Download PDF by Tim Voelcker: Admiral Saumarez Versus Napoleon - The Baltic, 1807-12

By Tim Voelcker

The maritime warfare opposed to Napoleon didn't finish with the conflict of Trafalgar, yet persisted correct as much as 1815, with much more British ships and sailors deployed after 1805 than prior to. One key theatre was once the Baltic, the place the British commander was once Admiral Saumarez. He had had a hugely profitable occupation as a post-Captain, particularly on the battles of Algeciras as a newly-promoted Rear-Admiral. for 5 years from 1808 as Commander-in-Chief of a giant Baltic fleet, he performed a truly skilful diplomatic position, combining firmness and reticence, and dealing with Sweden opposite to the instincts of his superiors in London, even if she declared conflict. regardless of the decided efforts of Denmark's gunboats and privateers, he effectively stored British alternate flowing out and in of the Baltic, undermining Napoleon's 'Continental procedure' - the commercial blockade of england - and resulting in Napoleon's fateful selection to invade Russia in 1812. This booklet, in accordance with vast unique learn in either British and Scandinavian files and making huge use of Saumarez' unpublished correspondence , charts the maritime and political background of the conflict within the Baltic. It illustrates the hugely winning, hugely esteemed function the Admiral performed and appears on the nature and motivation of the fellow himself published in his letters and within the inner most letters of count number von Rosen, Governor of Gothenburg and leader hyperlink among Saumarez and previous French Marshal Bernadotte, Crown Prince of Sweden, later to be topped King Karl XIV Johan.

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Hood having moved to St Kitts, Saumarez sailed through the intricate channel between it and Nevis to avoid the French fleet, taking soundings as he went as only smaller vessels had used it before. His seamanship throughout his career was outstanding. 42 Again, this impressed Hood so much that when the captain of the Russell (74) sought to return home sick, Hood allowed Saumarez to exchange ships with him, giving him the critical status of post-captain at the age of just 25. Two months later in April 1782, he fought with distinction at the Battle of the Saintes under Admiral Rodney.

31 What then of Saumarez? Grenville had gone on to consider him, then aged 50, for the Channel post: Saumarez would certainly do extremely well; could not be displeasing to Lord St Vincent; would be acceptable to the fleet, and would enjoy the confidence of the country; but I should doubt your easily inducing him to quit his quiet situation at Guernsey where he has all the advantages of a Commander-inChief, and little, very little indeed to do. In this he had misjudged his man. Saumarez had been glad to move to a position of active service in 1807 and had accepted the position of second-incommand of the Channel Fleet.

48 His success was largely due to another example of his seamanship: box-hauling. 49 The following year with the Druid (32) and Eurydice (24) under his wing, he fell in with two large French frigates (74s en flute), two smaller ones, a brig and a cutter off Guernsey’s north coast Sending the slower Eurydice straight inshore, he and the Druid drew the enemy away, and then the Crescent ran firing down the French line while the Druid escaped. His own capture seemed inevitable, but knowing the coast himself and having an experienced local pilot, he bore down through a narrow passage in the rocks which had never before been attempted by a ship of that size.

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