- Germantown, Battle of
(Oct. 4, 1777) Abortive attack in the American Revolution by 11,000 American troops on 9,000 British regulars stationed at Germantown (now part of Philadelphia).George Washington's daring dawn raid, a four-pronged attack, failed partly because of dense fog that confused the American troops into firing on one of their own columns. Despite its failure, this and the colonial victory at the Battle of Saratoga impressed the French with Washington's strategic ability and influenced them to offer military aid.
* * *▪ United States history(October 4, 1777), in the American Revolution, abortive attack by 11,000 American troops upon 9,000 British regulars stationed at Germantown (now part of Philadelphia) under General Sir William Howe (Howe, William Howe, 5th Viscount). Not discouraged by his recent defeat at the Battle of the Brandywine (Brandywine, Battle of the), Continental general George Washington (Washington, George) conceived a daring and imaginative plan to attack the city simultaneously from four different directions. The surprise raid at dawn failed partly because it was too complicated and partly because of a dense fog that confused the Americans into firing on one of their own columns. British losses were set at 535, American at about twice that number. Combined with the American victory at Saratoga (Saratoga, Battles of) (September–October 1777), the Germantown engagement, by impressing the French with Washington's strategic ability, was credited with influencing the French to come to America's aid in the war.
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