24th of February - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 September 1796 – Launch of Furieuse, a 38 gun frigate of the Seine-class


Furieuse was a 38-gun frigate of the French Navy. The Royal Navy captured her in 1809 and took her into service as the fifth rate HMS Furieuse. She spent most of her British career in the Mediterranean Sea, though towards the end of the War of 1812 she served briefly on the North American station. She was laid up in 1815 and sold for breaking up in 1816.


large (1).jpg
La Furieuse is shown on the left of the picture having been captured and taken in tow by the British ship Bonne Citoyenne, 20 guns; Furieuse was captured in 1809 after she had escaped from Basse-Terre in June, having taken refuge there following the defeat of the French commander Commodore Troude.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/109932.html#vufsX5aIiHMlcySs.99

French career and capture
Furieuse was built at Cherbourg in 1795 to a design by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait. She began as a Romaine-class frigate but was completed as a Seine-class frigate.

By 1809 Furieuse was in the Caribbean, having come out with Admiral Amable Troude's expedition to the Caribbean. She escaped from Îles des Sainteson 1 April. She left Basse Terre 14 June, carrying sugar and coffee to France, and under the command of Lieutenant Gabriel-Étienne-Louis Le Marant Kerdaniel. She was capable of carrying 48 guns, but was armed en flûte, carrying only 20 at the time of her capture, 12 of which were carrondades. She had a large crew, with 200 sailors, 40 soldiers and a detachment of troops from the 66th regiment of the line. On her voyage to France she came across a large English merchant vessel on 5 July. Furieuse was in the process of taking possession of the merchantman when the 20-gun sloop HMS Bonne Citoyenne, commanded by Commander William Mounsey, came upon the scene.

Bonne Citoyenne was returning to a convoy she was escorting in company with HMS Inflexible, under Captain Brown, but on seeing what was happening, Mounsey sailed to intervene. As Bonne Citoyenne approached, Furieuse abandoned her prize and began to flee northwards. Emboldened, Mounsey set off in pursuit; after an 18-hour chase Bonne Citoyenne had closed the range and brought Furieuse to battle.

The two ships exchanged broadsides for the next seven hours. Bonne Citoyenne was at a disadvantage early on. Not only was she much smaller, but three of her guns were quickly dismounted. She nevertheless fired 129 broadsides to the enemy's 70, with Mounsey alternating between the starboard and larboard sides as circumstances permitted. By the end of the battle Bonne Citoyenne had lost her top masts, her lower masts were badly damaged, and her rigging, sails and boats had been shot to pieces. Realizing that he was running out of powder, Mounsey decided to force the issue and prepared to board the French ship. Before he could do so, Furieuse surrendered and Mounsey took possession.

Furieuse had suffered heavy damage, with her masts shot away and five feet of water in the hold. She had also suffered 35 killed and 37 wounded. In contrast, Bonne Citoyenne had just one man killed and five wounded. Mounsey received a gold medal and promotion to post captain, back-dated to the day of the action, for his victory. Lieutenant Joseph Symes, First lieutenant of Bonne Citoyenne, received promotion to Commander, effective two years after his having attained the rank of Lieutenant, which had occurred on 13 March 1808. A number of other officers and crew also received promotions. In 1847 the Admiralty issued the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Bonne Citoyenne Wh. Furieuse" to all surviving claimants from Bonne Cityonne.

British career
Bonne Citoyenne towed Furieuse into Halifax, where both were repaired. The Royal Navy commissioned the captured frigate as HMS Furieuse and appointed John Simpson to sail her to Britain.

Captain Brown of Inflexible sued for the prize money for Furieuse to be shared by the two British warships. However, the Vice admiralty court in Halifax ruled that the prize belonged to Bonne Citoyennealone, with the judgement being upheld by the Court of Appeal in 1811.

On her arrival Furieuse underwent a more thorough repair. After the repairs she was commissioned in November 1811 under William Mounsey.

Furieuse was initially employed in escorting a convoy to the Mediterranean, after which she joined the fleet blockading Toulon under Admiral Edward Pellew. The French fleet sailed out in May 1812, consisting of 12 sail of the line and seven frigates, of which one ship of the line and two frigates began to chase the British inshore squadron, consisting of Furieuse, the frigates HMS Menelaus and HMS Havannah, and the brig HMS Pelorus. The French gave up the chase when the British made clear their intention to fight.

On 9 November 1812 Furieuse captured the French privateer Nebrophonus, off Veutiliceo, after a chase of two hours. She was armed with four guns and had a crew of 54 men. She was 34 days out of Naples and had not made any captures. The day before she had escaped from Imperieuse and Unite. Unite was in sight when Furieuse captured Nebrophonus.[9] On 24 November Furieuse captured the French schooner Fortuna. In October 1815 prize money was paid for Nebrophonus and Fortuna.

Then on 1 January 1813 Fureuse captured the privateer Argus off Montecristo. Argus was pierced for 12 guns but carried only four 12-pounders. She had a crew of 85 men and was eight days out of Leghornwithout having captured anything.

In February 1813 Mounsey supported Charles John Napier in HMS Thames in the capture of the island of Ponza. They landed troops on 26 February, after passing through fire from shore batteries. Neither vessel, nor the troops they brought with them, suffered any casualties. The capture of the harbour provided an anchorage and fresh water for Royal Navy ships patrolling the coast.

On 7 May boats from Furieuse captured the French xebec Conception of two 6-pounder guns. The boats cut her out from under the tower and batteries of Orbisello and towed her out to sea under heavy fire. Fureiuse lost four men wounded in this operation.


Civitavecchia in 1795, etching by William Marlow

On 4 October a convoy was sighted in the bay of Santa Marinella, a few miles east of Civitavecchia. Although two gunboats and a shore battery of two long 24-pounder guns protected the convoy, Mounsey decided to launch a cutting out expedition. Furieuse landed her marines who, together with the boat crews, stormed and captured a fort while Furieuse used her guns to provide covering fire. The enemy retreated to a nearby castle and continued to pour small arms fire on the landing party. Still, the British captured 156 vessels, three of which were armed: the gunboat Bacchus (one long brass 24-pounder gun and four swivel guns), an unknown gunboat, and the xebec St Antonio (pierced for 12 guns with two long 6-pounders mounted). The British sank two of the armed vessels, brought out one, as well as 13 settees carrying salt, tobacco, marble, and sundries. Furieuse kept up a steady fire, preventing reinforcements from Civitavecchia from intervening. The landing party lost two men killed and 10 wounded in the operation. Bacchus was under the command of maître d'équipage de lè" classe Sacco.

For the rest of 1813 Furieuse formed part of Admiral Sir Josias Rowley's squadron. She was present at the capture of Viareggio and the unsuccessful assault on Livorno in December. In early March 1814, still with Rowley, Furieuse assisted in the occupation of La Spezia and the surrounding areas.

On 17 April a squadron consisting of Furieuse, HMS Aboukir, HMS Iphigenia, HMS Swallow and HMS Cephalus, among many others, including the Sicilian flotilla, and under the command of Vice-Admiral Pellew, supported the successful assault on Genoa.

The end of the War of the Sixth Coalition in 1814 saw Furieuse sailing from Gibraltar to Bermuda with Captain Andrew King's squadron, escorting a fleet of transports. Later she conveyed the 62nd regimentto Halifax. At the end of the War of 1812 she remained in the area to assist the British troops who had fortified the Castine Peninsula.

Fate
HMS Furieuse was paid off in autumn 1815. She was sold for breaking up in October 1816 at Deptford.


The Seine class was a class of four 42-gun frigates of the French Navy, designed in 1793 by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait. A fifth vessel, Furieuse, was originally ordered at Cherbourg in February 1794 to Forfait's Romaine class design, but was actually completed to the design of the Seine class.

The ship builder Charles-Henri Le Tellier produced a further two vessels, the Valeureuse-class, which were about 8 inches longer than earlier Seine-class vessels.[1]

The vessels were originally designed to carry a main armament of 24-pounder guns, but in the event all were completed at Le Havre with 18-pounders.


Seine-class
Builder: Le Havre
Begun: May 1793
Launched: 19 December 1793
Completed: March 1794
Fate: Captured by the Royal Navy on 30 June 1798, becoming HMS Seine.

HMS_Jason_and_the_Seine.jpg
'A Representation of the Jason 38 guns, capturing the La Seine a French Frigate of 42 Guns near the Penmark Rocks, June 30th 1798'. Deptiction of the Action of 30 June 1798
Builder: Le Havre
Begun: October 1793
Launched: 28 May 1794
Completed: July 1794
Fate: Captured by the Royal Navy on 21 October 1794, becoming HMS Revolutionnaire.

Revolutionnaire_PW5793.jpg
Revolutionaire 1799, portside view, hull only
Builder: Le Havre
Begun: May 1794
Launched: late November 1794
Completed: December 1794
Fate: Renamed La Pensée May 1795. Converted to a breakwater in November 1804, deleted 1832.
Builder: Le Havre
Begun: December 1794
Launched: 2 September 1796
Completed: October 1797
Fate: Burnt to avoid capture by the Royal Navy in April 1809.
Builder: Cherbourg
Begun: March 1795
Launched: 22 September 1796
Completed: May 1798
Fate: Captured by the Royal Navy on 6 July 1809, becoming HMS Furieuse.

Valeureuse-class
Builder: Le Havre
Begun: July 1797
Launched: 29 July 1798
Completed: March 1800
Fate: Sold in September 1806 at Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania for breaking up following condemnation as irreperable at Philadelphia.
Builder: Le Havre
Begun: July 1797
Launched: 6 April 1799
Completed: March 1800
Fate: Captured by the Royal Navy on 24 September 1806, becoming HMS Immortalité; never commissioned and sold in January 1811 at Plymouth for breaking up.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Furieuse_(1809)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seine-class_frigate
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 September 1797 - HMS Hermione (1782 - 32) handed over to the Spanish by her mutinous crew at La Guira.


HMS Hermione was a 32-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She was notorious for having the bloodiest mutiny in British naval history, which saw her captain and most of the officers killed. The mutineers then handed the ship over to the Spanish, with whom she remained for two years before being cut out and returned to Royal Navy service under the names Retaliation and later Retribution.

Hermione_cutting-Thomas_Whitcombe-217058.JPG
A print by Thomas Whitcombe, depicting the Santa Cecilia, the former HMS Hermione, being cut out in Puerto Cabello by boats from Edward Hamilton'sHMS Surprise in 1799

Early years
HMS Hermione was the lead ship of a six-ship class of frigates designed by Edward Hunt and termed the Hermione class. She was launched on 9 September 1782 from Teast's of Bristol, having cost £11,350.14s.4d to build, with a further £4,570.2s.2d spent on dockyard expenses, and £723.16s.9d on fitting out.

She was commissioned initially under Captain Thomas Lloyd, who commanded her until she was paid off in April 1783. She recommissioned that same month under Captain John Stone, who sailed her to Nova Scotia on 17 October, after which she was paid off in 1785. Hermione may have then been recommissioned under Captain William H. Ricketts during the Spanish Armament of 1790, though this is uncertain. She did, however, undergo a repair between October 1790 and June 1792, followed by a period spent refitting at Chatham Dockyard until January 1793. She was recommissioned in December 1792 under Captain John Hills, under whom she sailed to Jamaica on 10 March 1793.

She served in the West Indies during the early years of the French Revolutionary Wars. On 4 June, Hermione, under Hills, participated in the British attack on Port-au-Prince, where she led a small squadron that accompanied the troop transports. Hermione had five men killed and six wounded in the attack. The British captured the town and its defences, and in taking the port they also captured a large number of merchant vessels. Hermione was among the vessels that shared in the capture on 17 July of the Lady Walterstasse. Hills died from yellow fever (fatal "Black Vomit"), at Port Royal, Jamaica, in September 1794. Captain Philip Wilkinson replaced Hills and was himself replaced in February 1797 — the year of the Spithead and Nore mutinies — by Captain Hugh Pigot.

Pigot was a cruel officer who meted out severe and arbitrary punishment to his crew. During a nine-month period, as captain of his previous command HMS Success he ordered at least 85 floggings, the equivalent of half the crew; two men died from their injuries.

Hermione was sent to patrol the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Under Pigot, she destroyed three privateers at Puerto Rico on 22 March 1797. On 20 April Hermione was the lead ship in a squadron formed of the 32-gun frigates HMS Mermaid and HMS Quebec, the 14-gun brig HMS Drake, and the cutter HMS Penelope. The squadron cut out nine ships at the Battle of Jean-Rabel without suffering any casualties. On 6 September 1797 she was in company with HMS Diligence and HMS Renommee when Diligence captured a Spanish 6-gun packet ship with troops on board.

Mutiny
Midshipman David Casey was an experienced junior officer who had distinguished himself to Captain Pigot during the previous months, but his disrating was one of the primary triggers to the mutiny. About a week before the mutiny, Casey was at his station on the main top, and the captain noticed that a gasket, one of the ties that held the sail securely, had not been tied by one of the sailors under his supervision. Casey was brought before the captain, and apologised for the oversight and took responsibility for it. The captain demanded that Casey apologise on his knees, a completely unacceptable and debasing demand for a gentleman. Casey refused to be humiliated in such a way. Pigot offered him one more opportunity and when Casey once more refused, the captain ordered that Casey receive 12 lashes (more commonly a sailor's punishment than that of a junior officer), and he was disrated, which would effectively end his career as a naval officer. Casey was a popular officer amongst the crew and they felt that he was punished unfairly. The topmen began to plot mutiny.

