Empire of Liberty: The War of the Second Coalition

Excerpt from Dr. Ernesto Guevera’s “A Brief History of War” Yale University Press, 1984

Military historians have some difficulty categorizing the Napoléonic Wars, often also referred to as the Coalitionary Wars. From the Peace of Westphalia through the Seven Years War the various conflicts over succession crises and imperialism, often described as “general wars” can be lumped together. Sometimes referred to as the Hegemonic Wars, the Imperial Wars, the Wars of Supremacy or Primacy Wars, they all share a common theme. In these wars, various alliances of European powers would align in such a way as to take down the “top dog” of Europe at any given time and fight for a status quo. These wars were often fairly “civilized” affairs with professional mercenary armies and navies, led by aristocratic officers and leaders, clashing for control of regional frontiers and overseas possessions. At various times, teams of royal leaders would steer their dominions into war to take down ascendant powers, whether they be families or countries, such as the Hapsburgs of Austria and Spain, the Bourbons of Spain and France or the burgeoning British Empire. While these wars were chiefly about sovereign and territorial control, they had lasting impact on cultures, populations and nationalistic sentiment in their various locales.

Some historians classify the American Revolutionary War as the first of a new categorization of conflict: the National Wars. This new categorization supplanted the imperial whims of aristocrats with more foundational reasons for conflict such as national sentiment, revolutionary ideals, and survival of various ways of life. Knowing these categorizations, it is easy to see why many consider the American Revolutionary War to be a hybrid. From the American perspective, the struggle certainly classifies itself as a national war merging new theories of government and economics with popular sentiments of independence and liberty to create (some argue) a new nation of Americans. Without diving into that rabbit hole of American nationalism, few can argue that from 1776, until the War of the Fifth Coalition, the struggle for independence was inextricably linked with what it meant to be an American. Indeed, over that time almost every elected official and figure of political importance had participated, in some way, in the war. Yet, for the European powers, the war was clearly a continuation of the general wars of the 17th and 18th centuries. The Spanish, French and Dutch teamed up to knock Britain down a peg and in doing so, the status quo of Europe was reset with the British loss of its entire North American empire. In 1774, Britain was the ascendant power in Europe. By 1784, Britain, France, Austria and Russia all had valid claims as the chief European power.

Of course, none of the European powers could possibly have known the Pandora’s Box they opened in their support of the rebel Americans.

To the novice historian, the Napoléonic Wars appear as National Wars. The first and second Coalitionary Wars revolved around the French Revolution while the remaining wars revolved around Napoléon’s struggle to prevent a collapse of his regime and the republican gains in France and its allies. Had Napoléon lost in any of the Coalitionary Wars, and an allied power took Paris, it is highly likely that Napoléon would have met imprisonment, exile or execution, the Bourbon dynasty restored, and retrogradist movements sweep the European nobility in an attempt to put the genie of revolution back into the bottle. With the very existence of the French government at stake, along with all of the gains of the revolution including an expanded citizenship and a notion of a political life for citizens, and a new more equitable system of laws, these wars were just as much about survival as they were about conquest.

This interpretation is correct, to a degree. Like the American Revolutionary War, the Napoléonic Wars are a hybrid. To the French, the wars were about their nationhood and the survival of their way of life not different than it was to the Americans in their revolution. To the rest of Europe, they fought to defeat French ascendency and return to the status quo antebellum. It was happenstance that the status quo antebellum included restoring the original ruling dynasty in Versailles in addition to reestablishing the Dutch buffer state and returning French gains in Italy and along the Rhine to the Hapsburgs. The only thing akin to the National Wars about these wars from the noble perspective was the reality that thousands of European aristocrats worked across Europe to suppress a new world order, the effects of the French and American revolutions, and thus fighting to preserve their way of life.

