Battle of Blaauwberg
It established British rule in South Africa, which was to have many ramifications for the region during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A bi-centennial commemoration was held in January 2006, the battle was an incident in Europes Napoleonic Wars. At that time, the Cape Colony belonged to the Batavian Republic, because the sea route around the Cape was important to the British, they decided to seize the colony in order to prevent it—and the sea route—from coming under French control. A British fleet was despatched to the Cape in July 1805, the colony was governed by Lieutenant General Jan Willem Janssens, who was commander-in-chief of its military forces. The forces were small and of quality, and included foreign units hired by the Batavian government. They were backed up by local militia units, the first British warship reached the Cape on Christmas Eve 1805, and attacked two supply ships off the Cape Peninsula. Janssens placed his garrison on alert, when the main fleet sailed into Table Bay on 4 January 1806, he mobilised the garrison, declared martial law, and called up the militia.
After a delay caused by rough seas, two British infantry brigades, under the command of Lt Gen Sir David Baird, landed at Melkbosstrand, north of Cape Town, Janssens moved his forces to intercept them. He had decided that victory could be considered impossible, but the honour of the fatherland demanded a fight and his intention was to attack the British on the beach and to withdraw to the interior, where he hoped to hold out until the French troopships arrived. Janssens halted and formed a line across the veld, the battle began at sunrise, with exchanges of artillery fire. These were followed by an advance by Janssenss militia cavalry, one of Janssenss hired foreign units, in the centre of his line and ran from the field. A British bayonet charge disposed of the units on Janssenss right flank, Janssens began the battle with 2,049 troops, and lost 353 in casualties and desertions. Baird began the battle with 5,399 men, and had 212 casualties, from Blaauwberg, Janssens moved inland to a farm in the Tygerberg area, and from there his troops moved to the Elands Kloof in the Hottentots Holland Mountains, about 50km from Cape Town.
The British forces reached the outskirts of Cape Town on 9 January, to spare the town and its civilian population from attack, the commandant of Cape Town, Lieutenant-Colonel Hieronymus Casimir von Prophalow, sent out a white flag. He handed over the fortifications to Baird, and terms of surrender were negotiated in the day. The formal Articles of Capitulation for the town and the Cape Peninsula were signed the following afternoon,10 January, although the cottage has long since been demolished, Treaty Street still commemorates the event. The tree under which they signed remains to this day and he had only 1,238 men with him, and 211 deserted in the days that followed. Janssens held out in the mountains for a further week, after further consideration, and consultation with his senior officers and advisers, Janssens decided that the bitter cup must be drunk to the bottom
Siege of Gaeta (1806)
The Siege of Gaeta saw the fortress city of Gaeta and its Neapolitan garrison under Louis of Hesse-Philippsthal besieged by an Imperial French corps led by André Masséna. After a prolonged defense in which Hesse was badly wounded, Gaeta surrendered, the 1806 Invasion of Naples by Napoleons forces was provoked when King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies joined the Third Coalition against Imperial France. The Kingdom of Naples was rapidly overrun by Imperial soldiers, the garrison put up such fierce resistance that a large part of Massénas Army of Naples was tied up in the siege for nearly five months. However, because the British failed to relieve the garrison of Gaeta, by the late summer of 1805, the War of the Third Coalition was about to break out. Emperor Napoleon deployed 94,000 men to defend his possessions in Italy. Marshal André Masséna had 68,000 men in the army, the satellite Kingdom of Italy added 8,000. Against Napoleons empire, the Austrian army in Italy under Archduke Charles, Neapolitan army of King Ferdinand IV counted a mere 22,000 soldiers.
Afraid that the French might invade his domain, the king concluded a treaty with Napoleon to remain neutral, in exchange, the French agreed to evacuate Apulia in southern Italy. The treaty was ratified in Naples on 3 October, as soon as the ink was dry, the French observation corps abandoned Apulia and marched north to join Massénas army. Immediately and Queen Maria Carolina treacherously summoned two Coalition expeditionary forces to Naples, lieutenant General James Henry Craig sailed from Malta with 7,500 British troops while General Maurice Lacy of Grodno landed 14,500 Russian soldiers from Corfu. A second source noted that 6,000 men under Craig and 7,350 under Lacy landed at Naples on 20 November 1805, by this time only 10,000 Franco-Italian troops observed the Neapolitan border. As Craig and Lacy prepared for an offensive into northern Italy, without the assistance of their allies and Lacy were only strong enough to maintain a defensive posture. Meanwhile, the Kingdom of Naples belatedly drafted 6,000 men for service by pressing jailed criminals into the ranks.
