British and French aid the Confederate States


  • I’m back reading about the War between the States.

    Here is a good question. How many British and French troops would be needed to have a real impact in a C.S.A victory.

    Theoretically had the British had a force to defend Canada and aid the Army of Northern Virginia, how many troops would that take.

    Had France landed an Army in Mobile Alabama to make a play for New Orleans how many troops realistically could take part in this operation.

    Leo’s opinion matters greatly in this topic.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @ABWorsham4

    Hi AB

    Well…Idk but it’d be a long row to hoe for Abe. Thinking might have to get a hold of Fredrick and the Czar and start WWI a little sooner heh heh

    Yea Idk, that’s a good question though. I’d have to brush up on how powerful our Navy was as the blockade would obviously have to be broken. My recollection was that wouldn’t have been a problem for them, but it may have proved harder than the Euros thought.

    Probably just supplies in general would have helped more than manpower. Did the Brits still wear the redcoats back then ? Would make for a nice target : ) with all the smoke and whatnot.

    Be interesting in what people think.

    What are you reading ?

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    @barnee The British did still wear red. See the Zulu wars just 18 years later.
    I think the British coukd have spared no more than 5000 Inf. This would have been a great morale boost for the ANV and a blow to Lincoln amd his generals. As Barnee said, however, supplying them properly would have been the problem. Food is my main worry, although the ANV was fed adequately in 62. I wonder if the proud Southerners might have seen this “help” as an insult though. Lee’s army knew how to win battles. Would some have resented it and could there have been more desertions? Equally, would this influx of Europeans brought in more Northern volunteers?

    I see your argument for the French and Mobile. Taking back New Orleans would habe been very important, but would need to have been done sooner , rather than later, I think.
    Thanks fir thinking of me, @ABWorsham4 , but this question is probably not my subject. Sorry!
    I must confess that since my eye problems, I have only read fiction, albeit much historical fiction. The print in my Civil War books is far too small. I am glad I can read at all!

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    The Zulu wars were LATER.
    Can’t seem to be able to edit/ correct my post.


  • @barnee I’m reading The Civil War, A Narrative by Shelby Foote.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @ABWorsham4

    Right on. I know I’ve asked you before but did you get around to checking out Edward Porter Alexander “Fighting For The Confederacy” ?
    I really like that one as it’s a personal first hand account.

    @Wittmann Sorry to hear about your eyes.
    Good point about the Union getting more volunteers. It probably would’ve really pissed them off if Britain jumped in 🙂

  • 2021 '20 '18 '17

    Interesting hypothetical. My research on “King Cotton” and the abolition of the slave trade indicates that England would have been very unlikely to intervene on behalf of the south. Southern media and propaganda lobbied for this, but I don’t sense the European powers were watching developments with an eye to intervene if the South did well–they had their own entanglements. They may have been rooting for the Union to lose or at least take some knocks (divide and conquer, retard a future rival), but the risks of a failed intervention were two-fold; eventual defeat of the South anyways PLUS alienating the presumptive victor.

    Setting those risks aside, the South was WOEFULLY unprepared for a premodern war. That’s not just hindsight–the South was politically and economically divided, had little industry, few railroads and rolling stock, no steel, could hardly make swords much less gunpowder and firearms. It also had serious problems with a distributed leadership, no coherent financial or economic policy, rivalry and different goals between the states–it was exactly as described and advertised; a loose confederacy of interests and states that was begging for a humiliating defeat. Part of this resonates today; the South also had no coherent MORAL raison d’etre–the promotion of slavery and class inequality felt outmoded even in the 1820s and 1830s and that doesn’t win you friends and supporters. It was not a populist rebellion, like those of 1848…that was the zeitgeist of those times.

    About 50,000, landed directly on Washington, preferably by UFO to avoid interdiction by the Union Navy. Any direct support of the south would have created a similar problem as the revolutionary war—the British Navy was their strength and the occupying Army was a liability, creating resentment and support for the other side, a target for harassment and interdiction by the Patriots, and easily isolated and cut off whenever it ventured away from the coasts, cities, ships and loyalists. That dynamic meant that the British had to raise the stakes over and over, committing more and more resources to defend their initial investment; in other words a hopeless boondoggle the likes of which the British (and other European powers) were not eager to take on. An unsuccessful and ongoing adventure carries great risks whereas sitting back and watching things develop carries very little.