The period from the American Revolutionary War through the War of the Russian Succession is a blurred line in history. To some members of the various alliances, they fought for territorial gain, to defeat a new threat, to preserve the status quo, and towards abstract notions of economic and cultural hegemony. On the opposite side, many states were fighting for their existence. The matter blurs further when one looks at the specific wars themselves. The first, second, and fifth coalitionary wars are surely national wars while the third and fourth are probably closer to general wars for primacy. The Greek and Erie Revolutions are just as much national wars as the later Second War for Dutch Independence; all three sought to create and obtain liberty for those nations of people. However, on the opposite end, the War of the Russian Succession is far closer to an 18th century primacy conflict than a national war.

We must also remember the ever present influence of politics on historical interpretation. Nationalist historians like Gonzalez enjoy separating the Hegemonic Wars from the National Wars because the former acts as an embryonic stage of various national identities while the latter are argued to be the birth of nationalism and the creation of nation-states themselves. The more socialist historians, particularly Zhou, view the progression in an economic light. The Hegemonic Wars furthered the power of nobles and merchants across the world, embroiling European and overseas peasants alike in countless wars until a variety of factors led to the evolution of warfare from one of imperialistic gain to one of social reordering. Zhou allows for the lines to blur as socialist thought begins to take shape at the infantile stage of the industrial revolution and the American ascendancy, hence how the Coalitionary Wars can be both imperialistic and socialist at the same time. It wouldn’t be until much later, that 18th century ideals about the purpose of war fell out of fashion to be replaced with more “pure” ideals of socialist conflict. Even then socialist justifications often had to share the battlefields of the 19th and 20th centuries with motivations such as nationalism, religion, destinism, krovism, and even such fringe factors as southernism and environmentalism.

It is up to us modern historians to dig deep and find interpretations and historical factors that avoid this political influence and see this era of conflict for what it is. And, if any of the Coalitionary Wars proved to be a conflict that combined 18th century imperialist dreams with 19th century national struggle it would be the War of the Second Coalition. For it would be in this war that 18th century imperial adventures in far flung places such as India, South America, Spain, the Germanies and Egypt met with more modern notions of nationalism and republicanism. This war would forever change the destiny of countless locations and, perhaps most critically, lead to the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.

 ***

Excerpt from Dr. Jack Bankston’s “The Founding Years”, University of New South Wales Press, 2017.

Washington proved a capable administrator and coordinator in the last months of his presidency as the country switched to a wartime footing. When Adams and Briggs took office, the Senate confirmed their appointments quickly and smoothly and Washington assisted in whatever way he could in the transition. The U.S. Navy deployed their roughly 50 ships as best they could to defend merchant shipping, the American coast and the Caribbean basin. The initial targets of America’s anger were hardly a secret.

The Newfoundland Militia captured the French North Atlantic outpost of St. Pierre and Miquelon without firing a shot in the opening weeks of the war. The valuable fishing islands became the small “U.S. Northern Atlantic Territory” for several years before negotiators awarded them to Newfoundland as a new county in exchange for Québec formally receiving the Labrador coast.

The island of Martinique was the clear next target. The island had valiantly held off a British attack two years before but, surrounded by American states, found itself isolated from the metropole; and St. Domingue had its own problems so help was not coming from the west. Like St. Domingue, infighting swept the island as a slave revolt combined with a radical versus conservative civil war. A short blockade and bombardment of the local fort led to a quick surrender. The prospect of becoming an American state placated many Martinique radicals (since confined to the stronghold island of Marie Galante) while the maintenance of order and the slave economy placated many conservatives. The slaves were the real loser in the brief conflict as the locals and invading Americans crushed their revolt.

Three weeks later the naval expedition combined with local Leeward Islands militia to clean up a welcome surprise. Two years before, the Royal Navy squadron sent to conquer the French Caribbean went with intent to invade St. Domingue but also grab the large Windward Islands of St. Lucia, Guadeloupe and Martinique. Shortly after, they took the Dutch Antilles off the South American coast with little bloodshed. Lost on the map, however, were several tiny islands between the American controlled isles: Batavian controlled Saint Eustatius and Saba and French controlled St. Barthelemy and Saint Martin (the whole island annexed by France after their victory over the Dutch)[1].

