Overestimated battles

As a result of the Napoleonic wars Britain emerged as a dominant economic (and as a result political) power in Europe.

Could I have a few examples of this "domination"?

We brokered a good settlement over Belgium, and later got most of what we wanted over the Eastern Question, but what else? Most Brits probably approved of German and Italian unification, but we played little part in bringing either about. And Palmerston certainly didn't get what he wanted on Schleswig-Holstein.

If we dominated 19C Europe, neither Metternich, Napoleon III nor Bismarck seem to have really noticed.
We'd have got tired of it anyway.



Getting back to the OP, has anyone mentioned Yorktown? It was only "decisive" inasmuch as it awakened Parliament to the fact that our war effort was getting nowhere fast. Even had Cornwallis escaped. within a year or two the Honourable Members would have come to the same conclusion.
 
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Getting back to the OP, has anyone mentioned Yorktown? It was only "decisive" inasmuch as it awakened Parliament to the fact that our war effort was getting nowhere fast. Even had Cornwallis escaped. within a year or two the Honourable Members would have come to the same conclusion.

But by this point they brought Georgia and the Ohio Valley back into the fold. The Patriots might be forced to accept independence but let the British keep those areas. And maybe they might actually be forced to make good on promises to compensate Loyalist property expropriations (they made the promises in OTL but the British had no way of enforcing it)
 
But by this point they brought Georgia and the Ohio Valley back into the fold. The Patriots might be forced to accept independence but let the British keep those areas. And maybe they might actually be forced to make good on promises to compensate Loyalist property expropriations (they made the promises in OTL but the British had no way of enforcing it)

But Augusta GA and Ninety-Six SC had both been re-taken in June - well before Yorktown, so the Southern conquests were already mostly lost.
As for the Ohio Valley, we still held most of it when the peace treaty was signed. Our negotiators don't seem to have made any serious attempt to keep it.
 
The 378 battle of Adrianople is a good overestimated battle candidate. To the extent its famous, it is because historians know that the Western Roman Empire fell and they need to associate a Roman defeat with that. And the closest Roman defeat in chronology is Adrianople in 378. Never mind that it was almost a century before the conventional date for the end of the Western Roman Empire, and it was the Eastern Roman army that lost the battle.

I respectful disagree, Adrianople was a decisive Roman defeat. Although Theodosius the Great restored the frontiers of the Empire, the Imperial Army never recovered. The Defeat at Adrianople greatly accelerated the degeneration of the Roman Army into a Barbarian Mercenary force. The Romans were never again able to defend the frontiers of the Empire in the West. The Ostrogoths captured the City of Rome in 410, and the Franks, and other tribes overran Gaul from 406 on. The Visigoths overran most of Hispania by 500, and the Vandals most of Roman North Africa by 429.

The division of the Empire into a Western, and Eastern half was never a political reality, only a historical misunderstanding. Having a Western & Eastern Emperor was never more then a division of military responsibilities. The Western Emperor was to defend the West, and the Eastern the East. There was no Western Roman Empire, to fall in 476AD. The Barbarian King Odoacer deposed the Emperor Romulus Augustus, and sent the Imperial regalia back to Constantinople, submitting himself to rule in the West as the Client of the Emperor Zeno. Until the Year 797 the kings of Europe all recognized the Emperors in Constantinople as sole rulers of a unitary Roman Empire.
 
I respectful disagree, Adrianople was a decisive Roman defeat. Although Theodosius the Great restored the frontiers of the Empire, the Imperial Army never recovered. The Defeat at Adrianople greatly accelerated the degeneration of the Roman Army into a Barbarian Mercenary force. The Romans were never again able to defend the frontiers of the Empire in the West. The Ostrogoths captured the City of Rome in 410, and the Franks, and other tribes overran Gaul from 406 on. The Visigoths overran most of Hispania by 500, and the Vandals most of Roman North Africa by 429.

The division of the Empire into a Western, and Eastern half was never a political reality, only a historical misunderstanding. Having a Western & Eastern Emperor was never more then a division of military responsibilities. The Western Emperor was to defend the West, and the Eastern the East. There was no Western Roman Empire, to fall in 476AD. The Barbarian King Odoacer deposed the Emperor Romulus Augustus, and sent the Imperial regalia back to Constantinople, submitting himself to rule in the West as the Client of the Emperor Zeno. Until the Year 797 the kings of Europe all recognized the Emperors in Constantinople as sole rulers of a unitary Roman Empire.
The Roman army that got destroyed was the Eastern army.After Adrianople,the western army actually came and strong armed the Goths into a peace treaty. The western army was destroyed later by Eastern Roman army in battles such as Frigidus.
 
A perfect illustration of the British point of view. It is already well-known and not a subject of disputation. The issue was continental Europe and what it was gaining from the British domination comparing to Napoleonic.

