SAR France

Sons of the American Revolution - Branche française

I would like to be invited into "SAR France".

France's contributions to the independence of the United States

American Independence was obtained thanks to combined action of two partners :

  • The insurgents of the thirteen English Colonies,
    coordinated by the American Continental Congress.
  • The dominant power in the continental Europe, namely France . see Yorktown 2004

Respective belligerent forces in the " War for America"

Tax payers / populations.

  • 13 American colonies : 2 millions, including the loyalists
  • United Kingdom : 8 millions
  • Spain : 11 millions
  • France : 26 millions.

Historians have estimated the overall cost of the War to the Royal French budget at 1 500 millions livres - about € five billions - (Florin Aftalion -L'économie de la Révolution Française - Hachette 1987).

French casualties : 5,100 killed ; 9,000 wounded ; overall loss of lives over 15,000.

Continental Army (according to général Knox, secretary of War, report to Congress, 1789).
(militia not included)

1775
27 443
1776
46 891
1777
34 820
1778
32 899
1779
27 699
1780
21 015
1781
13 292
1782
14 256
1783
13 476

British ground troups (Piers Macksey -The War for America - Harvard 1964)

Year :Apr 1775Aug 1777Oct 1778Mar 1780Mar 1782
South UK
10.612
13.868
53.465
61.402
64.274
North UK + Scotland
1.745
2.116
3.282
5.651
5.872
Jersey/Guernesey
343
431
2.585
2.674
4.556
Gibraltar / Minorca
5.232
5.351
7.081
8.008
7.371
India  
1.099
1.009
1.062
West Indies
1.983
3.315
1.751
9.290
8.756
Canada
incl in USA
7.767
6 647
7.471
10.225
"USA"
6.991
23.694*
39.637
32.149
34.463
embarked   
6.194
5.872
TOTAL
27.063
57.637*
112.239
142.386
150.310

* these figures for 1777 do not include German " Hessians ". The number of Germans sent to America and Canada in the course of the war was 29,166. (Piers Mackesy - The War for America - Univ. of Nebraska ; page 62)

French Royal Armies in 1778 (États Militaires ; Ordonnances en vigueur)

  • Infantry = 109 regiments ; half of them have been involved in this world war : at least 40 in North America and the West Indies (two Irish, one German speaking).

  • Cavalry = 52 regiments ; 4 have sent drafts in North America or the West Indies.

    This means altogether 220 000 professional soldiers, 35 000 officers on a war footing
    among them. 1 000 officers and more than 15 000 soldiers (Land service) have been directly engaged in North America (2 113 lost their lives); twice as many around the World.

  • Marine Royale (1979) (Jacques Michel - La vie de Charles-Henri, comte d'Estaing, éd. J. Michel 1976) : 72 500 sailors, 2 500 officers
    The annual French Royal Navy budget amounted to 140 million livres (€ 470 millions).

Line vessels (J. Dull - French Navy and American Independence)

Year
French
Spanish
Dutch
Americ.
Total allied
British
1778
52
-
-
0
52
66
1779
63
58
-
0
121
90
1780
69*
48
-
0
117
91
1781
70*
54
13
0
137
94
1782
73*
54
19
0
146
94

* More likely, respectively 70, 75, 78 (70 at year end).

European alliances

Thanks to Louis XVI' foreign diplomacy, Britain did not succeed, for once, entering into any alliance.

In order to balance the British Navy effectives, France dragged Spain into the conflict.
To obtain this result, French Royal Government had to

  • remind Spain and request the implications of the so called "Family Compact" between the two kingdoms, negotiated and concluded on August 1761 by Choiseul, French Foreign Affairs Minister ;
  • accept preparing a military landing in the UK.
    Spain policy was to minimise the American English colonists' forces that could refrain her efforts to keep Louisiana , recover Florida and enlarge further on in North America ;
  • undertake not to stop fighting until Spain recovered Minorca and Gibraltar.

The other main European nations (Russia, Austria, Prussia, Sweden, Portugal) entered into a League of Armed Neutrality not to be involved. They refused the American Congress demand to be admitted into this pacific alliance.

Germany did not exist as a state yet. The principalties of the "Empire" were loosely coordinated by the Habsburg of Austria. Almost every German speaking actor on the Independence side were members or issued from the French Royal Armies (Deux-Ponts, Kalb, etc. ...) or dispatched under French governmental influence (Steuben).