Pigot had also developed the practice of frequently flogging the last sailor down from working aloft. On 20 September 1797, Pigot ordered the topsails to be reefed after a squall struck the ship. Dissatisfied with the speed of the operation because "these would be the yard-arm men, the most skilful topmen" he gave the order that the last men off the yard would be flogged. This policy was particularly unreasonable as the men would be spaced along the yard, and the two whose stations were furthest out would always be the last down. Three young sailors, in their haste to get down, fell to their deaths on the deck. One of the sailors hit and injured the master, Mr. Southcott. Pigot ordered their bodies thrown into the sea with the words "throw the lubbers overboard"; a particularly offensive insult in the seaman's vocabulary. He then instructed two boatswain's mates to flog the rest of the topmen when they complained. The topmen were also flogged the next morning.

The combination of the humiliation of Casey, the deaths of the topmen, and the severe punishment of the rest of the sailors appears to have driven the crew to mutiny. These factors, however, were arguably the final events in a series of harsh and brutal punishments by the captain. Dudley Pope, in his book The Black Ship, argues that it was not Pigot's cruelty that drove the men to mutiny but the general injustice that he showed in his favouritism to some and overly harsh punishment of others. Had Pigot remained more even-handed in his leadership, the mutiny might have been avoided.

The evening of 21 September 1797, a number of the crew, drunk on stolen rum, rushed Pigot's cabin and forced their way in after overpowering the marine stationed outside. They hacked at Pigot with knives and cutlasses before throwing him overboard. The mutineers, probably led by a core group of just 18 men, went on to murder another eight of Hermione's officers: the first lieutenant, Samuel Reed; the second lieutenant, Archibald Douglas; the third lieutenant, Henry Foreshaw; the marine commander, Lieutenant McIntosh; boatswain William Martin; purser Stephen Turner Pacey; Surgeon H.T. Sansum; and the captain's clerk. Two midshipmen were also killed, and all the bodies were thrown overboard.

Subsequent court-martial testimony by a surviving midshipman describes the behavior of the mutineers as "truly savage and brutal". Pigot and a number of other victims were still alive when they were thrown overboard, while the Marine officer McIntosh was dying of yellow fever when the mutineers dragged him from his bunk. Third Lieutenant Foreshaw had fallen on a mizen chain whaler platform extending from the side of the ship but was hacked to death when he regained the deck. The majority of the crew emerged leaderless from their sleeping quarters to a scene of chaos. No effort was made to oppose those actively involved in the mutiny, even by the sailors who Pigot had brought with him from his previous ship and generally favored.

Three warrant officers survived: the gunner and carpenter were spared because they were considered useful to the ship, and Southcott the master was spared so he could navigate. Southcott lived to be a key witness, along with Casey, who was also spared, and their eyewitness accounts and testimony were key to the trials of many of the mutineers.[9] Three petty officers joined the mutiny, one midshipman, Surgeon's Mate Cronin, and Master's Mate Turner.

Fearing retribution for their actions, the mutineers decided to navigate the ship toward Spanish waters. One reason the master's life was spared was that Turner could not navigate the ship properly without his help. The Hermione sailed to La Guaira, where they handed the ship over to the Spanish authorities. The mutineers claimed they had set the officers adrift in a small boat, as had happened in the mutiny on the Bounty some eight years earlier. The Spanish gave the mutineers just 25 dollars each in return, and presented them with the options of joining the Spanish army, heavy labour, or refitting their ship. The Spaniards took Hermione into service under the name Santa Cecilia; her crew included 25 of her former crew, who remained under Spanish guard.

Only one of the small detachment of marines on board participated in the mutiny.[20] While the half-dozen remaining were too outnumbered and taken by surprise to fulfill their role of shipboard police and oppose the mutineers, they did insist on being treated as prisoners of war by the Spanish and were accordingly exchanged six months later, along with the surviving warrant officers.

Recapture and renaming
See also: Cutting out of the Hermione

Capture_of_Hermione.jpg
British sailors boarding the Hermione in Puerto Cabello by John Augustus Atkinson

Meanwhile, news of the fate of HMS Hermione reached Admiral Sir Hyde Parker when HMS Diligence captured a Spanish schooner. Parker wrote to the governor of La Guaira, demanding the return of the ship and the surrender of the mutineers. Meanwhile, he despatched HMS Magicienne under Captain Henry Ricketts to commence negotiations. He also set up a system of informers and posted rewards that eventually led to the capture of 33 of the mutineers, some of whom were tried aboard HMS York, and at least one aboard HMS Gladiator. Of these, 24 were hanged and gibbetted, one was transported, and eight were acquitted or pardoned. To Parker's fury, Admiral Richard Rodney Bligh had issued pardons to several crew members. These included Pigot's elderly servant and his twelve-year-old son, who Bligh concluded could not reasonably have been expected to resist armed mutineers. Acting against regulations Parker forced Bligh to resign his command and return to Britain in the summer of 1799.

Santa Cecilia, under the command of Captain Don Ramon de Chalas, had meanwhile sat in Puerto Cabello until Captain Edward Hamilton, aboard HMS Surprise, cut her out of the harbour on 25 October 1799. Hamilton led a boarding party to retake Hermione and, after an exceptionally bloody action, sailed her out of danger under Spanish gunfire. The Spanish casualties included 119 dead; the British took 231 Spaniards prisoner, while another 15 jumped or fell overboard. Hamilton had 11 men injured, four seriously, but none killed. Hamilton himself was severely wounded.

For his daring exploit, Hamilton was made a knight by letters patent, a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (2 January 1815), and eventually became a baronet (20 October 1818).[29] The Jamaica House of Assembly awarded him a sword worth 300 guineas, and the City of London awarded him the Freedom of the City in a public dinner on 25 October 1800. In 1847, the Admiralty awarded Hamilton a gold medal for the recapture of Hermione, and the Naval General Service Medal with the clasp, "Surprise with Hermione", to the seven surviving claimants from the action.

1024px-Hermionecuttingout.jpg
Santa Cecilia, the former Hermione, is cut out at Puerto Cabello by boats from HMS Surprise by Nicholas Pocock

Return to British service
Parker renamed Santa Cecilia the Retaliation. In late 1799 or early 1800, Retaliation captured four vessels. These were the two American brigs Gracey, sailing from Trinidad bound for Baltimore with a cargo of sugar, honey, and hides; the Peggy, sailing from Cartagena to New York with a cargo of sugar, coffee, cotton, fustick, and hides; and the Danish sloop Sisters, which was sailing from Jamaica to Baltimore with a cargo of sugar, and which had just left St Thomas.

The Admiralty then renamed her Retribution on 31 January 1800. She was recommissioned in September 1800 at Jamaica under Captain Samuel Forster. Apparently before that she detained an American schooner sailing from Port Republic with a cargo of coffee and logwood.

In early 1801 Retribution detained the Spanish schooner La Linda, which was sailing from Campeachy to Havana, and the American schooner Sea Horse, which was sailing from Porto Cavello to New York. Retribution sent both into Jamaica.

On 1 October Melampus, Juno, and Retribution were in company when they captured the Aquila.

Fate
Retribution arrived at Portsmouth in the third week of January 1802. She was subsequently fitted at Woolwich in October 1803 for service for Trinity House at a cost of £484, equal to £40,562.58 today. She was broken up at Deptford in June 1805.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Hermione_(1782)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutting_out_of_the_Hermione
 
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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 September 1857 – The Russian ship of the line Lefort capsizes and sinks during a storm in the Gulf of Finland, killing all 826 aboard.


Lefort (Russian "Лефорт", also spelled "Leffort") was a ship of the line of the Imperial Russian Navy.

Lefort.gif

Lefort was a ship of the line of the Imperatritsa Aleksandra (Empress Alexandra) class, rated at 84 guns but actually armed with 94 guns. Her keel was laid in 1833 at Saint Petersburg and she was launched 9 August [O.S. 28 July] 1835 in the presence of Nicholas I. She was named after Admiral Franz Lefort, chief of the Russian Navy from 1695-1696.

Upon commissioning she joined the Russian Baltic Fleet. During the Crimean War in 1854 she aided in the defence of Kronstadt against a Franco-British fleet but did not see combat.

On the morning of 22 September [O.S. 10 September] 1857, the Lefort was in the Gulf of Finland en route from Reval (present day Tallinn, Estonia) to Kronstadt along with the ships Imperatritsa Aleksandra, Vladimir, and Pamiat Asova, under the command of Rear-Admiral I. Nordman. The ship had on board 756 crew and officers, 53 women, and 17 children (families of the crew). The squadron was caught in a sudden squall and the Lefort heeled over once, righted herself, then heeled over again and sank between the islands of Gogland and Bolshoy Tyuters, five and a half nautical miles north-northeast of Bolshoy Tyuters, with the loss of all 826 people on board. The foreign press however reported that one sailor had been saved by holding on to a beam and floating to Gogland. In all the storm on the night wrecked about 30 ships on the Russian Baltic coast.

A board of inquiry investigating the disaster recognized as the most probable cause of the accident the weakening of the ship ties caused by the fact that in 1856 the ship twice been used as transport for the carriage of heavy loads on the gun decks. It also alleged that the ship's hull had not been caulked adequately and the cargo load was too small, and incorrectly arranged. In addition, it was speculated that the gun ports had been left open to provide fresh air for the passengers; this may have contributed to the sinking of the ship as water could have poured in through the open ports when the ship first heeled over.

The wreck of Lefort was found between the islands of Gogland and Bolshoy Tyuters on 4 May 2013.

800px-Aivazovski_Gibel_Leforta_1858.jpg
Shipwreck of the "Lefort" (painting by Ivan Aivazovsky)


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_ship_of_the_line_Lefort
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 September 1907 - Launch and Sinking of SS Principessa Jolanda


The SS Principessa Jolanda was an Italian transatlantic ocean liner built by Cantiere Navale di Riva Trigoso for the Navigazione Generale Italiana (NGI) shipping company. Named after Princess Iolanda Margherita di Savoia, the eldest daughter of King Victor Emmanuel III, the ship was intended for the NGI's South American service. At 9,210 tons and 141 m (463 ft) in length, she was the largest passenger ship built in Italy up to that time. Constructed at a cost of 6 million lire to designs by Erasmo Piaggio, the Principessa Jolanda has also been called the first true Italian luxury liner. She was among the first transatlantic vessels fitted with Marconi Wireless telegraphy, electric lighting throughout and telephones in each cabin.

SS_Principessa_Jolanda_launch.jpg
Launch of the SS Principessa Jolanda at Cantiere Navale di Riva Trigoso, near Genoa, Italy

At 12:25pm on 22 September 1907 the nearly completed Principessa Jolanda was launched before a large audience of onlookers, government officials and foreign journalists. After travelling down the slipway, the ship immediately became unstable and heeled sharply to port. Efforts by tugboats and shipyard workers to rescue the situation, including lowering the anchors to starboard to counteract the movement, were unsuccessful. After 20 minutes the vessel's list was such that it began taking on water through openings in the upper decks. She soon capsized with her funnels a few metres above and parallel to the water. Within an hour she finally slid lower until only a few inches of the side were visible. The captain, his guests and the workers onboard had just enough time to escape in the lifeboats. There were no casualties.

Although brand new, she was deemed unsalvageable and the wreck was broken up on site. The engines were salvaged and used in another vessel, now believed to be the SS Milazzo.

SS_Principessa_Jolanda_sinking.jpg
Principessa Jolanda listing heavily shortly after launch.

Causes of the sinking
Shipyard technicians concluded that launching the Jolanda with all her fittings and furnishings already installed but without any coal or ballast resulted in the centre of gravity being too high. Once the ship began heeling, a large amount of movable material increased the list, an example of the free surface effect involving solid objects as opposed to the more common liquids. Water entered through portholes and other openings in the superstructure as the ship heeled over. These and other errors, such as launching the ship too rapidly, caused the fatal instability that led to disaster.

SS_Principessa_Jolanda_sunk.jpg
Final position of the ship.

It was further theorized that the abrupt change in transverse rotational axis during the ship's descent down the long launch ramp caused the bow to press against the chute itself as the stern hit the water. This may have caused a crack somewhere in the keel, contributing to admission of water to the hull. Regardless of the exact cause, it was eventually determined that full responsibility for the loss of the steamship was due to the shipyard's technical mistakes during launch and not in the design or construction of the vessel.


Sister ship
At the time of SS Principessa Jolanda's launch construction on her sister ship, SS Principessa Mafalda, was well advanced with most of the framework completed. The Mafalda was launched in 1908 with much of her superstructure uninstalled in order to prevent the same disaster. The launch was successful and Mafalda was fully completed in March 1909. She became the flagship of the NGI and also served as an officers billet during World War I. In 1927 Mafalda sank in a separate disaster.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Principessa_Jolanda_(1907)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 September 1914 -The Action of 22 September 1914

was a German U-boat ambush that took place during the First World War, in which three obsolete Royal Navycruisers, manned mainly by reservists and sometimes referred to as the livebait squadron, were sunk by a German submarine while on patrol.