While Nappy was, of course, a bloodthirsty egomaniac, at least some of the coalition wars would not happen without British incitement and subsidies (British direct participation on land was quite limited until Pyrenean campaigns). Now, while Nappy was bad for some of the old regimes (Alexander hated him on a purely personal basis, Hapsburgs had been itching for the revenge and I’m not quite sure what the Prussians were so excited about), some of them gained substantially from redrawing borders in Germany.

The wars were definitely bad for everybody but in a long run minimization of the British competition could be beneficial for the local economies. For example, in Russia within few years between Tilsit and 1812 manufacturing saw a significant growth. Of course the nobility was suffering from inability to export raw materials to Britain but the bread prices went down.

Nappy’s tendency to redraw the maps and put his relatives in charge had been deservedly criticized but objectively elimination of the tiny German states eventually simplified unification and who said that the Hapsburgs had a God-given right to posses territories in Italy (Nappy at least created something of a national state there). The same goes for the Poles: is it a big surprise that they supported Napoleon?

What Britain contributed besides insisting on putting the old scumbags back on their thrones?

Respectfully the economic history of Europe doesn't support your thesis that the British retarded the Continents growth. On the other hand the Continental System did, demonstrated by the economic dislocations it caused, and how desperately every country forced to live under it, even France it's self violated it's terms. You don't defy an economic system that benefits you. Europe was strangling under it. Your arguing that Russia had thee economies, a noble economy that exported commodities, a manufacturing economy that produced goods, (Who owned that?) and a peasant economy that consumed food. On balance Russia was hurt by the CS, which was why Russia rebelled against it, like every other Continental country did.

Your strategic analysis of Britain's contribution to victory over Napoleon is deeply flawed. It's based on the same myopic view of the Russian understanding of WWII, only land battles, and those who contributed the most men made a real difference. Without British subsides the Continental Powers couldn't have financed their campaigns. Without the British Army's intervention in Spain & Portugal those countries would have likely been defeated, and those large French Armies would have been available for service elsewhere. Without British Naval Power France's Economy wouldn't have been strangled. Finally Napoleon wouldn't have commited such huge resources to his own Navy, and ground forces to defend against Naval raids, or invasions. You need to take a more balanced view of both economic, and military factors.
 
I respectful disagree, Adrianople was a decisive Roman defeat. Although Theodosius the Great restored the frontiers of the Empire, the Imperial Army never recovered. The Defeat at Adrianople greatly accelerated the degeneration of the Roman Army into a Barbarian Mercenary force. The Romans were never again able to defend the frontiers of the Empire in the West. The Ostrogoths captured the City of Rome in 410, and the Franks, and other tribes overran Gaul from 406 on. The Visigoths overran most of Hispania by 500, and the Vandals most of Roman North Africa by 429.

The Romans suffered far more casualties in the battles of Siscia and Frigidus, respectively in 388 and 394, those were the real battles that crippled the empire. Adrianople was relevant, but not as relevant as it’s usually believed.

The division of the Empire into a Western, and Eastern half was never a political reality, only a historical misunderstanding. Having a Western & Eastern Emperor was never more then a division of military responsibilities. The Western Emperor was to defend the West, and the Eastern the East. There was no Western Roman Empire, to fall in 476AD. The Barbarian King Odoacer deposed the Emperor Romulus Augustus, and sent the Imperial regalia back to Constantinople, submitting himself to rule in the West as the Client of the Emperor Zeno. Until the Year 797 the kings of Europe all recognized the Emperors in Constantinople as sole rulers of a unitary Roman Empire.

It was no historical misunderstanding, by 395 it was a political reality. Laws issued in the East wouldn’t necessarily carry in the West, and viceversa, a Western emperor couldn’t employ resources from the East unless granted by its emperor, nor could he gather revenues from the Eastern provinces or levy soldiers from Eastern territory, that’s why Stilicho was so desperated to gain Illyricum in the first place, and viceversa. It was as real a division as it got, the fact that relations between the two halves were supportive most of the time shouldn’t deceive us.
 
The Roman army that got destroyed was the Eastern army.After Adrianople,the western army actually came and strong armed the Goths into a peace treaty. The western army was destroyed later by Eastern Roman army in battles such as Frigidus.

Your point is well taken, however both of the armies at Frigidus were made up of mostly Barbarian Troops. Visigoths, commanded by Alaric, and possible Iberian troops under Theodosius Eastern Army defeated other Goths, Franks, and Alemanni, from the West under Eugnius. So 16 years later that same Alaric, leading a Visigoth army sacked Rome. Barbarian Armies, under Barbarian Generals couldn't be counted on to defend the Empire, only to lot it.
 
Your point is well taken, however both of the armies at Frigidus were made up of mostly Barbarian Troops. Visigoths, commanded by Alaric, and possible Iberian troops under Theodosius Eastern Army defeated other Goths, Franks, and Alemanni, from the West under Eugnius. So 16 years later that same Alaric, leading a Visigoth army sacked Rome. Barbarian Armies, under Barbarian Generals couldn't be counted on to defend the Empire, only to lot it.

