

Movie “The Patriot” and Historical Reality Essay

Why was the Roman Army so Successful? Essay

Why was the Roman Army so Successful? Essay.

The legions of Rome were one of the biggest factors in Rome’s success as an empire. They conquered vast quantities of land, and were often used by the government to improve the morale of people living in cities, which often had parts that were cramped and unsanitary. The legions were set apart from contemporary armies due to their level of organisation and especially as they fought as a unit and not as individuals, as many tribes did.

The swords of the Roman Legionaries were different to many people at the time.

This figure shows a sword, or _gladius_, found by archaeologists. Though the hilt, guard and pommel have rotted away – showing that they were probably made primarily from wood – the tang and blade remain. The sword was narrow, so that it could fit between small gaps between shields in the close formations favoured by the Romans, and also so that it could easily slide between the ribs, reaching the internal organs and maximising damage, although soldiers were often encouraged to go for the throat and groin; the location of several major arteries.

The thicker fuller of the blade tapering away at the edges allowed for sharper blades. A slight discolouration running down the centre of the blade may indicate a ‘blood groove’, through which blood could run so that the sword did not get stuck in the wound as easily. The sword was also very narrow, and this was probably done purposely, in order to stop soldiers overextending or slashing away, and encouraging thrusting, which was and is harder to parry, as the sword has to be knocked from its path, rather than just blocked.

Flavius Vegetius Renatus, in ‘De Re Militari Book I: The Selection and Training of New Levies’, which was written in 390 A.D, says that “a stab, though it penetrates but two inches, is generally fatal”, as well as citing the reason that “the body is covered while a thrust is given”, whereas when slashing, “it is impossible to avoid exposing the right arm and side”. This picture shows a Pompeii style sword, which was on Trajan’s Column: Trajan had the column made in around 100 AD to commemorate military victories. This gives a very good idea of the size and shape of an original Roman Sword.

Another weapon generally used by the legions was the _pilum_, plural _pila_. The head shown in this image was estimated to have come from the first or second century AD it can be seen that the head was considerably wider than the neck. The base of the throwing spear was made from wood, which has rotted away. The spear was designed to have considerable penetrating capabilities, as the shaft was very heavy – and sometimes weighted with lead. A pair of demoralizing volleys would kill many of the enemy, and those that landed in shields could not be taken out very easily, as the neck bent on impact, so that it could not be pulled straight out. The pila encouraged the enemy to flee, and if a rain of missiles was kept up, only the most disciplined troops would stand. Each legionary would have carried two of these spears, to be thrown on command, and each man had to be able to throw one at least 30 metres.

The Roman shield played a large part in the defence of the legionaries, and could also be used as an offensive weapon.

Made from layered wood, a legionary’s shield could block all but the most penetrating of blows. With a metal rim to ram down on fallen enemies and hold the layers together under blows, and a large metal boss to ram into the enemy and deflect central blows, legionaries learned to use the shield well both offensively and defensively. When in formation, the shields synergized with each other, forming a near impenetrable wall, through which the legionaries could still stab to deadly effect.

One of the most famous Roman tactics was to form a _testudo_, or tortoise, using shields for cover. This picture details a part of Trajan’s column, and this piece depicts Roman legionaries assaulting a fort under the cover of their shields. Due to the tightness of the formation, soldiers could also on occasion have enough spare shields to armour the front and sides of the formation, as shown in the above image. Used mainly to counter missile troops, the shields took great strength to hold up for sustained periods of time. An example of the enemy that it was used to counter is British slingers. These men used strips of leather and ovoid lead shots to great effect, as each bullet could shatter a legionary’s bone, finishing his career in the legions, even if he survived the trauma, and generally forcing him to beg for the remainder of his life. The small size of these missiles allowed some to fit through small gaps between the shields, but the majority were stopped whilst the legion marched on. This picture shows an example of a sling bullet: This bullet is probably Seleucid in origin, as seen from the anchor, and was used between 220 and 130 BC, in the siege of Dor.

