invasion of England

Port

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
2,092
portland maine
Was it ever possible for Napoleon to develop enough sea power tp invade England?
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,748
Australia
No. The Royal Navy had complete mastery of the seas and any attempt to invade would have been an utter disaster. After failed attempts to break the Britsh blockade and divert the RN away from the channel, Napoleon realised this and turned his Armee d'Angleterre eastwards towards the Austrians and Russians.
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,513
Japan
No. Not without help... hence Brirish actions to destroy capture Danish ships before Napoleon could get to them.

British Navy was huge, even with a large fleet out at sea, GB had plenty of ships laid up in ordinary if needed quickly.
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,513
Japan
To build ships he’d need wood, Britain bought Scandanavian, Balkan and Russians timbers to keep building ships... What would France do to get the wood?
If she can get the wood, how does she get enough trained crew?
 
Feb 2019
933
Serbia
Likely not. He certainly tried and by 1813 he had a formidable fleet of about 80 Ships of the Line with about 35 under construction, Britain had 124 or so. Napoleon simply had less ships than the British and even if we count the fleets of his allies he had little chance to actually concentrate all those fleets. If he somehow did manage to build a large enough fleet I doubt he would be able to successfully invade.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,760
Cornwall
Likely not. He certainly tried and by 1813 he had a formidable fleet of about 80 Ships of the Line with about 35 under construction, Britain had 124 or so. Napoleon simply had less ships than the British and even if we count the fleets of his allies he had little chance to actually concentrate all those fleets. If he somehow did manage to build a large enough fleet I doubt he would be able to successfully invade.
He lost interest in the navy after Trafalgar.

Not much good counting numbers because French ships were mostly blockaded in ports and British squadrons out there blockading them. Consequently their sailors were too few and inexperienced and their batle tactics aimed at escape. Hence no naval battles to speak of after Trafalgar.
 
Feb 2019
933
Serbia
He lost interest in the navy after Trafalgar.
This is not true. After 1807 in particular he started investing in the navy and spent millions of pounds on dockyards and shipbuilding, the fleet in 1813 was somewhat larger than it had been before Trafalgar. Let's not forget the attempts to seize the Danish and Portuguese fleets. To say he simply lost interest is not accurate at all.

Not much good counting numbers because French ships were mostly blockaded in ports and British squadrons out there blockading them. Consequently their sailors were too few and inexperienced and their batle tactics aimed at escape.
Yes, but the numbers are relevant concerning the balance of power, even if the quality was in Britain's favour. The numbers are also relevant in relation to the claim that Napoleon ''lost interest.''

Hence no naval battles to speak of after Trafalgar.
San Domingo, Basque Roads, French Expeditions to the Indian Ocean, Copenhagen 1807 (?), Adriatic Campaigns (Even if limited to mostly frigates.). No battle was as large as Trafalgar but to say that there were no naval battles at all is simply false.
 

caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,321
I thought the French were poised to invade in 1805? (thus the significance of Trafalgar)
 
Feb 2019
933
Serbia
I thought the French were poised to invade in 1805? (thus the significance of Trafalgar)
Yes, but the fleet that was defeated at Trafalgar was nowhere near strong enough to break the British blockade and conquer the Channel. It was an impossible plan that couldn't work, there were various rumours on the British side of things that the French were about to land, that they were also using ballons to land etc. This was mostly paranoia and on Napoleon's side it was wishful thinking, even if the French did land somehow I doubt they would've won. The significance of Trafalgar is overstated and its main impact was psychological.