In the meantime, a reinforcement of 6,000 Russians landed, Napoleons decisive victory at the Battle of Austerlitz on 2 December 1805 ended the Third Coalition. After Czar Alexander I of Russia ordered Lacy to withdraw his force, understanding that retribution would soon follow, the Neapolitan government was thrown into chaos. The king knew that he had double-crossed Napoleon, casting about for a good position to defend, Craig offered to hold the fortress of Gaeta. However, its governor, Prince Louis of Hesse-Philippsthal stubbornly refused to admit his men to the citadel, the British general asked the Neapolitan government if he could land his troops at Messina in Sicily. This offer was turned down
Battle of Campo Tenese
The Battle of Campo Tenese saw two divisions of the Imperial French Army of Naples led by Jean Reynier attack the left wing of the Royal Neapolitan Army under Roger de Damas. Though the defenders were protected by fortifications, a French frontal attack combined with a turning movement rapidly overran the position. The action occurred at Campotenese, a mountain village in the municipality of Morano Calabro in the north of Calabria. The battle was fought during the War of the Third Coalition, in the second week of February 1806 the Imperial French armies poured across the border in the Invasion of Naples. The Neapolitan army, divided into two wings, retreated before the forces of their opponents. At Campo Tenese, Damas attempted to make a stand with the wing in order to give the right wing time to join him. After the defeat, the Neapolitan army melted away from desertion, the conflict was far from over. The Siege of Gaeta, the British victory at Maida, in early 1805, French Emperor Napoleon prepared to defend his possessions in Italy against the Austrian Empire.
For its part, the Austrian army in Italy under Archduke Charles, King Ferdinand IVs Neapolitan army counted only 22,000 soldiers. Afraid that Saint-Cyrs corps might overrun his lands, the king concluded a treaty with Napoleon to remain neutral during the War of the Third Coalition. As soon as Saint-Cyrs army marched north and Queen Maria Carolina violated the agreement and invited the British, lieutenant General James Henry Craigs 6,000 British and General Maurice Lacy of Grodnos 7,350 Russians landed at Naples on 20 November 1805. However, Napoleons decisive victory at the Battle of Austerlitz on 2 December 1805 resulted in the demise of the Third Coalition, as a result, both expeditionary forces were ordered by their governments to withdraw and they were gone by mid-January. This left Ferdinand alone to face the fury of Napoleon, who had determined to conquer the Kingdom of Naples, Saint-Cyrs corps was renamed the Army of Naples in January 1806 and placed under the command of Masséna, though Joseph was the nominal leader.
Annoyed at being demoted, Saint-Cyr clashed with Masséna and was recalled early in the campaign, the army was divided into three wings. General of Division Jean Reynier commanded 7,500 soldiers of the wing assembled at Rome. Masséna led the 17,500 troops of the center, concentrated at Rome, the 5,000 men of the left wing under General of Division Giuseppe Lechi massed at Ancona on the Adriatic Sea. General of Division Guillaume Philibert Duhesme was marching from Austria with an additional 7, in total, Massénas army numbered more than 41,000 men. While the Imperial French armys combat effectiveness was high, it suffered from maladministration and its troops were poorly paid and fed, leading the soldiers to rob the local people as a matter of course
War of the Third Coalition
The War of the Third Coalition was a European conflict spanning the years 1803 to 1806. During the war and its client states under Napoleon I, defeated an alliance, from 1803–05, Britain stood under constant threat of a French invasion. The Royal Navy, secured mastery of the seas, the Third Coalition itself came to full fruition in 1804–05 as Napoleons actions in Italy and Germany spurred Austria and Russia into joining Britain against France. Victory at Austerlitz permitted the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine, a collection of German states intended as a buffer zone between France and central Europe. As a direct consequence of events, the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist when, in 1806, Holy Roman Emperor Francis II abdicated the Imperial throne, emerging as Francis I. These achievements, did not establish a peace on the continent. Austerlitz had driven neither Russia nor Britain, whose armies protected Sicily from a French invasion, Prussian worries about growing French influence in Central Europe sparked the War of the Fourth Coalition in 1806.
