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By the way, that’s Jersey as in the Channel Islands, not New Jersey.

The 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death was May 5, 2021.

A solemn commemoration was held at Les Invalides in Paris:

A number of Metro and railway stations in Paris are named after Napoleon’s victories:

French president Emmanuel Macron was always a keen student of history, particularly Napoleon.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also a keen student of history, especially of battles that took place in antiquity.

Now we have a post-Brexit situation. France is upset that their fishing boats cannot go in Jersey’s waters.

Sky News explains the new post-Brexit rules (emphases mine):

French fishing crews are demonstrating as part of a row over post-Brexit fishing rights.

Under the Brexit trade deal, which came into force on 1 January, EU fishermen continue to have some rights to fish in UK waters as part of a transition period until 2026.

However, under the new rules, EU boats wanting to fish within 12 miles of the UK coast need to be licensed and prove they have a history of fishing in those waters in order to carry on operating.

This includes submitting evidence of their past fishing activities.

Jersey has not granted licences to some of the boats that have applied to fish in its waters.

Ian Gorst, the island’s external relations minister, said of the 41 boats which sought licences under the new rules last Friday, all but 17 had provided the evidence required.

“The trade deal is clear but I think there has been some confusion about how it needs to be implemented, because we absolutely respect the historic rights of French fishermen to fish in Jersey waters as they have been doing for centuries,” he said.

“I do think a solution can be found. I am optimistic that we can provide extra time to allow this evidence to be provided.”

The French government has also expressed its anger at what it said were unilaterally-imposed conditions on the fishing licences, including the time French fishing vessels could spend in Jersey’s waters.

Jersey said it had issued permits in line with the terms of the post-Brexit trade deal.

The Jersey Evening Post reported:

Don Thompson, president of the Jersey Fisherman’s Association, said Jersey had been ‘quite generous’ in its licensing scheme and described France’s response as an ‘over-reaction’.

He said: ‘The EU have signed up to the [post-Brexit] Trade and Co-operation Agreement which states that Jersey must recognise the extent of previous fishing in our waters. The restrictions on the new licences cover what the French were already doing in our waters and are only preventing them from expanding their fishing efforts, which is needed if we are going to have sustainability in our waters.

‘A point that is being missed is that Jersey boats do not have licences to fish in French waters – we are restricted to our own territorial waters while they can use ours, if any restrictions are placed on their own.’

Mr Thompson also highlighted how the approved 41 French vessels had been given a licence for free and urged Jersey’s government not to give in to the French.

‘Our boats would be charged £250,000 if they were to have something similar. Our advice to ministers is that they should not capitulate to these intimidation and bullying tactics that are being used,’ he said.

‘If we do capitulate now then they are just going to do the same thing every time we try to apply some form of management to make our waters sustainable.’

An oyster farmer from Jersey, mentioned in the headline, disagreed.

France threatened to cut off the electricity supply to Jersey. They have since backed down. Jersey Electricity said that customers did not have to worry:

On the evening of May 5, Guido Fawkes posted:

A reader responded:

These were the headlines on May 6:

They are armed fisheries protection vessels, or river class ships:

I wonder if the Royal Marines will use their new jetpack technology (videos here and here). It enables a Royal Marine to fly up to 12,000 feet in the air and up to 80mph:

As I write, these were the developments on Thursday, May 6. HMS Tamar, recently repainted with ‘dazzle’ camouflage, set sail for Jersey that morning:

We’re in 2021 and not 1588 (sinking of the Spanish Armada), but, even so, there is a frisson of excitement about this:

France responded by sending two of their ships:

Guido Fawkes has more on France’s reaction:

Guido’s post says (emphases in the original here):

The head of the joint Normandy-Brittany sea authority has declared they are “ready for war” and “can bring Jersey to its knees” as tensions continue to ramp up between the UK and France over Jersey at a dizzying pace. War with France can only help Boris’s 10 point poll lead…

Responding to two navy vessels being sent by Britain to patrol the situation last night, Macron has retaliated by sending one of his own military boats, to join 100 French fishing vessels blockading the harbour. A French minister has said the country “won’t be intimidated” by British manoeuvres

A military historian posted a thread about French fishermen protesting in Jersey:

This morning, a Jersey resident re-enacted an ancient battle with the French. He did this in safety, far from the port. Talk show host Jeremy Vine demonstrated how the blockade of the port was unfolding:

It’s hard to disagree with this:

Negotiations are now taking place on Jersey between their government and the French fishermen:

The Jersey Evening Post reported:

External Relations Minister Ian Gorst, said: ‘We are meeting with French fishing leaders this morning to listen to their concerns regarding fishing rights. There are continuing extensive political and operational efforts with both our local fishing community and French fishing associations, their regional representatives in France, and both the UK and French governments, in order to resolve the current dispute and resume previous good relations.’

