Saturday, March 12, 2011

A new week

Barcelona, 4th September 1713

The week couldn't start with better news for the Catalans. On Monday's evening, the small squadron formed by the "Santa Eulàlia" warship and the "Sant Elm" felucca entered in harbour carrying a small Spanish galley captured some hours before close to Tarragona shores --a bergantin class one, of those with one single mast and some 10-12 oars each side. This capture provoked an unexpected problem to the Catalan authorities, for such kind of galleys were manned by the fighting crew themselves. As all of that particular galley crew were Spanish soldiers, some 30 men who were accordingly imprisoned at Montjuïc castle, Barcelona authorities had no replacement crews at hand for the ship, so they had no other choice than keeping it anchored in port until a solution was found.

The day before, a xebec flying Catalan flag hurriedly sought refuge in Sant Feliu de Guíxols harbour. It happened to be "Estel" --the ship used by the Marquis de Vilana diplomat retinue in Monte-Cristo. At their return back home, they had been fruitlessly pursued by a big Spanish galley. The xebec captain had managed to dodge the enemy ship and bow her to a friendly port. However, some confusion arose after it was known that Marquis de Vilana himself was not in the ship --but he had secretly stood in Monte-Cristo instead...

As for military operations, it had become clear that the Spanish Army wouldn't be in the best shape to keep their offensive for a long while, due to some evident kind of disagreement with their French allies; therefore, a growing degree of optimism soon spread among the population. The only remaining causes of concern among the Catalan Headquarters were now the fate of Balaguer city --whose defenders were close to exhaustion-- and the provisions for a garrison relief at Tarragona --where the Imperial troops currently holding the town were about to be withdran in Naples. When this happened, Spanish troops would take control of the city --such eventuality would mean that the Spanish fleet would have available the largest port in the Principality south of Barcelona. A so advanced navy post had the Catalan headquarters heavily worried, because they feared an eventual supremacy of the Spanish Armada in the Balearic Sea.


Soldadets said...

When I posted this message yesterday it was quite late in the night and I was dead sleepy, because the day before had gone to bed at 3:30 AM more or less and woke up at 7:30... This way, I became so sleepy that was hardly able to read my own writing, so that finally decided to post it "as it was" --without any revision, even the slightest one...
Therefore, you can now imagine why this is one of my worst posts --I had even forgotten to specify by name which Catalan ships had captured the Spanish galley!
Sorry for eventual errors still in the post, I'll be correcting them as soon as realize each one!

abdul666 said...

Don't worry... Galatea is at war, anybody is stressed.

Diplomacy: Versailles would LOVE to have an independent Principality under Marie-Anne des Ursins over part of present-day Belgium instead of wholly Austrian -ex-Spanish- Netherlands. France has not yet recovered from the trauma to be almost totally surrounded by lands under a single hostile Emperor: thus the High Council -against Louis XV's personal feelings- choose to enter the WAS on the 'wrong' side. Among the clauses of the the Utrecht treaties, the arrival of Austrian troops under an Austrian Habsburg in the Southern Netherlands was certainly the harder to swallow. To have instead -for a part- a Principality under a French Princess would be reassuring. Specially if located over (proximal part of) French-speaking Wallonie,
closer to French borders (flag?).
And maybe Marie-Anne des Ursins could claim the dread Gardes Wallonnes as the nucleus of her new army?
As long as she is influential, the Princesa de los Ursinos is probably the best Galatan agent / hope in Madrid -and Versailles.

abdul666 said...

Really glad to ear that the "Estel" reached safely a Galatan harbour (carrier pigeons fly far faster than any felucca can sail). We'll try to convey the information, and any latest news, to the Marquis de Vilana (and to his companions, of course!) on his way to Versailles: we have a permanent 'pigeon line' between the Presipapal Palace and the Enclos du Temple in Paris, with a major relay / communication node in the Croix-Rousse above Lyon.

Btw, contrary to what is sometimes whispered, our 'Service' does not use carrier bats: this is a purely Herrschadener feature. Not that we dislike bats, mind you: at first glance, bats -like the platypus- look like natural oddities / anomalies. Being ourselves generally deemed 'odd' or even 'monstrous', we Monte-Cristans a priori sympathize with anyone and anything 'odd'. But according to our expert we are simply too far from Transylvania for the cute little flying furballs to be reliable messengers.

abdul666 said...

The sojourn of Marquis de Vilana in our Presipality is reported in the Monte-Cristan official gazette there.