Anatomy of a Naval Disaster: The 1746 French Naval by James Pritchard PDF

By James Pritchard

ISBN-10: 0773513256

ISBN-13: 9780773513259

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 bounds of energy within the 18th century. meant as a riposte to the Anglo-American trap 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 ways south as Boston. a number of the sixty four French vessels concerned didn't go back and estimates of the useless 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 quantity of the tragedy and increases questions on the function and effectiveness of naval strength through the intercolonial wars of the mid-18th century. Pritchard describes the family and overseas political conditions in France that gave upward thrust to the excursion, outlining process and politics within the context of colonial defence and continental ambition. He reconstructs the occasions that contributed to the failure of the day trip: human and institutional weak point, climate, spoiled provisions, sickness and the loss of life of the commanding admiral.

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Second, and more significant, closer examination of the events leading up to and during the expedition and of the behaviour of people who took part may provide a better understanding of the limits to power in Bourbon France, for this expedition failed to accomplish a single one of its military objectives. After examining the system of French naval power under stress, we may be able to discern its operations better than before. Naval history is essentially political and diplomatic history. In the words of Johannes Tramond, "La marine est La Politique," an aphorism quoted approvingly by Gerald S.

80 In March he ordered authorities at Quebec to rush completion of a frigate still on the stocks and fit her out for Louisbourg. 84 The capture of Le Vigilant practically ensured the loss of the fortress and was one more piece of evidence of the navy's weakness. 86 But the French government refused to make the necessary funds available, and the bulk of the fleet remained in port. 87 Rumours of a pending attack had been arriving at Versailles for some eight weeks, and in response to intelligence reports that ships were being readied in England, Maurepas had already revised his instructions to M.

When we look at these factors together, in all their complexity, it becomes clear that in the autumn of 1745 France was beset by a confusing number of options and illusions. Moreover, the exceptionally fluid conditions created by recent military-political events might render a French naval riposte in North America unnecessary. The background to the naval expedition reveals much about the socialpolitical chaos of France during the 17405. 16 Anatomy of a Naval Disaster By 1745, French statesmanship was in disarray.

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Anatomy of a Naval Disaster: The 1746 French Naval Expedition to North America by James Pritchard

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