Wednesday, March 30, 2016

D. Peter MacLeod's "Northern Armageddon"

D. Peter MacLeod is a curator at the Canadian War Museum and the author of The Canadian Iroquois and the Seven Years’ War.

He applied the “Page 99 Test” to his new book, Northern Armageddon: The Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the Making of the American Revolution, and reported the following:
During the Seven Years’ War (1754-1763) France fought Britain for control of northeastern North America; Native American nations fought to preserve their homelands. The war reached a climax in 1759 when James Wolfe and his army sailed up the St. Lawrence River to besiege Quebec City, then the capital of the French empire in North America. The campaign is best known for the encounter between Wolfe and Montcalm at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

Northern Armageddon tells the story of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham through the eyes of American, British, French, and Native American participants. On page 99, we’re looking at the tense relationships in the French high command. Louis-Joseph de Montcalm commands the French regular army battalions that were posted to Canada during the Seven Years’ War. Pierre Rigaud de Vaudreuil is Governor General of New France and commander-in-chief of the French armed forces in North America.

They don’t get along.

On page 99, in a flashback to 1758, Montcalm, who has just defeated a massive British-American invasion at Ticonderoga, accuses Vaudreuil of attempting the mass murder of his army by holding back reinforcements. (“M. de Vaudreuil wanted to have us slaughtered by giving me so few men to face a real danger.”)

Vaudreuil, unimpressed, lists a whole series of abusive outbursts by Montcalm and gently suggests the general might be better employed elsewhere. (“He can serve very usefully in Europe. No one respects his excellent qualities more than I, but he lacks those which are necessary for making war in this country.”)

All this is background, providing context for a key moment on the Plains of Abraham in 1759. The French and British armies are formed in battle lines, facing one another across the plains. Vaudreuil orders Montcalm to hold in place. Instead, Montcalm orders a charge that leads to his own death, the shattering of the French army, and the surrender of Quebec, and ultimately contributes to the outbreak of the American Revolution.
Learn more about Northern Armageddon at the publisher's website.

My Book, The Movie: Northern Armageddon.

--Marshal Zeringue