French Invasion of Britain 1776

In this scenario, France and Spain join with the Americans as historically but find that Britain is unwilling to let the Thirteen Colonies go and becomes much less willing to accept any kind of peace treaty that they don't write themselves.

How would France and Spain launch an invasion of the British Islands? could they win? would this take the wind out of the British sails? Will Batman and Robin escape this fiendish plot?

Answers to most of these questions would be quite helpful :p
 

Wolfpaw

Banned
France and Spain would never try and invade Britain during the Revolutionary War, no matter how stubborn London became.

The main reason is because the American Revolutionary War was a colonial war, not a "real" war. The unspoken rules of war at the time were, "If we're fighting over colonies and things of that nature, we only fight in said colonies and upon the high seas. And we can embargo and raid each other's trade and shipping, of course."

Not only would a Franco-Spanish invasion of Britain have been a logistical nightmare, but it would have been a very dangerous undertaking; both militarily and politically. Militarily because the British had the finest army and navy (albeit with France a close second) in the world at the time and would most likely be able to repel invaders. Politically because it would irreparably upset the balance of power and the rules of imperial conflict in the world, something that the European powers wanted to avoid at all costs.
 
I smell pinipeds off the coast of Dover... ;)


In short: why would they? How could they considering RN dominance? The ARW offered a relatively cheap opportunity to embarass and drive a rival out of North America. An invasion of Britain ups the stakes and the cost immensely.
 
France and Spain would never try and invade Britain during the Revolutionary War, no matter how stubborn London became.

The main reason is because the American Revolutionary War was a colonial war, not a "real" war. The unspoken rules of war at the time were, "If we're fighting over colonies and things of that nature, we only fight in said colonies and upon the high seas. And we can embargo and raid each other's trade and shipping, of course."

Not only would a Franco-Spanish invasion of Britain have been a logistical nightmare, but it would have been a very dangerous undertaking; both militarily and politically. Militarily because the British had the finest army and navy (albeit with France a close second) in the world at the time and would most likely be able to repel invaders. Politically because it would irreparably upset the balance of power and the rules of imperial conflict in the world, something that the European powers wanted to avoid at all costs.
Don't think of the Royal Navy and Army of the 1800's as the Royal Navy and Army of the 1770's. The British military hit a nadir during the American Revolution and the RN temporarily lost its dominance of the seas. Their tactics and strategy in both cases were out-dated and insufficient to beat the coalition facing them. Between the French, the Dutch, and the Spanish, they were actually out-gunned and out-numbered on the seas.

The American Revolution was actually the only time between 1767 and 1960 when another power could have purposefully set foot on the British isles, had they wanted to.
 
France and Spain would never try and invade Britain during the Revolutionary War, no matter how stubborn London became.
I'd just like to say that you have been proved wrong by OTL. ;)

The main reason is because the American Revolutionary War was a colonial war, not a "real" war. The unspoken rules of war at the time were, "If we're fighting over colonies and things of that nature, we only fight in said colonies and upon the high seas. And we can embargo and raid each other's trade and shipping, of course."
For many in France, the war was a real war begun with the intent of obtaining revenge against Britain after the humiliation of the Seven Years' War. It was never just a colonial war, and indeed for a while the French planned on abandoning the rebellious colonies if they could get a good enough peace deal from the British government.

Not only would a Franco-Spanish invasion of Britain have been a logistical nightmare, but it would have been a very dangerous undertaking; both militarily and politically. Militarily because the British had the finest army and navy (albeit with France a close second) in the world at the time and would most likely be able to repel invaders. Politically because it would irreparably upset the balance of power and the rules of imperial conflict in the world, something that the European powers wanted to avoid at all costs.
Combined with the Spanish navy, the French could command a naval force equal to or even superior to the Royal Navy. The British fleet defending the Channel in 1779 was also woefully understrength. So this presents the best opportunity, if not ever, then of the 18th century for a successful invasion.

For what it's worth, I started a thread about this a few months ago. That can be found here.
 
The other thing is, this kind of signal of intent by the French would have reverberations around Europe. Supposing Europe believed the French could pull it off, not a single country would be in favour of letting the French take London, excepting the French themselves. The Spanish might very well back out of the war, and the Austrians and Prussians might even go so far as to consider alliance to force the French to relinquish the UK. Before the French even landed troops they could have half of Europe on their backs.
 