About 1,450 British sailors were killed and there was a public outcry in Britain at the losses. The sinkings eroded confidence in the British government and damaged the reputation of the Royal Navy at a time when many countries were still considering which side they might support in the war.

Background
The cruisers were part of the Southern Force (Rear-Admiral Arthur Christian) composed of the flagship Euryalus, the light cruiser Amethyst and the 7th Cruiser Squadron (7th CS, also known as Cruiser Squadron C, Rear-Admiral H. H. Campbell), comprising the Cressy-class armoured cruisersBacchante, Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy, the 1st and 3rd Destroyer flotillas, ten submarines of the 8th Oversea Flotilla and the attached Active-class scout cruiser, HMS Fearless.[1] The force was assigned patrol duties in the North Sea, supporting destroyers and submarines of the Harwich Force to guard against incursions by the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) into the English Channel.

800px-North_Sea_map-en.png
North Sea, showing the Dogger Bank and Broad Fourteens

Concerns had been expressed about the vulnerability of these ships, particularly to attack by more modern German cruisers but no changes had been made before the events of 22 September; the possibility of submarine attacks was considered to be a lesser threat. The War Orders of 28 July 1914, which conformed to pre-war assumptions about attacks by destroyers rather than submarines, had not been modified. The orders required the ships to patrol the area "south of the 54th parallel clear of enemy torpedo craft and destroyers" with the support of Cruiser Force C, during the day. The Harwich Patrol was given two patrol areas, at the Dogger Bank and further south in the Broad Fourteens; usually three of the cruisers were to the north, closer to the Dogger Bank and sailed south during the night. The cruisers shifted area to the Broad Fourteens and reinforced the fourth cruiser there, during troop movements from Britain to France. Heading south meant sailing towards German bases and becoming more vulnerable to submarine attack.

Prelude

HMS_Aboukir.jpg
HMS Aboukir

On 16 September, Christian had been allowed to keep two cruisers to the north and one at the Broad Fourteens but had kept them together in a central position, able to support operations in both areas. The next day, the destroyer escorts had been forced to depart by heavy weather, which remained so bad that neither patrol could be reformed. The Admiralty ordered that the ships were to cancel the Dogger Patrol and cover the Broad Fourteens until the weather abated. On 20 September, Euryalus returned to port to re-coal and by 22 September, Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy were on patrol under the command of Captain J. E. Drummond of Aboukir.[4][5] The U-boat was treated lightly by the Imperial German Navy; in the first six weeks of the war, the U-boat arm had sent out 10 boats, sunk no enemies and lost two boats for their effort. Their fortunes would change however on the morning of 22 September, when U-9 (Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen) passed through the Broad Fourteens on her way back to base and spotted three British ships: Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy.

Action

U9Submarine.jpg
The German submarine U-9

At 06:00 on 22 September, the weather had calmed and the ships were patrolling at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph), line abreast, 2 nmi (2.3 mi; 3.7 km) apart. Lookouts were posted for submarine periscopes or ships and one gun either side of each ship was manned. U-9 had been ordered to attack British transports at Ostend but had been forced to dive and shelter from the storm. On surfacing, she spotted the British ships and moved to attack.

At 06:20, U-9 fired a torpedo at the middle ship from a range of 550 yd (500 m) and struck Aboukir on the starboard side, flooding the engine room and causing the ship to stop immediately. No submarines had been sighted, so Drummond assumed that the ship had hit a mine and ordered the other two cruisers to close in to help. After 25 minutes, Aboukir capsized and sank five minutes later. Only one lifeboat could be launched, because of damage from the explosion and the failure of steam-powered winches needed to launch them.

U-9 rose to periscope depth from her dive after firing the torpedo, to observe two British cruisers engaged in the rescue of men from the sinking ship. Weddigen fired two more torpedoes at Hogue, from 300 yd (270 m). As the torpedoes left the submarine, her bows rose out of the water and she was spotted by Hogue, which opened fire before the submarine dived. The two torpedoes struck Hogue; within five minutes, Captain Wilmot Nicholson gave the order to abandon ship and after 10 minutes she capsized before sinking at 07:15.

Action_of_22_September_1914_-_EN.svg.png
Scheme

Watchers on Cressy had seen the submarine, opened fire and made a failed attempt to ram, then turned to pick up survivors. At 07:20, U-9 fired two torpedoes toward Cressy from her stern torpedo tubes at a range of 1,000 yd (910 m). One torpedo missed, so the submarine turned and fired her remaining bow torpedo at 550 yd (500 m). The first torpedo struck the starboard side at around 07:25, the second the port beam at 07:30. The ship capsized to starboard and floated upside down until 07:55.[9] Two Dutch sailing trawlers in the vicinity declined to close with Cressy for fear of mines.

1024px-thumbnail.jpg
Illustration by Hans Bohrdt depicting the sinking of HMS Cressy, HMS Hogue and HMS Aboukir by U-9 on 22 September 1914 off the Dutch coast.

Distress calls had been received by Commodore Tyrwhitt, who, with the destroyer squadron, had already been at sea returning to the cruisers, now that the weather had improved. At 08:30, the Dutch steamship Flora approached the scene (having seen the sinkings) and rescued 286 men. A second steamer—Titan—picked up another 147. More were rescued by two Lowestoft sailing trawlers, Coriander and J.G.C., before the destroyers arrived at 10:45, 837 men were rescued while 1,397 men and 62 officers—mostly part-time men from the Royal Naval Reserve rather than regular sailors—had been killed. The destroyers began a search for the submarine, which had little electrical power remaining to travel underwater and could only make 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) on the surface. The submarine submerged for the night before returning home the next day.

Aftermath

Reuterdahl_-_HMS_Cressy_Sinking.jpg
Sketch of Cressy sinking (Henry Reuterdahl)

The disaster shook public confidence in Britain and the world in the reputation of the Royal Navy. Surviving cruisers were withdrawn from patrol duties; Admiral Christian was reprimanded and Captain Drummond was criticized by the inquiry for failing to take the anti-submarine precautions recommended by the Admiralty and praised for his conduct during the attack. The 28 officers and 258 men rescued by Flora were landed at IJmuiden and were repatriated on 26 September.

Wenman "Kit" Wykeham-Musgrave (1899–1989) survived being torpedoed on all three ships. His daughter recalled

He went overboard when the Aboukir was going down and he swam like mad to get away from the suction. He was then just getting on board the Hogue and she was torpedoed. He then went and swam to the Cressy and she was also torpedoed. He eventually found a bit of driftwood, became unconscious and was eventually picked up by a Dutch trawler.​
— Pru Bailey-Hamilton​
Wykeham-Musgrave survived the war and rejoined the Royal Navy in 1939, reaching the rank of commander.

Weddigen and his crew returned to a heroes' welcome: Weddigen was awarded the Iron Cross, 1st Class and his crew each received the Iron Cross, 2nd Class. The sinking of the three ships caused the danger of U-boat attack to be taken more seriously by the Admiralty.[17] Commander Dudley Pound, serving in the Grand Fleet as a commander aboard the battleship St. Vincent (who became First Sea Lord) wrote in his diary on 24 September,

Much as one regrets the loss of life one cannot help thinking that it is a useful warning to us — we had almost begun to consider the German submarines as no good and our awakening which had to come sooner or later and it might have been accompanied by the loss of some of our Battle Fleet.​
— Pound​
In 1954, the British government sold the salvage rights to the ships and work began in 2011.

1024px-SM_U9_Postcard.jpg
Propaganda postcard depicting victories of U-9

Order of battle
Royal Navy

German Navy
  • U-9, submarine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_of_22_September_1914
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SM_U-9
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 September 1914 - Bombardment of Papeete


The Bombardment of Papeete occurred in French Polynesia when German warships attacked on 22 September 1914, during World War I. The German armoured cruisers SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau entered the port of Papeete on the island of Tahiti and sank the French gunboat Zélée and freighter Walküre before bombarding the town's fortifications. French shore batteries and a gunboat resisted the German intrusion, but were greatly outgunned. The main German objective was to seize the coal piles stored on the island, but these were destroyed by the French at the start of the action.

1280px-Bombardment_of_Papeete.png
The results of the bombing of Papeete on 22 September 1914 by the German cruisers. Photographs published by the weekly Le Miroir of December 6, 1914.

The German vessels were largely undamaged but the French lost their gunboat. Several of Papeete's buildings were destroyed and the town's economy was severely disrupted. The main strategic consequence of the engagement was the disclosure of the cruisers' positions to the British Admiralty, which led to the Battle of Coronel where the entire German East Asia Squadron defeated a Royal Navy squadron. The depletion of Scharnhorst's and Gneisenau's ammunition at Papeete also contributed to their subsequent destruction at the Battle of the Falklands.

Background
Word of war reached Admiral Maximilian von Spee—of the German East Asia Squadron—while at Ponape (17 July – 6 August). He concentrated the majority of his squadron at Pagan Island in the nearby Mariana Islands, and then steamed off into the Pacific with the Scharnhorst-class armored cruisersSMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, the Königsberg-class light cruiser SMS Nürnberg, the auxiliary cruiser SMS Titania, and several colliers at his disposal. Nürnberg and Titania were sent to gather intelligence at Hawaii and raid the cable station at Fanning Island.[5] Von Spee then learned that Australian and New Zealand forces had captured German Samoa, and he sailed off in his flagship Scharnhorst—along with her sister ship Gneisenau—to engage what Allied forces they could find there. Failing to catch the Samoa Expeditionary Force at Apia and having seen no action at all since leaving Pagan Island, the men of Admiral von Spee's armored cruisers were eager to meet the enemy in battle.

SpeeMap.jpg

SMS_Scharnhorst_by_Arthur_Renard.jpg
Cruiser SMS Scharnhorst (1906–1914), German Imperial Navy

Von Spee decided to raid Papeete in Tahiti on his way to rendezvous with the rest of his squadron at Easter Island. The French held over 5,000 t (5,500 short tons) of high-quality Cardiff coal at the port, and von Spee hoped to seize the coal piles to replenish his squadron's supply. Additionally, von Spee aimed at destroying what allied shipping he could find in the harbour, and thought the raid might help raise his men's morale. Von Spee intended to coal at Suwarrow Atoll before sailing to Papeete, but was prevented by foul weather. Instead, von Spee decided to take Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and attempt to resupply at Bora Bora while Nürnberg and Titania were dispatched to Nuku Hiva to guard the fleet's colliers. The German admiral intended to keep his vessels' identities secret by disguising them as French ships, flying French flags, and only allowing French- and English-speaking members of his crew contact with the Frenchmen present there.[1] Von Spee managed to replenish his food stores using gold seized by Titania and Nürnberg during their raid of Fanning, and was able to discover the strength of the French military in the region as well as the exact size and positions of the coal piles at Papeete.

SMS_Gneisenau.png
SMS Gneisenau

The French had no heavy defenses at Papeete but had been warned that von Spee's squadron might raid Tahiti and that a German squadron had been sighted off Samoa. Although Papeete was the capital of the French Settlements in Oceania, by 1914 it had become a colonial backwater, lacking a wireless station and having a garrison of only 25 colonial infantry and 20 gendarmes.[8] In order to bolster the town's defenses, Lieutenant Maxime Destremau—commander of the old wooden gunboat Zélée and the ranking officer at Papeete—had his ship's 100 mm (3.9 in) stern gun and all of her 65 mm (2.6 in) and 37 mm (1.5 in) guns removed from his vessel and placed ashore to be used in place of Papeete's antiquated land batteries. Several Ford trucks were turned into impromptu armored cars by mounting them with Zélée's 37-mm guns and 160 sailors and marines drilled in preparation to repel any German attempt at landing. Zélée retained only her 100-mm bow gun and 10 men under the ship's second in command.[9] In addition to the gunboat and harbor fortifications, the French also had at Papeete the unarmed German freighter Walküre, which had been captured by Zélée at the start of the war. Despite the French preparations, the two German cruisers were more than a match for the forces Destremau commanded at Papeete. Both Scharnhorst and Gneisenau heavily outgunned Zélée, each being armed with eight 210 mm (8.3 in) guns, six 150 mm (5.9 in) guns, eighteen 88 mm (3.5 in) guns, and four torpedo tubes. Von Spee's forces also outnumbered the French with over 1,500 sailors aboard their vessels, more than enough to form a landing party and overwhelm the forces Destremau had to oppose them.

Battle

1024px-Gws_scharnhorst_01.jpg
One of the turrets of Scharnhorst'smain battery.


Captain Maxime Destremau (center) and his staff in Papeete in 1914.

At 07:00 on 22 September 1914, the French sighted two unidentified cruisers approaching the harbor of Papeete. The alarm was raised, the harbor's signal beacons destroyed, and three warning shots were fired by the French batteries to signal the approaching cruisers that they must identify themselves. The cruisers replied with a shot of their own and raised the German colors, signaling the town to surrender. The French refused the German demands, and von Spee's vessels began to shell the shore batteries and town from a distance of 6,000 m (6,600 yd). The land batteries and the gunboat in the harbor returned fire, but scored no hits on the armored cruisers. Having difficulty in discovering the exact position of the French batteries, the German cruisers soon turned their attention to the French shipping in the harbor.