Europe had been embroiled in the French Revolutionary Wars since 1792, after five years of war, the French Republic subdued the armies of the First Coalition in 1797. A Second Coalition was formed in 1798, but this too was defeated by 1801, in March 1802, France and Britain agreed to end hostilities under the Treaty of Amiens. For the first time in ten years all of Europe was at peace, many problems persisted between the two sides making implementation of the treaty increasingly difficult. Bonaparte was angry that British troops had not evacuated the island of Malta, the tension only worsened when Bonaparte sent an expeditionary force to re-establish control over Haiti. Prolonged intransigence on these issues led Britain to declare war on France on 18 May 1803, Bonaparte had already revived plans for an invasion of England in March 1803. Bonapartes expeditionary army was destroyed by disease in Haiti, and subsequently swayed the First Consul to abandon his plans to rebuild Frances New World empire, without sufficient revenues from sugar colonies in the Caribbean, the vast territory of Louisiana in North America had little value to him.
Though Spain had not yet completed the transfer of Louisiana to France per the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed on 30 April 1803. Despite issuing orders that the over 60 million francs were to be spent on the construction of five new canals in France, Bonaparte spent the whole amount on his planned invasion of England. The execution of Enghien shocked the aristocrats of Europe, who remembered the bloodletting of the Revolution. The statement is sometimes attributed to French diplomat Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord. Sometimes the quote is given as, It was worse than a crime, pitt scored a significant coup by securing a burgeoning rival as an ally
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index.
It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government
Battle of Trafalgar
The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, without a single British vessel being lost. It was the most decisive battle of the war, conclusively ending French plans to invade England. Nelson instead divided his force into two columns directed perpendicularly against the enemy fleet, with decisive results. Nelson was shot by a French musketeer during the battle and died shortly after, Villeneuve was captured along with his ship Bucentaure. Admiral Federico Gravina, the senior Spanish flag officer, escaped with the remnant of the fleet, Villeneuve attended Nelsons funeral while a captive on parole in Britain. In 1805, the First French Empire, under Napoleon Bonaparte, was the dominant military power on the European continent. During the course of the war, the British imposed a blockade on France. When the Third Coalition declared war on France, after the short-lived Peace of Amiens, to do so, he needed to ensure that the Royal Navy would be unable to disrupt the invasion flotilla, which would require control of the English Channel.
The main French fleets were at Brest in Brittany and at Toulon on the Mediterranean coast, other ports on the French Atlantic coast harboured smaller squadrons. France and Spain were allied, so the Spanish fleet based in Cádiz, the British possessed an experienced and well-trained corps of naval officers. By contrast, some of the best officers in the French navy had either been executed or had left the service during the part of the French Revolution. Vice-Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve had taken command of the French Mediterranean fleet following the death of Latouche Treville, there had been more competent officers but they had either been employed elsewhere or had fallen from Napoleons favour. Villeneuve had shown a lack of enthusiasm for facing Nelson. Napoleons naval plan in 1805 was for the French and Spanish fleets in the Mediterranean and Cádiz to break through the blockade and join forces in the Caribbean. They would return, assist the fleet in Brest to emerge from the blockade, early in 1805, Vice Admiral Lord Nelson commanded the British fleet blockading Toulon.
Unlike William Cornwallis, who maintained a blockade off Brest with the Channel Fleet. However, Villeneuves fleet successfully evaded Nelsons when the British were blown off station by storms, Nelson commenced a search of the Mediterranean, erroneously supposing that the French intended to make for Egypt. However, Villeneuve took his fleet through the Strait of Gibraltar, rendezvoused with the Spanish fleet, once Nelson realised that the French had crossed the Atlantic Ocean, he set off in pursuit
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether combatant or non-combatant, who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the prisoner of war dates to 1660. The first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite, typically, little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more likely to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture women, a known as raptio. Typically women had no rights, and were legally as chattel. For this he was eventually canonized, during Childerics siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response. Later, Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so, many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat, in Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable.
