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Re: Roosevelt's Naval War Book

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  • Tom Lawrence
    ... I had to do a little reading to get some info to respond. The French Navy in 1805-6 was kept bottled up in French and Spanish ports. One foray by
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 1, 2000
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      --- In WarOf1812@egroups.com, Rob Taylor <niagara_falls_98@y...>
      wrote:
      >
      > --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@y...> wrote:>
      > Actually, he doesn't seem to indicaye win/loss
      > > either
      > > way.I've been doing some tabulating of RN assets,
      > > how
      > > many RN SoL's were tasked for North America versus
      > > the
      > > US and how many RN SoL's were tasked to lean on the
      > > French... interesting picture imerging. 30 something
      > RN SoLs to Blockade or otherwise screw with the frog
      > navy in 1813, which had at that time, about 40 or so
      > SoLs of their own (almost half of them in the
      > 112-118 gun range) plus assorted frog frigates. In
      > 1814 the RN tasked 21 SoLs to blockade or otherwise
      > act against the USN, which had 12 frigates, 3 of them
      > in ordinary. Seems obvious who the RN respected.....
      >
      > Fitz
      >
      >
      >
      > I imagine the the Royal Navy respected both the French
      > Navy & the USN. to some degree. It is wise afterall to
      > be respectful of one's enemy. I see what you mean
      > about more ships to blockade the Americans than the
      > French. And that the Americans had less ships to
      > contend with than the French also. It would be
      > interesting to see how much coastline had to be
      > blockaded on both sides. Or how many ports the French
      > and Americans occupied.
      >
      > Rob Taylor
      >


      I had to do a little reading to get some info to respond.

      The French Navy in 1805-6 was kept bottled up in French and Spanish
      ports. One foray by Villeneuve into the Carribean was countered by
      Nelson's pursuit. Were it not for a bit of misinformation Nelson
      would have had a chance to engage Villeneuve and probably eliminate a
      great portion of the French fleet. Villeneuve managed to get back to
      France and was then bottled up by the English fleet. Many of the
      French SoL had been kept in port so long that their hulls were
      rotting away making them almost unusable. After Nelson's victory at
      Trafalgar the French Navy was so demorallized they rarely ever
      challenged the British Navy again. French Admirals rather face
      Napoleons wrath for not leaving a safe harbor than losing a ship to
      the Brits.

      A major issue when considering why so many British ships were used to
      blockade the U.S. is that the French Navy by 1812 was basically
      inert. The British Navy had by then learned it could easily blockade
      a port with just few ships. (One tactic used was to have one or two
      ships in sight of the port signalling to other ships that weren't
      anywhere near. Read 'Years of Victory' by Arthur Bryant) Cockburn's
      efforts in the Chesepeake showed he could basically do as he pleased,
      when and where he pleased. The U.S. Navy had only a handful of
      frigates and most couldn't get out of their ports. The British
      efforts in North American waters were meant to inhibit trade with its
      eneny, France, and keep U.S. warships (regular & privateers) from
      harassing British shipping. The Brits had the resources at that time
      to do this and felt it was necessary to do so to speed the end of the
      war in Europe.

      The French invasion of England had been a very serious threat for
      several years. The key to the whole plan was for the French to gain
      control of the English Channel. The French abandoned this after
      Trafalgar. The threat against the British homeland was never again
      as great as it was in 1805-6 until 1941. Isn't it ironic that the
      control of the Channel by the British in 1941, this time by air,
      stopped another invasion?

      Tom Lawrence
    • Dave Hill
      Tom, I hate to nit pick, well truthfully I really don t, but there are a couple of misconceptions in your message. Trafalgar did not save the British Isles
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 8, 2000
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        Tom,

        I hate to nit pick, well truthfully I really don't, but there are
        a couple of misconceptions in your message. Trafalgar did not save
        the British Isles from invasion. The fleet maneuvers of the previous
        months, including Nelson's dash to the West Indies and back, had
        accomplished that task. Napoleon had already started to march his
        army east when the Battle of Trafalgar took place. The
        French/Spanish fleet was heading for the Med. when Nelson caught them
        at Trafalgar. Similarly the Battle of Britain took place in 1940 not
        1941. By 1941 the other little Corporal had also started his army
        moving East.

        Trafalgar completed the virtual destruction of the French Navy that
        had begun at the Nile some years earlier. Naval battles before
        Nelson involved the actual loss of very few ships. St. Vincent (Sir
        John Jarvis) captured three ships at the Battle of St. Vincent:
        Rodney captured two or three at the Saints during the American
        Revolution and both of these were great victories. Nelson captured
        or destroyed 11 of 13 French ships at the Nile and 18 of 33 at
        Trafalgar.
        By 1812 the French capital ships were rotting hulks that were no
        longer relevant.

        The reason the Admiralty tasked so many ships of the line tasked to
        North America in 1813 and '14 was the existence of three ships;
        The President, The United States, and The Constitution. The American
        "44's" were the ultimate in their class. No British frigate had
        a chance against them (unless he got very very lucky) and even two
        frigates couldn't be assured of taking them. A British "74"
        could take one of them, if it could catch it. The real mistake of
        the USN was that it didn't really use the "44's" for extensive
        commerce raiding during 1813 and 1814. But that's another topic.

        Dave.


        --- In WarOf1812@egroups.com, "Tom Lawrence" <manipi@m...> wrote:

        --- Fitzhugh MacCrae <alaidh@y...> wrote:>
        ... interesting picture imerging. 30 something
        RN SoLs to Blockade or otherwise screw with the frog
        navy in 1813, which had at that time, about 40 or so
        SoLs of their own (almost half of them in the
        112-118 gun range) plus assorted frog frigates. In
        1814 the RN tasked 21 SoLs to blockade or otherwise
        act against the USN, which had 12 frigates, 3 of them
        in ordinary. Seems obvious who the RN respected.....

        Fitz




        The French invasion of England had been a very serious threat for
        several years. The key to the whole plan was for the French to gain
        control of the English Channel. The French abandoned this after
        Trafalgar. The threat against the British homeland was never again
        as great as it was in 1805-6 until 1941. Isn't it ironic that the
        control of the Channel by the British in 1941, this time by air,
        stopped another invasion?

        Tom Lawrence
      • Timothy Avery
        ... previous Dave: Hope you won t mind me inbutting here. A good solid work on the British v. French naval doctrine and strategy and the ramifications thereof
        Message 3 of 6 , Oct 8, 2000
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          --- In WarOf1812@egroups.com, "Dave Hill" <dave.bev@h...> wrote:
          > Tom,
          >
          > I hate to nit pick, well truthfully I really don't, but there are
          > a couple of misconceptions in your message. Trafalgar did not save
          > the British Isles from invasion. The fleet maneuvers of the
          previous

          Dave:

          Hope you won't mind me inbutting here.
          A good solid work on the British v. French naval doctrine and
          strategy and the ramifications thereof is Empire of the North
          Atlantic by Gerald S. Graham. For the Jonathan perspective, one
          should consult Alfred Thayer Mahan's second volume on seapower, which
          covers the 1812 period.

          Yo ho ho and a gill of watered-down Pusser's
          T.Avery
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