22 February 1797 French troops land in Fishguard, Wales
The Battle of Fishguard was a military invasion of Great Britain by French forces during the War of the First Coalition. The campaign, took place between 22 February and 24 February 1797, and was the most recent effort by a foreign force that was able to land on Britain. It is referred to as the “last invasion of Britain”.
The force consisted of 1,400 troops from the La Legion Noire (The Black Legion) under the command of Irish American Colonel William Tate, 800 of whom were not regular soldiers. Transported on four French warships under the command of Commodore Jean-Joseph Castagnier, Tate’s forces landed at Carregwastad Head near Fishguard on 22 February. Upon landing discipline broke down amongst the irregulars, many of whom deserted to loot nearby settlements. The remaining troops were met by a group of around 500 British reservists, militia and sailors under the command of John Campbell, 1st Baron Cawdor. After brief clashes with the local civilian population and Lord Cawdor’s forces on 23 February, Tate was forced to surrender by 24 February.