The French Navy and the Seven Years' War
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
The Seven Years' War consisted of two great conflicts, each containing seven years of hostilities. The bloodshed in the first of these conflicts, which Americans often call the French and Indian War, began in Pennsylvania in 1754 and largely concluded in 1760. ...
1748-1754 An Uneasy Peace
As the eighteenth century reached its midpoint, the governments of France and Great Britain viewed each other with suspicion. For example, Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle, one of the two British secretaries of state and, after 1754, prime minister, considered the two states as inveterate rivals, if not quite inevitable enemies. 1 ...
1755 Countering the British Assault
In retrospect, the Franco-British negotiations of 1755 seem to have had little chance of success. The French government's miscalculations over the preceding fifteen years had created a war party in Britain strong enough to impose its will on the British government in spite of Prime Minister Newcastle's desire for peace. ...
1756 France Takes the Offensive
When the French government chose to take the offensive, it picked a logical but extremely dangerous target. Some 220 miles southwest of Toulon lay the island of Minorca. A British possession since 1708, it was a major privateering center that menaced not only Toulon but also the nearby great commercial port of Marseilles. ...
1757 To the Edge of Victory
In spite of his successful direction of the French navy, by the beginning of 1757 Machault was the most unpopular member of the French government. As controller general before 1754 he had made himself the symbol of high taxes.He resurrected this association by his support in mid-1756 for imposing the second vingtième. ...
1758 A Year of Desperation
The terrible news from Silesia did not alter the French navy's mission. Despite shortages of sailors and money, it had to defend French trade and France's overseas possessions from the North Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.Moras again planned to send as many ships as possible to defend Louisbourg and to spend whatever funds he could find to resupply Canada. ...
1759 The Annus Horribilis
LikeWilliam Pitt and Frederick II, Choiseul was arrogant, astute, ruthless, manipulative, sarcastic, and charismatic.1 He was single-minded in pursuing an honorable peace, but enormously flexible and creative in the means he chose. Technically he was not a chief minister, because Louis XV insisted on being his own chief minister. ...
1760 Adversity and Revival
French resolve was tested by the British and Prussian invitation of 25 November 1759 to send plenipotentiaries to a peace congress. Choiseul appears to have been surprised and puzzled. Suspicious of British intentions and sincerity, Choiseul responded cautiously; as he told Martin HuÌËâââââââââââââââââââââââââââ¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬ bner, a Danish agent being sent to England to discuss the seizure of Danish ships...
1761 Saving the Navy’s Future
On 26 January 1761 War Minister Belle-Isle died. The following day Louis XV, in another display of resolve, named Choiseul as his replacement.1 Choiseul kept the foreign ministry as well, and with the death of his only rival in the Council of State he became even more powerful. ...
1762 Military Failures, Diplomatic Success
Empress Elizabeth's illness, perhaps cancer, proved to be terminal; she died on 5 January 1762 (or, according to the Russian calendar, 25 December 1761). No one knew what to expect of her nephew, the Grand Duke, who now became Emperor Peter III. ...
Epilogue: Toward a New War, 1763âââââââââââââââââââââââââ¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬ââââââââââââââââââââââââ¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Åââââââââââââââââââââââ¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Åââââââââââââââââââââ¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å¡¬Å
At the beginning of 1763 France possessed 47 ships of the line, some of which were in need of repairs, and Spain 37, whereas the British had 111.1 If the Bourbons were to seek revenge in another war, they would need not only to match the number of British ships of the line but to surpass it, given Britain's advantage in giant 90- and 100-gun ships, her pool of experienced and confident sailors and officers, and her veteran commanders. ...
Appendix A: French Ships of the Line, 1 January 1744
Appendix B: French Ships of the Line, 1 January 1749
Appendix C: French Ships of the Line and Frigates, 1 January 1755
Appendix D: Order of Battle, 1 June 1755
Appendix E: Order of Battle, 1 June 1756
Appendix F: Order of Battle, 1 June 1757
Appendix G: Order of Battle, 1 June 1758
Appendix H: Order of Battle, 1 June 1759
Appendix I: Order of Battle, 1 June 1760
Appendix J: Order of Battle, 1 June 1761
Appendix K: Order of Battle, 1 June 1762
Appendix L: French Ships of the Line and Frigates, 1 January 1763