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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2016 11:50 a.m. PST

"The British campaign in the Low Countries in 1813–14 in support of the Dutch revolt against the French is one of the lesser-known campaigns of the Napoleonic Wars, but one of which the great historian of the British Army Sir John Fortescue
wrote that it was impossible to understand the Waterloo campaign without a knowledge of.

Under the command of the Peninsular War hero General Sir Thomas Graham, an inexperienced and under-strength British army, short on supplies and enduring terrible winter weather, sought to capture the port of Antwerp and neutralise the French fleet based there. The problems of liaison and cooperation between the British and their Prussian allies under von Bülow, which blighted their attempts to capture the city despite Graham's success on the battlefield at Merxem, prefigured similar difficulties during the Hundred Days. There were further controversies with the Dutch, and with the Crown Prince of Sweden – once the French Marshal Bernadotte, but now overall Allied commander in the Low Countries – who was accused of hindering operations for his own ends. The campaign culminated in the disastrous night attack on the French fortress of Bergen-op-Zoom, in which British soldiers paid with their lives for the failures of their masters.

The book deals with all aspects of the campaign, from grand strategy and the proposed marriage alliance between the House of Orange and the House of Hanover, to tactical analysis of the battles and sieges that took place. This is a fascinating account both of a neglected Napoleonic campaign and of Britain's wider role in the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon."

picture

From here
link

Anyone has read this book?. If the answer is yes, comments please?

Thanks in advance for your guidance.

Amicalement
Armand

John Leahy26 Jan 2016 12:55 p.m. PST

Interesting. However, when I saw a bold and ambitious Enterprise I was thinking of a different genre and a particular ship.

wink

Thanks.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2016 2:02 p.m. PST

I have it and highly recommend it.

Too many times the failed British operations in the period are neglected with emphasis on Wellington's operations in Portugal and Spain instead.

In point of fact, the overwhelming majority of British operations during the period when not commanded by Wellington were usually failures, and that includes the failed British offensives in North America in 1814.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2016 4:13 p.m. PST

Thank you cousin! I'd missed this one.

In point of fact, the overwhelming majority of British operations during the period when not commanded by Wellington were usually failures, and that includes the failed British offensives in North America in 1814.

That would include the failed operation to burn and sack Washington we presume……

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP26 Jan 2016 7:37 p.m. PST

It includes the failures at Baltimore and Plattsburg, the stalemate on the Niagara frontier, and the failure at New Orleans.

The first three had a definite impact on the peace negotiations at Ghent.

Interestingly, the British lost more than the Americans did at Bladensburg before the burning of Washington. The same thing happened against the Maryland militia in the delaying action at North Point.

Gazzola27 Jan 2016 5:18 a.m. PST

Tango01

Well spotted. But another title to add to my ever growing to-get list. LOL

Gazzola27 Jan 2016 5:58 a.m. PST

Tango01

Just spotted this review on the Nap Series site. It looks a very interesting book, even though it seems to rely heavily, as the author admits, on British sources.

link

DaleWill Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2016 10:46 a.m. PST

I may need to add this to my reading list. George Nafziger's The End Of Empire – Napoleon's 1814 Campaign has a couple of chapters on this campaign that sparked my interest.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Jan 2016 10:49 a.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it boys!. (smile)

Thanks for your guidance Kevin!.

Amicalement
Armand

Supercilius Maximus30 Jan 2016 5:54 p.m. PST

Too many times the failed British operations in the period are neglected with emphasis on Wellington's operations in Portugal and Spain instead.

Well, how JOLLY awful!!!!!!!!!!! Those nasty Brits not trumpeting their failures to the rest of the world – totally unlike everyone else, of course. Whatever next?

In point of fact, the overwhelming majority of British operations during the period when not commanded by Wellington were usually failures, and that includes the failed British offensives in North America in 1814.

Really? The overwhelming majority? Let's see:-

VICTORIES – 14
India (3rd Anglo-Mysore War) 1789-92
West Indies 1793-98
Dutch African & Far East colonies 1795
India (4th Anglo-Mysorean War) 1798-99
Ireland (French Invasion) 1798 & 1803
Egypt 1801
India (2nd Maratha War) 1803-06 *
Caribbean 1804-10
Naples/Sicily/Maida 1805-06
Capture of Cape of Good Hope 1806
Capture of Danish fleet 1807 *
Indian Ocean 1809-11
2nd Peninsula War 1809-14 *
American invasions of Canada 1812-13

(* Wellington involved, but not in overall command)

DEFEATS – 11
Toulon 1793
Flanders 1793-96 *
West Indies 1793-98 +
Holland 1799 *
Hannover 1805 *
Buenos Aires 1806-07
Alexandria 1807
1st Peninsula War 1808-09 (Corunna)
Walcheren 1809 +
Netherlands 1813-14
America 1814-15

(+ West Indies 1793-98 and Walcheren 1809 are only listed as defeats because of the losses to disease; all of the objectives were captured)

(* British were minor allies and were forced to leave or surrender because of defeats/politics beyond their control)

So not even a majority, let alone an "overwhelming" one.