Alaric didn’t want to sack Rome, he spent two years going back and forth to strike a deal with Honorius, and calling it “sack” isn’t really appropriate either, it was a rather gentle affair, poor diplomacy led to that more than anything.
 
Alaric didn’t want to sack Rome, he spent two years going back and forth to strike a deal with Honorius, and calling it “sack” isn’t really appropriate either, it was a rather gentle affair, poor diplomacy led to that more than anything.
Regardless of semantics the Western empire wasn't exactly in a good position to not be able to even accomodate the demands of Alarics(which were increasingly milder as negotations went on) or defend their own central city.
 
Regardless of semantics the Western empire wasn't exactly in a good position to not be able to even accomodate the demands of Alarics(which were increasingly milder as negotations went on) or defend their own central city.

True, just pointing out that Barbarian generals weren’t merely interested in looting the empire. Many of them would have rather agreed to work for the emperor.

Although, in all fairness, by then the central city of the West was Ravenna, Rome had a more symbolic importance than anything.
 
The Romans suffered far more casualties in the battles of Siscia and Frigidus, respectively in 388 and 394, those were the real battles that crippled the empire. Adrianople was relevant, but not as relevant as it’s usually believed.



It was no historical misunderstanding, by 395 it was a political reality. Laws issued in the East wouldn’t necessarily carry in the West, and viceversa, a Western emperor couldn’t employ resources from the East unless granted by its emperor, nor could he gather revenues from the Eastern provinces or levy soldiers from Eastern territory, that’s why Stilicho was so desperated to gain Illyricum in the first place, and viceversa. It was as real a division as it got, the fact that relations between the two halves were supportive most of the time shouldn’t deceive us.

The division of 395 is Dynastic, only in a limited sense, with the Sons of Theodosius sent to administer East & West, it was never a national division. Ravenna was never a national capital, only a military HQ, Constantinople was an Imperial Capital. Your correct that neither Emperor could command the others military resources, but that merely illustrates the mistake of dividing authority in an Empire between heirs, one never wants to recognized the superiority of the other. Eventually it leads to civil war, that's nepotism for you.

The Emperor in Constantinople commanded vastly greater military, and economic resources then his brother in Ravenna, this was a major factor in the survival of the Eastern half of the Empire, it was more worth defending. Before Adrianople such divisions between East, and West were clearly understood to mean military, and administrative commands, with the Emperor in Constantinople being supreme ruler. Interestingly it was Adrianople that led to the rise of Theodosius, who created this muddle.
 
True, just pointing out that Barbarian generals weren’t merely interested in looting the empire. Many of them would have rather agreed to work for the emperor.

Although, in all fairness, by then the central city of the West was Ravenna, Rome had a more symbolic importance than anything.

Your correct, but work for the Emperor, if they were acting in his name has autonomous rulers. Rome was still the biggest city of the Empire, with 1,250,000 people in 410. Ravenna was the military HQ of the West because of it's defensibility.
 
Teutoburg, Before you all scream at me: Hear me out.

Although there were many campaigns led over the Rhine, and a shaky frontier had been established against Germania, Teutoburg's only real purpose in history was giving the Roman Empire the answer on expansion into Germania: it was near impossible. Time and time again I have read article after article and seen documentary after documentary which depicts the Battle of the Teutoburg forest as this grand turning point in Roman Expansion (some more fanatical sources claim it to be the downfall of Rome itself), but although the battle resulted in horrendous casualties for the Romans, it really didn't change much in the grand scheme of things. Yes, the Roman Populace was humiliated, but keep in mind Germanicus would go charging over the Rhine on his rampage through Germany exterminating multiple tribes who dared to collaborate with the traitor Arminius.

Besides Germanicus' retaliation, I restate my earlier point: the Roman frontier was never really stable. The only real idea of a stable border was just to puppy guard the Rhine and pray the Germans didn't sneak over the Alps of through the Balkans and into Pannonia. My main point is that Teutoburg stated the obvious: Germania simply could not be subdued due to a lack of a centralized springboard into the area, no actual campaigns to conquer and secure territory, and a half-assed "frontier" that was just meant to keep Gaul from being flooded with Germanic raiders. Teutoburg was no climatic turning point in history, it was just the final blow to a disorganized attempt to conquer no-man's land.
 
Battle of talas river

Most of it's ripple effect was actually caused by the an lushan rebellion

It had great effects upon the immediate area. It was certainly a monumental and decisive victory for the Abbasids, as almost immediately, the Neo-Sogdian states submitted to Islam and agreed to become vassals under the Abbasid. Likewise, the victory, solidified for the foreseen future, an Arabo-Persian dominated Central Asia, at least west of Tocharia. So, it may have not been massive for the Tang, but for the Abbasid powerbase, it was a great boon.
 
The Roman army that got destroyed was the Eastern army.After Adrianople,the western army actually came and strong armed the Goths into a peace treaty. The western army was destroyed later by Eastern Roman army in battles such as Frigidus.
Not to mention the Western Army destroying itself as in 432.
 
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