The French commander—Destremau—had ordered the coal piles burned at the start of the action and now smoke began billowing over the town. Zélée and Walkürewere sighted and fired upon by the Germans. The French had begun to scuttle their vessels when the action had begun, but both were still afloat when Scharnhorstand Gneisenau began firing upon them and finished the two ships off. By now, most of the Papeete's inhabitants had fled and the town had caught fire from the German shelling, with two blocks of Papeete set alight. With the coal piles destroyed and the threat of mines in the harbor, von Spee saw no meaningful purpose in making a landing.[16] Accordingly, the German admiral withdrew his ships from Papeete's harbor by 11:00. After leaving Papeete, the ships steamed out towards Nuku Hiva to meet Nürnberg, Titania, and colliers waiting there.

Aftermath


Some of the damage done to the town of Papeete after it was bombarded by the Germans.

WalkureSunk (1).jpg
Picture of a battle damaged freighter half-sunk in shallow water

By the time von Spee withdrew his ships, large portions of the town had been destroyed. Two entire blocks of Papeete had burnt to the ground before the fires were finally put out. A copra store, a market, and several other buildings and residences were among those destroyed by the shellfire and resulting inferno. While the majority of Papeete's civilians fled to the interior of the island as soon as the fighting began, a Japanese civilian and a Polynesian boy were both killed by German shellfire. Although the two French vessels in the harbor had been sunk, there were no military casualties on either side and the German vessels took no damage. Overall, the bombardment was estimated in 1915 to have caused over 2 million francs' worth of property damage, some of which was recouped through the seizure of a German store on the island. In addition to the seizure of their property, several local Germans were interned and forced to repair the damage von Spee's squadron had caused. Perhaps the most lasting effect of the bombardment on the French was the dramatic fall of copra prices in the region, as local suppliers had previously sold a majority of their produce to German merchants in the area who were now interned. Further havoc and distress spread throughout the island 18 days after von Spee's squadron had left, when rumors started to spread that a second German bombardment was about to begin.

After withdrawing, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau rendezvoused with Nürnberg and Titania at Nuku Hiva, where they resupplied and their crews took shore leave before moving on to meet the rest of the squadron at Easter Island. Although the Germans had destroyed the shipping at Papeete and wreaked havoc in the town, they had been denied their primary objective of seizing the French coal piles and replenishing their own stocks. Von Spee's raid allowed the British Admiralty to receive word on his position and heading, allowing them to inform Rear Admiral Christopher Cradock of the German intentions thus leading to the Battle of Coronel. Another effect was the reduction of ammunition available to the two German cruisers. The hundreds of shells fired by von Spee's ships at Papeete were irreplaceable. The depletion of ammunition as a result of the action at Papeete contributed to the German East Asia Squadron's failure to adequately defend itself at the Battle of the Falkland Islands against British battlecruisers. Lieutenant Destremau was chastised by his misinformed superior officer for his actions during the defense of Papeete and for the loss of the gunboat Zélée. He was summoned back to Toulon under arrest to be court-martialled, but died of illness in 1915 before the trial. In 1918, Destremau was finally recognized for his actions at Papeete and was posthumously awarded the Légion d'honneur.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardment_of_Papeete
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Scharnhorst
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Gneisenau
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
22 September 1943 - Operation Source (20-22. September 1943) - Battleship Tirpitz heavily damaged


was a series of attacks to neutralise the heavy German warships – Tirpitz, Scharnhorst and Lützow – based in northern Norway, using X-class midget submarines.

The attacks took place in September 1943 at Kaa Fiord and succeeded in keeping Tirpitz out of action for at least six months. The concept for the attack was developed by Commander Cromwell-Varley, with support of Max Horton, Flag Officer Submarines, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

The operation was directed from HMS Varbel, located in Port Bannatyne on the Isle of Bute. Varbel (named after Commanders Varley and Bell, designers of the X-Craft prototype) was the on-shore headquarters for the 12th Submarine Flotilla (midget submarines). It had been a luxury 88-bedroom hotel (the Kyles Hydropathic Hotel) requisitioned by the Admiralty to serve as the Flotilla’s headquarters. All X-craft training, and preparation for X-craft attacks (including that on Tirpitz), was co-ordinated from Varbel.

Tirpitz_altafjord_2.jpg
Tirpitz in the Ofotfjord/Bogenfjord

Intelligence contributing to the attack on Tirpitz was collected and sent to the RN by the Norwegian resistance, especially brothers Torbjørn Johansen and Einar Johansen.

Attack

1024px-X24_view_from_side.jpg
A photo of the only preserved x craft X24

Six X-craft were used. X5, X6 and X7 were allocated the battleship Tirpitz, in Kåfjord. X9 and X10 were to attack the battleship Scharnhorst, also in Kåfjord. X8 was to attack the heavy cruiser Lützow in Langfjord. The submersibles were towed to the area by conventional submarines (HMS Truculent(X6) Syrtis (X9), Sea Nymph (X8), Thrasher (X5), Stubborn (X7), and Sceptre (X10)[6]) and manned by passage crews on the way. Close to the target, the operation crews would take over. X9, while commanded by S-Lt E Kearon of the passage crew[8] and probably trimmed heavily by the bow in the heavy sea for the tow, was lost with all hands on the passage when her tow parted and she suffered an abrupt plunge due to her bow-down trim. X8 (passage crew commanded by Lt. Jack Smart) developed serious leaks in her side-mounted demolition charges, which had to be jettisoned; these exploded, leaving her so damaged she had to be scuttled.[6] The remaining X-craft began their run in on 20 September and the attacks took place on 22 September 1943.

Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-J19316,_Norwegen,_Schlachtschiff,_Zerstörer.jpg
Tirpitz, escorted by several destroyers, steaming in the Bogenfjord in October 1942

Scharnhorst was engaged in exercises at the time, and hence was not at her normal mooring, X10's attack was abandoned, although this was due to mechanical and navigation problems, and the submarine returned to rendezvous with her 'tug' submarine and was taken back to Scotland.


Lt Henty-Creer and the crew of X5

X5, commanded by Lieutenant Henty-Creer, disappeared with her crew during Source. She is believed to have been sunk by a direct hit from one of Tirpitz's 105 mm (4.1 in) guns before placing demolition charges. There was a possibility X5 had also successfully planted side charges before being destroyed, but this was never conclusively proven.[9][10] An expedition jointly run by the late Carl Spencer (Britannic 2003) and Bill Smith (Bluebird Project) and the Royal Navy using the mine hunters HMS Quorn and HMS Blyth in 2006 mapped the north and south anchorages used by Tirpitz and proved charge was well inside the net enclosure of the north anchorage and therefore most likely from X6.

X6 and X7 managed to drop their charges under Tirpitz, but were unable to escape as they were observed and attacked. Both were abandoned and six crewmen captured.

Tirpitz-2.jpg
A recognition drawing of Tirpitz prepared by the US Navy

Tirpitz was heavily damaged. While not in danger of sinking, she took on over 1,400 tons[13] of water and suffered significant mechanical damage. The first mine exploded abreast of turret Caesar, and the second mine detonated 45 to 55 m (148 to 180 ft) off the port bow.[14][citation needed] A fuel oil tank was ruptured, shell plating was torn, a large indentation was made in the bottom of the ship, and bulkheads in the double bottom buckled. Some 1,430 t (1,410 long tons) of water flooded the ship in fuel tanks and void spaces in the double bottom of the port side, which caused a list of one to two degrees, which was balanced by counter-flooding on the starboard side. The flooding damaged all of the turbo-generators in generator room No. 2, and all apart from one generator in generator room No. 1 were disabled by broken steam lines or severed power cables. Turret Dora was thrown from its bearings and could not be rotated; this was particularly significant, as there were no heavy-lift cranes in Norway powerful enough to lift the turret and place it back on its bearings. The ship's two Arado Ar 196 floatplanes were thrown by the explosive concussion and completely destroyed. Repairs were conducted by the repair ship Neumark; historians William Garzke and Robert Dulin remarked that the successful repair effort was "one of the most notable feats of naval engineering during the Second World War." Repairs lasted until 2 April 1944; full speed trials were scheduled for the following day in Altafjord. On 12 November 1944, the ship was destroyed by Avro Lancaster bombers.

For this action, the commanders of the craft, Lieutenant Donald Cameron (X6) and Lieutenant Basil Place (X7), were awarded the Victoria Cross, whilst Robert Aitken, Richard Haddon Kendall, and John Thornton Lorimer received the Distinguished Service Order and Edmund Goddard the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal. The commander of X8, John Elliott Smart, was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Henty-Creer of X5 was not decorated, but was mentioned in dispatches.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Source
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-class_submarine
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_battleship_Tirpitz
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 22 September


1672 – Launch of French Incertain 48-guns, later 56 guns (designed and built by Hendryck Houwens) at Dunkirk
– renamed Brave in 1674; condemned 1681 and broken up.


1755 – Launch of Spanish Héctor (San Bernardo) 68/74 at Ferrol


1809 - HMS Curieux (1804) wrecked

HMS Curieux was a French corvette launched in September 1800 at Saint-Malo to a design by François Pestel, and carrying sixteen 6-pounder guns. She was commissioned under Capitaine de frégate Joseph-Marie-Emmanuel Cordier. The British captured her in 1804 in a cutting-out action at Martinique. In her five-year British career Curieux captured several French privateers and engaged in two notable single-ship actions, also against privateers. In the first she captured Dame Ernouf; in the second, she took heavy casualties in an indecisive action with Revanche. In 1809 Curieux hit a rock; all her crew were saved but they had to set fire to her to prevent her recapture.

Curieux_and_Dame_Ernouf.jpg
HMS 'Curieux' Captures 'Dame Ernouf', 8 February 1805, by Francis Sartorius Jr., National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Curieux_(1804)


1810 - Launch of French Élisa, a 40-gun Pallas class frigate

The Pallas class constituted the standard design of 40-gun frigates of the French Navy during the Napoleonic Empire period. Jacques-Noël Sanédesigned them in 1805, as a development of his seven-ship Hortense class of 1802, and over the next eight years the Napoléonic government ordered in total 62 frigates to be built to this new design. Of these some 54 were completed, although ten of them were begun for the French Navy in shipyards within the French-occupied Netherlands or Italy, which were then under French occupation; these latter ships were completed for the Netherlands or Austrian navies after 1813.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pallas-class_frigate_(1808)


1823 – Launch of french Triton, a 74-gun Temeraire class ship of the line

Ordered in 1806 as Vénitien, Triton was not completed before 1823, long after the fall of the French Empire she was meant to defend and after the Bourbon Restoration.
Triton transferred to Toulon in 1835. In 1841, serving under Captain Bruat, she brought an epidemic of Gastroenteritis, then called "Cholera morbus", to Figuières.
In 1844, Triton took part in the Bombardment of Mogador.
Decommissioned in 1847, Triton served as a floating battery in Cherbourg before being towed to Rochefort in 1849, where she was used as a hulk into the 1870s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Triton_(1823)


1827 - Launch of HMS Royal George, a 120 gun Caledonia class ship of line

HMS Royal George was a 120-gun first rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 22 September 1827 at Chatham Dockyard.

1280px-Royal_George_by_Charles_Fitzgerald.jpg
HMS Royal George was built 1827 but converted to steam in 1853. Painted with Funnel by Penrose Fitzgerald who served on her 1856. Original signed C C P F and has an illegible date 18 something

In 1853 she was fitted with screw propulsion. Boilers and engines were placed in space previously used for water tanks. Further space had to be given over to storing coal, which made the ship rather crowded. In February 1856 Captain Henry Codrington was replaced by Captain Robinson.

She was sold out of the service in 1875

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Royal_George_(1827)


1831 – Launch of HMS Thunderer, a two-deck 84-gun second rate ship of the line, a modified version of the Canopus/Formidable-class

HMS Thunderer was a two-deck 84-gun second rate ship of the line, a modified version of the Canopus/Formidable-class launched on 22 September 1831 at Woolwich Dockyard.

She was constructed with diagonal framing and improved underwater lines on the principles of Sir William Symonds, Surveyor of the Navy. In 1840, HMS Thunderer fought in the Syria campaign, taking part in the battle of Sidon, which was the last fleet action conducted purely by wooden ships of the line under sail. In the same year she acted as flagship at the bombardment and capture of the fortress at St. Jean d'Acre, which was the first action at which steam vessels were present, albeit as support vessels rather than fighting ships. She was fitted with iron-clad plate in 1863 for trials of new armour-piercing guns.

She was hulked in 1863 as a target ship at Portsmouth. Thunderer was renamed twice in quick succession: first in 1869 to Comet, and again in 1870 to Nettle. HMS Nettle was sold in December 1901 to Messrs. King & co, of Garston, to be broken up.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Thunderer_(1831)


1832 – Launch of HMS Neptune, a Caledonia class ship of the line

HMS Neptune was a 120-gun first rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 22 September 1832 at Portsmouth.
She was fitted with screw propulsion in 1859, and was sold out of the service in 1875.

HMS_Neptune_Illustrated_London_News_1854.jpg
Neptune portrayed in the Illustrated London News, 1854

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Neptune_(1832)


1863 - During the Civil War, USS De Soto, commanded by Capt. W. M. Walker, recaptures the Army tug Leviathan in the Gulf of Mexico, some 40 miles off shore. She had been captured by the Confederates earlier in the day.

