Once again Oman and Suchet! Once again my opinion, with all
the due respect to Oman.
Nothing, in what you said on Suchet were new. As we showed in the
parts translated and published in this Site, all that says Oman is in
the sources, letters and official reports of Suchet. All was
already published analyzed, dissected by French historians, many years before Oman. As Oman did not add anything, I don’t classify
him as a great historian and researcher. He is just a great
The affaire of the ' wool Balls ' is also in the French
sources. It is enough to do what I did: to go direct to the sources. Moreover one can note that Oman interprets the facts in a suitable way for
him, but not for historical reality (What, I suppose interest you more
than Anti-Napoleonic propaganda, isn't this?)
When MONTALIVET showed the balance of the wool imports in 1809
(declared Quantities, six seventy-seven million thousand five hundred
soixante-onze kilogrammes; declaration of value without quantity,
3,567,822 F) the Emperor was astonished by the absence of the control
of the wools of Burgos.
Montalivet explained: "an important observation that I have to
do here about the entries of 1809, is that they don’t
include wools confiscated in Spain in consequence of
military operations, and sold either in Baïonne, or in Paris. Your
Majesty did the remark, by throwing the eyes on the
balance of trade of 1809. This omission in the registers of the
customs is explained by the fact that these wool forwardings were regarded as are in general the convoys of the armies, whose customs houses note
neither the importance nor the object, either in the mouvemens of
exit of the Empire, or at the time of the entries "
Later MONTALIVET explained this again in his report by writing ' Bargos' and not ' Burgos'
"With the surplus, I recognized, in my report of July 15, that it had entered, in 1810, a quantity of foreign wools a little higher than that of 1809, except the confiscations of Bargos."
Montalivet calls this: "wools confiscated in Spain in consequence of military operations". Did the French Army had the right to confiscate? According to the mentality of the time, yes.
How behaved the English armies, Austrian, Prussian army in the conquered
countries? In the same way.
Further I find in the report of Montalivet a sentence who shows this mentality very well: "
I ask your Majesty to severely maintain the execution of the orders given for the entry in France of all the herds merino who will be taken
To the insurgent in Spain. Of the Number of the animals and their happy arrival on the territory of the Empire will depend the moment when the wish of your Majesty could be accomplished, and where France will find on his own ground all wools necessary to his factories and his consumption "
The word ' taken to the insurgent' shows the reasoning.
In conclusion these texts show very well that what Oman calls ' Taken by
Napoleon ' is a confiscation of the army and not a personal action of
French text of Montalivet : »Une observation importante que j'ai à rappeler ici au sujet des entrées de 1809, c'est qu'elles ne comprennent pas les laines confisquées en Espagne par suite d'opérations militaires, et vendues soit à Baïonne, soit à Paris. Votre Majesté en avait elle-même fait la remarque, en jetant les yeux sur la balance de commerce de 1809. Cette omission dans les registres des douanes s'explique en ce que ces expéditions de laine ont été considérées comme le sont en général les convois des armées, dont les bureaux de douanes ne constatent ni l'importance ni l'objet, soit dans les mouvemens de sortie de l'Empire, soit lors des entrées. »
« Au surplus, j'ai reconnu, dans mon rapport du 15 juillet, qu'il était entré, en 1810, une quantité de laines étrangères un peu supérieure à celle de 1809, exception faite des confiscations de Bargos. «