A popular legend holds that the British simply forgot the islands in their planning or that the St. Domingue expedition was such a catastrophe that they simply no longer cared. In reality, British Admirals were well aware of the islands existence but decided their small size was not worth waging an invasion in the middle of what was essentially an American state. Plans for an invasion existed, but the Admirals believed they could grab the islands with little effort later in 1798, 1799 or 1800 after reeling in bigger fish in South Africa and Asia. Nearby, the Leeward Islanders held their breath for the arrival of a British fleet that never came. With the advent of the war with France, the Leeward Islands were quick to move on the hidden jewel just a dozen miles across the water. The Franco-American War interrupted that British hopefulness to the benefit of the United States. Locally, the white residents of the islands accepted American occupation with little protest. These small islands were essentially large towns in their own right and everyone in the white population knew the other, so revolutionary conflict was not the pressing concern it was in larger colonies like St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, Martinique and especially St. Domingue. The French and Dutch locals watched the slave revolts on other islands nervously and always enjoyed good trade relations with their nearby American neighbors (even if sometimes that trade was less than legal). Annexation by America maintained the status quo, ended the complications of European unrest at home and cut off a potential slave revolt at the knees.

Paris learned of the declaration for the first time in late January of 1798. By mid-May, they found that almost all of what remained of their Caribbean possessions were gone. Despite this, the Directorie refused peace. The directors were convinced that the United States had launched a dishonorable attack and had declared war while ready to dispatch forces towards unprepared islands at a moment’s notice. Such issues were obviously common in the age of sail but the evidence suggests the directors believed they could dispatch a formidable naval squadron to the West Indies and retake those islands and perhaps seize some American states. The events of the summer of 1798 changed this outlook. By then, the United States had moved on to a second phase of attacks in attempt to force France to the negotiating table. Everything hinged on politics and the mere presence of a single individual in Paris.

***

Excerpt from Konijeti Beevti’s “Years of Revolution: Boston to Bhārata”, Vij Publishing House, 1962 (translation by Earl Henderson).

By the start of 1798, Napoléon Bonaparte was the unquestioned hero of France. The General of the Armee d’Italie was directly responsible for victories across Italy, saving the republic from royalist intervention and defeating the Austrian Archduke just 100 miles from Vienna. The end of the War of the First Coalition had given Napoléon a needed rest but he was growing restless and the Directorie was growing nervous. As early as mid-1797, Napoléon had floated out a potential invasion of Egypt. This was not just an arbitrary conquest in his mind. Ottoman, Mamluk and British interests were interfering with and harassing French merchants in the region. In addition, any French take over in Egypt would put pressure on the British East India Company. Furthermore, the capture of Egypt might gain Paris control of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea, forcing communication delays between Britain and India and obstructing trade worth £2.7 million (the equivalent of $45,000,000 as of 1962) to the British economy [2].

Like any great general, Napoléon’s ego also played a role. He needed campaigns, any campaign, to bolster his status and his legacy. Conceptualizing himself as a new Alexander the Great he saw in his mind’s eye a French Empire that stretched from Algiers to India. If Napoléon could reach the Indus River then he could directly support and cooperate with France’s Indian allies against the British. He also hoped to romanticize the campaign as one of scientific and archeological discovery. Egypt was the fad that dominated fashion and trends in Paris in the late 18th century and Napoléon hoped to play on those passions.

And of course if the campaign failed he could always return to France like a modern Julius Caesar after his first campaign in Britannia.

As momentum built around the proposed invasion of Egypt, news began trickling back to Paris about war with the United States and losses of valuable territory. The British had retreated from St. Domingue, but would their loss be the American’s gain? Would it even be possible for France to conduct amphibious operations so far away with the loss of forward operating bases and a tenuous situation on Hispaniola? In May, as Napoléon was preparing to depart from Toulon, he was recalled to Paris where twin crises were developing. For a few days, Napoléon believed he would be dispatched back to Italy, as an imminent restart of the war with Austria seemed certain. That diplomatic crisis passed and Napoleon set off once more for Toulon only to be recalled back before the Directorie once more, where it was rumored he might be sent to St. Domingue to lead war efforts against the United States. To his credit, Napoléon did not immediately dismiss this notion. He had no desire to die of yellow fever in some St. Domingue cane field but he did have the political pull and martial respect to propose a direct invasion from Brest to Québec or directly towards Philadelphia. And his secretive Egyptian campaign hinged upon the precise timing of a feint to draw the British navy away from their Corsican base and open the way east [3].

