A century-long loop by Florin Diacu PDF

By Florin Diacu

To the reminiscence of Aristide Halanay (1924-1997) of the college of Bucharest, founding editor of theJournal of Differential Equations.

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Most of Washington’s force now stood poised before New York. 54 Word of de Grasse’s destination caused Washington to change his objective. Cornwallis, now in Virginia, offered an alternative goal for the Allies. The possibility of eluding Clinton, concentrating his force, and cornering Cornwallis far to the south intrigued the often audacious Washington. 55 The enterprise necessarily entailed much uncertainty. For one thing, Washington feared that a British fleet from New York or the West Indies might seal off the Chesapeake before de Grasse arrived.

It is ironic that the decisive Battle of the Capes lasted only two hours and ended in a tactical draw. French guns roughly handled many British ships and seriously damaged a handful more, one of which Graves ordered scuttled, inflicting about 300 killed and wounded. British gunfire was not very effective, damaging four French ships and killing and wounding 200 men. Although the two opposing fleets remained within sight of one another for the next couple of days, no further battle took place. Graves, however, did not fulfill his objective of preventing de Grasse from cementing shut the mouth of the Chesapeake.

1 Siege warfare differed from conventional modes of battle, subjecting both the besieged and besieging forces to fixed standards of endurance, determination, and procedure. Successfully prosecuting or surviving a siege required commanders on both sides to exercise considerable resourcefulness. Leaders of the besieging army had to possess administrative acumen, unrelenting patience, and familiarity with all of the methodological tenets siege warfare embraced. On the opposing side, the assailed leader resisted the besiegers’ efforts to dislodge his command and strove to instill and maintain confidence among his men under often trying conditions.

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A century-long loop by Florin Diacu

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