User:Sog1970/1812:The British Invasion
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The British Invasion is the American term for the period between 1964 and 1967 when continental USA was once more dominated by the forces of Great Britain. This period is known in the United Kingdom as the War of 1812 as hostilities commenced shortly before quarter past six on the evening of June 12th 1964, interrupting the news and raising the ire of the British people by distracting them from the weather forecast.
The people of the thirteen colonies of America waited until Britain had defeated France and their native allies before stating their cultural antipathy to tea and reasonable taxation. By 1776 they had set up their own nation, allowing Britain to return to its traditional past-times of beating up the French and paying other countries to beat-up the French on its behalf.
By 1963 the USA had been in charge of its own affairs for almost 200 years and, thanks to the efforts of Little Richard and Elvis, complete musical independence had been achieved in the 1950s. Britain's war with France had been raging for almost 700 years and the Royal Navy was still engaged in an increasingly bitter struggle to rule the air-waves. US radio stations had long been blockaded and American disk-jockeys frequently impressed into service in the BBC. Finally the US ran out of patience and declared war, their forces crossing into Canada, possibly due to CBC-BBC confusion caused by Lyndon Johnson's dyslexia, or possibly in the mistaken belief that anyone in the UK would take an interest in America's aggressive intentions to its Moose-bothering former slaves.
US forces crossed from Detroit into Ontario in June and spent a fruitless month wandering through the bush, trying to persuade local radio stations not to rebroadcast "Top of the Pops". On return to USA General Hull was accused of wasting time on a fruitless beaver-hunt, court-martialed and shot.
The British, though hopelessly outnumbered in North America, were led by the aggressively macho Major-General Brian Epstein and immediately seized the initiative, sending The Beatles to occupy the Ed Sullivan show. At the same time, Herman's Hermits occupied the strategically important Michilimackinac Island, Lake Superior, bombarding Detroit with chirpy, up-tempo ditties to which the stricken city had no defence. Fearing destruction at the hands of The Animals, American forces in Detroit under the command of Gene Pitney surrendered without a fight.
A subsequent counter-attack was led by Colonel Roy Orbison, who moved his troops across the Huron River and was making good progress through the heavily wooded landscape when one of the stranger incidents of the War of 1812 occurred. The British column in the area was led by the inspirational Manfred Mann. Manfred Mann's troops advanced emitting haunting noises that the advancing Americans assumed were animal-calls and which appear to have spooked Orbison's troops. In fact the roaring was nothing more less than the regimental marching song.
In later years Orbison remembered the incident in an interview with the New York Times.
"It was a misty morning, kinda brooding. The fog seemed to be hanging on the trees and it felt like anything could be waiting for us over the next hill. My boys kept hearing this weird noises like "Do wah Diddy" floating through the woods. It Kept coming and coming 'Doo wah Diddy', 'Doo wah Diddy' 'Diddy dum diddy dee' over and over. Oh, the inanity! The men thought it wasw an army of Bigfoot. Eventually, I shouted "It's over" and we retreated."
The swift victory planned by the American generals seemed further away than ever and opening skirmishes of the conflict appeared, against the odds, to be favouring the righteous (but not the Righteous Brothers, since they were very much on the wrong, American side). Events failed to improve even when in December 1965 Another Side of Bob Dylan was revealed. The dishevelled former hobo raised an army of bums and marched north from Kentucky to retake Detroit. One wing of the force met British irregulars at Frenchtown and fled in the face a steady backbeat. The blame for this crushing defeat has generally been laid at the door of its commander, Doris Day. However, the famously virginal Ms Day has always refuted the charge, blaming Dylan for forcing her into action she wasn't ready for.
"How was I expected to know how to bring the engagement to a climax? It was my first time!"
With the first year of the war over, the British were firmly in control of America once more, with command of the industrial North in the hands of Majors Lennon and McCartney, ably assisted by Captain Harrison. A mobile laundry unit under Lance Corporal R. Starr occupied Buffalo, as neither side seemed interested in keeping it.
Stung by their lack of success the previous year, a mass of American entertainers marched northwards to take on the British. Riding a wave of patriotism, The Beach Boys seemed unstoppable and their leader, General Brian Wilson had planned to take Kingston, Ontario, believing that cutting Canada in half in this manner would cause the Eastern provinces to drift across the Atlantic to Britain, swamping the mother country with garlic-sodden Quebecois and in-bred Newfies. However, along the way Wilson is thought to have heard that prescription medicines were freely available in York, Ontario. The attack was diverted and York was captured and burned to the ground on May 25th, to the great relief of its mayor who had personally insured much of the metropolitan area. The British Field Marshall, Petula Clarke, was lost Downtown during the assault.
Hours later Wilson's troops captured Fort George on the Niagara peninsula in a surprise night attack. The bewildered British commander, Dusty Springfield, demanded to know how Wilson had moved his forces so far so quickly. Wilson's enigmatic reply, "I get around", still echoes through history.
The USA did not have the 1965 campaign entirely their way, however, with Leiutenant-Colonel Ray Davis' crack unit of Muswell Hill Fusiliers taking on American forces at Beaver Creek. Davis' forces, known as The Kinks due to their depraved behaviour during the capture of Springfield, marched all day and all of the night to engage The Supremes. Little resistance was offered and, within minutes of the battle beginning, Major Diana Ross raised the white flag, admitting "You really got me."
At the same time further west, The Swinging Blue Jeans could not bring Matt Monroe to battle as he had stated his intention to Walk Away. With their lines of communication badly stretched and their flanks open to counter-attack the Blue Jeans contented themselves occupying the town of Stoney Creek, and taunting the departing American forces with the claim "You're no good".
edit 1966 and beyond
The next two years of conflict were a vicious and pointless stalemate, with Otis Reading demanding Respect by securing Britain's retreat from Detroit while Crysler's Farm on the St Lawrence River was retaken by Gerry and the Pacemakers cunning use of a Mersey Ferry. Neither side had reason to wish to contine the war and it seemed to be escalating into a tit-for-tat war of reprisals, the most famous incident of which involved The Crazy World of Arthur Brown landing at the mouth of the Patuxent River and marching north to capture Washington. Tragically Fire engulfed the Whitehouse and Arthur was unable to eat the state dinner kindly left behind by the fleeing President Johnson.
Further south in Lousiana, the British sent an army of Blues impersonators led Generals Michael Jagger and Keef Richards of the Rolling Stones. They were sent there to Muddy the Waters and were aided and abetted by back up forces from the Yardbirds and John Mayall's Blues breakers. However the Americans rallied to Kenny Rogers and were led from the front by Dolly Parton. In a short struggle, The British lost their trousers, wallets and - for some - their virginity in the swamps. Those who survived the battle then pretended to be Americans all along and remained permanently lost in strange accents.
Eventually peace was negotiated in the "Treaty of Ghent", as it was felt that something interesting ought to happen in Belgium at some point in history.