Nothing was guaranteed.

After some consideration, he decided such a far-flung operation would be impractical. With no desire to go die in the Caribbean like the British had just done months before, he hinted at overthrowing the Directorie if they did not support the Egyptian invasion.

Mind you reader, this was not all ego or politics. Napoléon understood that the key to France’s survival lie in Europe, not the colonies. French armies had shown that they could hold their own against the best Spain, Prussia and Austria could offer on the continent. True, Napoléon had concerns about the Russian monster to the distant east, but the real enemy was Britain. An army could not best Britain because of its island status, but France would have to beat them economically and challenge them at sea. The capture of the Egypt and the Levant would threaten the source of Britain’s wealth, especially after the loss of North America, and force a confrontation by the French Navy against the British at sea. However, instead of challenging the British on their terms in distant India or the Americas, by keeping the conflict closer to home, France could force Britain to play to Paris’ strengths. And of course, if Napoléon could make the Mediterranean a French lake then he could put tremendous pressure on London and it wouldn’t matter one bit what the Americans did, or did not do, an ocean away. In addition, French control of the Middle East would outflank Russia and force the Tsar to maintain valuable troops in the Caucasus and along the Black Sea, just in case.

Their backs against the wall, the Directors dispatched Napoléon to Toulon and then on to Egypt while they scrambled to find a way to save face against the United States. Even though the imminent political threat of Napoléon was now sailing across the Mediterranean, more losses at the hands of the United States would surely create widespread public backlash. In addition, if the Directors thought Napoléon was a threat they knew very well that the blood on Paris’ guillotines was barely dry.

Yet, Napoleon had to reach Egypt first.

And this is where his prior successes in Italy came into play.

***

Novel adapted excerpt from HBO’s miniseries “Vive L’Empereur”, broadcast summer 2015

Lt. Jameson took the note from the pale young midshipman and took a moment to skim it.

“And who produced this intelligence? Some fishermen a few dozen liveries richer I imagine!”

“Do I look like a fisherman lad?!” cried a graveled voice approaching from behind the midshipman. Jameson looked up to behold a veteran English sailor, well weathered and leaning on a crutch.

“And who might you be?” asked Jameson straightening up.

“Samuel Sparling, at your service. I run a merchant schooner out of Liverpool, specializing in trade with the east, particularly the Turks and the Greeks. We were on our way back from Athens when we encountered them” Sparling said motioning to the dispatch memo.

“With all due respect Mr. Sparling, why should I believe your report?”

“Because sonny boy, you aren’t the only one here with a vested interest in king and country.” Sparling growled shaking his crutch.

Jameson realized this was no mere merchantman, but a navy veteran.

“Where?” asked Jameson motioning to the crutch.

“I was a bosun’s mate on the Duke of Cumberland at Windward Passage. Emphasis on ‘was’”

Jameson was floored. “You were one of the survivors?!”

“Aye, I was one of the survivors.”

Jameson looked at the man once more and motioned towards a nearby hall.

“Come with me”

***

Jameson and Sparling stood outside of an ornate door, waiting quietly until it opened and produced a tall older gentleman in a fine blue naval jacket embroidered with gold and a spotless white undercoat.

“This better be good you bog trotting Irishman” exclaimed a clearly perturbed John Jervis, Admiral of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean squadron. “This is a critical state dinner if we wish to maintain our anchorage here. These Corsicans might be neither French nor Italian but 20 years under a French flag tends to give one certain leanings.”

Jervis noticed and sized up Sparling.

“And who might your friend be?”

