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Germain, Lord George

Germain, Lord George (1716–85), formerly Sackville. After a promising early career, both as politician and army officer, Sackville was court-martialled for disobeying orders at Minden in 1759. Stripped of his rank and forbidden the court, he did not rehabilitate himself until the 1760s, eventually becoming American secretary in 1775. It was expected that Germain (as he was now called) would invigorate the war effort against the American colonies, but difficulties of slow communication militated against effective direction from Britain. Germain, moreover, never achieved complete control, since fellow cabinet members jealously guarded their own authority. A flawed strategist, he must share responsibility for the defeat at Saratoga (1777), having authorized two separate offensives, mistakenly hoping that each might succeed independently. He continued to hope, despite contrary evidence, that each fresh campaign would tap latent American loyalism, and was predisposed to favour the more ambitious Cornwallis over Commander-in-Chief Clinton. Germain's attitude exacerbated defects in the command structure during the prelude to Yorktown (1781). Despite this disastrous defeat, he opposed abandoning the war and resigned in 1782. He was created Viscount Sackville on his retirement.

David Wilkinson

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"Germain, Lord George." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Germain, George Sackville, 1st Viscount Sackville

George Sackville Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville (jûr´mən, –mān), 1716–85, British soldier and statesman. He was known as Lord George Sackville until 1770, when under the terms of a will he took the name Germain. His early military career, in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War, ended in court-martial and dismissal (1760) for insubordination at the battle of Minden (1759). A member of Parliament intermittently from 1741, he attached himself to Lord North and was his secretary for the colonies (1775–82). With the 4th earl of Sandwich, Germain has received much of the blame for the British reverses in the American Revolution. He and John Burgoyne were the chief authors of a plan (see Saratoga campaign) to end the Revolution by splitting New England from the rest of the colonies. However, his vague orders to Sir William Howe to join Burgoyne may have cost Burgoyne the campaign of 1777, while the confusion in the plans of Lord Cornwallis and Sir Henry Clinton, arising partly from Germain's ignorance of American geography, contributed to the disaster of the Yorktown campaign. He was created viscount in 1782.

See biography by L. Marlow (1974).

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"Germain, George Sackville, 1st Viscount Sackville." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Germain, George Sackville, 1st Viscount Sackville." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/germain-george-sackville-1st-viscount-sackville

"Germain, George Sackville, 1st Viscount Sackville." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/germain-george-sackville-1st-viscount-sackville