. Gabriel de Sartine was replaced as naval minister by the Marquis de Castries on 13
October. His dismissal reflected the determination of Jacques Necker, director general
of finance and opponent of the war, to enforce spending reforms and consolidate his
power among the king's principal advisors at Vergennes' expense. But a more important
reason may have been the need to appease Spain, which blamed Sartine for the failures
that had plagued allied naval operations since January (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence
, p. 199–202).