Today: what made the Royal Navy great.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    On March 14th 1757 the English executed their first and only Admiral for dereliction of duty.
    It was the during the French and Indian Wars. The year before, 1756, Admiral John Byng had been ordered to the English base of Menorca with a small fleet, as it was suspected the French were after it. Unfortunately, Byng moved slowly and the French did capture the island. He made a weak and poorly planned attack, which he called off stating he was facing insuperable odds, then proceeded to Gibraltar.
    The Prime Minister, the Duke of Newcastle, was so angry he resolved to have Byng immediately punished.
    The Court Martial was at Portsmouth aboard his own ship,  Monarch. The outcome already established, Byng was duly shot today in 1757 by a squad of Marines.
    The rest of Europe was amazed by the event.
    Writing in Candide, Voltaire said: in England it is good to kill an Admiral from time to time, to encourage the others!


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @wittmann:

    Writing in Candide, Voltaire said: in England it is good to kill an Admiral from time to time, to encourage the others!

    I’ve heard a French expression which says the same thing about French generals.

    People interested in further reading on the subject of what made the Royal Navy great may want to have a look at Arthur Herman’s book “To Rule The Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World”.



  • Very interesting. Thanks again Wittmann.


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