Saturday, 3 November 2007

Admiral Byng

Admiral John Byng was tried and executed in 1757 after his failure to defeat a French fleet and then relieve Port Mahon at the beginning of the Seven Years War.

This prompted a line in Voltaire's Candide "Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres", or "In this country [England] it is good to execute an admiral occasionally, to encourage the others".

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