USS General Lyon, originally the De Soto, was recaptured from the Confederate States of America and renamed USS De Soto, and then USS General Lyon, after Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon.
The steamer was put into service by the Union Navy as a storeship and dispatch boat serving the Union ships on the blockade of the Confederacy.

USS_General_Lyon_(1862-1865).jpg

Service history
The ship was a sidewheel paddle steamer built at New Albany, Indiana, in 1860, and operated out of New Orleans, Louisiana, as De Soto. She was one of the many ships taken over by Confederate forces for use on the Mississippi River and other rivers during the American Civil War (1861–1865).

In April 1862 De Soto was busy ferrying troops to evacuate the area near Island Number 10 on the Mississippi River and was used, under a flag of truce, to communicate with Union gunboats. On 7 April 1862 she carried Confederate officers who surrendered possession of Island Number 10 to Flag OfficerAndrew Hull Foote. It was at night, and De Soto approached cautiously, giving four blasts of her whistle, repeatedly, until answered, whereupon Federal officers came on board to accept the surrender.

The ship was taken into Union Army service as the transport De Soto. Transferred to the United States Navy on 30 September 1862 as USS De Soto, she was renamed USS General Lyon on 24 October 1862 with Master John R. Neeld in command.

After undergoing extensive repairs at Cairo, Illinois, General Lyon saw duty as ordnance, stores, and dispatch ship for the U.S. Navy′s Mississippi Squadron. Leaving Cairo on 2 February 1863, she operated for the next two and a half years on the western waters. In April 1863 she was briefly the flagship of Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter.

After the end of the Civil War, General Lyon arrived at Mound City, Illinois, on 17 February 1865, decommissioned on 3 August 1865, and was sold to H. L. Lee 17 August 1865. She was re-documented for commercial service as Alabama, and was destroyed by fire at Grand View, Louisiana, on 1 April 1867


1944 - USS Yukon (AF 9) is hit in her starboard side by a torpedo fired by German submarine U-979, about 43 miles west of Reykjavik, Iceland. Damaged, she steams at three knots until her SOS is responded to by tugs from Reykjavik.

USS Yukon (AF-9) was an Arctic-class store ship acquired by the United States Navy during World War II. Yukon served as a stores ship, responsible for delivering supplies to military personnel in combat and non-combat areas. She served her remarkable career in both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean theaters of operation.

The first Navy ship to be so named, Yukon was a steamer constructed in 1920 as SS Mehanno by the Moore Shipbuilding Company at Oakland, California, for the United States Shipping Board and was acquired by the Navy on 14 November 1921. She was renamed Yukon, converted to a stores ship, designated AF-9, and commissioned on 6 December 1921. Commander Leo Sahm was in command.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Yukon_(AF-9)


1945 – Launch of HMS Hercules, aircraft carrier for British Admiralty, by Vickers-Armstrong, completed 1957 by Harland and Wolff and delivered as INS Vikrant 1961, scrapped 2014

INS Vikrant (from Sanskrit vikrānta, "courageous") was a Majestic-class aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy. The ship was laid down as HMS Hercules for the British Royal Navy during World War II, but construction was put on hold when the war ended. India purchased the incomplete carrier in 1957, and construction was completed in 1961. Vikrant was commissioned as the first aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy and played a key role in enforcing the naval blockade of East Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

INS_Vikrant_circa_1984_carrying_a_unique_complement_of_Sea_Harriers,_Sea_Hawks,_Allouette_&_Se...jpg

In its later years, the ship underwent major refits to embark modern aircraft, before being decommissioned in January 1997. She was preserved as a museum ship in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai until 2012. In January 2014, the ship was sold through an online auction and scrapped in November 2014 after final clearance from the Supreme Court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INS_Vikrant_(R11)


1957 – Death of Soemu Toyoda, Japanese admiral (b. 1885)

Soemu Toyoda (豊田 副武 Toyoda Soemu, 22 May 1885 – 22 September 1957) was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II.

Toyoda_Soemu.JPG

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soemu_Toyoda
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1338 – The Battle of Arnemuiden

was the first naval battle of the Hundred Years' War and the first naval battle using artillery, as the English ship Christopher had three cannons and one hand gun.

Battle_of_Arnemuiden.jpg
The Battle of Arnemuiden (September 1338)

The battle featured a vast French fleet under admirals Hugues Quiéret and Nicolas Béhuchet against a small squadron of five great English cogstransporting an enormous cargo of wool to Antwerp, where Edward III of England was hoping to sell it, in order to be able to pay subsidies to his allies. It occurred near Arnemuiden, the port of the island of Walcheren (now in the Netherlands, but then part of the County of Flanders, formally part of the Kingdom of France). Overwhelmed by the superior numbers and with some of their crew still on shore, the English ships fought bravely, especially the Christopher under the command of John Kingston, who was also commander of the squadron Kingston surrendered after a day's fighting and exhausting every means of defense.

The French captured the rich cargo and took the five cogs into their fleet, but massacred the English prisoners. The chronicles write:

Thus conquering did these said mariners of the king of France in this winter take great pillage, and especially they conquered the handsome great nef called the Christophe, all charged with the goods and wool that the English were sending to Flanders, which nef had cost the English king much to build: but its crew were lost to these Normans, and were put to death.​
— Collection des chroniques nationales françaises écrites en langue vulgaire du treizième au seizième siècle, avec notes et éclaircissements par J. A. Buchon, p.272.​

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Arnemuiden
 
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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1568 – Spanish naval forces rout an English fleet, under the command of John Hawkins, at the Battle of San Juan de Ulúa near Veracruz.


The Battle of San Juan de Ulúa was a battle between English privateers and Spanish forces at San Juan de Ulúa (in modern Veracruz). It marked the end of the campaign carried out by an English flotilla of six ships that had systematically conducted what the Spanish considered to be illegal trade in the Caribbean Sea, including the slave trade, at times imposing it by force.

1024px-Battle_of_San_Juan_de_Ulúa.jpg
An 1887 illustration of the en:Battle of San Juan de Ulúa (1568).

Context
Subsequent to the beginning of the Age of Discovery and the European exploration of the New World it was determined that in order to minimize potential conflict between the two major naval powers of the world at the time, Spain and Portugal, that a demarcation line between the two spheres of influence would be necessary. In the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, dividing the New World into Spanish and Portuguese zones was signed by the nations’ respective monarchs and Pope Alexander VI. As a result, the Spanish crown considered everything west of the Zaragoza antimeridian to be its personal property, including the entire North American continent. However, subsequent to the Protestant Reformation in the early 16th century and due to the fact that the Protestant nations of Europe did not recognize Papal spiritual or temporal authority, other powers routinely ignored the treaty. English merchants and adventurers subsequently engaged in trade missions with the various Spanish posts in the New World, as well as founding their own colonies. Spain was deeply suspicious of any attempt by foreign powers to trade or establish colonies in their zone of control, going so far as to massacre several hundred French Huguenot inhabitants of Fort Caroline in French Florida in 1565 after they had surrendered.

Ventanas_de_Buitón,_Veracruz_y_San_Juán_de_Ulúa_-_Grabado_Siglo_XVI_-_Veracruz,_Veracruz._M...jpg
A 16th century illustration of the island. The mooring wall where the Spanish and English ships were docked is visible at the center of the image. It is unclear if there were any buildings on the island at the time of the battle.

John Hawkins, an early English adventurer to the New World, had previously engaged in two other trading voyages to the Spanish colonies in contravention of the treaty, in 1562–63 and in 1564–65, with tacit approval from the English crown. On each occasion Hawkins had traded slaves for gold, silver, pearls, hides, and sugar with various Spanish settlements with varying degrees of success. Despite this being illegal according to Spanish law, local governors and magistrates were nevertheless willing to trade with Hawkins provided he either proffered them with bribes or sold his merchandize at a discount. On each occasion Hawkins received written testimonials from local Spanish officials confirming his good behavior and his voyages were profitable. During his second voyage, while stopping Rio de la Hacha to sell slaves, wine, flour, biscuit, and linens, he took orders from Spanish clients for his next journey and obtained a letter from the local Spanish treasurer attesting to his fair dealings. Nevertheless, the Spanish authorities were alarmed by this challenge to their monopoly and as such the court of justice in Santo Domingo ordered authorities to seize any English ships and their cargos in order to prevent further foreign incursions.

The English fleet consisted of 5 ships: the Royal carracks Jesus of Lübeck (leased from Queen Elizabeth I) under John Hawkins, the Minion under John Hampton, and the barques Judith under Hawkins' cousin Francis Drake, Angel and Swallow. A captured Portuguese caravel joined the privateers near the coast of Ghana, where the English competed with Portuguese slave traders. The ship was renamed Grace of God. A seventh ship, the barque William and John, sailed back home before the battle, but after reaching Ireland on February 1569, she was lost with all hands on her way back to England. The fleet took on water and 400-500 slaves in Guinea in early February 1568 and, reaching Dominica on March 27, 1568, began selling his cargo to Spanish colonists for gold, silver, and jewels, as per his previous voyages, departing from Cartagena on the 23rd of July.

After attempting to penetrate the coast of Florida in August, Hawkins’ fleet met with a powerful storm which warped the Jesus of Lubeck’s hull planking and damaged her rudder. Due to the shallow draughts along the Florida coast and unwilling to make a transatlantic voyage in such a state as well as being low on supplies, Hawkins’ fleet sailed for the nearest available port, San Juan de Ulua on September 16. While traveling to San Juan and concerned about being intercepted by Spanish authorities, Hawkins overtook three Spanish vessels carrying 100 passengers, hoping that with these he might be able to negotiate for a better terms to refit and resupply. Spanish officials originally mistook Hawkins’ fleet for an expected Spanish fleet and went aboard, only to discover to their dismay that they were in fact aboard an English ship. Hawkins informed them that he did not seek plunder or pillage but instead wished only to secure food and water and repair his ship, at which the Spanish were relieved. But while they were carrying out this reprovisioning, a Spanish escort fleet under command of Don Francisco Luján also arrived in the port the very next day, accompanying the new viceroy of New Spain, Don Martin Enriquez de Almanza, to his post in Mexico City.

Battle
San Juan’s port facilities were extremely small and rudimentary, consisting of a mooring wall built by the Spanish on "a little yland of stones, not past three feet aboue water in the highest place, and not past a bow-shotte ouer any way at the most, and it standeth from the maine land, two bowshootes or more" and, given the difficulties of fitting both fleets at the anchorage, Hawkins sent out a small boat to inform the Spanish that they were already in the port and that there should be conditions governing how the two fleets were to pass each other in order to avoid confrontation.

The English had repeatedly ignored the Treaty of Tordesillas by attacking merchant shipping but at this point they believed the Spanish would respect a truce on this occasion. After spending two days negotiating, terms were agreed upon and a dozen hostages were exchanged, whereupon the Spanish fleet was allowed to enter the moorage. Two days were spent anchoring the Spanish ships and, for the purposes of safety, the ships of each country were anchored apart from each other. Under the conditions of the agreement the English were permitted by the Spanish to buy supplies for money, repair their ships, and occupy the island with 11 pieces of ordnance. Spaniards were also forbidden from visiting the island while under arms. However, the Spanish commander of the fleet had specifically been charged with stopping English trade in New Spain and as a result, despite the truce which had been agreed upon by both parties the Spanish began secretly massing an attack force on the mainland near the harbor in order to seize the shore batteries which Hawkins had manned to defend the anchorage. In addition, the Spanish hid an attack force of 150-300 men on board a hulk, the San Salvador, which would be brought up between the English and Spanish ships.

According to the plan the hulk would be brought up between the Spanish and English fleets at midday on the 24th of September and, once in position, a trumpet would sound, signaling the attack, ideally while the English were taking their lunch. The English were nevertheless immediately suspicious after spotting Spanish crews shifting weapons between ships. Suspecting that the Spanish were planning on launching an attack from the hulk, sent the captain of the Jesus of Lubeck, Robert Barret (who spoke fluent Spanish) to demand that the viceroy disembark his men from the hulk and cease their threatening activities. The viceroy, Don Martin de Enriquez, realizing that the plot had been detected, seized Barrett and ordered the trumpet to sound and the Spanish launched their attack. The Spanish troops which had been concealed on the mainland quickly rowed to the island and overwhelmed the English sailors who had been manning their cannons on the beach, with many of the sailors fleeing to the safety of the ships. No quarter was given. The Minion, the ship closest to the Spanish hulk, was the immediate target of the Spanish boarding action but was able to defend itself against the attack and hauled away. The next target, Jesus of Lubeck, was boarded by the Spaniards from the hulk but after a violent struggle on board the ship, the Spaniards were repulsed and the Jesus was able to cut away and join the Minion. The French commander of the Grace of God, Robert Blondel, set her on fire before joining Hawkins on board the Jesus.

AnthonyRoll-6_Jesus_of_Lübeck.jpg
The English carrack Jesus of Lübeck, captured by the Spanish during the battle, as depicted in the Anthony Roll

By this point the shore batteries were entirely in the possession of the Spaniards, who then turned the cannons against their former owners and caused great damage to the Jesus, demasting her, and sinking the smaller English ships. The English maneuvered the Jesus of Lubeck so that it stood in-between the Minion and the shore batteries, thus acting as a shield and moored the Minion out of range of the Spanish batteries on the shore.