A number of Islanders have turned up to watch and police are at the scene.

Although the crews have been setting off flares, the protest has so far remained peaceful.

One French fisherman complained that France has to go through the EU first for any resolution:

That could explain why Charles-Henri Gallois, president of Génération Frexit, is using this disagreement as an argument for France to leave the EU. He says:

https://image.vuukle.com/21414c90-8f1a-445b-989f-74a955755b28-6f25fc75-eb83-47c2-9edb-760677cabdc4

Here’s his tweet, which met with an equally Frexit response:

Gallois also posted a link to an article in Les Echos, France’s leading business newspaper, which says that the UK was able to handle their coronavirus vaccine rollout with ‘great efficacy’. Gallois says that a free country which is independent is always more effective than one which is bureaucratic, slow and with divergent interests. He adds that, if one adds the totally antidemocratic aspect of the EU, one should not hesitate a single second to leave:

I wish Charles-Henri Gallois and Génération Frexit all the best in their pursuit of a France free from the EU.

Meanwhile, one wonders if the French are aware that today, Thursday, is England’s local election day. As Guido says, this can only help Boris and the Conservatives.

UPDATE: IT ENDED BEFORE IT EVEN STARTED.

By dinnertime, the French fishermen had left Jersey:

Boris declared victory:

This is Guido Fawkes’s version:

Guido reported:

The PM has hailed the end of the third battle of Jersey, understatedly calling the matter “resolved” after the 100 French fishing boats ran away earlier this afternoon.

The announcement comes as No. 10 says the two Royal Navy vessels will depart the island’s waters in the coming hours, though will remain on standby in case Jersey once again finds itself in an hour of need. In the words of Maggie, just rejoice at that news, and congratulate our forces and the marines…

Many thanks to all involved in resolving this situation quickly. Even a small nuisance can be a lingering irritant if left to fester.

File:Napoleon-Bonaparte-4085.jpgThis year — 2015 — marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

A recent article on the French site L’Internaute explores what would have happened if Napoleon Bonaparte had won.

According to German historian Helmut Stubbe da Luz, had Napoleon emerged victorious, the cities of Bremen, Hamburg and Lübeck would have become French. He would have invaded Russia again and possibly conquered China, which was an ‘Asian province’ at the time (Stubbe da Luz’s words). The Napoleonic Code, part of which included the rights of man, would have spread everywhere and Europe would have been a more equitable, peaceful place.

That is assuming quite a lot in Napoleon’s favour.

The historian goes on to assert that, because France would have dominated Europe instead of Germany, the World Wars of the 20th century never would have happened.

However, the fact remains that Wellington and his allied forces as well as Blücher and his Prussian troops won the day. Wellington was worried and, if he had lost, Napoleon could have invaded England. A friend of mine told me many years ago that an overriding fear for the English at that time was the safety of their local water supplies if French forces invaded.

It is incomprehensible that historians — and Stubbe da Luz is not alone in his reimagining of the Napoleonic Era — keep asking ‘What if?’ when what happened happened.

It would be better if they wrote and spoke about the lessons from history that we can apply to the present day. It would be politically incorrect in places, no doubt, but we could at least learn something instead of waste time reading about hypothetical situations.

In the words of George Santayana:

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

June 18, 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

File:Napoleon-Bonaparte-4085.jpgLittle did Napoleon Bonaparte realise that he would end up exiled on one of the most remote islands in the world — even today. (Photo credit: villains.wikia.com)

The Duke of Wellington, who commanded a coalition army of British, German and Dutch forces, emerged victorious.  (Photo credit: thisdaythen.blogspot.com)

The Battle of Waterloo was important not only because Napoleon lost but also (emphases mine):

It definitively ended the series of wars that had convulsed Europe—and involved many other regions of the world—since the French Revolution of the early 1790s. It also ended the First French Empire and the political and military career of Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest commanders and statesmen in history.[ab] Finally, it ushered in almost half a century of international peace in Europe; no further major conflict occurred until the Crimean War.

After his decisive defeat, Napoleon:

attempted to flee to the United States, but the British blocked his escape route. He surrendered to British custody and spent the last six years of his life in confinement on the remote island of Saint Helena. His death in 1821, at the age of 51, was received by shock and grief throughout Europe and the New World. In 1840, roughly one million people lined the streets of Paris to witness his remains returning to France, where they still reside at Les Invalides.[8]

It is for these reasons that we still speak of a Waterloo moment two centuries later.

Other men have also had Waterloo moments, although not of this scale. The Red Bulletin, Red Bull’s freebie magazine which appears in various countries around the world, includes some of their stories in its June 2015 issue.