Supercilius Maximus31 Jan 2016 6:18 a.m. PST

Sorry, 2nd Peninsula War should not be asterisked – not sure how that happened.

Gazzola31 Jan 2016 7:35 a.m. PST

Supercilious Maximus

Can's see how you can include Naples and Sicily in your British victory list?

Yes, the British won a battle against the French at Maida, but it failed to prevent the French conquering the Kingdom of Naples or completing the Siege of Gaeta. And Sicily, as far as I am aware, was never really attacked or invaded, well not until 1810 if we count the skirmish at Messina, so it can't really be claimed as a British victory because no battles were fought over it. And when king Ferdinand broke his agreement with the French to remain neutral and invited the British and Russians in when the French troops moved away, the British and Russians deserted him and left him alone to face the revenge of the French and he had to do a runner to Sicily.

I think your other so called victories might also need looking into. Copenhagen 1807, for example, although the British captured the Danish fleet, the end result was neutral Holland becoming an ally of Napoleon.

Crumple31 Jan 2016 12:24 p.m. PST

SM,
I hope Gazzola isn't suggesting that the victory at Maida didn't prevent an early assault on Sicily, or that the British failed in their objective of capturing the Danish fleet. LOL
Surely only a very young and dim child would make such ludicrous claims. LOL
I do hope he returns to explain the other "so called victories" G. I do enjoy the way you lampoon yourself, endless entertainment. Do carry on. LOL

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2016 3:30 p.m. PST

To the British failure listing should be added Eastern Spain, the Maida campaign (the British won the battle but were forced to reembark and leave southern Italy), the Dardenelles, Naples in 1805, Sweden in 1808, Spain and Italy in 1800, and Egypt in 1806-1807.

If you're going to add the colonial victories, then add all of the failures of British arms, without the excuses for failure.

So that's seven more defeats…

Crumple31 Jan 2016 5:15 p.m. PST

Hardly an "overwhelming majority". LOL

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2016 5:30 p.m. PST

It is if you leave out the 'colonial' actions, which I did when making the statement.

I certainly didn't count the actions in India, against the Dutch, etc. And counting the minor action in Ireland is just a little silly.

With that common sense readjustment, the list is 'overwhelming' and with the nationalism removed.

And were there not two plundering expeditions to Buenos Aires, not one? One occurred in 1806 and the second in 1807. That is two defeats, not one.

VICTORIES – 5
West Indies 1793-98
Egypt 1801
Caribbean 1804-10
2nd Peninsula War 1809-14 *
American invasions of Canada 1812-13

DEFEATS – 20
Toulon 1793
Flanders 1793-96
West Indies 1793-98
Holland 1799
Hannover 1805
Buenos Aires 1806-07 (x 2)
Alexandria 1807
1st Peninsula War 1808-09 (Corunna)
Walcheren 1809
Netherlands 1813-14
America 1814-15
Eastern Spain
Sweden in 1808
Dardenelles 1807
Spain 1800
Italy 1800
Egypt 1806-1807
Naples 1805
Bergen-op-Zoom 1814

So failures outnumber successes by a factor of four.

Crumple31 Jan 2016 6:48 p.m. PST

Gorgeous. LOL.
I must thank you kevlin, I was expecting Bubbles . Nice to have the Barrel spout it's worth.
You'll need to re-examine eleven of your proofs though.
I would hate you to look stupid.

von Winterfeldt01 Feb 2016 12:08 a.m. PST

an attractive looking book of Andrew Bramford.

As to the slashing the Brits – non need – they were pretty successfull compared to Boney, what other country would still employ a general who ruined a maginificient army in 1812, did it again in 1813 and ruined a whole country in 1814 – only to repeat another disaster in 1815??? Not even the Austrians I guess.

Supercilius Maximus01 Feb 2016 12:31 a.m. PST

Brechtel – So what you're saying is, if you disingenuously take out most of the victories AND then count several of the defeats twice (you might want to actually check your list), the latter will massively outnumber the former?

