The Annus Mirabilis and the battle of Quiberon


War Hero
Book Reviewer
2009 finds us 250 years downstream of the Annus Mirabilis, the 'Wonderful Year' referred to in 'Hearts of Oak'. 20th November will see the anniversary of the battle of Quiberon in which Sir Edward Hawke, capitalising on the utterly superior seamanship of the Royal Navy, knocked the navy of France out of the Seven Years' War, driving after the French in treacherous shoal waters in a full gale so that many of their ships were forced aground and others bottled up in a river the entry to which saw four French ships break their backs. Mahan described Quiberon as 'the Trafalgar' of that war.

1759 was also the year of our victories off Pondicherry and Lagos, and of the capture of Quebec (13-18 September), in which James Cook buoyed the St Lawrence on total darkness so that our ships could get Wolfe's army to the base of its famous goat track, and French control of Canada was for ever broken.

Pongoes also thrashed the French at Minden (the battle where the Marquis of Granby 'went at the enemy bald-headed' having lost his wig, see many, many pub signs).

So WHAT is the Government plan to celebrate our thus so throughly thrashing Johnny Frog? Over to Asst-Ed (or anyone else) for an answer.
Just in case you were wondering it 1759 (Guiness time, they must be sailors because they don't put "Hours" after it.) is the "Wonderful Year" in the words of "Hearts of Oak".

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