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      To me it seems a bit strange that the word freedom is used in an effort to
taunt the French. After all,
              the American war for independence would most certainly not have
been won without a helping hand from France.
              French soldiers and sailors, not to mention French supplies and
money, were of crucial importance for the American
              cause.

              Remember Yorktown. After an unsuccessful Carolina campaign General
Cornwallis moved into Virginia. His
              lieutenant, the feared Banastre Tarleton, engaged American forces
under the marquis de LaFayette as the British
              retreated down the York peninsula. Cornwallis fortified Yorktown.
A French fleet under Admiral de Grasse arrived
              from the West Indies, blockaded Chesapeake Bay, and defeated the
British naval forces. The reinforcement of
              LaFayette by 3,000 French troops under St. Simon dissuaded
Cornwallis from attempting a breakout.

              General Washington and General Rochambeau headed south. On
September 14 they reached Williamsburg and
              joined LaFayette. They learned of De Grasse's success, and that
the British naval force had withdrawn, leaving
              Cornwallis without immediate support. An overwhelming
French-American force had gathered and Cornwallis tried to
              escape, but failed. On October 17, 1781, he asked for surrender
terms, which he accepted two days later. The war
              did not end there, but the allies had won a decisive victory in
the struggle for American independence,

              The contribution of the Expédition Particulière  the French
expeditionary force sent to support the American
              Revolution  was essential for the American-French victory at
Yorktown. The Expédition Particulière included
              approximately 5,500 regular soldiers.

              Some 600 Frenchmen lost their lives in the campaign of 1781,
including the Yorktown siege and the naval battle
              known as the Second Battle of the Virginia Capes. Their names are
listed on a bronze plaque at the base of the
              Yorktown Monument.

              Those 600 Frenchmen died in the fight for America's freedom. They
are now, it seems, forgotten.
      I believe in most of my travels around the world, what caused me the most
grief with local
      populations was not our lack of understanding of their cultures as much as
a forgetfulness of
      our own history...


Keith
N6ORS





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