OK, glad we're all clear on that then.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2016 4:23 a.m. PST

Which ones are listed twice?

And you left out some significant losses as well as listing
African and Indian campaigns that had nothing to do with the European theater.

What would you call that? I would suggest exaggeration and blatant nationalism, but that's just a suggestion.

Supercilius Maximus01 Feb 2016 4:46 a.m. PST

Which ones are listed twice?

There's three. No more clues.

…listing African and Indian campaigns that had nothing to do with the European theater…

So does that mean we aren't counting North and South America then, since they aren't Europe either?

The African and Far Eastern operations were all against European opposition; those in India were against armies trained by French advisors – in one case, actually sent out by Napoleon himself.

I would suggest exaggeration and blatant nationalism…

Ah, name calling – we all know what that means, don't we.

My work here is done.

Gazzola01 Feb 2016 5:44 a.m. PST

Crumple

You do need to do some serious research before making your dumb if not childish statements.

Even with the victory at Maida, the British had to leave Italy. They even failed to attempt the relief of the Siege at Gaeta and failed to take Naples from the French. In other words, the Brits did a runner and left king Ferdinand in the lurch so that he had to do a runner himself to Sicily. I suggest you look it up. You might learn something.

In terms of 1807, in your opinion making an enemy out of a neutral nation and providing Napoleon with more manpower, is a victory to you, is it? Because that was the result of the attack against Copenhagen. And if you can find yourself the time to look at the various debates on the Copenhagen attack and siege, you will discover that the British government were considering making a permanent base in Holland. It wasn't just a raid. Look it up.

Gazzola01 Feb 2016 5:55 a.m. PST

von Winterfeldt

You do love your power of hindsight, don't you. But your post is a bit like saying what country would employ a general like Moore who would be forced to undertake a dreadful retreat and ruin his army, have the remains sail away as fast as they could in their wooden tubs and get himself killed into the bargain. If only life (and history) were so simple, eh?

Supercilius Maximus01 Feb 2016 6:40 a.m. PST

In terms of 1807, in your opinion making an enemy out of a neutral nation and providing Napoleon with more manpower, is a victory to you, is it? Because that was the result of the attack against Copenhagen. And if you can find yourself the time to look at the various debates on the Copenhagen attack and siege, you will discover that the British government were considering making a permanent base in Holland.

The British government was left with a simple option (not least because that was what Napoleon himself wanted): do nothing and let Napoleon seize the Danish fleet and use it to help invade the UK and block the Baltic to vital British trade, or seize the Danish fleet and put up with the Danish (I assume you meant Denmark, rather than Holland) army allying itself with everyone else who couldn't get across The Channel.

If the UK had been part of Continental Europe, I would agree with you – the additional manpower would have been very useful to the French. However, our island status meant that the Danish fleet was an infinitely more serious threat than the Danish army – which, let's be honest, couldn't even defend its own capital effectively. In the words of Canning (which I think you yourself quoted on another thread), "We are hated throughout Europe and that hate must be cured by fear."

[I agree that Crumple's comments were un-necessary.]

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2016 7:05 a.m. PST

Ah, name calling – we all know what that means, don't we.

Did you not open the ball with the 'disengenously' comment? That is a definite pejorative. So, it appears that you can dish it out but cannot accept when someone gives it back.

And you are correct on the repitiveness of some of the British defeats.

Here is the corrected listing:

DEFEATS – 18
Toulon 1793
Flanders 1793-96
West Indies 1793-98
Holland 1799
Hannover 1805
Buenos Aires 1806-07 (x 2)
1st Peninsula War 1808-09 (Corunna)
Walcheren 1809
Netherlands 1813-14
America 1814-15
Eastern Spain
Sweden in 1808
Dardenelles 1807
Spain 1800
Italy 1800
Egypt 1806-1807
Naples 1805

So failures outnumber successes by a factor of three +.

It is still overwhelming…

Supercilius Maximus01 Feb 2016 9:45 a.m. PST

Did you not open the ball with the 'disengenously' comment? That is a definite pejorative. So, it appears that you can dish it out but cannot accept when someone gives it back.

There's a difference. I was right.

Haven't seen goalposts moved that fast since Hurricane Katrina.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2016 10:44 a.m. PST

No, you were not. You were singularly incorrect.

And I moved no 'goalposts.' It is too bad, and quite a shame, when you can't admit that you are wrong.

Your double standard is noteworthy.