The other thing is, this kind of signal of intent by the French would have reverberations around Europe. Supposing Europe believed the French could pull it off, not a single country would be in favour of letting the French take London, excepting the French themselves. The Spanish might very well back out of the war, and the Austrians and Prussians might even go so far as to consider alliance to force the French to relinquish the UK. Before the French even landed troops they could have half of Europe on their backs.
So the Spanish would help invade but would suddenly believe it was a bad idea because.....
 

Wolfpaw

Banned
Because Spain's intent is to cripple Britain, not empower France. If the invasion succeeded, it would become very clear almost imediately that France has no desire to surrender its newfound control over Britain. France would most likely become far too powerful for the other European nations to tolerate, including Spain, which could at best hope to remain a junior power to France's new hegemony.
 
I'd just like to say that you have been proved wrong by OTL. ;)
LOL, love it when that happens :)

A few years earlier one assumes the circumstances would be at least different enough to mean that an exact pre-repeat of 1779 isn't a foregone conclusion

What's Ireland doing at this time ? Its always good for a rebellion, and you still have a Stuart claimant around to use.

Best Regards
Grey Wolf
 
The other thing is, this kind of signal of intent by the French would have reverberations around Europe. Supposing Europe believed the French could pull it off, not a single country would be in favour of letting the French take London, excepting the French themselves. The Spanish might very well back out of the war, and the Austrians and Prussians might even go so far as to consider alliance to force the French to relinquish the UK. Before the French even landed troops they could have half of Europe on their backs.
I'm actually not too sure. Much of Europe was actually aligned against Britain during the American Revolutionary War. Witness French allies in the war- Spain and the United Provinces. Austria was allied with France as well, although it did not participate in the war. Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Prussia, and Portugal (a traditional British ally) all eventually joined the League of Armed Neutrality against Britain.
There actually was not a great deal of support for the British side of the war. Further, the Spanish were greatly interested in attacking the British isles themselves, and would not back out in any case. The French never intended to stay in Great Britain after a successful occupation - it would just be used as the most valuable bargaining chip in subsequent negotiations.

Because Spain's intent is to cripple Britain, not empower France. If the invasion succeeded, it would become very clear almost imediately that France has no desire to surrender its newfound control over Britain. France would most likely become far too powerful for the other European nations to tolerate, including Spain, which could at best hope to remain a junior power to France's new hegemony.
See above - the French never intended on remaining in Britain. The cities they managed to capture would be exchanged in the peace for various valuable colonies, such as India, the Caribbean, etc.
Also, IMO many European countries would be quite pleased to see Great Britain "taken down a peg," as it were.
 

Valdemar II

Banned
Just thought I'd bump this for any more feedback. Thinking about making this into a TL.
I would love to see that. Of course the question are what the French would receive at the peace table. My guess we see a lot of British colonies would shift hands (I could see British India being reduced to Bengal).
 
I would love to see that. Of course the question are what the French would receive at the peace table. My guess we see a lot of British colonies would shift hands (I could see British India being reduced to Bengal).
French plans varied widely. I'll have to refresh my memory, but here's what I remember: one plan called for the cession of the Isle of Wight to France, and the permanent blocking of the Spithead Channel to neutralize and destroy Portsmouth. The initial French landings would be at Rye, Winchelsea, Hastings, and Pevensey, with the overall objective of securing London to force Britain to the negotiating table as soon as possible.[FONT=&quot][/FONT]
 
I'd just like to say that you have been proved wrong by OTL. ;)


For many in France, the war was a real war begun with the intent of obtaining revenge against Britain after the humiliation of the Seven Years' War. It was never just a colonial war, and indeed for a while the French planned on abandoning the rebellious colonies if they could get a good enough peace deal from the British government.


Combined with the Spanish navy, the French could command a naval force equal to or even superior to the Royal Navy. The British fleet defending the Channel in 1779 was also woefully understrength. So this presents the best opportunity, if not ever, then of the 18th century for a successful invasion.

For what it's worth, I started a thread about this a few months ago. That can be found here.
Heh, I think 67th Tiger's head would explode upon reading this.
 
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