Napoleon Series Archive 2016

Just to be clear: 29th Bulletin, 1806

Just to make it clear, regarding the charges made to support the title of "infamous," I would say guilty on all charges.

... while at Petersburg they imagine the Calabrians are at Rome.

N is right, this (Russo/Anglo operation in Naples) was entirely a Russian initiative in an effort to divert and divide N's forces. Didn't work.

If a few galleys, armed and indoctrinated by this infamous Sidney Smith, the shame of the brave English military, killed unprotected individuals, massacred wealthy, unoffending and peaceable proprietors,
War is hell, but, this is Calabria where killing unprotected individuals and the massacre of unoffending proprietors was a long national pastime. In any case, yes, Smith, supplies arms and money to guerrilla forces in Calabria in accordance to his being officially directed to and given authority to do so by the royal court of Palmero.

the gendarmerie and the scaffold have done them justice!

Yes, 10's of thousands of Calabrian peasants were hanged, villages destroyed, typical Napoleonic population control tactics but taken to an extreme, since the Calabrians had the bad habit of torturing any "godless" French soldiers they captured.

The English navy will not disavow in the least the title of infamous given to Sidney Smith.

As stated, nothing to disavow, considering the source.

Generals Stuart and Fox, and all the officers of the land, are indignant at seeing the English name associated with such brigands!

Indeed they were.

The brave General Stuart has even publicly protested against these outrages, which seems to make the noble work of war an exchange of assassinations and brigandry;

Yep. The same guy who issued the proclamations for the Calabrians to rise up against the French conquerors and then abandoned them.

but when Sidney Smith was selected to execute the Queen's fury, we can only perceive in him one of those unprincipled instruments which governments do often employ, but whom they always abandon to that contempt, which they are the first to feel for them.

On spot analysis by the master. Yes, Smith was working with the Queen. "Unprincipled instruments" this sort of depends on what one's principles are which is sort of what this whole war thing was all about. But, to the point, yes, again on spot, Smith was under the direct orders of Pitt and the operational plans of Nelson. Sending Sir Sidney, was one of the last things that Pitt did after Austerlitz and before he died.

"Abandon to ..comtempt" yes, absolutely on spot, again. Amazing stuff, really. But, yes, the new administration that replaced Pitt, the "Ministry of All Talents," with Fox as Foreign Secretary immediately started secret peace negotiations with Talleyrand; with a willingness to, under the right circumstances, give up Sicily. In Sicily, generals Fox (brother of Secretary Fox) pulled out any support for Calabrian resistance by the army or navy. He, Moore and Stuart, all wrote scathing letters about Smith operating "some sort" of guerrilla war in Calabria. Certainly not the sort of thing that they wanted to be involved with; i.e. low class peasants against French-aligned elites. So, yes, Smith was used as a convenient scapegoat when the policy in London changed. Things like that happen in a government like that in London; administrations change and people and reputations get hurt as a result.

The Neapolitans will one day be informed in detail of the letters circulated by Sidney Smith, the commissions he has authorized and the money he has expended for the executions of atrocities, in which he himself is the chief agent.'

The famous Fra Davio , when caught, and about to be hanged turned on Smith and the Queen cursing them and supposedly he was carrying messages signed by Smith and the Queen ordering him to attack certain targets. Possible. The Queen certainly sent many, many of her agents into Calabria for various operations.

So, guilty on all counts... proudly so.

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