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Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters

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Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters
Hornblower 4 Frogs and Lobsters.jpg
DVD Cover
Country UKD.jpg UK
Directed by Andrew Grieve
Release Date 1999
Language English
Studio A+E Networks
Meridian Broadcasting
Distributor ITV
Main Cast
Character Actor
Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower Ioan Gruffudd
Captain Sir Edward Pellew Robert Lindsay
Acting Lieutenant Archie Kennedy Jamie Bamber
Major Lord Edrington Samuel West
General Francois de Charette John Shrapnel
Colonel Marquis de Moncoutant Antony Sher
Matthews Paul Copley
Styles Sean Gilder
Mariette Estelle Skornik
Lieutenant Bracegirdle Jonathan Coy

Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters (released in American broadcast as Hornblower: The Wrong War) is the fourth installment of the Hornblower series of British historical war television films based on the works of C. S. Forester and starring Ioan Gruffudd as Royal Navy officer Horatio Hornblower during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The Frogs and the Lobsters depicts the participation of newly-commissioned Lieutenant Hornblower in the ill-fated attempt of a force of French Royalists (the "frogs"), supported by an English infantry battalion (the "lobsters"), to land in Brittany in 1795, known as Battle of Quiberon. The film is based on the chapter Hornblower, the Frogs, and the Lobsters from the novel Mr. Midshipman Hornblower.

The following weapons were used in the film Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters:


Heavy Dragoon Pistol

Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower (Ioan Gruffudd) carries a pair of Heavy Dragoon Flintlock Pistols (not similar looking Sea Service pistols as the guns lack belt hooks).

British Heavy Dragoon Pistol - .62 caliber
Hornblower carries a pair of pistols tucked into his belt.
A close view of the grips and flintlocks.
A good view of the grips and flintlocks.
Hornblower drives away two drunk Royalist soldiers.
A close-up of one of the pistols.
The barrels of Hornblower's and Edrington's pistols are seen.
What is supposed to be a British Heavy Dragoon pistol is seen in hands of Marquis de Moncoutant (Antony Sher) instead of his usual French Mle 1733 Dragoon pistol (see below).

Light Dragoon Pistol

The pistol of the English infantry officer Major Lord Edrington (Samuel West) of the 95th Foot is shorter than Hornblower's guns and is supposed to be a Light Dragoon Flintlock Pistol.

British 1756 Light Dragoon Pistol - .68 caliber
Maj. Edrington carries his pistol at the right.
This scene allows to compare Edrington's pistol with Hornblower's guns.
The barrels of Hornblower's and Edrington's pistols are seen.

New Land Pattern Flintlock Pistol

Acting Lieutenant Archie Kennedy (Jamie Bamber), Ship's Master Bowles (Colin MacLachlan), and Hornblower's trusty team of Seamen Matthews (Paul Copley), Styles (Sean Gilder), and Oldroyd (Simon Sherlock) carry New Land Pattern Flintlock Pistols. Judging by the flat heel of the grip, these pistols match the East Indian Pattern. Its appearance in 1795 is anachronistic as it was introduced in 1796 and came into widespread production only by 1802. Tower Sea Service pistols would be more correct for the Royal Navy personnel.

New Land Pattern Flintlock Pistol - .65 caliber
Kennedy holds the pistol.
The flintlock is seen.
Bowles (at the far left) fires at a French Republican soldier.
Oldroyd fires during the battle for the bridge.
Matthews cleans the flintlock.
A good view of the grip of Oldroyd's pistol.
Matthews fires.
Styles draws his pistol during the last stand on the beach .
"One more step and I'll see you in hell."
Styles aims the pistol.

Charleville / Saint-Etienne Mle 1733 Dragoon Pistol

Colonel Marquis de Moncoutant (Antony Sher) of the French Royalists troops carries a long pistol with a large, massive pommel on a relatively slim grip. These features, together with the shape of the side plate and the S-shaped trigger allow to make a guess that this gun may be a French Mle 1733 Dragoon pistol. It's worth noting that the commonly seen modern replicas of Mle 1733 pistol look rather short and with different shape of the pommel, being based rather on Navy or Gendarmerie than on Dragoon version. So this pistol may be some obscure replica... or a genuine 18th century gun.

