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Britain's Last Invasion: The Battle of Fishguard, 1797

Britain's Last Invasion: The Battle of Fishguard, 1797

by Phil Carradice


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The history of Britain has been shaped by those who have invaded this small isle: the Romans, Vikings and Norman Conquest all molded our society and culture. Surprisingly, the last time mainland Britain was ever invaded was not Duke William’s victory at Hastings in 1066 or even the Bloodless Revolution of 1688. It was, in fact, in February 1797 when 1,400 drunken and out-of-control French soldiers from the Legion Noire landed on the north coast of Pembrokeshire near Fishguard.

With ‘Britain’s Last Invasion’ dive in to the Battle of Fishguard, a military invasion of Great Britain by Revolutionary France. The little-known ‘invasion’ consisted mainly of drunken Frenchmen rampaging around the area, burning churches and terrorizing the locals. The role and courage of the women of Fishguard is revealed: when the men fled, the women stayed fast. Learn how the town cobbler Jemima Nicholas – armed with only a pitchfork – captured twelve enemy soldiers.

The attempted invasion lasted just three days, but had ramifications that we are still dealing with today. Following the attempt, the government recognized the need to strengthen the British fleet, a policy that lasted for over a hundred years and almost certainly helped prevent Napoleon’s later planned invasion.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526765857
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 04/06/2020
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Phil Carradice is a well-known poet, story teller, and historian with over 60 books to his credit. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio and TV, presents the BBC Wales History program The Past Master and is widely regarded as one of the finest creative writing tutors in Wales.

Table of Contents

Foreward vii

Introduction ix

A Brief Note on Illustrations and Images xiii

Chapter 1 A Prelude to Disaster 1

Chapter 2 Revolution in France 7

Chapter 3 The Directory Lays its Plans 21

Chapter 4 Diversion and Attack 31

Chapter 5 The Legion Noire 40

Chapter 6 Towards Fishguard 54

Chapter 7 Tate's Landing 66

Chapter 8 Defending the Nation 76

Chapter 9 Establishing the Beachhead 89

Chapter 10 Went the Day Well? 98

Chapter 11 A Time of Duty and Disaster 109

Chapter 12 The Fleet Leaves 124

Chapter 13 Surrender 133

Chapter 14 The Aftermath 142

Chapter 15 Effects 156

Chapter 16 Players Departing the Stage 172

Chapter 17 The British, Too 185

Conclusion 194

Notes 197

Bibliography 206

Acknowledgements 212

Index 213

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