Archive for April, 2017

AUSTRALIA – BRITAIN BY A SHORT HALF-HEAD: CAPTAIN ARTHUR PHILLIP & COMTE JEAN-FRANCOISE LA PEROUSE

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

1763 Following Britain’s defeat of France in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) Colonel de Bougainville, aide-de-camp to General Joseph Montcalm commander of French forces in the Canadian theatre of that conflict, switched from army to navy. See: A Tale of Two Cities: Quebec 1759 – Sydney 1788

1766 – Brest, December: Captain Louis Antoine de Boungainville in Boudeuse, accompanied by Etoile a support vessel, sailed from France seeking the fabled ‘Unknown Great South Land’.

With territorial expansion, strategic advantage and trade in mind, Bugainville’s voyage took him into the South Pacific where he investigated many places of interest to France amongst them Samoa, Vanuatu, Tahiti and Mauritius.

1767: On the return passage to France by way of New Guinea, the Moluccas and Java, Bougainville sailed along New Holland’s far north-eastern coast charting the Great Barrier Reef.

However unlike England’s James Cook on HMS Endeavour Bougainville did not risk a landing.

But there can be no doubt his book A Voyage Round the World raised the stakes in the race to see who would open up the Pacific first’. Arthur Herman, To Rule The Waves, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 2005

1769 – France, March:  After twenty-eight (28) months circumnavigating the globe, the first Frenchman to do so,Bougainville was home in France.

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