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  • This is the Technical Difficulties, we're playing Citation Needed.

  • Joining me today, he reads books y'know, it's Chris Joel.

  • Hello.

  • Everybody's favourite Gary Brannan, Gary Brannan.

  • Well, I'm cock-a-hoop.

  • And the bounciest man on the internet, Matt Gray.

  • This is a public service announcement.

  • These public services are closed.

  • Please use the nearest toilets on the other side of the concourse.

  • In front of me I've got an article from Wikipedia and these folks can't see it.

  • Every fact they get right is a point and a ding.

  • And there's a special prize for particularly good answers which is...

  • And today we are talking about the Battle of Fishguard.

  • Is a Fishguard a shield?

  • Yes, they hold it in their little... hands.

  • Good luck with this one, Gary.

  • -Oh, s***. -We have started well.

  • I meant the battlers, what are they called, warriors? Let's call them warriors.

  • Were they warriors holding up fish as shields, the Fishguard?

  • What, like a flatfish and then a swordfish in the other hand?

  • Oh!

  • Squelching your way forward and making a…

  • Now, that's a proper combination.

  • Yeah, or a pike.

  • Oh!

  • F*** you.

  • No, is the answer to all of that, I'll just shut that down immediately.

  • I'm going to say Wales.

  • Yes, and have a point.

  • It's a place?

  • Yes, yeah, I learnt it in a Beano annual.

  • I learned it from the shipping forecast.

  • Well, there we go, we all have different routes to education(!)

  • This isn't one, by the way.

  • Yeah, well you'll say at the end, "that taught me a lesson."

  • -Hey! -Ah.

  • -Beano annual? -Well, up yours then.

  • The Fishguard is as place in Wales and this is where the battle took place.

  • No, f***, really?

  • They named the battle after where it happened,

  • unlike all the other battle naming conventions, which were a good 50 miles away.

  • Just to confuse the future tourists.

  • Yeah, it's like in World War 2 when they switched the road signs round.

  • That's a fair point, Battle and actual site of the Battle of Hastings is debatable for instance.

  • So yeah, it has been done.

  • Battle of Waterloo, you can see the remains in Waterloo Station to this day.

  • That's true, you wouldn't have thought they'd have it so close to London, would you?

  • I know.

  • It's just a Friday night before Christmas and everyone's trying to get north, it's just

  • That's when Abba fell out.

  • When you're ready.

  • Oh, they've turned.

  • -They've turned, they've turned. -It's a poor audience.

  • This was a battle in Fishguard, who might have been attacking and when?

  • -Fishermen. -Actually is it a Cod War?

  • -I was going to go for trawlermen, yeah. -Yeah.

  • Oh no, no, it's a little early for trawlers.

  • So it wasn't an uprising, oh, was it Vikings?

  • It's a little late for Vikings.

  • So it's somewhere between Vikings and the advent of modern fishing.

  • Where we sit the best.

  • Well, using my extensive historical knowledge

  • I'm bracing myself, carry on.

  • It's not Victorian.

  • -What! -That was the only other time period I know.

  • I'm going to go 13th century.

  • No, it's… it's much later, this was during the War of the First Coalition.

  • Well, is that... political joke incoming,

  • Is that somewhere around about 2010?

  • This was 1792 to 1797, who might Britain have been battling then?

  • -Virtually everybody. -Yes.

  • Tom, does the wheel spin and land, as it does 50% of the time, on France?

  • Playing the hits, ladies and gentlemen!

  • "We are coming for you."

  • This was an attempt to land a force of French troops in Britain

  • to support another invasion.

  • So they went via Wales?

  • -Yes. -The soft underbelly of England.

  • So where might have been the primary attack force headed?

  • -Ireland? -Yes.

  • Oh, hang on.

  • Because Wales, boat wise, is on the way to Ireland, isn't it?

  • Sure!

  • Well, because if you're boating from the France bit,

  • you get to the Wales bit before you get to the Ireland bit, don't you?