Whirlwind01 Feb 2016 10:52 a.m. PST

If anyone thinks that the Corunna campaign was a British defeat, then they simply don't understand the campaign or what Moore, or Napoleon for that matter, were trying to do.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2016 12:13 p.m. PST

Moore's army was run out of Spain, the retreat to Corunna was 'disorderly' and characterized by looting and pillage on the part of the British troops, and Moore got himself killed.

That isn't a defeat?

Incredible.

Whirlwind01 Feb 2016 12:30 p.m. PST

Moore's campaign aims – stated in his despatches before the fighting – were to disrupt Napoleon's invasion and gain time for the Spanish armies – which he achieved.

Napoleon's aim was to destroy the British Army in Spain – in which he singularly failed, his pursuit foiled.

And you genuinely can't tell the difference?

Incredible.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2016 1:10 p.m. PST

All you're doing is making another excuse for British failure in the field.

Napoleon's mission was to secure the French position in Spain. Spain's armies were defeated with the second French invasion and the British were run out of Spain.

What cut short Napoleon's campaign in Spain in 1808-1809 was neither the British nor the Spanish, but the pending Austrian invasion of Bavaria, which Davout found out about and naturally informed Napoleon, who rode north to Paris and then to Germany.

Whirlwind01 Feb 2016 1:16 p.m. PST

All you are doing is making another excuse for French failure in the Field.

Napoleon's mssion was to secure the French position in Spain which he failed to do. He aimed to destroy the British Army and failed to do it.

I think anyone can see the double standards you use to judge between British and French successes and failures and will weight your opinions accordingly.

dibble01 Feb 2016 2:45 p.m. PST

I don't know why you argue with him. The British weren't run out of the Peninsula, or Spain and certainly not Portugal. Though Moore retreated to Corunna his rear-guard gave the French a good slapping and Soult's hoards got a kicking at Corunna itself.

I would just like to add that Kiley believes that The British lost 10 colours at Cacabelos (Prietos) Yup! that very place where Plunket shot dead Colbert & Co. with two shots.

I posted this on another site

The so called '10 colours at Prietos' alluded to as 'captured' by the French would have been at the battle of Cacabelos (Prietos) 3rd January 1809, the only significant engagement that happened on this day involving the British. which was a rear-guard action during the retreat to Corunna. (Thomas Plunket killed General Colbert during this engagement)

The British rearguard contingent at this time was commanded by Maj Gen the Hon Edward Paget and consisted of the following:

15th hussars*
20th
28th
52nd
95th*
91st
1x Horse Artillery battery*

Seeing that those units that I have starred definitely never carried colours at this time, it means that those regiments that did (or may have) carry colours must have been wiped out, that one battalion must have had two stands (four flags) of colours or two battalions must have had three colours each. This must also mean that Colbert's death at the hand and eye of Plunkett, was totally and utterly avenged and overshadowed in history by the total destruction of Paget's division …Err NOT!"

I originally asked 'M' for evidence about these 10 colours but he has none and will not find any. But it seems he will post this rubbish because he thinks that it did happen but that the dastardly 'Eeenglish' have buried the truth.

That many campaigns in which the Duke wasn't involved failed. Almost every time, any battles occurring during these campaigns lead to the French being beaten.

And of course, associated actions and raids like Copenhagen and any significant battle in Eastern Spain, were again, almost always a drubbing for Nappys hoards.

Paul :)

dibble01 Feb 2016 3:11 p.m. PST

Brechtel

Napoleon's mission was to secure the French position in Spain. Spain's armies were defeated with the second French invasion and the British were run out of Spain.

All Napoleon did was "secure" the French in campaigning for six years of failure. "Secured" unmarked graves for his brave troops and went a long way to "securing" the very card that would go towards busting his flush.

Paul :)

Supercilius Maximus01 Feb 2016 3:51 p.m. PST

Your double standard is noteworthy.

Says the man who won't include the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland (death toll 10,000-20,000 and a French invasion force) because that would be "silly", but will include the Russo-Swedish War (no British casualties) and an attack on Ferrol with 16 deaths (against 34 for the enemy). And who won't include the British campaigns in India (despite the French involvement) and Dutch colonies in Africa and the Indian Ocean because they are "colonial", but will include two attacks – really both part of the same campaign – on a Spanish colony almost 1,000 miles further away from London than the Cape of Good Hope.

Happy to leave the readers to judge which of us is operating double standards here.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2016 3:32 a.m. PST

I would just like to add that Kiley believes that The British lost 10 colours at Cacabelos (Prietos) Yup! that very place where Plunket shot dead Colbert & Co. with two shots.