As for Napoleon, the magazine says that his true Waterloo moment was not so much defeat in battle but the subsequent exile to St Helena (p. 22)!

Summarised below are a few of the magazine’s lesser, but still significant, Waterloo moments in history.

Inventors and designers

These unsung heroes are news to me and may be to you, too. From ‘Forgotten Heroes’ on page 24 of the magazine:

Coffee: Did you know that the 21st century coffee capsule was actually invented in 1970? Eric Favre presented his invention to Nestlé at that time but the multinational rejected it in favour of … instant coffee. So last century!

Logo: Nike lucked out with their swoosh logo, which Carolyn Davidson designed when she was a student. Nike paid her $35 for the ubiquitous design. Fortunately, the company later gave her shares in their stock as further recognition.

Photography: Who knew that photography was invented in Brazil in 1833? Hercules Florence, a painter, was the man, but he kept his invention private. Europeans, developing techniques separately, got the credit.

Physics: In 1956, physicist Hugh Everett published his work positing the existence of a parallel universe. His peers denounced him as being mad. Consequently, Everett retired from his scientific work. Nearly 60 years later, the basic tenets of his theories have been widely acknowledged — and accepted.

Never say never

These men were sure of their convictions — and badly mistaken. From ‘The Faulty Forecasts’ on page 26:

Trains: In 1838, Prussia’s Frederick William III said railways would never take off:

What would the advantage be of arriving somewhere a couple of hours earlier?

Planes: An unnamed Boeing engineer said in 1933 that the twin-engine Boeing 247, capable of carrying 10 people, represented the apogee of aircraft technology:

There will never be a bigger plane built.

Music: In 1962, talent scout Dick Rowe refused to sign the Beatles to Decca Records:

Guitar groups are on their way out.

Conclusion

For some it’s a Waterloo moment, for others, it’s eating humble pie.

When we are too confident of our abilities or predictions, it might be advisable to stay silent and see how things develop!

Churchmouse Altarmousefinal copyNapoleonic battles, in typical French style, were often famed for the victory dinners which followed.

Two of these are Chicken Marengo and Kidneys Turbigo.

Various stories have circulated about Chicken Marengo. One I read a few years ago by Périco Légasse in Marianne — a French newsweekly — says that Napoleon’s chef had only chicken to hand at this victory in June 1800. The Emperor said that he could not tolerate chicken (a digestive ailment from which I, too, suffered for many years) and asked if his personal chef, by the name of Durand, could also source something else. Pressed for time and knowing that Napoleon liked seafood, he asked some of the local men who fished the nearby river. They gave him a supply of crayfish. Relieved, Chef Durand returned to make a dish of both, giving Napoleon the crayfish, and the rest was history. Incidentally, Chef Durand’s original recipe did not include tomatoes.

However, we are here to discuss Turbigo. A British writer, The Voluptuous Chef, says:

kidneys turbigo … involved kidneys and sausages in a really quite rich and utterly scrummy dish. A few years ago, I found it in a French cookery book – it’s named for a battle site in Lombardy, Italy, where Napoleon III’s troops routed the Austrians in 1859 during the Austro-Sardinian War.

Turbigo, by the way, is not too far from Marengo in northern Italy. Both were part of the Napoleonic Empire in the 19th century.

History of War describes the Battle of Turbigo at length. Here are three paragraphs:

In late May Napoleon III decided to move his entire army to the left and attack the vulnerable Austrian right wing. After a Piedmontese victory at Palestro (30-31 May 1859) the Austrians finally realised what was happening, and Feldzeugmeister Franz Count Gyulai decided to retreat east, out of Piedmont and back across the Ticino into Lombardy. His aim was to defend Milan and prevent the Allies from advancing into the Austrian part of northern Italy.

The battle of Turbigo was a minor affair, but it had significant results. The French only lost 8 killed and 42 wounded, the Austrians 25 dead, 46 wounded and 35 missing. It’s significant … that on a day which began with the Austrians arguing about which bank of the Ticino to defend[,] the French established a secure crossing point and by the end of the day already had II Corps on the eastern bank.

On the following day the two armies blundered in the first major battle of the campaign (battle of Magenta, 4 June 1859). MacMahon’s corps played a major part in this unexpected encounter victory, which ended as a French and Piedmontese victory and forced the Austrians to evacuate Lombardy.

Kidney pig_kidwhl biologyiastateeduNow on to kidneys. Most people shy away from them. This is because they are improperly prepared before cooking.

I shall be frank here. If you’re squeamish, feel free to skip this paragraph. Some offal — variety meats — taste somewhat similar to the function they served in an animal’s body. Tripe, if it isn’t cleaned properly (it requires several thorough washes or several hours soaking time), may remind the diner of waste going through the system. Animal testicles, some women say, smell like their human equivalents. Kidneys, if improperly prepped, can taste like the function for which they were intended; most people say ‘gamey’ or ‘like iron’, but we all know they mean ‘tastes like urine’.