  • If you're coming the right, top right bit of France?

  • Yes.

  • -He's… he's not wrong. -It often depends

  • on which direction you're heading, I suppose, doesn't it, yeah.

  • -The top left. -No, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

  • So what was this invasion force intended to do?

  • Invade.

  • That is technically a correct answer.

  • This was a third attempt at invasion, why did some of the earlier ones fail?

  • Far too windy.

  • Yeah, you're absolutely right.

  • That's what you get for having beans on the journey.

  • "Oh, mais oui, le bilious..."

  • "Le windy-pop, c'est grande."

  • So the Wales-bound invasion force, 1400 troops from the Black Legion.

  • Oh, "lagion noire"!

  • Under the command of an Irish American, Colonel William Tate.

  • Was it the Black Legion from our side?

  • No, this is... well, I'm translating, Lagion noire.

  • -Sorry, Tate rings a bell. -It does actually.

  • Did theydid they invade with art?

  • Tate.

  • No, it actually wasn't recent enough for modern art.

  • Who clapped?

  • Just once as well, which...

  • Thank you. Well, we're going to arrange it

  • so each person takes a single clap at each joke, and on average...

  • Is one clap a greater degree of shade...?

  • 1400 troops invading Wales, essentially.

  • And did anyone ask the Welsh, were they alright with this?

  • It sounds dreadfully rude.

  • Well, you say that, there was a bit of response when 1400 troops arrived.

  • What were these troops made up of?

  • Horses?

  • Cavalry.

  • No, infantry.

  • Horses riding men. That was a real diversionary tactic.

  • 600 were regular soldiers that Napoleon had not required to conquer Italy.

  • So the B team?

  • Yes, 800 were irregulars, now what does that mean?

  • Slight factory seconds.

  • Maybe some chips in the glaze but still useful.

  • Irregulars are paid mercenaries, aren't they?

  • Not quite.

  • Conscripts.

  • Again, not... not quite, it's more general.

  • So they're a special force but not in an SAS kind of way?

  • Yeah, just in, there's something different about these folk.

  • They're special. They're special as in you wouldn't trust them with anything important?

  • -Yes. -Right.

  • -So we have… -This is good.

  • We have the B team and we have the irregulars.

  • And actually I am going to give you a point because it includes:

  • republicans, deserters, convicts and royalist prisoners.

  • Nice. Now, at least that last category is probably not going to be that up for this, would I imagine?

  • Are they going to choose this as a running away opportunity?

  • Yeah, you know what, that's a point.

  • Discipline broke down amongst the irregulars on landing.

  • What a delightful euphemism.

  • Discipline broke down amongst these prisoners that we tried to order into doing something.

  • "And no naughty running away while you're at it, I want you all here by teatime, you understand?

  • "You're on your honour."

  • And yes, they did indeed desert; where and why might they have deserted?

  • Because they're being forced to do things against their will in a foreign nation.

  • Oh, but very specifically they went to try and do something.

  • Cocktail bars.

  • Did they just want some fish and chips and they found a place on the map called Fishplace

  • or whatever it was called?

  • I mean it wasn't so much they were paying for the fish and chips.

  • Did they steal fish and chips?

  • -They just went looting? -That is exactly the right word, yes, they

  • They're robbers, they'll just go looting!

  • Yes.

  • "You mean these people who we've arrested for stealing,

  • "we've let them go of their own free will, are stealing again?"

  • Let's not forget, we've given them rifles!

  • The set up for the battle, if you like.

  • I don't know what, there is probably a formal term for the armies amassing themselves

  • and getting ready to fight.

  • It is, it's the armies amassing themselves and getting ready to fight.

  • The armies amassed themselves and got ready to fight.

  • But that took a little while, so on the French side they'd sort of taken over a few farmhouses.

  • What's happening in the British command?

  • Tea.

  • A social event is happening.

  • Oh, that's nice.

  • A messenger on horseback arrives to instruct the commanding officer.

  • And the