Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Cowardice at Minden

In among the praise of the British troops at Minden was criticism - victory was tempered by the actions of Lord George Sackville. 
From the wiki

In the Battle of Minden on 1 August 1759, British and Hanoverian infantry of the centre made an advance on the French cavalry and artillery in that sector. They apparently went in without orders and their attacking line formation even repulsed repeated French cavalry charges, holding until the last moment then firing a massive volley when the charge came within ten yards. As the disrupted French began to fall back on Minden, Ferdinand called for a British cavalry charge to complete the victory, but Sackville withheld permission for their advance. Ferdinand sent his order several times, but Sackville was estranged from Lord Granby, the force commander. He continued to withhold permission for Granby to gain glory through an attack. For this action, he was cashiered and sent home. Granby replaced him as commander of the British contingent for the remainder of the war.

Court martial[edit]

Sackville refused to accept responsibility for refusing to obey orders. Back in England, he demanded a court martial, and made it a large enough issue that he obtained his demand in 1760. The court found him guilty, and imposed one of the strangest and strongest verdicts ever rendered against a general officer. The court's verdict not only upheld his discharge, but ruled that he was "...unfit to serve his Majesty in any military capacity whatsoever", then ordered that their verdict be read to and entered in the orderly book of every regiment in the army. The king had his name struck from the Privy Council rolls.[8] 

There is a book which I used to have on the subject. 


Prince Lupus said...

Interesting book.

Big Andy said...

While Sackville was not of the best he was up to a point made a scapegoat by Ferdinand-Mackseys book is excellent and I also have a decent biography of Granby which has edits of the court martial in it , Seriously intresting stuff