The grip of Marquis de Moncoutant's pistol is seen.
The grip and the flintlock are seen.
The pommel with the lanyard ring is seen.
Marquis draws his pistol. The barrel looks longer than of British Heavy Dragoon pistol.
He fires at the Republican mayor of Musiac.
Marquis leads his soldiers in the battle with the pistol in hand. The side plate resembles French patterns. The additional screw on the top of the side plate and what seems to be a kind of double pin in center of the side plate differ from real Mle 1733 pistols as well as the modern replicas. We came to a theory that these screws and pins are intended to secure a belt hook.
Another view of the pistol.

Charleville Mle 1777 Flintlock Pistol

Marquis de Moncoutant takes a Charleville Mle 1777 Flintlock Pistol from one of his officers after emptying his own gun. A gun of same model is also seen in hands of Royalist General Francois de Charette (John Shrapnel). The pistol is fitted with a belt hook which is common for naval rather than cavalry model. Very likely it is a replica by Armi San Marco which just has such belt hook, and doubtless this is the same prop that is seen in the previous film.

Charleville Model 1777 Cavalry Officer Flintlock- .69 cal
Marquis takes the pistol from his officer.
He cocks the hammer.
The belt hook is seen.
Marquis aims at a boy who sings Marseillaise.
General de Charette fires his pistol at Republican soldiers.
Another view of de Charette's pistol.


Brown Bess Flintlock Musket

The Redcoats of 95th Foot are armed with Brown Bess Flintlock Muskets. Some of the French Royalists also carry Brown Bess muskets which is quite understandable by the fact that these troops were equipped and supplied in England.

Modern reproduction "Long Land Pattern" Brown Bess Infantry musket made from 1722-1768 - .75 caliber.
The English infantry on march with their muskets on shoulders.
The French Royalist soldiers are armed with a mix of Brown Bess and Charleville muskets.
English soldiers in shootout.
A French Republican soldier picks up a Brown Bess of a dead Royalist.
Republican soldiers fire Brown Bess muskets.
An English soldier fires.
A row of soldiers fire at advancing enemies.
Skirmishers fire in a common tactic of the English infantry.
The battalion reorganizes into a line for the last stand.
Front rank kneels, rear row waits with the muskets on shoulders.

Charleville Flintlock Musket

French soldiers of both Royalist and Republican troops are armed with Charleville Muskets. These guns are also claimed to be Pedersoli production.

Charleville Mousquet Mle 1777 - .69 caliber
Soldiers with Charleville muskets escort the Republican mayor of Musiac.
A close-up of the barrel of a Charleville musket.
Royalist soldiers scout an abandoned farm.
Royalist soldiers fire Charleville and Brown Bess muskets at advancing Republicans.
Marquis' soldiers escort a condemned Musiac townsperson.
Royalist soldiers defend the barricade in Musiac.
The barrel with the bayonet of a Charleville musket is seen at the foreground.
The Royalists with Charleville and Brown Bess (at the foreground) muskets in the last stand in Musiac.
Styles (Sean Gilder) fires a Charleville musket.
Republican soldiers in attack.

Other Weapons

Swivel Gun

Swivel Guns are mounted on HMS Indefatigable.

Swivel Gun
A swivel gun is seen at the background.
A slightly blurry view of a swivel gun.

Naval Cannons

Two cannons of the size and shape of 12- or 18-pounder long gun are detached from HMS Indefatigable to provide an artillery support. When the sailors offload the cannons from the boat, it's clear that the barrel they're hauling is a lightweight prop, possibly a fiberglass one. In the firing scenes the guns are props more standard for this film series.

Naval cannon - 18th century
A row of cannons of the top deck of HMS Indefatigable.
The sailors take a cannon from a longboat and mount it on the carriage.
A cannon on march. In reality naval carriages with their small wheels were ill-suited for being drawn by horses on a long distance.
The crewmembers ajust the cannon.

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