The Battle of Saratoga was a pivotal battle during the American Revolution. It took place in September and October 1777, near Saratoga, New York. The British army under General John Burgoyne had advanced from Canada with the goal of splitting off New England from the other colonies. To do this, he needed to capture Albany, but his path was blocked by an American force led by Major Generals Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold.
In two engagements at Freeman's Farm (September 19) and Bemis Heights (October 7), the Americans defeated Burgoyne's forces decisively, forcing him to retreat back to Canada after suffering heavy losses in men and materiel. This victory proved crucial for both sides: it showed that America could win a major battle against one of Britain's best generals; it convinced France that they should ally themselves with America; and finally, it helped turn public opinion around in favor of independence from Great Britain. In addition to being a strategic victory for the Americans, it is also seen as one of their most decisive tactical victories ever achieved on land during any war before or since then.