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Osprey Campaign 79 : Louisbourg 1758 : Wolfe's First Siege

The 1758 siege of Louisbourg was the most extensive siege operation ever attempted by the British forces in North America up to that time. Louisbourg represented a major threat to Anglo-American plans to invade Canada. By-passing it would leave an immensely powerful enemy base astride the Anglo-American lines of communication - Louisbourg had to be taken. The capture of Louisbourg would eliminate France's most important naval base in North America and clear the route to Quebec. The British army that besieged Fortress Louisbourg was larger than the one that was to lay siege to Quebec the following year. The land forces were led by Maj Gen Jeffery Amherst with skill and competence. Amherst also saw the extraordinary talents of young James Wolfe as a Brigade Commander and he gave him every opportunity to shine. Wolfe repaid him by performing brilliantly from the day of the landing. René Chartrand's text explains the background to the siege including the earlier naval operations, and the expulsion of the Acadian French populace from Nova Scotia in 1755 which resulted in unprecedented levels of "partisan" warfare on the western borders of Nova Scotia. The siege itself was a tremendous pounding match. Faced with strong beach defences and rough weather, it took six days to land the troops and was only achieved by a stroke of daring on the part of a young Brigadier named James Wolfe who managed to turn the French beach position. The course of the siege will be examined in detail, highlighting the key moments including silencing the Island Battery, taking Green Hill, etc. The story is largely based on first-hand accounts from the journals of several participants including Amherst and of French Governor Drucour's, whose excellent account has never been published. Text by René Chartrand with illustrations by Patrice Courcelle.

    Contents
  • Origins of the Campaign
  • Opposing Plans
  • Naval Operations 1756-57
  • Opposing Commanders (British & French)
  • Opposing Armies (British & French)
  • The Siege of 1758
  • Naval and Military Preparations
  • The Siege Day-by-Day
  • The Landing
  • Taking Lighthouse Point
  • Bombardments Begins
  • Wolfe takes Green Hill
  • The French Sally
  • Artillery Duels
  • French Ships Damaged
  • Breaches and Fires
  • The Surrender and Cambis' Regiment "Mutiny"
  • Aftermath
  • The Fortress of Louisbourg Today
  • Chronology
  • Index

 

Osprey Campaign


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