The early assault and capture of the island's batteries—held until then by the English—by a Spanish pinnace, commanded by a Captain Delgadillo, became decisive to the fate of the English fleet. Angel sank after a few salvoes, and Swallow was seized by the Spaniards soldiers manning the batteries. Both of them, along with some members of the crew of the Jesus were later rescued by a pinnace after Hawkins gave the order to abandon the ship. Hawkins took command then of the Minion.

Only the Judith, commanded by Drake, and Minion escaped, whilst battle was still raging on, leaving behind them the Jesus of Lübeck and some members of her crew still on board. The surviving vessels sailed out when two ships on fire were driven on them by the Spanish. The Englishmen feared a fire ship attack which, despite their concerns, failed to inflict any damage on the English ships. During the night Francis Drake, commanding the 50-ton Judith, abandoned the fleet and sailed for home, leaving Hawkins alone on board the overcrowded and poorly provisioned 100-ton Minion. During the night the wind shifted and, according to the royal lieutenant-governor in Vera Cruz Francisco de Bustamente, prevented the Spanish from following the English. The Jesus was eventually boarded by a Spanish party who had been lurking inside a nearby hulk, the San Salvador, under the command of Captain Juan de Ubilla. There are allegations that Ubilla allowed his men to loot the booty left on board the Jesus by Hawkins. Luján's fleet lost the vice-admiral ship, the galleon Santa Clara, which burnt and sank inside the port. The flagship San Pedro, the only full-armed Spanish ship at San Juan, was also badly hit during an exchange of fire with Minion.

Aftermath
During their withdrawal, the Minion and the Judith were hopelessly overcrowded, and some of their men had to be abandoned on what is now the southern coast of the United States to save on supplies for the Atlantic crossing. Hawkins left behind 110 men to surrender to the Spanish. Most ended up in local jails and while they were initially treated well by the viceroy in New Spain, the arrival of the Inquisition in 1571 resulted in many of the survivors being tortured, burned at the stake, or sentenced to penal servitude on the galleys for life. Hawkins eventually arrived back in England with a crew of only 15. Drake had reached Plymouth one month earlier, in December 1568. Only 70 or 80 sailors from the original expedition returned to England at all.

While Hawkins accused the Spaniards of treason for not honouring the truce,[29] Don Enrique's intention had always been to uphold his authority and the Spanish monopoly in West Indies.

For decades to come, the battle of San Juan de Ulua was remembered by Englishmen as an egregious example of Spanish treachery to be avenged. Drake’s desertion with the Judith in the heat of the action and leaving his relative and patron to fend for himself would haunt Drake for years to come and helped harden Drake’s attitudes towards Catholics in general and Spaniards in particular.

The battle was a clear precursor of the war that broke out between Philip II of Spain and Elizabeth I of England in 1585.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_San_Juan_de_Ulúa_(1568)
 
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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1641 – The Merchant Royal, carrying a treasure of over 100,000 pounds of gold (worth over £1 billion today), is lost at sea off Land's End.


Merchant Royal also known as Royal Merchant, was a 17th-century English merchant ship lost at sea off Land's End, Cornwall in rough weather on 23 September 1641. On board were at least 100,000 pounds of gold (over 1.5 billion USD in today's money), 400 bars of Mexican silver (another 1 million) and nearly 500,000 pieces of eight and other coins, making it one of the most valuable wrecks of all times.

150923-shipwreck-b.jpg

The Merchant Royal spent three years trading with Spanish colonies in the West Indies from 1637 to 1640. England was at peace with Spain at this time. The Merchant Royal and her sister-ship, the Dover Merchant, called into Cadiz on their way home to London. By all accounts she was leaking badly after her long voyage.

When a Spanish ship in Cadiz at the same time caught fire just before she was due to carry treasure to convert into pay for Spain's 30,000 soldiers in Flanders, the Merchant Royal's Captain Limbrey saw his chance to make a little more cash for his owners. He volunteered to carry the treasure to Antwerp on his way home.

The Merchant Royal went on leaking after she and her sister-ship left Cadiz and, when the pumps broke down, she sank off Land's End in rough weather on 23 September 1641.

Eighteen men drowned in the sinking. Captain Limbrey and 40 of his crew got away in boats and were picked up by Dover Merchant. It is not likely that the treasure was taken aboard the Dover Merchant.

Sept. 30, Lond[on].​
I suppose you have understood of the loss of the Royal Merchant coming into our road, which is the greatest that was ever sustained in one ship, being worth 400,000l. at least. The merchants of Antwerp will be the greatest losers, for she had in her belonging to them 300,000l. in bullion; if so be the Infante Cardinal lose not upon it Flanders for want of money to pay the soldiers. – 'Charles I – volume 484: September 1641', Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles I, 1641–3 (1887), pp. 114–129​
Merchant-Royal.jpg


Search for the wreck
See also: Black Swan Project

The Odyssey Marine Exploration company has tried for several years to locate the wreck but has been unsuccessful thus far.

In 2007 the team announced the Black Swan Project, the name given by Odyssey Marine Exploration for its discovery and recovery of an estimated US$500 million (£363 million) worth of silver and gold coins, from a shipwreck, was originally rumored in the press to be from the Merchant Royal. The Odyssey team is still uncertain as to the identity of the wreck, but now believe it may be the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, a Spanish vessel sunk in 1804.

The team continued to search for the ship on the 2009 Discovery Channel television show, Treasure Quest, but were unsuccessful once again.


The Black Swan Project is the project name given by Odyssey Marine Exploration for its discovery and recovery of an estimated US$500 million (£314 million) worth of silver and gold coins from the ocean floor. Initially Odyssey kept the origin of the treasure confidential. It was later proved in trial that the recovered cargo was being carried by the Spanish frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, which sank off Portugal in 1804.

med_Merchant Royal haul.jpg

Knowledge of the recovery became public on May 18, 2007 when the company flew 17 tons of coins, mostly silver, from Gibraltar to a secure location of unknown address in Florida, USA. The company did not release the type, date, or nationality of the coins, while a rumor attributed it to the Merchant Royal, which sank near Land's End in 1641. At the time, Odyssey said that it planned to return to the site to perform an excavation expected to uncover more coins as well as other artifacts. However, Odyssey was sued by the Spanish government in U.S. courts, which eventually ordered the treasure to be returned to Spain. Odyssey pursued all legal avenues, even taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and losing. On February 27, 2012 the ship's treasure was flown back to Spain where the coins and other artifacts from the shipwreck are now exhibited in public museums. In 2015 a U.S. district court ordered Odyssey to pay Spain $1 million for "bad faith and abusive litigation."


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_Royal
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Swan_Project
 
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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1664 – French Tigre (1642 - 28) - sank off Sardinia 23 September 1664


The Tigre was a 28-gun small ship of the line of the French Royal Navy, constructed by the Dutch shipwright Jan Gron (usually called Jean de Werth in French) at the new state dockyard at Île d'Indret near Nantes. She and her sister Léopard were two-deckers, but with only a few guns on the upper deck.

The Tigre sank off Cap de la Casse, Sardinia on 23 September 1644 while carrying material destined for Djidjelli in Algeria, with 64 men lost out of 122 aboard.


Léopard class. Two sisters of 28-30 guns built at Indret from 1640-1644 by "Jean de Werth" (real name Jan Gron), in Île d'Indret Dockyard


The Léopard (1642 - 28) was a 28-gun small ship of the line of the French Royal Navy, constructed by the Dutch shipwright Jan Gron (usually called Jean de Werth in French) at the new state dockyard at Île d'Indret near Nantes. She and her sister Tigre were two-deckers, but with only a few guns on the upper deck.

In April 1651 her crew mutinied and handed the ship over to the Spanish at San Lucar.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Tigre_(1642)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Léopard_(1642)
 
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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1699 – Launch of french Hermione, a 30 gun Hermione-class frigate + one day later on 24 September her sister Meduse was also launched, both in Brest


The Hermione class was a type of 30-gun frigates of the French Navy, carrying a half-battery of 12-pounder long guns on their lower deck as their main armament, and a complete battery of 6-pounder guns on the upper deck.
Only Two ships of this type were built in the same time in 1699 on plans by Blaise Pangalo. They were labelled "5th-rank frigates-ships" at the time.

General characteristics
Displacement: 350 tonnes
Length:37.4 metres (115 French feet)
Beam:9.7 metres (30 French feet)
Sail plan: Ship-rigged
Armament: 30 guns


Ships
Builder: Brest
Begun: May 1699
Launched: 23 September 1699
Completed: early 1700
Fate: "Lost" about April 1705
Builder: Brest
Begun: May 1699
Launched: 24 September 1699
Completed: early 1700
Fate: Wrecked, either in 1733 at Port-Louis according to Vichot, or in the Indies in 1713.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermione-class_frigate
 
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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1778 – Launch of French Médée, Iphigénie-class 32-gun frigate


Médée was an Iphigénie-class 32-gun frigate of the French Navy. The British captured her in 1800 and took her into service as HMS Medee, but never commissioned her into the Royal Navy, instead using her as a prison ship.

large.jpg
HM Frigate Iris engaged with the French frigate Medee May 30 1793. With inscription (PAF0006)
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/124141.html#BT1dYTjDMeIUFogj.99

Career
She took part in the Battle of Tory Island.

She was part of a squadron of three frigates, Concorde under Commodore Jean-François Landolphe, Médée under Captain Jean-Daniel Coudin and Franchise under Captain Pierre Jurien, with Landolphe as the overall commander, that left Rochefort on 6 March 1799. Eluding the British blockade off Rochefort, the squadron sailed southwards until it reached the coast of West Africa. There Landolphe's ships began an extended commerce raidingoperation, inflicting severe damage on the West African trade for the rest of the year. During this time, the squadron captured the Portuguese island of Prince (Príncipe). Eventually the strain of serving in tropical waters told on the ships and all three were forced to undergo an extensive refit in the nearest available allied shipyards, which were located in the Spanish-held River Plate in South America. At Montevideo the squadron assisted the French prisoners that had captured and taken into that port the convict transport Lady Shore that was carrying them to Australia.

Repairs continued for six months, until Landolphe considered the squadron once again ready to sail in the early summer of 1800. The squadron almost immediately captured off the coast of Brazil the American schooner Espérance (Hope), which they used as an aviso and sent to Cayenne with a prize crew under the command of enseigne de vaisseau Hamon. (At the time, France and the United States had been engaged for two years in the Quasi War.)

Fate
The East Indiamen Exeter and Bombay Castle, supported by the fourth rate HMS Belliqueux, captured Médée off Rio de Janeiro at the Action of 4 August 1800. The British sailed her to a port in Britain. She was never commissioned but served in 1802 as a prison hulk. She was sold in 1805.


The Iphigénie class was a group of nine 32-gun/12-pounder frigates of the French Navy, built during the late 1770s at Lorient (2 ships) and Saint Malo (7 ships). They were designed by Léon Guignace. The seven built at Saint Malo were initially numbered Nos. 1 – 7 respectively, and not given names until October 1777 (for Nos 1 – 4) and the start of 1778 (Nos. 5 – 7); all seven were captured by the British Navy between 1779 and the end of 1800. Of the two built at Lorient, the Spanish captured one, and a storm wrecked the other.

large (1).jpg
His Majesty's Ship Melampus of 36 guns.... in charge of Resolue & Bellone two French frigates of 40 guns each, off the coast of Ireland, October 13th 1798 (PAH5223)
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/145170.html#6Z0lhcefW9VR0xZg.99

Builder: Gilles Cambry at Lorient Dockyard
Laid down: February 1777
Launched: 16 October 1777
Completed: March 1778
Fate: Captured by the Spanish in February 1795, becoming Spanish Ifigenia.

She was briefly in British hands after the Anglo-Spanish capture of Toulon in August 1793 but the French recaptured her December. The Spanish captured her in 1795 and her subsequent fate is unknown.
Builder: Gilles Cambry at Lorient Dockyard
Laid down: August 1777
Launched: 26 March 1778
Completed: May 1778
Fate: Wrecked in a storm in Bantry Bay, January 1797

1280px-Battle_frigates_surveillante_quebec.jpg
Battle between the French frigate Surveillante and the British frigate Quebec, 6 October 1779. Auguste-Louis Rossel de Cercy

She took part in the Naval operations in the American Revolutionary War, where she became famous for her battle with HMS Quebec; in 1783, she brought the news that the war was over to America. She later took part in the French Revolutionary Wars, and was eventually scuttled during the Expédition d'Irlande after sustaining severe damage in a storm. The wreck was found in 1979 and is now a memorial.
Builder: Saint Malo Dockyard
Laid down: July 1777
Launched: 16 March 1778
Completed: April 1778F
ate: Captured by the British 14 October 1798, becoming HMS Resolue.

