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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

Frenchmen and landlubbers: the battlers of Trafalgar

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Re: Frenchmen and landlubbers: the battlers of Trafalgar

Postby Mark » March 22nd, 2014, 10:04 am

Andrew wrote:Throughout the period the French always referred to the British army as 'English'; even in memoirs of junior ranks. It was certainly so at Waterloo. It must be a 'French thing'. :roll:


The Americans often refer to the British as English rather than British. I wonder how this has evolved over the years?

Mark
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Re: Frenchmen and landlubbers: the battlers of Trafalgar

Postby Mark » March 22nd, 2014, 10:05 am

post captain wrote:According to Mark Adkin's 'Trafalgar Companion'
As well as the British crew of HMS Victory at Trafalgar, it also consisted of:
1 African
22 Americans
1 Brazilian
2 Canadians
7 Danes
2 Dutch
4 French
2 Germans
2 Indians
1 Jamaican
6 Maltese
2 Norwegians
1 Portuguese
4 Swedes
2 Swiss
4 West Indians


Thanks, post captain! I have Adkin's excellent Trafalgar book but not picked it up for a while.

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Re: Frenchmen and landlubbers: the battlers of Trafalgar

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » March 22nd, 2014, 12:13 pm

Mark wrote: I wonder how this has evolved over the years? Mark


A bit of whimsy by way of an answer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10

Sarah
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Re: Frenchmen and landlubbers: the battlers of Trafalgar

Postby post captain » March 23rd, 2014, 4:23 pm

FBC-Elvas, Portugal wrote:
post captain wrote:According to Mark Adkin's 'Trafalgar Companion'
As well as the British crew of HMS Victory at Trafalgar, it also consisted of:


Thanks for this PC. Do you have a run-down of the non-British at Waterloo? Wellington was running out of able bodied British at his disposal by 1815.

Sarah


According to Mark Adkin's other book 'Waterloo Companion'
British
Infantry: 25.5 battalions (30% of all infantry battalions)
Cavalry: 16 regiments, 45 squadrons (49% of cavalry)
Artillery: 8 troops of RHA and 5 brigades of RFA (77 guns, 49% of total)

KGL
Infantry: 8 battalions (9.5% of total infantry)
Cavalry: 4 regiments, 16 squadrons (17% of cavalry squadrons)
Artillery: 2 horse batteries, 1 foot (18 guns, 11.5% of total artillery)

Nassau
Infantry: 8.5 battalions (10% of total infantry)

Brunswick

Infantry: 8 battalions (9.5% of total)
Cavalry: 1 regiment plus a squadron. total 5 squadrons (5% of total)
Artillery: 1 horse, 1 foot (16 guns, 10% of total)

Hanoverian
Infantry: 17 battalions (21% of total)
Cavalry: 1 regiment, 4 squadrons (4% of total)
Artillery: 1 horse, 1 foot (12 guns, 7.5% of total)

Dutch

Infantry: 13 battalions (15% of total)
Cavalry: 4 regiments, 14 squadrons (15% of total)
Artillery: 2 horse (16 guns, 10% of total)

Belgian
Infantry: 4 battalions (5% of total)
Cavalry: 3 regiments, 9 squadrons (10% of cavalry)
Artillery: 1 horse, 1.25 foot (18 guns, 12% of total)

Overall percentages by nationality
British 36%, KGL 10%, Nassau 10%, Brunswick 8%, Hanoverian 17%, Dutch 13%, and Belgian 6%. In total some 45% of the army spoke German as a first language.
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Re: Frenchmen and landlubbers: the battlers of Trafalgar

Postby Mark » March 23rd, 2014, 8:05 pm

I have always assumed that around a third of Wellington's army at Waterloo was British with the remainder made up of units from other countries/states. I must admit I that, although I knew there was a very strong German contingent, I didn't quite realise they made up 45%! When one considers Blucher's contribution towards the latter stages of the battle one might argue it was almost a German versus French fight.

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