  • '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @barnee There’d be no need for Lincoln to send the navy to shell New York harbor as the Irish community at Five Points would have no issue getting paid to shoot Redcoats.

    Coming off the Crimean War, I don’t think Britain and France had the resolve for another expeditionary conflict, so their support would be very limited.

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    @ABWorsham4 said in British and French aid the Confederate States:

    @barnee I’m reading The Civil War, A Narrative by Shelby Foote.

    That was the second book I read in the Civil War and will always be my favourite. Where are you in the war?


  • @Wittmann 1862 just ended.

  • TripleA

    Well, I think the only way to find out is on the battlefield and that you should fire up TripleA and play Civil War!

    https://triplea-game.org/map/civil-war/

  • Moderator 2022 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 '13 '12

    Murfreesboro all but done and bloody Fredericksburg on everyone’s minds. 1863 not a good year for the Confederacy: its better battles behind it. But Jackson still alive.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18 '17 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @taamvan said in British and French aid the Confederate States:

    Interesting hypothetical. My research on “King Cotton” and the abolition of the slave trade indicates that England would have been very unlikely to intervene on behalf of the south. Southern media and propaganda lobbied for this, but I don’t sense the European powers were watching developments with an eye to intervene if the South did well–they had their own entanglements. They may have been rooting for the Union to lose or at least take some knocks (divide and conquer, retard a future rival), but the risks of a failed intervention were two-fold; eventual defeat of the South anyways PLUS alienating the presumptive victor.

    Agreed. The leadership of Britian and France wasn’t unanimous on the subject, but for the most part Britain and France didn’t much care to get into a war with the USA to support the CSA; they had no pressing reasons to do it, and good reasons not to do it. They had no objections to making money from the conflict (e.g. by building blockade runners for the CSA), so non-intervention from a military standpoint was commercially a good strategy.

  • 2021 '20 '18 '17

    @CWO-Marc I’d also add that it was a preview in the reverse direction of the WW1/2 practice of US as an “interested neutral” selling arms to one, both, or all sides. Which went against contemporary International Law notions of neutrality.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @taamvan said in British and French aid the Confederate States:

    in other words a hopeless boondoggle the likes of which the British (and other European powers) were not eager to take on. …

    yea already had their ass kicked twice. Why make it three : ) Much better to be the buddy of US of A. lol.

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @General-Veers said in British and French aid the Confederate States:

    @barnee There’d be no need for Lincoln to send the navy to shell New York harbor…

    Not sure why he would do that. New York was on his side : )

    I must be missing your point : )

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @General-Veers said in British and French aid the Confederate States:

    @barnee There’d be no need for Lincoln to send the navy to shell New York harbor…

    well yea, they were on the same side. : ) Maybe I’m missing something 🙂

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @taamvan said in British and French aid the Confederate States:

    @CWO-Marc I’d also add that it was a preview in the reverse direction of the WW1/2 practice of US as an “interested neutral” selling arms to one, both, or all sides. Which went against contemporary International Law notions of neutrality.

    Well I shouldn’t speak for AB but I will anyways. : )

    The question is, how many dudes would it take ? 🙂

  • '20 '19 '18 '17 '16

    @barnee said in British and French aid the Confederate States:

    @General-Veers said in British and French aid the Confederate States:

    @barnee There’d be no need for Lincoln to send the navy to shell New York harbor…

    Not sure why he would do that. New York was on his side : )

    I must be missing your point : )

    That was not entirely the case, since the city’s economy had deep ties with Southern states. So much so that the city was home to many “Copperheads” opposed to the war and the mayor even teased secession:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Wood

    While the first ever use of national conscription was never going to be met with universal acceptance, the strongest resistance came from NYC. Freshly naturalized immigrants were not thrilled with the prospect of being told to take arms in a conflict they had no interest in. Sadly these also played along racial lines as there was simmering tension beforehand:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_draft_riots

  • 2021 '20 '19 '18

    @General-Veers

    yea that’s not surprising seeing how they were the last colony to join the revolution .
    At least they picked the winning team : )

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