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WI: Opération Lion de Mer, 1759?

Uhura's Mazda

lying on his back, urinating over his own belly
Published by SLP
Location
Tamaki Makaurau
#1
What with all this talk of Operation Sealion this month, I thought I'd draw attention to a, perhaps, lesser-known proposed invasion of Britain.

During the Seven Years' War, when Britain and Prussia stood alone together against literally everyone else in the Western world, various obviously ASB occurrences saved their bacon - the Miracle of the House of Brandenburg is the obvious one, but the Battle of Quiberon is another.

The French had been planning an invasion of Britain for about a year, and the format was basically up in the air until far too late - the original plan was just for a flotilla of flat-bottomed boats to cross the Channel, but soon Bonnie Prince Charlie stuck his oar in and now the plan consisted of a complex three- or four-pronged attack on Scotland, Portsmouth, Maldon and Ireland, with the main force joining up with an obligatory Jacobite rising in the Highlands before doing literally the same thing as in 1745. Meanwhile, Bonnie Prince Charlie would become King of Ireland and something something something. It was at this point that the Duc de Choiseul told him politely to fuck off, but the changed plans were continued with, including the Jacobite rising dimension.

In any case, just as the troops were about to get on the ships, the Royal Navy sank them all in the Battle of Quiberon. Apart from a couple of ships belonging to a privateer, who set off anyway and occupied the castle of Carrickfergus for nearly a week, and then sailed away when he realised that he'd literally just invaded a major military power with 600 men.

So what happens if the British fleet fails to engage the French armada? Are there any Jacobites left alive in Scotland to join their banners? Could Ireland be whipped into a frenzy of nationalist revolution? Would the French have a decent chance of winning? Could we even see a belated Jacobite restoration?
 

Creekmench

A shade of indigo
#2
I can see a Kingdom of Ireland coming out from this after a landing but IIRC, the Jacobite cause is a goner for a decade at least. Even the highland clans were split down the middle during the last rising. Realistically to get a Stuart restoration is to have the Bonnie Prince stand for election for the PLC's crown. After all, he is the grandson of Jan III Sobieski.
 
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Alex Richards

Tends to eat truffles once found
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#3
The problem of course is a lot of the Scottish ultra-Jacobites are either dead, in exile, under close observation or otherwise not really in a position to whip up local support and the moderates who might be swung over will generally be of the 'oh because that worked so well last time' opinion.

Ireland could be a better bet however.
 

Creekmench

A shade of indigo
#4
The problem of course is a lot of the Scottish ultra-Jacobites are either dead, in exile, under close observation or otherwise not really in a position to whip up local support and the moderates who might be swung over will generally be of the 'oh because that worked so well last time' opinion.

Ireland could be a better bet however.
A Jacobite Kingdom of Ireland would be interesting, I know that this has possible effects on the potato famine since land policies in OTL forced the peasants to grow potatoes since potatoes are very efficient but I'm not sure if that would change under the Jacobites. I wonder what would happen to Gaelic in this kingdom.
 
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Alex Richards

Tends to eat truffles once found
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
#5
A Jacobite Kingdom of Ireland would be interesting, I know that this has possible effects on the potato famine since land policies in OTL forced the peasants to grow potatoes but I'm not sure if that would change under the Jacobites. I wonder what would happen to Gaelic in this kingdom.
I'd need to know more about the leading figures who'd be involved- its quite possible that it would be 'Anglophone Catholic' and still anti-Gaelic.
 

Thande

I could not fail to disagree with you less
Published by SLP
#8
McLynn's 1759 delves into this: his view is that it was never a serious possibility because the French wouldn't commit any money and resources (see: literally every front of the Seven Years' War that wasn't continental Europe), and Bonnie Prince Charlie knew this--he was also unwilling to settle for being King of just part of the British Isles.

Having said that, I did once toy with the idea of a scenario where it happens successfully and then the Hanoverian monarchy and the British establishment flee into exile in the American colonies.