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"This Dark Business: The Secret War Against Napoleon" Topic


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Napoleonic

726 hits since 7 May 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2018 9:21 p.m. PST

"Between two attempts in 1800 and 1804 to assassinate Napoleon Bonaparte, the British government launched a campaign of black propaganda of unprecedented scope and intensity to persuade George III's reluctant subjects to fight the Napoleonic War, a war to the death against one man: the Corsican usurper and tyrant.

This Dark Business tells the story of the British government's determination to destroy Napoleon Bonaparte by any means possible. We have been taught to think of Napoleon as the aggressor – a man with an unquenchable thirst for war and glory – but what if this story masked the real truth: that the British refusal to make peace either with revolutionary France or with the man who claimed to personify the revolution was the reason this Great War continued for more than twenty years? At this pivotal moment when it consolidated its place as number one world power Britain was uncompromising. To secure the continuing rule of Church and King, the British invented an evil enemy, the perpetrator of any number of dark deeds; and having blackened Napoleon's name, with the help of networks of French royalist spies and hitmen, they also tried to assassinate him.

This Dark Business plunges the reader into the hidden underworld of Georgian politics in which, faced with the terrifying prospect of revolution, bribery and coercion are the normal means to secure compliance, a ruthless world of spies, plots and lies.
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Amicalement
Armand

arthur181509 May 2018 2:55 a.m. PST

Interesting.I can think of several posters on the Napoleonic Boards who will love this!

foxweasel09 May 2018 3:11 a.m. PST

This definitely has the makings of another 300 post epic, with quite a few DHings for good measure.

MaggieC7009 May 2018 6:05 a.m. PST

I have always snickered at the idea that this campaign against Bonaparte from late 1799 through the Caudodal nonsense in early 1804 was a secret. The British archives runneth over with pertinent documents, as so the AN and FA archives in Paris.

Yet both nonfiction and historical fiction continue to flog this idea of secrecy.

Clayton's book should be interesting, possibly as an adjunct to Elizabeth Sparrows' older and often flawed study of British spies. His premise, at least from the blurb quoted here, sounds a tad bit purple. The truth, as always, lies somewhere between the extremes.

ancientsgamer09 May 2018 6:10 a.m. PST

Funny how Napoleon is a tyrant and ogre but Louis 14 and 16 are beneficent monarchs. Quite sure the first kings of both countries weren't exactly voted unto office either.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2018 1:16 p.m. PST

(smile)

Amicalement
Armand

Brechtel19809 May 2018 2:57 p.m. PST

I ordered it so I'll let everyone know how it is.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2018 9:59 a.m. PST

We wait…. (smile)

Amicalement
Armand

Sebastian Palmer05 Jun 2018 12:17 a.m. PST

This looks fascinating. I have the book Tim Clayton co-authored with Sheila O'Connell for the British Museum, 'Bonaparte and the British', which is (I think) very good. Hope to get/read it when it comes out. Thanks for sharing.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2019 11:27 a.m. PST

A votre service mon ami!. (smile)


Amicalement
Armand

dibble Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2019 7:39 p.m. PST

I've had this book since it came out some months ago. I read up to page 105, chapter 6. 'The Infernal Machine'. The bookmark is still there and according to my Amazon account, I received it on the 16th of September 2018.

Has anyone actually read it through? I lay odds that Clayton still hasn't found a shred of evidence that the British government ordered the attempted assassination of Napoleon

Gazzola10 Feb 2019 4:20 a.m. PST

Tango01

Probably a surprise to some people but I have not bought or read it yet. I personally prefer to buy and read books covering military actions and campaigns. However, it is on my list to buy so I will get to is eventually. In the meantime, it will be interesting to hear from those who do read the whole book and were not put off half way through. LOL

dibble Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2019 2:32 a.m. PST

Less than half way. In fact, less than a third of the way through….LOL

MaggieC7012 Feb 2019 10:24 a.m. PST

I think there might be a small difference between "ordering" an assassination and "paying for it."

As in: "We need to eliminate that pesky Corsican. Let's find some schmuck with a good aim and order him to take Boney out."

"Fine if you want to do the dirty work, Georges, but we'll keep our hands clean. However, here's 1,000 pounds for your start-up expenses."

Brechtel19813 Feb 2019 5:49 a.m. PST

I would agree with that assessment.