HOWEVER, this recipe will give you sweet tasting kidneys every time because you will be prepping them properly. Never, ever just cut kidneys up and throw them in the pan — even if professional television chefs commit this food heresy!

Keep referring to the kidney picture, because you will need to know what to remove from the organ before cooking it.

Notes:

1/ You will need my Romesco-style sauce for this. Have it prepared and ready to reheat by the time you begin.

2/ This is best served — as for my stir-fried lamb’s hearts with creamy mashed potatoes or a lightly buttered garlic-herb rice.

3/ Proportions for two people are as follows: six medium-sized button mushrooms, three kidneys and six chipolatas (pork links, or ‘porkies’).

4/ The cut of the kidneys, the whole button mushrooms and the arrangement on the plate come from an older edition of Larousse Gastronomique and a private club in Pall Mall, London.

Kidneys Turbigo

(prep time: 15-20 minutes; cooking time 10 – 15 minutes; servings as per Note 3 above — the following serves two people)

Ingredients:

3 whole lamb’s or pig’s kidneys (the taste and size are similar)

6 medium sized whole button mushrooms, dirt and stems removed

6 chipolatas (pork links, or ‘porkies’ to my American readers)

2 cloves crushed garlic

2 tbsp butter

1/2 – 1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Dash or two of cayenne pepper

1 tbsp of chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Method:

1/Begin by either pan-frying your pork links or baking them in the oven (180° C, 350° F, for approximately 20 minutes, possibly slightly less).

Note: If using the oven, use a lightly greased baking tray or two sheets of aluminium foil (the top one greased), for extra strength. The foil saves on the washing up, although some people will not wish to bake with it. Use whatever works for you.

2/ In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter. When melted, add half the crushed garlic and half the seasonings. Mix well, then add the button mushrooms. Watch the heat and turn it to medium-low or low once the mushrooms cook on one side. Turn them over once they are cooked on one side.

3/ Take one kidney and carefully remove the outer fat, if any, with a knife. If you can, also remove the paper-thin membrane around it. (If the kidney is shiny, then this membrane has already been removed by the butcher or supermarket.) Starting where it curves in the centre, slice the kidney lengthwise down the middle, nearly in half, but not quite. This is so that it does not curl too much when cooking. Referring to the picture above, carefully remove all the white ducts with kitchen scissors or a knife, then discard. Take extra care to cut under the small overlap of kidney flesh which hides the furthest reaches of the ducts. Lift the overlap up and you’ll see what I mean.

Note: The ducts are what taste like urine later on; remove them, please.

4/ Repeat step 2 above with the other two kidneys. Set all the three halved kidneys aside on a clean corner of your work surface or a separate plate.

5/ By now, the mushrooms should be finished. If they need a few more minutes, let them cook. Meanwhile, check on the chipolatas, sauce and potatoes or rice. Reheat or finish the sauce as well as the potatoes or rice as if they were just about ready to serve.

6/ Move the six mushrooms to the far side of your skillet so that they will not cook any more. Alternatively, remove them to a separate plate.

7/ With the skillet on medium — later switching to medium-low — heat, melt the other tablespoon of butter. Add the other half of the garlic and the salt, pepper and cayenne to the butter and stir.

8/ With the seasoned butter gently sizzling, carefully place the three kidneys into the pan. Because you want them to be as flat as possible, place the inside of the halves (where you cut away the ducts) face down in the pan.  Let these cook for two to three minutes. They should be medium rare. Of course, if you prefer yours with no blood at all, this might require an additional minute of cooking time.

Note: If kidneys are overcooked, they can be tough and unappetising. Some people like them this way, but a Briton savouring a mixed grill prefers his with a bit of give in the middle and a small amount of residual blood, as one would with a steak.

9/ Carefully turn the kidneys over onto their smooth side and cook for another one to two minutes.

10/ Whilst you await your kidneys, prep the plates as follows:

– Put rice or potatoes in the centre of the plate.

– Prepare to arrange the meat and mushrooms in a semi-circle around the starch.

– Saving places for the kidneys, the arrangement of the rest of the ingredients should be alternating as follows: kidney, sausage, mushroom, kidney, sausage, mushroom, kidney, sausage, mushroom.

11/ Remove the kidneys from the heat and cut each one in half so that you have six pieces. Place the halves in between the sausage links and mushrooms, three to a plate.

12/ Cover the meat and mushrooms with two to three tablespoons of Romesco-style sauce, garnish with parsley — and voilà!

You’re now commemorating an episode in history.

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