The British Navy
When it came to the battles at sea, the American army were at a distinct disadvantage. After all, the British Navy was known for having a huge fleet of experienced vessels and men. The American Revolution looked like it could be lost when you pitted the Continental fleet against the mammoth British Navy. However, it wasn’t the Continental fleet that helped America win the war on the sea.
Enter The Privateers
In a tradition that spans as far back as the Middle Ages, international law gave countries at war the ability to use private sailors and fleets of ships to fight against enemies. They could seize and plunder at will, and the Continental Congress was keen to use this to their advantage during the American Revolution. Both Congress and individual states decided to commission around 2,000 Privateers to help take down the British Navy.
Taking Down The Brits
It seems as though the punt paid off in a big way for congress and the Privateers. Now having a much bigger fleet of ships in all shapes and sizes, the private boats could organize a host of hit-and-run attacks on the British. Not only that, but they decided to ambush merchant ships along the English channel. This pushed up the prices of imported goods, making the war even more difficult for the Brits.
Who knew that a mismatched crew of private ships could do so much to help win the war? It turned out the British couldn’t withstand the attacks on their economy or their ships anymore. You could see, it turned the tide…