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Former army officer Fitz-Enz (Why a Soldier?) examines the battle at Plattsburgh, which occurred when the British were attempting to reconquer the young United States by moving south from Canada through Lake Champlain in an attempt to cut off Maine from the rest of the country. The U.S. Army was small and led by incompetent officers, and the militia was generally useless Vermont troops would not leave Vermont and New York State troops would not leave the Empire State. The American campaigns of 1812, 1813, and 1814 had been utterly chaotic, as the British troops were well-trained veterans of the Napoleonic Wars. The U.S. Navy, however, was led by a brilliant officer, Thomas Macdonough, who inspired his men to build a superior squadron of small ships. After desperate fighting, they finally defeated the British fleet at Plattsburgh in August 1814. Fitz-Enz claims that this battle was the key to the War of 1812 and in fact far more important than Oliver Hazard Perry's victory at Lake Erie, though Perry is remembered and Macdonough's triumph is unjustly forgotten. A highly readable work that serves as a companion book to the PBS documentary and should be in every U.S. history collection. Stanley L. Itkin, Hillside P.L., New Hyde Park, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Here is a carefully researched military history book that will rock you back on your heels and make you edit some of your assertions about past invasions of the United States. (Tulsa World)
The Final Invasion is a splendid account of one of the pivotal battles in American history. The books is thoroughly researched and beautifully told. Author Colonel Fitz-Enz relates, in exciting prose, this effort on the part of the British to recapture their priceless North American colonies lost in the Revolutionary War. The story of the battle between the English and American fleets on Lake Champlain in 1814 is a breathtaking blow-by-blow account, bringing out the horror of ship-to-ship encounters in that day. (Vice Admiral James F. Calvert, USN (ret.))
Colonel David Fitz-Enz has produced what will long stand as the standard account of one of the least known but most decisive military campaigns in American history. Though overshadowed by the burning of Washington, DC, and Jackson's defeat of the British at New Orleans, it was the 1814 campaign in upstate New York that determined the outcome of the War of 1812. During exhaustive research Fitz-Enz uncovered in Portugal a copy of orders sent to Sir George Prevost which lead to judgements much kinder to Sir George Prevost than those of many previous historians. Drawing on his experience as a soldier and a thorough understanding of the setting, both on land and of the nature of Lake Champlain, Fitz-Enz has produced a clear narrative that brings to life the people and events of September 1814 like never before. (James C. Bradford)
David Fitz-Enz has written a wonderful book on one of the more important but less well-known battles of our country. It tells a compelling story of how a few soldiers and sailors of our new nation defeated the best professionals of the British Army, fresh from defeating Napoleon. (John W. Foss, General of the U. S. Army (retired))
A highly readable work that serves as a companion book to the PBS documentary and should be in every U. S. history collection. (Library Journal)
An admirably well-researched and complete account of the Plattsburgh campaign, which has waited for such treatment for far too long. (Paddy Griffith, Ph. D., author of Wellington--Commander, The Viking Art of War, and Battle Tactics of the Civil War)
Fitz-Enz's research has produced illuminating documents, including diaries and secret battle orders, revealing new insights into the battle. This is one of the best books on the War of 1812 currently available. (Military Heritage)
Smoothly Written, well-researched, and comprehensive in approach and scope, The Final Invasion has much to commend and little to question. (Samuel Watson Book Review Digest)
Fitz-Enz provides a stirring narrative of the two-hour slugfest that was the Battle of Plattsburgh Bay. (History Teacher)
Colonel Fitz-Enz has demonstrated an uncanny knack of combining the historical with the humorous. War isn't funny, of course, but small tactical events with editorial comments... Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2002 by Rocky
I bought the book because it won the Distinguished Writing Award. Different from any other history book I have read because it is written from the British prospective more than... Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2002
Great research in a military intelligence gathering style. Good military analysis of the event. Book length, but a short story due to large font. Read morePublished on June 5 2002