The British gave shelter and support to the French royalists and it was, in part, the Royal Navy taking them across the Channel.

Gazzola16 Feb 2019 1:54 a.m. PST

I don't think blame cannot be thrown at people, governments etc, just because they 'only' paid for, aided or transported those who undertook such activities. They are part of the whole and therefore have to take some level of responsibility for what their 'aid, payment and transportation' resulted in.

dibble Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 10:15 p.m. PST

And the little pixie Napoleon should take full responsibility for the wholesale slaughter theft and misery he wrought throughout Europe. So having him flung hundreds of feet into the air and scattered over a wide area, his blood turned to rain, would have been a huge bonus for the people of Europe. :)

My dad gave me pocket money, and one time I decided to act like a grown up and buy a packet of 10 cigarettes instead of investing it in an Airfix kit or paints. Was it my dad's fault that I smoked? He gave me the funds to act in an irrational way I did but he most certainly would not have been happy with what I had done. (he never knew and I realised model kits etc, were so, so much more satisfying)

Brechtel19817 Feb 2019 4:28 a.m. PST

And the little pixie Napoleon should take full responsibility for the wholesale slaughter theft and misery he wrought throughout Europe. So having him flung hundreds of feet into the air and scattered over a wide area, his blood turned to rain, would have been a huge bonus for the people of Europe.


What about the heads of state/government of Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, and Austria who actually began the series of wars starting with the breaking of the Peace of Amiens?

And of Great Britain who actually financed the series of coalitions against France?

It appears to me that there is enough blame to go around, the largest portion going to the coalitions.

And the British government knew exactly what the funding was going to be used for-paying for armies to fight the French especially when the British government couldn't or wouldn't field the armies necessary to fight the French. They seemingly preferred to let the coalition armies do the fighting and the dying for them.

Gazzola17 Feb 2019 9:54 a.m. PST

dibble

So, based on your silly pocket-money-cigarette example, you are suggesting that the wonderful, secretive and very careful British government gave funds without knowing what it was going to be used for? Pull the other one! LOL

dibble Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2019 3:59 p.m. PST

Gazzola

So, based on your silly pocket-money-cigarette example, you are suggesting that the wonderful, secretive and very careful British government gave funds without knowing what it was going to be used for? Pull the other one! LOL

My personal story is a true, accurate one and from the person involved…Me!

Where is the evidence that the British government were complicit or even knew what was going on? There is none. And even if one or two high ranking politicians knew what was happening, It was not the policy of the British government to sanction the assassination of Nappy.

I have done so in the past and will do here:

I challenge any of theses 'Bonapartist'authors or idolisers to show the evidence. I won't hold my breath but perhaps you and Kevin will.

Brechtel

What about the heads of state/government of Great Britain, Prussia, Russia, and Austria who actually began the series of wars starting with the breaking of the Peace of Amiens?

And of Great Britain who actually financed the series of coalitions against France?

It appears to me that there is enough blame to go around, the largest portion going to the coalitions.

And the British government knew exactly what the funding was going to be used for-paying for armies to fight the French especially when the British government couldn't or wouldn't field the armies necessary to fight the French. They seemingly preferred to let the coalition armies do the fighting and the dying for them.

I refer you to other posts here and other sites on this matter, which I suggest you do too in future.

Brechtel19817 Feb 2019 5:13 p.m. PST

Sorry, but I don't need to 'refer' to any other sites I can do my own research. But thanks for the effort.

Brechtel19817 Feb 2019 5:15 p.m. PST

It was not the policy of the British government to sanction the assassination of Nappy.

Do you have any evidence to support this idea?


The Bourbons/royalists were supported by the British government and there was disbursement of government funds to the royalists as well as Royal Navy support to get them across the Channel.

If it wasn't policy or the government knew nothing about what was happening it was either because they did not want to know or they were stupid.

dibble Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2019 12:53 p.m. PST

It's not me who has published the allegations now, is it? So it's up to the authors who pump this stuff out to show the evidence, which to date, they have none. Rather akin to Trump and the Russians.

If it wasn't policy or the government knew nothing about what was happening it was either because they did not want to know or they were stupid.

Again! It's for the Authors to bring the evidence, which to date etc, etc. And you better put up the evidence where the British government were stupid or intentionally remained ignorant.

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