“Sir,” Jameson began. “This is Samuel Sparling. He is a merchant now but is a former navy man and survived the Duke of Cumberland at the Passage. He brought us this dispatch and I believe him to be credible.”

Jameson handed the Admiral the message who skimmed it briefly.

“How do you know this fleet to be a war fleet?” asked Jervis.

“A perk of my trade mayhaps.” Replied Sparling. “I’ve been trading with the Turks and Greeks for years now. Mostly that takes us to Athens, Constantinople and a few times Jaffa and Alexandria. But once I made it up to Corfu and saw this very fleet. That was about five years ago. I wouldn’t forget a site like that.”

“Corfu?” Jervis perked up. “Did you happen to catch a glimpse of the [naval] jack?”

“Aye sir, every sailor in those parts knows that flag, even if you don’t see them too much anymore. Burgundy with gold trim and in the mid, a golden griffin holding a sword.”

Jervis stood stupefied for a moment.

“What in the bloody hell are the Venetians doing all the way out here, with a war fleet much less?”

“Well I can’t speak for their orders Admiral, but I think I might can make an educated guess. They had the wind in their favor and even though they had to have seen us they made off in a great hurry south-southwest away from the Strait of Messina. Me thinks they are making a run at Syracuse and Sicily.”

“Sicily!?” exclaimed Jameson.

Jervis raised a hand to quiet Jameson. He rolled the dispatch into a scroll and thumbed it while walking and thinking.

“Thirty to forty ships…” he murmured to himself. “South-southwest of the Strait…”

Jervis paused.

“Jameson do we have any movement from the French fleet at Toulon?”

“None sir, even with our reduced watch.”

Jervis paused again and look at the old navyman.

“Mr. Sparling your guess is a fine one and you’ve done your country proud, in many more ways than one, but I do believe you are mistaken. Even with fifty ships the Venetians cannot threaten the Two Sicilies. If it was a joint operation the French would have left already to support the initial attack. So if its not the Sicilies, Mr. Sparling, what other target, a more lightly defended target, lies south-southwest of Messina?”

Sparling’s eyes widened with revelation.

“Malta…”

“Aye,” replied Jervis with a wry smile. “Malta.”

***

Excerpt from Konijeti Beevti’s “Years of Revolution: Boston to Bhārata”, Vij Publishing House, 1962 (translation by Earl Henderson).

In 1796, Napoléon defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Arcole, giving him free range in Venetia. During his brief visit to Venice, Napoleon did more than enjoy a stroll down the Grand Canal. While it had been many years since Venice had been considered one of the premier naval powers in Europe, she still boasted a decent sized navy and hundreds of capable sailors with centuries of saltwater in their veins. Not wishing these valuable galleys to fall into Austrian hands due to peace negotiations, Napoleon ordered this fleet south into “safer” French-controlled waters.

In early-June, that Venetian fleet arrived at the island of Malta and, without provocation, took the small island with little bloodshed. A well-provisioned Franco-Venetian garrison remained to maintain control. As quick as they came, the Venetian fleet sailed west and vanished over the horizon. Fifteen days later, a significant Royal Navy force led by Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson arrived and laid siege to the dug-in Franco-Venetians [4].

While Nelson’s fleet was heading south from Ajaccio, the chief port of Corsica, another fleet congregated at the little known and little utilized island of Ustica, a speck in the middle of the Tyrrenhian Sea. Thirty ships from Rome, a handful from Livorno, twenty-eight from scattered French allies and privateers, all of these French-Italian allies gathered before proceeding to their next destination. One notably absent fleet, however, was that of Genoa.

Instead of proceeding south to Ustica, the Genoese sailed west towards Toulon.

***

Novel adapted excerpt from HBO’s miniseries “Vive L’Empereur”, broadcast summer 2015

Captain Howell peered through his spyglass. Sails cascaded down the French masts in Toulon harbor, it appeared as if the entire fleet had come to life all at once.

