Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic 'The Battle That Never Was': Fishguard 1797 on Jemima Fawr's Blog Reply To: 'The Battle That Never Was': Fishguard 1797 on Jemima Fawr's Blog

Jemima Fawr

Oh yeah, the looting was undoubtedly a consequence of two primary factors:

  1. French Revolutionary armies were indoctrinated to live off the land in order to supplement the meagre rations provided by the army.  This frequently caused resentment in those they were ‘liberating’.
  2. At Fishguard, the astonishing truth is that the Black Legion had not been provided with ANY rations by the Army and the Navy refused to share theirs, so the troops were starving even before they landed.  The discovery of massive stores of salvaged wine, port and sherry in the Welsh farms didn’t help… (a Portuguese wine-ship had been wrecked and looted locally only a few weeks before)

It’s a fascinating ‘what-if’ to consider what might have happened if a. they’d had a meal before landing and b. if a decent regiment had been landed.  They utterly outnumbered the forces Cawdor brought to bear and as will be seen, they actually outnumbered virtually all of the military forces immediately available in Wales AND western England!  It’s easy to laugh it off as a comic-opera, but it could so easily have been a bloodbath, followed by a history-changing campaign.

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