Problems with the neighbours

by Instant Noodle

England and France must have had the most rocky relationship of any pair of countries in the world.

Never was this more true during the mid 19th century. France was Britain’s ally against Russia in the Crimean War (although orginally almost by mistake), and reciprocal state visits had taken place by a couple of years later in 1855.

But, by 1859, things had turned chilly again after the French allied themselves with the Italians against the Austrians.

Britain realised it might be woefully out it its depth during this period, and began an arms race to develop bigger and better ships, and bigger and more extensive sea defenses.

(November 26th, 1859)