Engageante_resolue.jpg
Engageante (left) and Résolue (right) battling HMS Concorde at the Action of 23 April 1794

The British captured her twice, once in November 1791 during peacetime, and again in 1798. The Royal Navy hulked her in 1799 and she was broken up in 1811.
Builder: Saint Malo Dockyard
Laid down: July 1777
Launched: 18 June 1778
Completed: August 1778
Fate: Captured by the British 11 April 1795, becoming HMS Gentille.
Builder: Saint Malo Dockyard
Laid down: August 1777
Launched: 11 May 1778
Completed: July 1778
Fate: Captured by the British 29 July 1782, but retaken by a French squadron the following day; wrecked off the Penmarch Islands January 1797.
Builder: Saint Malo Dockyard
Laid down: August 1777
Launched: late March 1778
Completed: July 1778
Fate: Captured by the British 2 June 1779, becoming HMS Prudente.
Builder: Saint Malo Dockyard
Laid down: January 1778
Launched: 9 July 1778
Completed: October 1778
Fate: Captured by the British 10 April 1795, becoming HMS Gloire.
Builder: Saint Malo Dockyard
Laid down: January 1778
Launched: 2 August 1778
Completed: February 1779
Fate: Captured by the British 12 October 1798, becoming HMS Proserpine.

1280px-Bellone-vs-foudroyant.png
Fight between Bellone and HMS Foudroyant at the Battle of Tory Island

She was one of the French ships with a copper-covered hull.
Builder: Saint Malo Dockyard
Laid down: January 1778
Launched: 23 September 1778
Completed: February 1779
Fate: Captured by the British 5 August 1800, becoming HMS Medee.

The British captured her in 1800 and took her into service as HMS Medee, but never commissioned her into the Royal Navy, instead using her as a prison ship.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Médée_(1778)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iphigénie-class_frigate
 
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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1779 - The Battle of Flamborough Head - Part I


was a naval battle that took place on 23 September 1779 in the North Sea off the coast of Yorkshire between a combined Franco-American squadron, led by Continental Navy officer John Paul Jones, and two British escort vessels protecting a large merchant convoy. It became one of the most celebrated naval actions of the war, despite its relatively small size and considerable dispute over what had actually occurred.

Serapis_9790.jpg
Defence of Captn Pearson in his Majesty’s Ship Serapis and the Countess of Scarborough Arm’d Ship Captn Piercy, against Paul Jones's Squadron, 23 September 1779, by Robert Dodd

Franco-American squadron
During September 1779, the four remaining vessels from a seven-strong squadron, which had departed from the anchorage at Groix off L’Orient in France on 14 August 1779, nominally under the command of American Continental Navy captain John Paul Jones, voyaged from a brief stop off Ireland, round the north of Scotland, and down the east coast of Britain, creating havoc wherever possible. Although sailing under the American flag, all the vessels were loaned or donated by France, with French captains, except for the Alliance, which had been built in Amesbury, Massachusetts specifically for the Continental Navy (although it had a French captain too). The crews included Americans, French volunteers, British sailors previously captured by the Americans and offered the chance to get out of captivity, and many others seeking glory or prize money.

On the evening of 22 September, Jones in Bonhomme Richard (an armed East India trading vessel he had reluctantly adapted for military use), accompanied by the little brigantine Vengeance, had been off Spurn Head, hoping to catch a few prizes emerging from the Humber estuary, but he decided to head northward during the hours of darkness, and rendezvous with his frigates Alliance and Pallas, which had parted company from him further up the coast. Shortly after midnight, two vessels were seen, so signal lanterns were set. The strangers did not give the response that would identify them as members of his squadron. Jones’s crew was called to quarters, but when daylight approached, about 5:30 am, and a chequered flag was hoisted on the mizzen mast, the mystery vessels finally identified themselves as the Alliance and Pallas. Captain Cottineau of the Pallas (in full, Denis Nicolas Cottineau de Kerloguen) later reported that Captain Pierre Landais of the Alliance had advised a rapid retreat if the approaching warship proved to be British—not a reassuring suggestion, given that his frigate, which had been acclaimed as the best warship yet made in America, was by a fair margin the faster and more manoeuvrable of the two.

Early in the afternoon, the reunited squadron sighted a brig in Bridlington Bay, so at about 3:30 pm, a small schooner, captured just the previous day, was sent with a 15-man boarding party. There is a discrepancy at this point between Jones’s official report and Bonhomme Richard’s log, but the reason for sending the schooner may have been not because the brig was in very shallow water, but because the main squadron was on its way to investigate a sighting of a ship further north near Flamborough Head. Shortly after the schooner was dispatched, Alliance, which had been somewhat ahead of the others, hoisted a signal and set off at speed. At least two large vessels had been sighted in the distance, so the schooner was immediately recalled by firing a signal gun, and the entire squadron headed towards the potentially rich prizes.

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The courses of the opponents up to the moment just before the first sighting, early afternoon, 23 September

British convoy
On 15 September 1779, a convoy of more than 50 ships, which had been trading with ports in the Baltic, had set sail from a rendezvous off the Norwegian coast at the mouth of the Skagerrak channel to cross the North Sea. Some ships left the convoy before Britain came in sight, heading for northern ports such as Leith and the River Tyne. When the Yorkshire coast was sighted early on 23 September, just over 40 remained, mostly carrying iron or timber (often in the form of planks and masts for ships), bound for ports all around the southern half of the British Isles, from Hull round to Bristol, and Waterford in Ireland. Although the Baltic convoy had received a warning from Scarborough that an enemy squadron was in the vicinity, some ships ignored the signals (by both flags and guns) from the 44-gun escort ship HMS Serapis to stay close for protection. Early in the afternoon, as they approached Flamborough Head, the lookouts of the foremost ships saw the danger in Bridlington Bay for themselves. Hastily tacking, they attempted to run for the safety of Scarborough. Serapis put on all sail to get between the fleeing merchant vessels and a potential attack from the Franco-American squadron, while the smaller Countess of Scarborough (a hired armed vessel built by private subscription and hired to the Admiralty for escort duty) shepherded the convoy. About 4 pm, with the whole convoy to his north, and the squadron of strangers clearly in sight to the south, Captain Richard Pearson of the Serapis signalled the Countess of Scarborough to join him. As the squadron caught up, the Royal Navy vessels made sure to position themselves so that the presumed enemy could not easily sail round them to reach the slower merchant ships.

First shots
As the situation became clear, Alliance gradually slowed, allowing the rest of Jones’s squadron to catch up (except for the little schooner carrying the boarding party, which could not sail fast enough). About 6 pm, Commodore Jones ordered Pallas to ride directly in his wake, to confuse the opposition about the squadron’s strength, and half an hour later he hoisted signals ordering all vessels to form a single-file line of battle, to make best use of their broadsides as they passed the two British ships. Captain Landais, who unlike Jones had a great deal of formal training in naval leadership and tactics (and was aware of the latest French battle plans, used with considerable success against the Royal Navy at this time), decided to try a different plan. He used Alliance’s superior handling to sail off to one side, against the wind. In order to prevent him from sailing right past and chasing the convoy, Captain Thomas Piercy of the Countess of Scarborough had to do the same, leaving Serapis alone against the remaining three American ships. Finally, a little after 7 pm, Bonhomme Richard was within pistol-shot of the battle-ready Serapis. In the gathering dark, Pearson then hailed the potentially hostile ship to ask some pertinent questions: its name, its nationality etc. The answer was a few evasive remarks, followed by a shot (as he recalled it, but possibly a broadside) which Serapis answered with a broadside. A minute or two later, as soon as he was within range, Landais fired his own broadside at the Countess of Scarborough (theoretically just over 200 pounds (91 kg) of shot from 18 guns). Piercy soon replied[9] (his maximum broadside being about 60 lb from 10 guns).

Bonhomme Richard was about the same length as Alliance, and originally had almost the same armament, with a broadside of just over 200 pounds (91 kg) from 18 guns, but Jones had been able to add six second-hand 18-pound guns, mounted in such a way that they could be rotated to fire through ports low down on either side, adding 108 pounds (49 kg) of shot to a full broadside. In the event, though, these big guns only fired eight shots between them, because two of them quickly burst open under the strain, killing most of the people around them, so the remainder were abandoned. Serapis, one of the Royal Navy’s newest ships, also had 18-pound guns (10 on each side, contributing 180 pounds (82 kg) to a total 22-gun broadside of around 280 pounds (130 kg)) which were in good condition. Additionally, being designed as a warship, Serapis was more manoeuvrable than the Bonhomme Richard. By coincidence, due to desertions and the need to crew captured vessels, Bonhomme Richard’s crew had been reduced from around 400 to about the same as Serapis, 320.

First half-hour
While Commodore Jones and Captain Landais were fighting their unexpectedly separate battles, Captains Cottineau of the Pallas and Ricot of Vengeance were left wondering what to do. In a well-organised formation, they might have been able to make a contribution, but to intervene in a ship-to-ship duel would be very dangerous. In theory, they could have taken advantage of the confusion to sail off after the stragglers of the convoy, but night had now fallen, and until the moon rose, they would not be able to see their prey. Also, it quickly became clear that Bonhomme Richard would need help. Therefore, they waited until they could be useful. About this time, the little schooner caught up with them, but there was no way to transfer the potentially very useful boarding team to Bonhomme Richard or Alliance.

Commodore Jones, accepting that if he could not use the 18-pounders, he could not win a gun fight, quickly adopted a policy of trying to grapple and board his opponent. Pearson’s crew spotted the change and adapted rapidly, using the superior maneuverability of Serapis to keep out of reach, while continuing to bombard the slower ship. On one occasion though, according to the later recollection of First Lieutenant Richard Dale, Bonhomme Richard’s bow ran into Serapis’ stern and, with neither side able to take advantage of the situation, Captain Pearson cheekily asked the punning question, "Has your ship struck?". Dale reports Jones’s reply as, very simply, "I have not yet begun to fight!"

Meanwhile, after two or three broadsides exchanged with Alliance, less than 20 minutes after the first shot, Captain Piercy was astonished to see his opponent (with just one of the little 6 pounds (2.7 kg) shots from the Countess of Scarborough stuck in its tough timberwork) move away to rejoin Pallas, which was still waiting for an opportunity to be useful. Landais later claimed that his opponent had sailed away under cover of smoke. Piercy, his ship relatively unharmed, and out of range of any of the four Americans, headed straight for the main battle, to see if he could help Serapis, but Jones’s close-quarters policy meant that to intervene now would be madness. Quite possibly shots fired by the Countess of Scarborough at the Bonhomme Richard would hit Serapis, or worse still, massive 18 pounds (8.2 kg) shots from Serapis could accidentally hit the Countess of Scarborough. Instead, Piercy simply gave the impression that he was going to intervene, trying to attract the attention of Alliance and Pallas. Cottineau saw the potential danger (or responded to a request by Landais[4]) and quickly steered towards the Countess of Scarborough, so Piercy slowly retreated, sailing with the wind.

Two gunnery duels
Shortly afterwards, John Paul Jones got the opportunity he had been striving for—not a moment too soon, as his ship had been holed below the waterline and was becoming increasingly unresponsive. Serapisjib-boom caught in the rigging of Bonhomme Richard’s mizzen mast, and Jones immediately led his crew in attaching the two ships together as strongly as they could. Seeing the danger, Pearson dropped anchor. Because both ships were under sail, when Serapis came to an abrupt halt, Bonhomme Richard would keep going, and with luck, tear free. Jones’ men had been very efficient, so what actually happened was that Bonhomme Richard’s motion was turned into a rotation, and the two ships, still firmly attached, ended up side-by-side, facing in opposite directions, their great guns touching each other’s hull planks. Better still for Jones, Serapis’ spare anchor caught in the woodwork of Bonhomme Richard’s stern, locking the two ships in that extraordinary position. Making a virtue of necessity, Pearson’s crew fired broadsides straight into Bonhomme Richard’s hull, tearing huge holes in its side, and doing terrible damage to the gun-decks. For Jones’s boarding plan to succeed, he needed to drive all the Royal Navy sailors from Serapis’ deck before his ship was destroyed beneath him. He had prepared well for such an eventuality, and his men at stations up the masts were equipped both with small guns and with incendiary grenades. Three 9-pound guns on the quarter-deck (the rear part of the upper deck) were still usable, although one was on the wrong side, and had to be dragged around. Two of these guns were loaded with anti-personnel grapeshot to help drive Pearson’s men from the deck, but the third was used with solid bar-shot (see Naval Artillery page) aimed at Serapis’ main-mast.

By this time, towards 8:30 pm, the moon had risen. Moving slowly downwind away from the anchored ships, Pallas and Countess of Scarborough began a second battle of broadsides[9] (which for Pallasmeant 16 guns firing just over 130 pounds (59 kg) of shot together). Hovering in the background, still, were Vengeance and the schooner, with the boarding party which John Paul Jones really needed. Captain Landais, of the Alliance, after observing for a time, formed another plan, and set off after Pallas. On the way, Alliance passed the two locked ships, still anchored, still firing broadsides at each other. As the direction of shots was now predictable, Captain Landais could safely approach within firing range of Serapis, from the right direction- bow or stern rather than flank. This he did, firing a broadside including round-shot, bar-shot and grapeshot at Serapis’ bow. Right next to that bow, still, was Bonhomme Richard’s stern. As much lethal shot hit Jones’s men as Pearson’s, and metal also flew along Bonhomme Richard’s gun-deck, killing some of the remaining gunners and wrecking several gun-carriages. Landais then continued on his way.