Examples include the 13th century Albigensian Crusade and the Northern Crusades, the inhabitants of conquered cities were frequently massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed, their families would have to send to their captors large sums of wealth commensurate with the status of the captive. In feudal Japan there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, in Termez, on the Oxus, all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, and divided in accordance with their usual custom, they were all slain. The Aztecs were constantly at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, for the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, between 10,000 and 80,400 persons were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims routinely captured large number of prisoners, aside from those who converted, most were ransomed or enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom.
The freeing of prisoners was highly recommended as a charitable act, there evolved the right of parole, French for discourse, in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain better accommodations, if he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Early historical narratives of captured colonial Europeans, including perspectives of literate women captured by the peoples of North America. The writings of Mary Rowlandson, captured in the fighting of King Philips War, are an example
Battle of Mileto
The Battle of Mileto was a battle of the War of the Third Coalition. It occurred on 28 May 1807 in Calabria during an attempt by the Bourbon Kingdom of Sicily to re-conquer its possessions in continental Italy, the battle ended in a victory for French forces under general Jean Reynier. From their Sicilian base, the Bourbons and the British attempted to foment a revolt against the new French-ruled Kingdom of Naples. These stirrings of revolt made life difficult for the French rulers and triggered a vicious crackdown, mainly led by captain Charles Antoine Manhès and it was Maria who chose Louis of Hesse-Philippsthal as commander of the Bourbon army. In 1806 Louis defended Gaeta against the French and in May 1807 landed in Calabria, intending to defeat the French once and he had around 3,500 men under his command, augmented by irregular troops from among the massisti, whilst his officers included colonel Vito Nunziante. For a year the French followed a policy of withdrawal in the face of the Bourbon advance.
Philippsthal and his army moved from Rosarno to Mileto on 26 May 1807.30 on 28 May on the hills of Nao and Pizzinni, which overlooked the town of Mileto. From here the battle shifted to the outskirts of the town of Mileto, the encounter was bloody and the Bourbon army was routed and pursued to Rosarno, Gioia Tauro and finally to the gates of Reggio Calabria. The two combatants totalled around 10,000, of whom a high percentage were killed. The sources state that the turned on a moment when the Bourbon cavalry charged but was repulsed by the French infantry. As they escaped, the irregulars looted their own Bourbon allies, the original Bourbon plan of reconquering Naples had not been implemented at the time of the battle. Varied political reasons meant that the plan did not become a reality, despite being a Bourbon defeat, it left behind so many mainland foci for anti-French resistance that Napoleon decided to abandon his plan to capture Sicily. Francesco Pititto, La battaglia di Mileto,28 maggio 1807, p.121, a.
Signoretta, Mileto,1917 The Battle of Mileto on www. prolocomileto. it
Battle of Maida
The Battle of Maida on 4 July 1806 was a battle between the British expeditionary force and a First French Empire division outside the town of Maida in Calabria, Italy during the Napoleonic Wars. John Stuart led 5,200 British troops to victory over about 6,000 French soldiers under Jean Reynier, Maida is located in the toe of Italy, about 30 kilometres west of Catanzaro. In early 1806, the French invaded and overran the Kingdom of Naples, forcing King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, the Calabrians revolted against their new conquerors and Stuarts expeditionary force tried to exploit the unrest by raiding the coast. While ashore, the British encountered Reyniers division and the two engaged in battle. The 19th-century historians presented the action as a fight between French columns and British lines. This view of the battle has been called into doubt by at least one modern historian who argued that the French deployed into lines, nobody questions the result which was a one-sided British tactical victory.
After the battle, Stuart captured some isolated garrisons in Calabria and was transported back to Sicily by the Royal Navy, Two weeks after the battle, the city of Gaeta fell to the French after a long siege. While Stuart succeeded in preventing a French invasion of Sicily and sustained the revolt in Calabria, the Neapolitan-Sicilian army was crushed at the Battle of Campo Tenese, forcing Ferdinand to flee to Sicily and concede the Neapolitan crown to the French. Napoleon installed his brother Joseph Bonaparte on the Neapolitan throne, by July 1806, the French had crushed all Neapolitan resistance except for the uprising in Calabria and a garrison at Gaeta. There, André Massénas force become embroiled in a lengthy siege, a British force of over 5,000 men commanded by Major-General John Stuart sailed from Messina on 27 June, landing in the Gulf of SantEufemia three days later. At the same time a French force under the command of General Jean Reynier, the exact size of the French force is unknown.
