Wild Geese Stories: Patrick Sarsfield and The Wild Geese® Pt 2
The Battle of Barfleur and La HogueIn preparation for the invasion, Louis XIV decided to strike a preempted blow against the English navy, but was unaware that the English and Dutch had struck an alliance. The french ships sailed out to meet a fleet that outnumbered them two to one. Stood on the Cotentin Peninsular were the Irish Exiles, who watched the navies pound each other until the French fleet was crippled. Losing control of the channel, Louis called off the invasion and the hopes of The Wild Geese® returning home quickly faded. Although a bitter defeat, The Wild Geese® held their heads high, still determined lead a successful career as Irish soldiers abroad. Irish soldiers were welcomed into armies throughout Europe, their ferocity and determination a key characteristic recognised across the continent. Patrick Sarsfield took this opportunity to serve in the French army, where he was given the rank Marechal de camp, the French equivalent of a major general. For Sarsfield, the fight continued and Ireland remained close to his heart.