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Subject: British Deck Notes rss

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British Deck:

B2 – Britain’s Outrage: Pictured – the unfortunate Duke of Cumberland, loser of the 1757 summer campaign, unauthorized co-signer of the Convention of Kloster Zeven, and disgraced target of patriarchal and public wrath.

B3 – Conjunct Operations: One of William Pitt’s notions in lieu of commiting British troops to the continent was “descents” on the French coast, effectively large scale hit-and- run raids. The British made several, and though they were generally cautious and missed opportunities, they did divert some French troops from the main conflict in the German theater.

B6 – Reinforcing Continental Success: Pictured – William Pitt the elder, Secretary of State for the Southern Department, who set Britain’s war policy until his resignation in 1761. He was instrumental in sending the British troops to the continent, and in engineering the substantial subsidy to Prussia. Pitt, aware of a pending Franco-Spanish alliance, argued for war with Spain in 1760-61; the Earl of Bute, mentor of George III, Newcastle, and other advisors opposed this at the time, seconded by the First Lord of the Admiralty George Anson, who expressed concern at the prospect of having to face a second enemy navy. In October 1761, Pitt resigned before he was forced to. Ironically, Bute (now Secretary of State and defacto Prime Minister) and the new administration wound up pre-emptively declaring war on Spain in January 1762.

B9 – Light Troops: Pictured – uniforms of Luckner’s Light dragoons and hussars, from a watercolor by Knotel..

B10 – Belle Isle vs. Duverny: Belle Isle was an aged French war hero, and became Minister of War in late 1757; Paris Duverny was in charge of the French army supply and pay system. Belle Isle urged offensives and requested supplies, but Duverny often hamstrung these plans, citing lack of provisions to support the efforts.

B11 – Luckner: Nicolas Luckner was the architect and soul of the Hanoverian and British Light unit resurgence under Ferdinand’s command. Along with Lt units leaders Scheither and Riedesel, he led the Anglo-Allied KK effort to dominance over the French in mid and late war. Ironically, Luckner later became a French general and marshal, and was executed during the French revolution.

B13 – French Armistice: Ferdinand, shortly after taking over the Hanoverian army in late 1757, was able to harass the French general Richelieu so effectively with a mere 9,000 troops that Richelieu agreed to an armistice, effectively ending the campaign that year, and allowing Ferdinand to further build and train his forces.

B14 – Wooing the Danes: The British effort to get Denmark into the war.

B15 – Separate Peace, France: Pictured – Etienne Francois de Stainville, Duc de Choiseul, a former officer in the war of the Austrian Succession, appointed French Foreign Minister in late 1758, who authorized three cautious, behind-the-scenes peace negotiations with the British from 1759 onward.

B18 – Quiberon Bay: Pictured – Admiral Edward Hawke, hero of the Royal Navy victory at Quiberon bay.

B19 – Immediate Capitulation: In 1758, Ferdinand blustered and threatened an Imperial garrison at Dusseldorf into surrendering without a siege or assault. (In fall 1757, Prussian cavalry general Seydlitz did the same thing to a small Imperial garrison in Saxony).

B21 – Coalition Mistrust: A generalized title for “friction of war” in the German theater; bickering and jealousy among the rival French commanders, supply difficulties, delays in gathering the unpaid, scattered French troops from their foraging; Richelieu’s torpor, Clermont’s incompetence, D’Estrees’ failing health, Broglie’s frustration, Swedish supply issues, the usual command hesitations, et al.

B22 – War with Spain: Pictured – Charles III, King of Spain. Though the British were increasingly annoyed, then hostile in their position toward Spain from 1760—1762, (see card F21), they prevaricated over the question of going to war, and William Pitt eventually resigned over the issue (see B21). But before the Family Compact’s secret clause could take effect, the British pre-emptively declared war in January 1762.

B23 – Manila and Havana: Despite the misgivings of some of the British cabinet, once war was declared, the Royal Navy had great success against the Spanish possessions around the globe. They captured both Manila and Havana in 1762, which no doubt gave Charles III and the Spanish court pause to wonder on the wisdom of their decision to ally with cousin Louis.
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