A considerable obstacle to the Legions was the number of small rivers and streams. Gradually, the legions became better at engineering, until every soldier was able to complete his part of a simple pontoon bridge, as shown here: Also taken from Trajan’s column. These pontoon bridges were constructed from boats, over which planking was laid. When horses were required to cross, a small layer of earth was sometimes put on the bridge, to reassure them. Stone Roman bridges remain famous for their durability to this day, and their three or four arches was a roman concept, so that weight on the top of the bridge merely forced the keystones of the arches in further, increasing the strength of the bridge. The legions were also responsible for the construction and maintenance of these bridges during peacetime.

This picture shows the Pons Fabricius, which was one of the biggest bridges of Roman times, and spanned half the width of the River Tiber – to an island in the middle. This picture shows that the bridge is still standing today:

The legions were and still are famous for their extremely straight roads, which cut down travelling times between major cities. The map shown, courtesy of, details the 53,000 miles of roads of the Roman empire, all constructed by the army, with milestones to tell travellers how far they had to go:

This is one of the many milestones along the Via Appia. Standing out from their surroundings, they provided travellers and, more importantly, armies, with important information about where the road led and how far it was.

The high mobility of the legions was one of their keys to success, as in times of war armies could be easily amalgamated and marched at speed along the wide stone roads.

This shows a modern diagram of a cross section of one of these roads, revealing why it was so successful. The centre of the road was normally raised, in order to maintain a dry surface, and rainwater was channelled into drainage ditches on either side of the road. This image shows the Via Appia – a road out of Rome still surviving to this day. Many Roman roads are still used today, though they have been resurfaced, such as Watling Street. Taken again from Trajan’s column, this picture shows Roman legionaries cutting down trees in order to create a cleared route for a new road – Josephus says in Book 3 chapter 6 that “Vespasian sent… ten out to every hundred… to cut down the woods that hindered their march”.

When Roman Legions went on the march, they nearly always – there were some exceptions – set up a temporary camp in order to have an easily defensible position in case they were attacked at night.

Josephus says in Book 3 Chapter 5, that “the outward circumference hath the resemblance to a wall, and is adorned with towers at equal distances… They also erect four gates, one at every side of the circumference, and those large enough for the entrance of the beasts, and wide enough for making excursions… They divide the camp within into streets… the tents of the commanders in the middle… a trench is drawn round the whole”.

It is well known that the Roman Legions kept their camps in the same order every single time, so that firstly every legionary knew his way around and also so that soldiers would feel at home even if they travelled to the other side of the empire – the camp would be almost exactly the same in layout.

This shows the layout of a large, more permanent Roman camp. Josephus writes that each camp had at least 4 gateways, one on each side of the camp, and that these were high enough and wide enough to take horses and exit the camp in large numbers. He details a wall, which would have been cut and built by the legionaries, and a ditch in front of the wall, the earth from this forming the rampart into which the stakes were fixed. These preparations would have created a very formidable obstacle to any attacker, no matter how large, especially when equidistant towers were raining down fire. Tents were for 8 or 10 men, depending on the size of the legion, and set far enough back from the wall so as not to catch fire from any burning projectiles that may have crossed the wall.

Roman Legionaries’ footwear was very important to them, as a lot of their work involved marching along hard roads. This sandal sole would have been reinforced with iron hobnails to make it last longer – iron wears down a lot slower than leather. Additionally, the iron would have made a lot of noise on the stone of the roads, and would have impressed anyone who saw the legion passing.

This tin plated bronze helmet was an item essential for survival for any legionary. The domed top would deflect anything but a direct hit perpendicular to the surface, whilst the front peak would stop a blade sliding down the front of the helmet onto the face. The rear of the helmet flared out to protect the neck, and two hinged cheek pieces protected the sides of the face. The front was left open, as vision was a legionary’s most useful tool. The ears themselves are also exposed to enable the legionary to hear shouted orders in a battle.

In conclusion, it can be seen that the Roman army was superior to all others at the time due to superior weaponry and fighting techniques. Fighting in formation and as a unit allowed the Romans to easily overcome any larger tribe that fought as individuals. The camps offered a safe place to retire to each night, and very strong and durable roads and bridges allowed the highest mobility of any infantry army of the time. The Roman army was probably the most advanced in Europe for nearly a thousand years, as most of their techniques were lost after their demise.


