Monday, September 28, 2015

Have Americans Invaded Scotland?

USA vs. Scotland, September 27
Rugby World Cup 2015, Leeds, UK

Have American forces ever invaded Scotland?  Well, not exactly.  An American OSS raid on Nazi-occupied Norway originated from air bases in Scotland but that's not quite the same thing. And Americans have, of course, been militarily involved with Scotland serving alongside Brits at bases in Scotland.

One Scot (or Scottish American), however, did play a vital role in American military history though.  John Paul Jones was born in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland.

Some Americans invaded Leeds
September 27, 2015
Jones, the son of a Scottish gardner, led the raid on Whitehaven during the American Revolution.  In the United Kingdom chapter of America Invades we wrote...

"In April of 1778, Captain John Paul Jones, the founding father of the American navy, and the crew of the Ranger, an 18-gun sloop, arrived in Britain and, unlike many Americans today, they weren’t there to visit Westminster Abbey or have a taste of fish and chips.

Captain John Paul Jones
Spiking the guns, Whitehaven, UK
Jones selected the English fishing village of Whitehaven on the Irish Sea as his target; Whitehaven was Britain’s third busiest seaport at that time. He would attempt to destroy its shipping and to kidnap the Earl of Selkirk. The harbor of Whitehaven was protected by two small forts. In the early hours of April 23, 1778, he and about forty volunteers from his crew scaled the fortress wall. They kicked in the door of the guardhouse. The sleeping guards surrendered without a shot. Jones’s men proceeded to spike about thirty-six guns of the battery with nails driven into the cannon’s touchholes. About half of his crew then broke into a local tavern and proceeded to get drunk. This caused a commotion and roused the local townspeople. Jones beat a hasty retreat and set fire to a merchant ship, a collier (that’s a coal ship and nothing to do with Lassie) named Thompson.

Jones climbed these stairs on April 23, 1778
Whitehaven, UK

Soon after, the Ranger sailed about twenty miles to enter the bay off St. Mary’s Isle. Jones took about a dozen men armed with cutlasses and muskets to a Georgian manor house owned by the Fourth Earl of Selkirk. Jones soon discovered that the earl was not in residence and could not be kidnapped. Instead, he demanded the silver plate be delivered up. The loot was hauled back to the Ranger. Shortly after, the 18-gun Ranger fought and captured the 20-gun Drake of the Royal Navy in an action that Jones described as “warm, close and obstinate.”

Jones’s raid on Whitehaven had succeeded in bringing the American Revolution “home to their own doors,” as he put it. The English press was incensed. The London Public Advertiser asked, “When such ravages are committed all along the coast, by one small privateer, what credit must it reflect on the First Lord of the Admiralty?” No one was killed or even injured in the Whitehaven raid, but insurance rates doubled. The Whitehaven raid lasted about two and a half hours and was an even shorter invasion than the assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. Jones had second thoughts about the silver he stole from the Earl of Selkirk and later returned most of the loot.

John Paul Jones Pub
Whitehaven, UK
Herman Melville described John Paul Jones as “a mixture of gentleman and wolf.” At a critical moment in his later sea battle with the Serapis, when called upon to surrender, Jones uttered the immortal words, “I have not yet begun to fight.” Jones is buried with full honors at the US Naval Academy chapel in Annapolis."

USA vs. Scotland
Leeds, UK
All honors went to Scotland who defeated USA by a score of 36 to 16 in the Ruby World cup match played on September 27, 2015 in Leeds.  The USA led at the half by 13 to 3 but the Scots dominated the second half.  USA Rugby now knows what it feel like to be crucified on the cross of St. Andrew!
USA vs. Scotland
Leeds, UK
Commentators reminded the viewing audience that the USA actually has a surprisingly proud rugby tradition.
Go Team USA!
Rugby has not been played at the Olympics for a while, but Rugby Sevens will be played in 2016 at the games in Rio.  And the Rugby gold medal defending champions are...the USA!  In 1924 an American team defeated the Romanians and French to win rugby gold at the Paris Olympics.  They also won gold in 1920 after beating France -- their only rival in the Antwerp games.

You can purchase your copy of America Invades
or on Amazon

And now my UK friends can Pre-order their copy of 
All the Countries the Americans Have Ever Invaded here...

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