The Blockade of Brest in the French Revolutionary War

By Richard Saxby , published February 1992


This is the story of how during the eighteenth-century wars a western squadron stationed so as to cover the main French base at Brest became a kingpin of British strategy. A fleet capable of matching anything the French might put to sea placed in what the sailors of the time called the Soundings effectually deterred attempts to invade the British Isles, strangled French trade in the Bay of Biscay and cut France off from the wider world. What happened when there was no western squadron had been shown all too clearly during the War of American Independence.

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Filed under: Napoleonic War | Austrian Succession | English Channel | Seven Years’ War | American Revolution | French Revolution
Subjects include: Administration | Harbours & Dockyards | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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