French Fleet Baffled

Justin McCarthy
Chapter IX | Start of Chapter

Tone succeeded in persuading Napoleon that it would be a great advantage to France in her struggle with England to send a fleet and an army under a competent commander to assist the rebellion in Ireland. A fleet was sent over with a military force under the command of General Hoche, who had already won many victories for the Republic. But the winds proved fatal to the French expedition when it tried to effect a landing in Bantry Bay.

Wolfe Tone, who had before this obtained a commission in the French army, was on board one of the vessels, and has himself described the intense agony of his emotions as he stood on the deck of his vessel and might almost have flung a biscuit ashore, and yet could not land owing to the stress of weather. The expedition proved a total failure, and Wolfe Tone was captured along with a number of French officers. Thus, and thus only, he succeeded in making his landing in Ireland.