Contemporary French sources range between 5050 and 5450, some historians have suggested a force as large as 6400 but the most recent estimates are closer to 5400. On the morning of 4 July, Reynier broke camp and advanced toward level terrain along the shallow Lomato River, believing his army superior in numbers, Stuart marched toward the same location nearly parallel to the French column. As both forces deployed from march column, they ended up in echelon formation, on the French side, the left flank was leading, while on the British side the right flank was leading. On the French left, General of Brigade Louis Fursy Henri Compère was echeloned forward, with the 1st Light Infantry Regiment on the left and the 42nd Line Infantry Regiment to its right. The center, commanded by General of Brigade Luigi Gaspare Peyri, on the right flank, General of Brigade Antoine Digonet trailed the other two formations. Digonets command comprised the 23rd Light Infantry and 9th Chasseurs à Cheval Regiments, opposing the French was Colonel James Kempts Advanced Guard on the British right flank, echeloned forward.
To Kempts left rear was Colonel Wroth Palmer Aclands 2nd Brigade, well to Aclands left rear marched Colonel John Oswalds 3rd Brigade, which formed the center
Invasion of Naples (1806)
The Invasion of Naples in January 1806 saw a French army led by Marshal André Masséna march from northern Italy into the Kingdom of Naples which was ruled by King Ferdinand IV. The Neapolitan army was vanquished at Campo Tenese and rapidly disintegrated, the invasion was eventually successful despite some setbacks, including the prolonged Siege of Gaeta, the British victory at Maida, and a stubborn guerrilla war by the peasantry against the French. Total success eluded the French because Ferdinand withdrew to his domain in Sicily where he was protected by the Royal Navy, in 1806 Emperor Napoleon appointed his brother Joseph Bonaparte to rule over southern Italy as king. The proximate cause of the invasion was Ferdinands double-crossing of Napoleon, wanting to keep things quiet in southern Italy and Ferdinand signed a convention that specified that the French would evacuate Apulia. In return, the Kingdom of Naples would stay neutral in the impending War of the Third Coalition, no sooner had the French occupying force marched away than Ferdinand admitted British and Russian armies into his kingdom.
In December 1805, Napoleons armies crushed the armies of Austria and Russia, when the Russian force in Naples was recalled, the British expedition withdrew, leaving Ferdinands kingdom exposed to French retribution. To defend his possessions in northern Italy, Emperor Napoleon maintained 94,000 men in the Army of Italy in early 1805, after accounting for fortress garrisons, military depots, and the sick, only 60,000 troops were available for use in the field. There were 48,000 in the army,2,000 performing internal security functions. Against these numbers, the Austrian army in Italy under Archduke Charles, because he was anxious about events in Bavaria, Charles decided on a cautious strategy in the autumn campaign. Among other things, the Treaty of Amiens of 1802 stipulated that Great Britain must abandon the island of Malta while France had to evacuate the part of the Kingdom of Naples that it occupied, the British statesmen soon repented of their actions and refused to give up Malta. Consequently, the French army kept its grip on Apulia in the heel of Italy with its ports, Bari.
The Neapolitan army of King Ferdinand IV numbered only 22,000 soldiers, fearful that Saint-Cyrs army might invade his domain, the king concluded an agreement with Napoleon to remain neutral during the War of the Third Coalition. The treaty was signed in France on 21 September 1805 by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, the accord required that the Kingdom of Naples dismiss all foreign officers from its army and not allow the landing of any foreign troops in its territory. In return, the French agreed to evacuate Apulia, the treaty was ratified in Naples on 3 October. Notified of the terms of the treaty and its ratification, Saint-Cyr immediately evacuated Apulia, almost at once and Queen Maria Carolina reneged on the treaty and treacherously summoned two Coalition expeditionary forces to Naples. Lieutenant General James Henry Craig sailed from Malta with 7,500 British soldiers while General Maurice Lacy of Grodno led 14,500 Russian troops aboard ship at Corfu, another authority gave lower numbers,6,000 in Craigs force and 7,350 in Lacys corps.
The British and Russians landed at Naples on 20 November 1805, by this time, Masséna was in pursuit of Archduke Charles army. Since Saint-Cyr moved one-third of his command to help besiege the Austrian garrison of Venice, buoyed by news of the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805, Craig and Lacy readied their troops for a march into northern Italy