Skip to main content
Select Source:

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

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Germain, Lord George." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Germain, Lord George." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/germain-lord-george

"Germain, Lord George." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/germain-lord-george

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

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).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Germain, George Sackville, 1st Viscount Sackville." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Germain, George Sackville, 1st Viscount Sackville." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). 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 February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/germain-george-sackville-1st-viscount-sackville

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.