Naval War College Review


For centuries, the port of Brest in northwestern France has been the chief naval base and dockyard for French na- val operations in the North Atlantic and the Channel. For Britain, during the Napoleonic Wars—as well as in all the maritime wars between Britain and France in 1689 and 1815—the French Brest squadron was a central threat to the Royal Navy. British naval strategy to counter this threat had a number of ele- ments. The Royal Navy’s Channel Squadron had, as a primary duty, the blockade of Brest.