Really?

And where is the citation that I actually said that or 'believe' it?

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2016 3:34 a.m. PST

Including a rebellion of the subject Irish 'supported' by 1100 French in Ireland is reaching just a little bit.

And the two attacks in what were plundering expedition were separate operations and two defeats.

The Vendeean rebels were supported by Great Britain and that wasn't included for obvious reasons.

You've really missed the point of the exercise.

If it wasn't for Wellington British military operations against the French would have been an overall disaster.

And no matter how you 'spin' it, Moore lost and his army forced to reembark. Some sources actually have Moore outnumbering Soult in infantry at Corunna. So Moore gained a limited tactical victory but his army was forced to embark for Britain.

That's a strategic defeat.

Gazzola02 Feb 2016 4:32 a.m. PST

Supercilious Maximus

Yes, quite right. I did mean Denmark and the Danish. Sorry about that. Old age gets ya that way some times.

But from what I read when researching the Copenhagen attack for the other threads, which I found very interesting and very revealing, was that the Danish Navy at the time was not that much of a threat at all. That's why it took the British nearly two months to get the ships seaworthy enough to sail away. And, if I remember rightly, I don't think many of the ships that were stolen were actually employed by the British afterwards. More likely, the mass of equipment and other items the British looted, was far more of a welcome gain.

But if, as many seem to want to do, deem it acceptable for the British to attack and invade a neutral country, kill its civilians and steal their property, under the feeble excuse of a pre-emptive strike and fear of what may have happened had they not done so, then one must also allow other nations to get away with it, such as the French in Spain etc. You cannot have one rule for one and one for another.

And in terms of defending the capital, it must be noted that the capital was not taken by force. The Danes only surrendered when the British, rather than fire at the defences or the military and make an attempt to breach the walls, they deliberately undertook a terror' bombardment of the civilians. This, as they hoped, forced the civilians to persuade the Danish military to surrender. Had the British not undertook such an atrocity, who knows what may have happened or if the siege would have failed or succeeded.

In terms of manpower, yes, it made no real difference to Britain, being separate from Europe, but it would make a difference to the other European nations who they may have been employed to fight against. However, saying that, I believe the Danish navy still managed to cause a few problems with attacks against shipping etc.

Gazzola02 Feb 2016 4:48 a.m. PST

Supercilious Maximus

I've not studied the British conquest and takeover of India that much, but I was under the impression that French involvement was via mercenary officers training Indian troops, rather than actual British troops fighting French troops. Such officers may well have got the go ahead to do so by the French King, French Revolutionaries and later Napoleon, but they did appear to be mercenaries, that is, paid for by India.

Whirlwind02 Feb 2016 5:05 a.m. PST

And no matter how you 'spin' it, Moore lost and his army forced to reembark. Some sources actually have Moore outnumbering Soult in infantry at Corunna. So Moore gained a limited tactical victory but his army was forced to embark for Britain.

That's a strategic defeat.

No matter how you try to spin it, Moore wasn't trying with 20,000 men to defeat Napoleon's massive armies in Spain (280,000 men) single-handed. I can only advise you to study the campaign properly and see what each side was trying to do. Moore wasn't defeated in battle or outmanouevred or "forced" to re-embark. Moore successful, French failure.

Gazzola02 Feb 2016 5:23 a.m. PST

Whirlwind

You said Moore's aim was to 'gain time for the Spanish'

Er, gain time for what, exactly? Make a cup of tea, cook some dinner, have a longer siesta, or was his aim to help the Spanish defeat the French and force them to leave Spain, in which he failed miserably.

Gazzola02 Feb 2016 5:38 a.m. PST

dibble

Napoleon and the French captured Spain quite quickly, but the British, even though they were aided by the Spanish and Portuguese, took six years to take it back.

By the way, which of Napoleon's 'hordes' were employed in the British attack against the capital of Denmark in 1807? It was actually a neutral country when the British arrived with their massive sea and land force. And even then they failed to take Copenhagen until they employed their terror bombardment of its civilians. In fact, I don't think they even made a single attack against the city defences, they just bombarded the civilians. If that fills you with pride, go for it.

Whirlwind02 Feb 2016 5:39 a.m. PST

He aimed to carry out a diversion against the French lines of communication in order to gain time for the Spanish to rally after the Espionsa-Tudela-Somosierra-Madrid campaign.

Anyone genuinely interested can read about it here: link

see Moore's letter to Castlereagh 12th December 1808.

