Talk:Battle of the Chesapeake

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Good article Battle of the Chesapeake has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
October 26, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
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Untitled[edit]

This page doesnt give enough information on the battle of the chesapeake bay!!!!!!!!!!

Erika B

The solution to this problem is to look up some facts and add them.  :-) Isomorphic 21:46, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

This article says there were no French or British casualties and that only a few British ships were damaged. I've seen one source that said there were 300 British casualties and 200 French. Page Smith gives an account of the battle in A New Age Now Begins and he indicates a number of sailors on both sides were dismembered and killed. [anon]

The solution to this problem, having looked up some facts, would have been to add them- which I've now done. There were, by American Revolutionary War standards, quite a lot of casualties at the (second) Battle of the Chesapeake. I've also made a lot of other changes to the article, but I consider this just a temporary patch- I'd rate this as Start Class, not B-Class, and it really needs a complete rewrite with proper referencing. So do lots of other articles about the American Revolutionary War, hence I'm afraid this is not high on my personal list of priorities. David Trochos (talk) 16:59, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


There is something more important missing here than just information, that is, the fact that there was a confusion of signals on the British side between "keeping line of battle" and "close action". The British naval force should have won this naval battle and imagine the consequences! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vdorta (talkcontribs) 22:05, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes I can. We would have a President of America and Scotland and Wales. England would be a self governing commonwealth vis a vis Porto Rico. More to come.

"Should have" doesn't count in history; why not say that the French had 25% more ships and therefore "should have" won? What happened happened; however the reasons why it happened are interesting- and to military planners very important. British naval signalling was just in the process of being improved at the time, and once the new system was fully adopted it made possible some extraordinary tactics. David Trochos (talk) 16:59, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

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This review is transcluded from Talk:Battle of the Chesapeake/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 23:59, 24 October 2010 (UTC) GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    One awkward tag to resolve.
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    The explanation of why Hood did not close isn't clear as is the explanation as to why Graves allowed the French center to close. One why tag to resolve.
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:

In re why the Diademe was ill-prepared: Larrabee quotes a primary source: "The Diademe was utterly unable to keep up the battle, having only four thirty-six-pounders and nine eighteen-pounders fit for use ..." There is no indication as to whether this is due to crew shortages or some other reason. Other sources tend to cover the damage she sustained, and not her lack of preparedness. I can either leave it the way it is, quote the source directly, or remove the clause. Preference? Magic♪piano 12:58, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I think quoting the source is best. Perhaps some specialist in French ships of the line will come along and fill in the reason some time in the future.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 17:35, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I've made edits to address all the above issues; let me know if they haven't sufficiently improved clarity... Magic♪piano 14:44, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Indecisive?[edit]

Why this battle is described as tactically indecisive? The british wished to relieve Yorktown and were unable to do so by the french fleet, it was clearly a french victory. Gywon (talk) 16:38, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm not shocked by "tactically indecisive": the casualties were relatively light and balanced, so "tactically indecisive seems fair; and the French did achieve their objective and deal a severe blow to British aspirations to keep their colonies, a strategix victory.
At the Chesapeake, the loss of HMS Terrible must have been depressing to the British staff, but did not threaten the existence of their squadron like the Battle of Trafalagar crushed the Franco-Spanish fleet, or like the Battle of Grand Port obliterated Pym's squadron. Or a the Glorious First of June, the French squadron was significantly and irrevocably debilitated (tatical defeat), while at the same time achieving its objective and saving France from starvation (resounding strategic victory). Rama (talk) 17:18, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
What Rama said. The relief of Yorktown was the British fleet's strategic (not tactical) objective. Magic♪piano 18:11, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Really? When people talk about strategic objectives they usually talk about whole countries or campaigns, not the relief of a single garrison on a theater. In dispute were the surrounding waters, not the entire ocean or the naval supremacy. And if the relief of Yorktown was the British fleet's strategic objective, what was their tactical objective? Gywon (talk) 19:50, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Ah, Gywon, I agree with you on the idea that "strategic" is too often used in "too small" a sense. But I do not think that it necessarly follows that we should widen our acceptation of the tactical level.
By scaling up the notion of "strategic level", you might be heading towards the Russian school of military thinking, which distinguishes three levels: tactical, theatre-wide, and strategic. From this perspective, the Battle of the Chesapeake is a tactical draw (slight advantage to the French), but a French victory at the theatre and strategic levels. Wikipedia tends to assimilate the theatre level to the strategic, which I agree somewhat limits and cheapens the term "strategic". But this is another story. Rama (talk) 20:16, 6 May 2013 (UTC)