Why was the Roman Army so Successful? Essay

Battle of Verdun Essay

Battle of Verdun Essay.

The World War I Battle of Verdun (Feb. 21-Nov. 26, 1916), an unsuccessful German effort to take the offensive in the west, was one of the longest and bloodiest encounters of the war. Total casualties have been estimated at about 542,000 French and about 434,000 Germans.

At the background, on June 28, 1914, Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was assassinated in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb nationalist. The assassination soon triggered World War One. As soon as the war began, Germans began to implement their war plan, the Schlieffen Plan .

However, due to the inflexibility of the plan as well as the incompetence of the German commander von Moltke, the Central Powers failed to capture Paris and knock France out of the war.

As a result of the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, the rapid war of movement expected by the great powers before 1914 soon bogged down into a stalemate in the Western front. Trench warfare was developed and neither sides could achieve a breakthrough.

Following the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, both sides attempted to break the trench lines and ended in vain. In September 1914, Falkenhayn succeeded Moltke as Chief of Staff after the Battle of the Marne. Falkenhayn intended to impose a ruinous battle of attrition on the French armies in Verdun as the city held great strategic and symbolic importance to the French.

The BattleThe battle of Verdun was the longest battle of war and cost both sides many thousands of casualties. It was fought between the Germans and French from 21 February to 19 December 1916. The German assault, directed by Gen. Erich von Falkenhayn, began with a furious bombardment followed by an attack on the region surrounding Verdun, which lay in the middle of an Allied salient jutting into the German zone in northeastern France. Initially successful, the Germans captured Fort Douamont (February 25).

Gen. Joseph Joffre, the French commander in chief, was determined to halt further retreat for reasons of morale as well as strategy. On February 25 he assigned Gen. Henri Philippe Petain to head the Verdun defense. Petain, fighting under the famous motto Ils ne passeront pas! (“They shall not pass!”), reorganized his command and brought up reinforcements while the weary German troops paused.

On March 6 the Germans attacked the western face of the salient; they were halted after initial advances, but the loss of life on both sides was enormous. A third offensive, from both east and west, began on April 9, but again the Germans were stopped. German assaults continued into early July, and Petain, who had been promoted and replaced as local commander by Gen. Robert Nivelle, recommended withdrawal. During the summer, however, the Anglo-French Somme offensive and the Russian Brusilov offensive drew off German manpower, and in the late summer the Germans adopted a defensive posture on the western front.

The French soon took the offensive. Under Gen. Charles Mangin they recaptured Fort Douamont (October 24) and Fort Vaux (November 2). By the time the fighting at Verdun had ended in mid-December, the French had advanced almost to their February lines.

The obvious successes of the fixed fortification system (with the exception of Fort Douaumont) led to the adoption of the Maginot Line as the preferred method of defense along the Franco-German border during the inter-war years. France’s army was subsequently plagued not with desertions, but rather with a general refusal to march face-first into the teeth of Germany’s impregnable positions. France’s troops remained in their trenches, willing to fight only in a defensive capacity.

At the significance of the Battle of Verdun became a symbol of French determination, inspired by Petain’s declaration “they shall not pass”. The Germans achieved their initial aim, to inflict heavy losses on the French, but their own casualties were comparable.

Bibliography Books

:Blend, Georges, Verdun, trans. by Frances Frenaye (1964); Horne, Alistair, Death of a Generation: From Neuve Chapelle to Verdun and the Somme (1970) and The Price of Glory: Verdun, 1916 (1962; repr. 1979).

Links : BBC – History – Battle of Verdun: 21 February 1916 – July 1916 (, The Battle of Verdun – the greatest battle ever (, Battles: The Battle of Verdun, 1916 (, Verdun book excerpt (

Battle of Verdun Essay

Qualities of my grandfather Essay

Qualities of my grandfather Essay.


My grandfather, Osman Dedic, was born on November 26, 1929 in a small village in Bosnia called Gorne Dubrave. During this time, Bonsia was an undeveloped nation affiliated with Yugoslavia. The village my grandfather lived in was an immense distance away from several major cities and airports. The town did not have a sewage system, and the cement streets were unfinished. Most houses in the village did not have electricity and phone lines. The village also lacked streetlights and a water supply system.

