By James Pritchard
This is often an account of 1 of the main formidable and catastrophic French naval expeditions within the 18th century, leading to the deaths of as much as 8000 males. It exposes the goals and frailties of fellows, the arbitrariness of good fortune, and the boundaries of energy within the 18th century. meant as a riposte to the Anglo-American catch of Loisbourg in 1745, the so-called d'Enville excursion set out from France the subsequent yr to safe Canada, recapture Acadia and Louisbourg, and ravage the recent England coast as a long way south as Boston. some of the sixty four French vessels concerned didn't go back and estimates of the lifeless reached as excessive as 8000, but the enemy used to be by no means met in conflict. James Pritchard's account of this naval fiasco sheds new mild at the volume of the tragedy and increases questions about the position and effectiveness of naval strength through the intercolonial wars of the mid-18th century. Pritchard describes the family and overseas political situations in France that gave upward thrust to the day trip, outlining procedure and politics within the context of colonial defence and continental ambition. He reconstructs the occasions that contributed to the failure of the excursion: human and institutional weak point, climate, spoiled provisions, ailment and the dying of the commanding admiral.
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Extra resources for Anatomy of a Naval Disaster: The 1746 French Naval Expedition to North America
The French army departed Prague and began to withdraw westward up the Danube. 19 The subsequent renewal of the "Family Compact" in October only served to draw France further into Spanish machinations in Italy. By the end of the year, French armies launched against Austria two years earlier had been driven from Germany and deserted by an erstwhile ally, Prussia. France now faced attack from Austria, supported by British and Dutch troops, while soldiers of a British-supported Austro-Sardinian alliance were driving her Spanish ally from Italy.
11 Earlier formal alliances with Great Britain and the Netherlands had not been examples of eccentric and unnatural dynastic diplomacy. 13 Subsequent French foreign policy was predicated on a coincidence of French and British interests in the Spanish empire and the Mediterranean and a mutual interest in preventing restoration of Austro-Spanish hegemony on the continent. These goals appeared to have been achieved by 1731, and France and Britain resumed increasingly independent policies. 14 The War of the Polish Succession, 173335, revealed the growing strength of the anti-Hapsburg faction in the French court and, also, that French military strength was not as great as it seemed.
In the words of Johannes Tramond, "La marine est La Politique," an aphorism quoted approvingly by Gerald S. 43 Navies are creations of modern states. They are very costly to build and maintain. 44 How the French government viewed its navy during the 17403 and the degree to which the navy played a role in French foreign policy, war fighting, and domestic political conflict form the third theme of this work. 45 If accepted, this interpretation explains why we must look well beyond the navy and its secretary of state and minister to find the origins of the d'Enville expedition.