“They mean to make a breakout,” Howell scowled. Jervis, Nelson and Howell had all known that there was the possibility that the Venetian attack on Malta was little more than a distraction to free this fleet. Yet, with British forces stretched thin due to the politicians’ “budget cuts” they had to pick their battles. Malta was too strategic to be left to the dogs, even if it meant risking the British response fleet patrolling Toulon.

Howell contemplated a bit.

“Master Parr,” bellowed Howell to his coxswain at the helm, “bring us around and back to Ajaccio. We haven’t the strength to stop this lot but maybe we can alert the Admiral and outrun them. Lt. Derby, signal the other ships!”

The deck of the HMS Ocean exploded with frantic activity as midshipmen manned the rigging and prepared the cannons. Derby raised signal flags and soon the rest of the fleet sprang into a retreat action.

Just as the Ocean began turning back towards the Mediterranean, and the safety of Corsica, a midshipman in the crow’s-nest sent a shiver down all of the men’s spines.

“Enemy sited captain!”

It was a trap. Howell, the crew of the Ocean and the remaining ships had been too focused on the French fleet that they had failed to keep an eye on their stern.

Howell ran to the bow of the ship now facing towards the sea and peered through his spyglass. Forty, perhaps fifty, ships closing behind them. On their masts flew a new flag in the region but one he had become familiar with: a green, red and blue tricolor with four stars on a white shield and the St. George’s cross in the middle. It was the flag of the Republic of Liguria and these were the remnants of the former, formidable, Genoese Navy.

Howell lowered his spyglass and grit his teeth. He turned back to his crew who looked to him in fear.

“I don’t know about you lads but I have no intention of dying today” he bellowed. “Lighten the ship, give us all due speed, make every shot count. If you can get us to Corsica, the first, second and third round will be on me!”

***

Excerpt from Konijeti Beevti’s “Years of Revolution: Boston to Bhārata”, Vij Publishing House, 1962 (translation by Earl Henderson).

Legend holds that the Genoese navy closed a trap on the British sentry ships as the French made their escape from Toulon. This is merely dramatic myth. In reality, the much stronger French fleet chased the British guards out, their strength siphoned with Nelson’s departure towards Malta, and met up with the Genoese north of Corsica. The remaining Royal Navy vessels were either damaged, scattered, or sunk.

To his credit, Captain Howell of the HMS Ocean did become the first person to sound the alarm of the French breakout from Toulon. Severely damaged, he managed to ground the Ocean on the Plage de Saleccia beach on northern Corsica. Of course, Ajaccio and Admiral Jervis were on the other side of the island by the time the message arrived the Franco-Genoese had long since vanished to head to their next port of call: Tunis.

Even Tunis was a deliberate choice by Napoleon. Comprised of pirates for hire, Napoleon knew that a combination of payment and the presence of so many French and Italian guns would ensure hospitality from the ruling Bey. Furthermore, with the Royal Navy scattered between Corsica, Malta, Gibraltar and regular patrols elsewhere, Jervis would be hesitant to send a patrol into Tunisian waters.

It was at Tunis that all three fleets came together while the British assessed the chaotic situation and Nelson laid siege to Malta. The timing could not have worked better. All three fleets met up over the course of two weeks while the fleets rested and took on water and supplies. With the Royal Navy scattered, they sailed east.

Napoléon’s forces landed at the Egyptian port of Alexandria in July.

***

Excerpt from the Declaration of General Bonaparte to the people of Egypt, 1798.

“For too long the beys who govern Egypt have insulted the French nation and covered their traders in slanders. The hour of their punishment has come. For too long this horde of slaves, bought in the Caucasus and Georgia, have tyrannised the most beautiful part of the world; but God, on whom all depends, has ordained that their empire shall end. People of Egypt, they have told you that I come to destroy your religion, but do not believe it; [tell them] in reply [that] I come to restore your rights, punish the usurpers and that I respect God, his prophet and the Quran more than the Mamluks. Tell them that all men are equal before God; wisdom, talents, virtues are the only things to make one man different from another… Is there a more beautiful land? It belongs to the Mamluks. If Egypt is their farm, then they should show the lease that God gave them for it… Cadis, cheiks, imans, tchorbadjis, and notables of the nation [I ask you to] tell the people that we are true friends of Muslims. Wasn’t it us who destroyed the Knights of Malta? Wasn’t it us who destroyed the Pope who used to say that he had a duty to make war on Muslims? Wasn’t it us who have at all times been friends to the Great Lord and enemies to his enemies? … Thrice happy are those who will be with us! They shall prosper in their fortune and in their rank. Happy are those who will be neutral! They will get to know us over time, and join their ranks with ours. But unhappy, thrice unhappy, are those who shall arm themselves [to fight] for the Mamluks and who shall fight against us! There shall be no hope for them, they shall perish.”

