Howe, William Howe, 5th Viscount biographical name
(born Aug. 10, 1729died July 12, 1814, Plymouth, Devonshire, Eng.) British military commander. The brother of Adm. Richard Howe, he fought in the last French and Indian War (1754–63), in which he earned a reputation as one of the army's most brilliant young generals. In the American Revolution, he succeeded Thomas Gage as supreme commander of British forces in North America in 1776. He soon captured New York City and the surrounding area, and in 1777 he led British troops to victories at the Battles of the Brandywine and of Germantown. Moving his forces to Philadelphia, he left troops under John Burgoyne vulnerable in New York state, thus contributing to the British defeat at the Battles of Saratoga. He resigned in 1778 and was succeeded by Henry Clinton.
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