On December 15

On this day in ...
... 1796 (215 years ago today), in the midst of the French Revolution that had dispensed with monarchy and established a republic, a fleet comprising 43 ships and 15,000 troops left the Breton port city of Brest and headed for Bantry Bay, in Cork, at the southwest corner of the island of Ireland. (credit for 1796 painting of Brest harbor) The French fleet planned to aid an armed rebel group, the United Irishmen, in their fight against a mutual enemy, Great Britain. But storms off the coast scattered the ships, and in late January 1797 what was left of the fleet returned to France without ever having landed in Ireland.

(Prior December 15 posts are here, here, here, and here.)