Moreover, the villagers were forced to obtain water from a nearby river and pump out the water from an aquifer using a well. The town contained few stores, transportation facilities, and educational institutions. Most stores would sell need-based goods such as clothes, food, and labor equipment. In the village, government control and influence affected many town people.

The government controls the production of crops and the amount of farmland given to the villagers. Unfortunately, the villagers would sell most of their crops for a low price to the government.

Villagers did not even have passports and wouldn’t receive the documents because the government wouldn’t allow people to emigrate. Without a passport, one could not get a visa for another country and without visa; one could not find a job. This governmental system forced many people to settle in the same village their entire life. Nevertheless, my grandfather had different opinions.

“I always had my own thoughts and rules on how life should be. For this reason, I encountered many difficulties in my life.” As a young child, my grandfather loved to pursue law and justice. He did not follow the role of an influential leader, but rather treated everyone with respect and equality. When my grandfather was eight years old, he would play with his friends in the playground. One day, however, a child from the neighboring area decided to come over to the playground and take advantage of the other children. My grandfather immediately seized action and resolved the problem by telling the foreign child to play fair and respect everyone. Several years later, my grandfathers choose to serve and protect.

In his eighteenth year, my grandfather decided to join the military army. As a military soldier, he had the duty of war . One day at military camp, he was ordered to dig holes by seniority soldiers. He refused the job and wouldn’t allow his pride fade away his few of the seniority soldiers told him to before him wanted to take over the youngest once, as they called them, by making them obey. They had very high expectations, that where not possible to accomplish. They asked my father to dig out a hole that would be two by two meters and two more meters deep. He had to be done by the end of the night. He started digging till he became very tired and could not even move. They warned him once to start digging again but he refused. One of them came closer and punched him right in face. My father got very angry. He raised the digger and broke it on his shoulder. He kept on hitting him until all the rest of the group gathered up and put my father in circle.

They started hitting him all together. My father, full of blood running from almost every part of his body, barely broke the chain of their bodies and run into the forest where they lost his site. In the general of the army, while calling the names of the soldiers, noticed that Ruben Aslanian was missing. At that time my father was at a corner spying on them. The general asked where he is. Someone from the two-year-served group stretched the truth and when explaining what had happened. The general said that everyone of the two-year-served group would go to prison if they will not find Ruben Aslanian by the end of this day. When my father decided to appear they were all in panic. The general asked where he was. My father, realizing that the future of all those soldiers was in his hands, said that he fall through a crag and lost his consciousness. After that situation he never had a problem in the army again, for the rest of his serving period.

When my father came out of the army, he went to the military school. He was working as a police man while studying to become an interrogator. He was always very just, no matter what the status of the prisoner was. Once he found the nephew of a Georgian minister, with two Moldavians, guilty about a drug deal. He wrote a conviction for all three of them, while they warned him to leave the nephew of the minister out of the deal. After that they let the nephew leave illegally and were searching for a way to put my father in the prison. My father understood that they had launch a was against him and it was time for him to resign.

One year latter, the real war began. During 1995, after the disintegrate of the Soviet Union, Abkhazians asked for their independence for the Georgians. Georgians did not like agree and they tried conquer Abkhazians. All the prisoners were freed and walking on streets armed. They purpose of that was to have a bigger army but criminals never change. Their goal was to revenge the people that put them in the prison and ruined their lives. Unfortunately, one of those people was my own father.

Like a picture in my mind, I still remember the criminal with a mask holding a gun against my father’s head. I remember my father begging them to not do anything in front of his children and my mother trying to pull us away so we would not be witnesses of the murder of out own father. Fortunately, they did not kill my father. I do not now the reason. I still think that it was the God’s will, because otherwise I just can not explain it. The next day, I found myself in a plain flying out of my motherland to be safe.

“I always remember my house, my garden, my neighbors, and every single city of Abkhazia, where I spent a long time of my life. I want to admit that I live much wealthier life now in America, than back in Abkhazia. The point of our life is not about been rich; the point if this life is, in my opinion, is to wake up in the morning and be able to see beloved relatives and friends. This is not only my misfortune; this is the disaster of every human been that, in his or her middle ages, looses his or her surroundings of a life time.”

