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Brest Affair


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The Brest Affair, also known as the (Failed) Expedition to Brest is the historiographical designation of a scandal during the Patriottentijd that was exploited by the Patriot faction to politically undermine the regime of stadtholder William V. It followed the refusal of the leadership of the navy of the Dutch Republic to obey a direct order to send a flotilla to the French naval base of Brest before 8 October 1787. The refusal caused a scandal that forced the States General to institute a formal inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the refusal, and this inquiry eventually led to a prosecution before a special admiralty court of the parties responsible, led by Pieter Paulus. However, the prosecution took so much time that meanwhile the Patriot faction was suppressed by Prussian military intervention, so that eventually the case was shelved without coming to a resolution.
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    • Background 

    • The Non-Event 

    • The scandal