***

Excerpt from Konijeti Beevti’s “Years of Revolution: Boston to Bhārata”, Vij Publishing House, 1962 (translation by Earl Henderson).  

On July 24, the British Parliament declared war on France over the illegal occupation of Malta (and more directly the clear threat to British interests on Corsica, the Eastern Mediterranean and potentially India). Even though they weren’t allied nor did they directly cooperate in the conflict, the United States and Britain were now fighting France at the same time. The War of the Second Coalition had officially begun. Madrid declared war on France that summer in conjunction with their British allies. Russian Tsar Paul I, the titular head of the Knights of Malta, learned about the Franco-Italian occupation and declared war on France by the end of the summer. Austria and the Neapolitans joined in as well.

The U.S. Congress was shocked to learn in late July that most of France’s fleet and its best military commander were heading east not west. With no headway occurring through diplomacy, the U.S. Navy (somewhat enthusiastically) began executing second phase operations.

—————– Author’s Notes —————

[1]: St. Martin is an island that, too this day, is split down the middle between the French and the Netherlands, though it was briefly occupied by France in our timeline before the British swept into the Caribbean and took control of practically the whole thing during the Napoleonic Wars. Of course, in this timeline the British sweep is much more limited due to the larger American Caribbean and strained resources.

[2]: There was a lot of conversion and inflation calculation but basically that 2.7M in British Pounds in 1798 becomes $368M in 2018 US Dollars. I’m using $45M due to this in-timeline source being published in 1962.

[3]: In our timeline, the entry of Spain into the war on the side of France left the British hold on the Mediterranean tenuous and forced the Royal Navy to relocate its Mediterranean squadron to Portugal. In this timeline, an earlier end to the War of the First Coalition and Britain’s alliance with Spain allows the Royal Navy to operate in the Mediterranean itself, principally out of Corsica.

[4]: In this timeline there are fewer battles for the royal navy to prove itself, notably no Battle of Cape St. Vincent and no Battle of Copenhagen. Because of this, John Jervis, while still in command of the Mediterranean, is not the Early St. Vincent and Horatio Nelson is stagnating lower on the fleet’s totem pole since he has yet to prove his skill

Source Materials

Adkins, Roy & Lesley. The War for All the Oceans. Abacus, 2006.

Clowes, William L. The Royal Navy, A History from the Earliest Times to 1900. Vol. IV. Chatham Publishing, 1997.

Cole, Juan. Napoleon’s Egypt; Invading the Middle East. Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Gardiner, Robert. Nelson Against Napoleon. Caxton Editions, 2001.

Maffeo, Steven E. Most Secret and Confidential: Intelligence in the Age of Nelson. Chatham Publishing, 2000.

Mullié, Charles. Biographie des célébrités militaires des armées de terre et de mer de 1789 à 1850/Bonaparte. Poignavant, 1851.

Rose, J. Holland. Napoleon and Sea Power. Cambridge Historical Journal. Vol. I, 1924.

UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory. “The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)”. MeasuringWorth. Retrieved November 6, 2017.

Vovsi, Eman. “The Power and Question of Faith: Murad Bey’s Pros and Cons during the French Invasion of Egypt, 1798-1801.” The Napoleon Series. Accessed January 26, 2018. http://www.napoleon-series.org/military/battles/Egypt/c_MouradBey.html.

Warner, Oliver. The Battle of the Nile. B. T. Batsford, 1960.

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