Qualities of my grandfather Essay

General Charles Cornwallis Essay

General Charles Cornwallis Essay.

British General Charles Cornwallis had a leading role in the American Revolution. Without his help, the British army would have been defeated a lot earlier than they did. However, although his skills were great and his heart was in the right place for his country, Cornwallis did not have the required intellect to conquer America and claim victory in the name of the king. He fought hard in his battles, but at the expense of much bloodshed of his own soldiers.

Many battles were won because of the sacrifices he made, which also ultimately lead to his demise. Thus, Cornwallis was a great British commander and prevailed in many battles, but due to his recklessness, he was overthrown by the American Patriots.

To begin, Charles Cornwallis was by many known as a great leader. He began fighting in the Revolution after the British victory in Charleston, South Carolina in the spring of 1780 . His hopes lead him to the southern colonies as a general.

This meant that his men had to be led in several different battles. He fought in the battles of Princeton (1777), Brandywine (1777), Camden (1781), Guilford Courthouse (1781), and Yorktown (1781) . He was successful in three out of his five battles; Brandywine in Birmingham Pennsylvania, Camden in New Jersey, and Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina. Cornwallis proved himself to be an asset to the British, since he could triumphantly overtake these places in the colonies. Cornwallis showed the Americans that he could handle controlling an entire army and leading them to victories in the colonies. Therefore, Charles Cornwallis was recognised as a worthy general, hoping to lead Britain to a successful victory over the rebel Americans.

The general tried to prove himself well in the battles which he commanded and fought. However, in many cases he did many actions that can be described as reckless, a big gamble, wild, and stupid. It is said that people who did take real risks, like Cornwallis, suffered total defeat . For example, in January of 1777, the general went after General Washington to avenge his defeat at Trenton. Little did Cornwallis know that Washington snuck from behind with his 5200 men into Princeton. Thus, Washington caused 400 British casualties and only suffered 40 deaths for the Americans . This shows that one should always watch their back and look in every direction. Although Cornwallis triumphed in the battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781, he caused many deaths in his army which lead his defeat in the end of the war. He encountered General Nathaniel Greene who was very clever. Cornwallis won at the expense of 30% of his army, whereas the intelligent Greene only lost a few . Cornwallis was not thinking straight in this battle and only had his eye on the goal, not on his men.

Furthermore, this is also shown on the 7th of April, 1781; where he finally counts his men, only to discover that half of his troops were missing! He did not care for his troops well, which adversely effected his ability to become a great General. On September 30, 1781 in Yorktown, Cornwallis gave up his outer lines, which meant that the American and French allies could overtake his inner defence. The Americans and French had Cornwallis trapped and he failed in a counterattack on October 16th. On October 19, Cornwallis could not put himself to surrender, so he made Charles OHara, second in command; deliver his sword to the victors. However, Cornwallis wrote multiple letters to Washington in terms of the surrender of Yorktown. It turned out to be Britains greatest military defeat in many generations. The lack of men the reckless general had in his command, and the way he treated them, turned to be one of the greatest downfall for the British. Hence, Cornwallis made very careless actions which caused him to be defeated in the end.

Consequently, General Charles Cornwallis was somewhat a good leader, but made many hasty decisions which caused Britain to be crushed in the American Revolution. He may have won several battles, but he was defeated in the war. His carelessness in care for his troops, and his lack of awareness for his surroundings all caused his ruin. Even so, without Cornwallis, defeat may have come quicker and harsher. In conclusion, General Cornwallis did aid Britain and contributed in the American Revolution, but was overthrown due to his lack in leadership skills, which inevitably caused the British to lose the war.


Morris, Richard. The Life History of the United States 1775-1789 . 2. NJ: Time-Life Books, 1974.

Murray, Stewart. American Revolution. New York: DK Publishing Inc, 2005.

“Sons of the American Revolution.” Calendar of Revolutionary Events 13 Sep 2006 .

Taylor, Quintard. “United States History.” War of Independence 13 Sep 2006 .

Wiegand, Steve. U.S. History for Dummies. New York: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2001.

General Charles Cornwallis Essay