Thursday, 25th February 2021
Thursday, 25th February 2021
Tuesday, 23rd February 2021
Thursday 25th February 2021
14:00 – 15:00 GMT
In 1797 Britain lay at the mercy of Revolutionary France. In January she tried to put troops ashore in Bantry Bay in Ireland and, although that failed, The Directory started to flick a line of dominoes that should have seen Britain under the shadow of the guillotine. Luck was not on the invader’s side, though. In February a Spanish fleet – destined to sweep the Channel clear of the Royal Navy – was smashed at Cape St Vincent; an amphibious raid on Cornwall was cancelled and another on Newcastle never materialised. All that was left was a hugely ambitious operation to raise the ‘rebellious’ Welsh against the Crown.
On 22 February a few thousand Frenchmen of dubious military quality, were put ashore south of Fishguard in Pembrokeshire. The few days that folowed were a triumph for Welsh forces – soldiers and civilians alike – and a stain on French pride. But, it was a Napoleonic adventure fit for Hornblower or Captain Aubrey that restored hope for Britain that she would not be crushed.
Patrick Mercer OBE – who’s been studying this incident since he was a boy – will lead you through one of the oddest and least known episodes of those tumultuous times.
By his own confession, has an obsession with military history. Having read Modern History at Oxford, he served in the Army for 25 years, mostly in Northern Ireland, Uganda and Bosnia, before leaving to become the defence correspondent for BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and then an MP. But, in 2014 he returned to his first love – military history.
Widely travelled over many of the British Army’s most dramatic battlefields, he is credited with being the first Briton to return to the Crimean battlefields in 1993. Since then, he has shared his experience and enthusiasm with many people in any number of extraordinary places!
Mercer specialises in the Seven Years’ and Napoleonic Wars, colonial warfare, the Crimean Campaign, the Indian Mutiny, Irish rebellions and the Italian Campaign of 1943 – 45. He has written extensively on the Crimea and the Italy, had a trilogy of historical novels published as well as a litany of magazine articles. With lively views on current affairs, he also writes a regular column for the Yorkshire Post.
Recruiting NOW for October 2021
Battle of Britain Day was the turning point in the Second World War. Without control of the skies over southern England, the enemy knew they could never invade these shores. A victory against all the odds, it paved the way to Nazi Germany’s surrender in 1945 – and the freedom we all enjoy today.
The British Modern Military History Society salutes all those men and women who served in the far east in the war against Japan until the very last day of World War Two. They all suffered immense hardships, barbarity and harsh conditions as a result of the fighting and for many in captivity as POWs, but their resilience and determination to fight for freedom demonstrated huge spirit and commitment to the cause, with tens of thousands paying the ultimate sacrifice and many suffering a life time of injuries, both physical and mental. While referred to as the Forgotten Army, they are not forgotten and never should be.
The BMMHS pays tribute to you all on this 75th anniversary of VJ Day.
Stay safe and well.
The BMMHS Team