Whirlwind02 Feb 2016 5:41 a.m. PST

Napoleon and the French captured Spain quite quickly, but the British, even though they were aided by the Spanish and Portuguese, took six years to take it back.

Well no, Napoleon failed to capture Spain, that is the point really.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2016 6:12 a.m. PST

…see Moore's letter to Castlereagh 12th December 1808.

And?

Moore is considering a move against the French communications and is also considering withdrawing as he is outnumbered.

The results do not constitute a successful campaign. Moore's army was driven out of Spain and forced to embark at Corunna, Moore's choice of embarkation.

Moore was given an impossible mission with not enough troops, and as he stated not enough cavalry because French cavalry was numerous.

And it appears from the letter that he had just about given up on the Spanish.

Whirlwind02 Feb 2016 6:54 a.m. PST

The results do not constitute a successful campaign. Moore's army was driven out of Spain and forced to embark at Corunna, Moore's choice of embarkation.

Since the aim was diversion and two full French Corps were diverted that would appear to be a success.

Moore's army was driven out of Spain and forced to embark at Corunna

Okay, we can discuss further when you have studied the campaign.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2016 6:58 a.m. PST

Your condescension is noted.

I have studied the campaign and understand what happened to Moore and his army, as has been posted.

Whirlwind02 Feb 2016 7:04 a.m. PST

Your condescension is noted.

From you, this can only be meant ironically.

I have studied the campaign and understand what happened to Moore and his army, as has been posted.

You really haven't. You simply haven't understood what Moore – and indeed Napoleon – were actually trying to do.

Supercilius Maximus02 Feb 2016 11:18 a.m. PST

Brechetl,

Let me just remind you of your original comment:-

In point of fact, the overwhelming majority of British operations during the period when not commanded by Wellington were usually failures, and that includes the failed British offensives in North America in 1814.

No mention of them having to be in Europe; no mention of them having to be of a certain size; no mention of them having to be against a particular enemy – indeed, several of your examples also fall foul of these "ex post facto" boundaries YOU have chosen to impose. A military operation involving land forces is exactly that – you claimed that the "overwhelming majority" had failed, I am stating that they did not and presenting a list of victories (none of which you have actually disputed). The distinction between Ireland and the Vendee is simply that the Irish were a separate people (and indeed a separate kingdom); English, and later British, rule in Ireland had been contested on and off for centuries beforehand. It was also a major military operation involving substantial land forces – certainly more troops than the attacks on Buenos Aires. Ditto India.

The fact is that Great Britain was fighting a global war against an enemy who – along with some of its allies – had colonies around the world. If we're counting the attempt(s) to capture Buenos Aires, then surely we have to include the campaigns against the Dutch – the Cape of Good Hope, and the 1790s and the late 1800s captures of Dutch colonies in the Far East and the Indian Ocean.

(Your last post to me seems to have confused me with <<Whirlwind>> – I'm not disputing that Moore lost, and indeed included it in the list of defeats. However, on that basis, I do seem to have missed out the previous Peninsula campaign – Rolica, Vimeiro, and up to the Convention of Cintra – to the list of victories. I also omitted to mention the 1809-1812 War with Russia, which involved no more than a few small naval engagements in the Baltic approaches, all won by the Royal Navy.)

Supercilius Maximus02 Feb 2016 11:33 a.m. PST

Gazzola,

Such officers may well have got the go ahead to do so by the French King, French Revolutionaries and later Napoleon, but they did appear to be mercenaries, that is, paid for by India.

That's not my point: it was a major military commitment for Great Britain, with tens of thousands of troops, and it was successful. If you look at what Brechtel originally said, it in no way excluded India from the list of what did, or did not, constitute a British success or failure. That he chose later to limit it to Europe (whilst still including both North and South America!) was him backtracking, not me.

As to Denmark, with the benefit of hindsight you attempt to dismiss the British government's assessment of the situation as childish panic, yet Napoleon himself invested considerable effort in attempting to convince the British that his plans included the Danish fleet. As well as the ships themselves – which, again, you try to dismiss as worthless (hardly the impression given by the previous attempt to "Copenhagen" them in 1801) – there was also the problem of it being an extra port to blockade. If it was the lame duck that you are trying to make it out to be, a lot of intelligent men were unaware of it at the time and considered it a sufficient threat to be prepared to seize it.

If someone is theatening to seize your neighbour's gun and kill you with it, and your neighbour is incapable of looking after said gun, what would you do? (And please don't come out "call the police" because there aren't any.)

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