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Re: Lord Amherst & Those Damned Blankets

It seems to me that the phrase "guerrilla training camps" would have been quite the red flag, since that term was not used at the time Fat Ginger-haired Georges was in England.

It also seems to me that folks spend an awfully large amount of time in the weeds of history, flailing around trying to prove who was the best and the worst, who paid whom how much to do what, and so forth and so on.

Maybe I'm just a simple historian--too simple, some might say--but to me, Georges Cadoudal was a Chouan who went to England for money to assassinate Bonaparte. As far as I know or care, he could have learned his skills in a pub. Adding the training camps, which is indeed likely untrue, is unnecessary. The PRO [or whatever its name is these days] had enough documentary evidence that Cadoudal was in the pay of the British government to make inaccuracies about how he was trained and where irrelevant.

At the end of the day, all Cadoudal's assassination attempts were inept and failed. Embarrassingly so...

Indeed, use of the word guerilla was wholly anachronistic in this context. The word had, of course, acquired a certain 'buzz' about it in the early 70s when Cronin was writing.

Did Cadoudal in fact make any assassination attempts? Certainly he was not involved in person, regardless of what the French authorities tried to hang round his neck.

The bomb attack of Dec 24 1800, which St Rejeant appears to conceived and mounted independently, was a triple-foul up, since not only did it fail, and kill civilians instead, but there was no alternative Royalist government apparatus ready to put in place should Bonaparte have been killed. There is some report that Cadoudal was furious when he learned of the attack. Fouché, who appears to have had some knowledge of that an attack was imminent was content to let Bonaparte believe that die-hard Jacobins were responsible and use the incident as a pretext to extinguish opposition to him from that quarter.

Something that has not been touched upon in this discussion is the extent to which the Royalist networks both in France and Britain had been infiltrated by informers and double agents, and were being encouraged to mount an coup against the regime and Bonaparte himself, in order to discredit the Bourbons and expose or entrap men like Pichegru and Moreau

Even the rendezvous with Bonaparte en route to Malmaison, ostensibly to kidnap the First Consul, never went beyond wishful thinking. It would doubltess have been an ugly farce given its ambition and inevitable lack of preparation.

I have the impression that Cadoudal was in fact, by temperament and appearance, wholly unsuited to clandestine activities. The conception of the Malmaison scheme indicates that. His value was more as a partisan leader and once the Chouan resistance in Brittany had failed, his chances of procuring a Bourbon restoration had little chance of success. Of course, the British were content to let him and his compatriots try if only to sow confusion in the ranks of the enemy.

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Lord Amherst & Those Damned Blankets
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