Enemies or Allies? Spanish-British Relations during the Siege of Toulon in 1793
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Enemies or Allies? Spanish-British Relations during the Siege of Toulon in 1793
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Victoria Verchenkova 
Affiliation: State Academic University for the Humanities
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The author analyzes the relationship between the two allies, the British and the Spanish, during their common defense of Toulon in 1793. According the convention of Aranjuez, concluded on May 25, 1793, the English and Spanish ships were supposed to help each other in hostilities and protect their merchant ships. But when the allies began to act together, it turned out that finding a common language was not so easy. Based on English and Spanish sources, the author of the article concluded that these two nations were forced to cooperate with each other, but they were not able to understand each other. Each side pursued its own goals in this campaign, and that led to numerous disagreements. Because of feuding for decades, neither the Spaniards nor the British could accept the superiority of their opponent. Moreover, the more failures there were in war, the more enmity grew to each other. The author demonstrates some contradictions that plagued the Allied army from the inside. Disputes over who should command the combined forces, who contributes most to the defense, and in the end, who is to blame for the surrender of the city — undermined the already fragile alliance between the two countries. Throughout the siege and the following years, both the Spanish and the English tried to find the culprits for their failed defense of the city against the Republicans, primarily shifting the blame to others, looking for traitors who had contacted the enemy almost from the very beginning of the campaign.

The French Revolution, the Siege of Toulon in 1793, the War of the First Coalition, Great Britain, Spain
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The study is sponsored by the Russian Science Foundation, project № 21-78-00078 “Images of Enemy and Ally in Reception of the British Participants of the Military Campaigns in the West Mediterranean and the Pyrenees 1793—1814”.
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