June 29, 2022


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Two French ships destroyed by British in Sagon Napoleon smoke, “a defamation affair”

The Emperor blames the lack of batteries on the ground. However, from Cape Cors to Probriano, people, leading mayors, sailors and farmers, but also women and children, rallied in support of the troops in the event of an attack.

After his crushing defeat at Trafalgar, Napoleon annexed Holland in July 1810, eager to prevent British invasion of the North Sea. However, British pressure in the Mediterranean and especially around Corsica was very threatening. This is evidenced by the repeated attacks on Corsica by grain harvesters and boats loaded with construction timber from there. The aim of the English, who were first expelled from Toulon by Bonaparte in 1793, was to force them to leave Corsica in 1796, to strangle the French maritime trade. In this regard, the conspiracy against two French ships in the Gulf of Sacon on the 1stEr May 1811.

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That day, two warships, the Norris and the Giraffe, were anchored off the coast to load timber. Equipped with sixty guns they are protected by ground artillery pieces. But the British imagined a rare brave attack. Due to the lack of wind, they towed their ships by boat. Arriving at a safe distance, they bombed the French for more than two hours and then retreated as soon as the ships caught fire to avoid damage from the explosion.

Twenty days later Napoleon learned of the attack on the navy at Sagon and won. In a letter to the Minister of the Navy, he strongly condemned and recommended Dulon’s maritime commander for not producing enough batteries. ” That this matter will not be left unfinished “… Thus, Napoleon wrote to Vice Admiral DeGrace on August 23:” Arrest and prosecute the captain of the ship La Nooris and the captain of the ship La Giraffe who blew themselves up in the Gulf of Sagon. This case is absurd. The tower is in good condition and not damaged. The nurse blew herself up in the firing of the tower and the battery: it was impossible for the enemy to stop her very close to the beach.

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On May 21, Napoleon ordered Vice-Admiral DiCrez to place various anchors in Corsica under security, and on July 15, he ordered General Clark to build batteries in the Gulf of Sacon.

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The emperor learned of the attack only through a letter dated May 7 from Premier Arrique de Casanova. As soon as the English warship is spotted in the Gulf, the commander of Vigo Garrison sends 30 men and an officer. The next day, in front of another English warship and a Brigade reinforcement, he marched to the scene with a hundred soldiers and sixty civilians at gunpoint.

Carabiners and cartridges available by Morand

Because the threat was not taken lightly: Vice-Chancellor Susini, meanwhile, is sending a gender to neighboring Arboretum, Gogia and Abrizani to unite mayors and citizens. Seeming to take the form of enemy attack, the new Express was sent to Murso, Sosia, Poggio, Ordo, Guacano, Marignana, Cristinac and Evisa, inviting mayors and citizens to go to Sagon overnight.(1) By the time the vice-politician comes on the scene with Vigo and Letia and 115 armed mayors, the action is already underway.

The mayors of Corca and Apriziani, who had already arrived first, lined up with troops along one shore of the harbor, while on the other hand, 200 men from Coggia and Arbori were waiting for the enemy.(2) From the start, however, the besiegers struggled, the artillery in the harbor was defused, and two French ships, trapped by artillery shells, leaked from all sides. ” Later, the giraffe’s commander, Renault, and Nooris’ commander, Figueroa, disembark under the protection of the earth’s fire, which keeps the enemy at a distance.. »(3)

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In Sakon, the Home Minister has a total mobilization, as pointed out by the politician: ” Throughout the night the road from Sakon to Vigo was overflowing with men, women and children, who at first ran to fight, while others carried rope baskets, eggs and supplies for the fighters to tie up the wounded.. ⁇ (4)

Sagon is not an isolated case, it is an integrated project, the editor-in-chief points out: on February 17, 1812, at Cape Cors, the battle begins between an English warship and the Corvette Nose, which operates under the protection of Zyrglia’s battery. . ” Here again, at the first news of the danger, people led by Domino’s Mayor Georgie came running with guns and engaged in a struggle.(5)

On October 14, a French schooner leaving Saint-Florent was threatened by the British before Giraglia. Immediately, a company of chasers and a line company set up security with the support of the residents. They stop their work and give up their harvest “The carabiners and ammunition previously obtained by General Morand were distributed … The enemy retreated in the face of the mobilization.

Get off using the deserted space. The Chief sends three columns. ” Under the guidance of Jean-Paul Rocca Serra and Captain Durasso, two factions of citizens arm themselves. Faced with this stand of forces, the two enemy ships retreated, throwing a large ball of 120 and hitting the shore, which was reported to the deputy governor.(6)

This stubborn resistance of the Corsicans prevented any invasion. This was confirmed when the British bombed Libio and Palen on December 22 in front of Calvi. ” The Deputy Chief Minister of Quebec is pleased to announce that more than four hundred people, mayors, delegates and justices of the peace went to the beach to protect the two buildings.. ⁇ (7)

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From the end of 1813 onwards the official correspondence of the English military contingent continued: Paul-Louis Stephanini, vice-president of Bastia, in his report dated March 8, 1814, spoke of the voyage near 55 boats. Bastia. ⁇ (8)

In April 1814, an English navy set foot in Corsica, which was requested by a group of rebels from Bastia to be the leader of an ad hoc group in the revolt against Napoleon, but at the same time did not know that the emperor had resigned.

(1 to 7) e. Francescini. The return of Corsica and Bourbon at the end of the empire. (8) A.-M. Croziani. Napoleon Corsica. History of Corsica Volume 2