After that, Bonhomme Richard started definitively losing the battle. Still, efforts to make the situation too hot for the British, both figuratively and literally, continued. Just after 9:30 pm, one of these attempts succeeded in spectacular fashion. According to Jones's published campaign report, grenade-thrower William Hamilton ventured right out along a yard-arm until he could look almost straight down on the deck of Serapis (by this time, almost cleared of men), and began trying to drop grenades, not onto the deck but down the hatches. By good fortune, one of these ignited a charge of gunpowder placed in readiness (contrary to standard fire safety practice, but Captain Pearson had encouraged his men to "fire briskly") for loading into one of Serapis’ 18-pound guns. The problem with this version of the story is that the 18-pounders were on the lower deck, so it would take a very lucky drop to reach them from high above. Captain Pearson speculated that either a grenade had been thrown through a hole in the hull, from Bonhomme Richard’s gun deck, or that the charge had been ignited by accident. Whatever the cause, the effect was devastating. As the ignited charge blew up, it scattered burning gunpowder, setting off other charges nearby, and ultimately the chain reaction covered the entire rear half of Serapis’ lower gun-deck, killing or severely burning many of the gunnery crewmen, forcing some to leap into the sea to extinguish their burning clothes, and putting five guns out of action. In the confusion, some of the crew clambering back on board after jumping into the sea were nearly mistaken for American boarders.

Still in action, still moving with the wind away from the main fight, were Pallas and the Countess of Scarborough. Alliance was catching up fast, though, and as the near-undamaged, speedy, well-armed frigate approached, Captain Piercy understood that with seven of his own guns dismounted, four of his crew dead, twenty wounded, his rigging and sails too badly damaged to make a speedy getaway, he could neither win nor escape. With Landais hovering just beyond the range of his guns, he therefore struck his colours. Alliance approached him, seeking to take the Captain’s formal surrender, but after brief exchanges with both Piercy and Cottineau, Captain Landais accepted that his colleague should take the surrender and attend to casualties, while Alliance returned to the main battle. Because the return journey would be against the wind, this would, as Captain Piercy presumably intended, take a while.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Flamborough_Head
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1779 - The Battle of Flamborough Head - Part II


Jones vs. Pearson (plus Landais)

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The English myth: "Paul Jones, shooting Lieut. Grubb, for attempting to strike the Colours", from "The Life and History of PAUL JONES, the English Corsair", c1820
The absence of any other combatants had bought Serapis a considerable amount of time. Bonhomme Richard’s gun decks were now so badly damaged that most of the British shots were passing straight through without touching anything, and the great guns were almost completely silenced. There were almost as many fires to be extinguished as there were aboard Serapis, but on the other hand, the hold was filling with water because one of the pumps was in ruins. Commodore Jones was exhausted, and apparently slumped on the chicken coop for a brief rest. Somehow (according to his later memoirs), a rumour went around that he was dead or dying, and his gunner and carpenter, both wounded, hastily consulted with the master-at-arms. Together they decided, a little before 10 pm, to surrender by striking the ship’s colours, but the flag had already been shot away, so their only option was to shout. Captain Pearson shouted back, asking whether the Americans had really struck their colours. Possibly his Lieutenant of Marines relayed this message. Certainly, Jones’s reply was firmly negative.[8] Jones himself recalled shouting something along the lines of "I have not yet thought of it, but I am determined to make you strike," at which point, presumably, the surrendering officers realised he was still very much alive and returned to their duties. A much more dramatic version appeared in newspapers within days of the event, allegedly based on the testimony of an ex-crewman who thought he heard something like "I may sink, but I’ll be damned if I strike", and witnessed the captain using his pistols to shoot the three officers who were attempting to surrender (another version of the story also circulated, with the chicken coop but without the shootings, which fits better with Jones’s memory). In all the noise, Pearson could not actually hear the reply to his question, so he decided to send a boarding team. At this point, once again, Jones’s preparation paid off. The boarders were met by a previously hidden defensive force, which swiftly drove them back to Serapis. By this time, the attempts to bring down Serapis’ main mast had also borne some fruit (ironically, the only reason why it had not fallen down was because it was leaning on Bonhomme Richard’s rigging). And then, perhaps about 10:15 pm, Alliance returned, and Landais delivered another of his helpful broadsides. Jones’s men yelled at him to stop, and the commodore attempted to send orders for Allianceto help with a boarding operation. The moon was full, brightly illuminating the distinctive yellow livery of Serapis. Bonhomme Richard was clearly showing agreed lantern signals, but Landais stuck to his plan,[3] sailing round the "safe" sides of the locked ships to fire broadsides aimed, in his theory, at both bow and stern of Serapis. In reality, Bonhomme Richard, yet again, was holed below the waterline and started settling so rapidly that the master-at-arms took it upon himself to release the hundred or so prisoners from previous captures, who had been held on the lower decks. As they had not been put in manacles, they were completely free and could potentially have helped Serapis’ crew to overrun the American ship. Jones reacted quickly to the new crisis, successfully urging the prisoners to put all their efforts into working the three remaining pumps to save their own lives.

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John Paul Jones, from an engraving by c. 1779 after his victory at the Battle of Flamborough Head.

Captain Pearson of Serapis had only limited knowledge of the escalating chaos aboard Bonhomme Richard. He too was losing many men from Alliance’s attacks, and he could not move his ship. Alliance, still effectively undamaged, could keep firing at will. On the other hand, nearly every ship in the convoy he had been sent to protect had reached safety before the battle even began. Following the second of Alliance’s new round of broadsides, like Piercy before him, he decided that he could achieve nothing more by continuing to fight. Not long after 10:30 pm, he called for quarter and struck his colours in person. Thus the Americans finally got the chance to board the Serapis, but this did not go quite as well as it could have. Three shots were fired by British sailors who had not got the message. Midshipman John Mayrant, following First Lieutenant Dale aboard, got a pike stuck through his leg. Pearson’s first lieutenant was among those reluctant to believe that his captain had surrendered, and Dale made sure that he stayed with Pearson rather than leaving him to his own devices. A short time later, as Captain Pearson was boarding Bonhomme Richard to hand over his ceremonial sword, the main-mast of Serapis finally fell overboard, perhaps as a result of work to separate the two ships, dragging the damaged mizzen-top-mast with it. As Bonhomme Richard got under way, Dale attempted to follow in Serapis, and learned two important facts in quick succession. First, Serapis would not move, and second, he had a very large splinter in his leg, which now caused him to fall over. The first problem was rectified by cutting the anchor cable, the second by returning Dale to Bonhomme Richard for treatment. Boats from both Serapis and Alliance were used to begin the evacuation of Bonhomme Richard’s crew. One or two of these boats went missing during the night, as ex-captive British crewmen took the opportunity to go home (hence the eyewitness newspaper stories). The combatants, although they probably cared little, had been observed by thousands of onlookers, for on that clear night, with a near-full moon, the action could be seen from a long stretch of the high Yorkshirecoastline, from Scarborough in the north to Flamborough Head itself in the south.

There is no record of final casualty figures aboard the two main combatants. Captain Pearson, in a postscript to his battle report, stated that there were "many more than" 49 dead and 68 wounded aboard Serapis, but his figure of 300 casualties aboard Bonhomme Richard seems very high, unless it includes a great many of the captives stuck below decks during the battle. British press reports claimed 70 deaths on Bonhomme Richard, which, assuming a similar ratio to the Serapis figures would give around 100 wounded.

Aftermath
Overnight, pumping continued on Bonhomme Richard, and repairs began (also, the powder was removed from the magazine, which was threatened by the continued smouldering of the ship’s woodwork). With the water still getting deeper, the guns from the lower decks were reluctantly heaved overboard—not a very difficult task, as much of the hull was missing. The dead went the same way, though with rather more dignity. At 2 pm the next day, with the carpenter insisting that the ship could not be saved, Commodore Jones took the ex-captain and lieutenant of Serapis to safety, but returned early in the evening to check on progress. Finding that the water was still rising, he ordered the wounded, who ideally should not have been moved, to be transferred to other vessels (Pearson was not aware of this nocturnal operation, and wrote in his official report that Jones had left the wounded aboard). At 10 pm, those who had been brought in from other ships to man the pumps were ordered to leave, and during the rest of the night the most important items aboard were removed. These did not include personal possessions, not even most of Jones’s. The flotilla was slowly moving east-south-east away from the coast all this time, and was not seen from land again after night fell (as Flamborough Head is about 400 feet (120 m) high, ships’ sails would be visible on a clear day up to 30 miles (48 km) away). At 4 am the next day, 25 September, pumping was abandoned, with the water almost up to the lower deck. The wind was getting stronger, so all personnel abandoned ship at 10 am, and just before 11, as a boat approached from the commodore’s new command ship, Serapis, to try to salvage a few more items, Bonhomme Richard started to disappear beneath the waves.

Several Royal Navy ships were on their way, but once again French obstinacy had a semi-beneficial effect. Jones wished to take his prizes to Dunkirk, but the French captains insisted on following the original orders from their government masters to head for the island of Texel in the neutral United Provinces (the Netherlands). They arrived safely on 3 October, while the British ships searched for them in all the wrong places, having ignored a correct preliminary estimate by observers in Yorkshire. Jones immediately wrote a report to his own government superior, Benjamin Franklin, one notable feature of which was, inevitably, the conduct of Captain Landais. Furious though he was, he wrote, "I forbear to take any steps With him until I have the advice and approbation of your Excellency". Captain Cottineau, on the other hand, placed himself under no such obligation, and called Landais a coward to his face. Landais challenged him to a duel during which Landais ran his sword through Cottineau’s chest, just missing the heart. Landais’ later history is in the Alliance article.

While the ships were being repaired, Jones had to deal with the consequences of landing in a neutral port with prizes of war. He turned on the charm for diplomatic negotiations at The Hague and networking in Amsterdam, where he was the toast of society, known as "The Terror of the English". On 8 October, the British ambassador, Sir Joseph Yorke, wrote to the rulers of the United Provinces, claiming that under international law, Jones, not being accredited by a recognised state, was a rebel and a pirate. Therefore, the two captured ships should be detained for handing back to their rightful owners. Yorke also asked that the wounded from the two ships should be taken ashore and treated at British Government expense. That request was agreed to immediately, but it was over a fortnight later, during which repair work proceeded without any hindrance, when the Dutch replied that their neutrality meant they could not judge the legality of actions between foreigners on the open sea, but that that would also apply to any attempt made by the British to retake their ships once they left port. Furthermore, Jones’s squadron was obliged to leave the Texel "as soon as possible", and could not be supplied with arms or ammunition except "what are absolutely necessary to carry them safe to the first foreign port they can come at". Yorke replied by quoting treaties, returning to the "pirate" theme, and pointing out that under Dutch law, commanders of foreign naval forces were obliged to present authorisation from their governments when docking in Dutch ports. As the United Provinces did not officially recognise the government of the United States, that was a very tricky legal point, which the Dutch took quite a while to consider. To get round the problem, Pallas and Vengeance were declared officially French, and Captain Cottineau became commodore of a French squadron, his flagship the captured Serapis. With Landais barred from command until the case against him could be heard, Jones became captain of the avowedly American Alliance, not associated in any way with the newly French squadron. Several Royal Navy ships were waiting just off the coast for the day he was obliged to leave—the Dutch authorities making a great show of trying to eject him—but as winter storms made it more and more difficult for them to keep station, John Paul Jones (after recruiting another American commander, Gustavus Conyngham, who had escaped from British captivity) slipped away among a group of Dutch ships on 27 December and sailed to France.


Coconut Cup in Silver, presented to Pearson in 1780 by the Royal Exchange Assurance

Back in England, something rather unexpected was happening. On the one hand, the overall effects of Jones’s cruise and the activities of other raiders, such as the privateer duo of Black Prince and Black Princess, were reported with a sort of resentful admiration. On the other, although Pearson and Piercy had lost the battle, they were the only Royal Navy captains who had actually managed to engage Jones’s squadron at all, and they had sunk his flagship. Their official reports appeared in British newspapers in mid-October, forcing the Americans to leak Jones’s (some of which he definitely had not intended for publication). Most importantly, they had fully achieved their mission, which was to protect the convoy. When they returned home, about the beginning of November, they were honoured by the towns of Kingston upon Hull and Scarborough and were rewarded by both the Russia Company, principal owner of vessels in the convoy, and the Royal Exchange Assurance Company. Pearson even gained a knighthood. In 1780, to honour him for his actions in protecting the convoy, Pearson was presented with three Coconut Cups mounted in silver by Wakelin & Taylor. In 1782, the Royal Navy took the unusual step of naming a new ship Serapis- an acknowledgement rarely given to a vessel which lost a battle.

Order of battle
American/French squadron
British convoy escorts
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Flamborough_Head
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1782 - Launch of HMS Thetis, a Minerva-class frigate


HMS Thetis was a 38-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy launched in 1782.

Capture_of_La_Prevoyante_and_La_Raison.jpg
Capture of La Prevoyante and La Raison by Thetis and Hussar, by Thomas Whitcombe

Career
French Revolutionary Wars
On 2 May 1795 Rear Admiral George Murray sent Captain Alexander Cochrane in Thetis, together with HMS Hussar, to intercept three French supply ships reported at Hampton Roads.[4] At daybreak on 17 May the British came upon five ships 20 leagues West by South from Cape Henry. The French made a line of battle to receive the British frigates. An action commenced, with three of the French vessels eventually striking their colours. Thetis took possession of the largest, which turned out to be Prévoyante, pierced for 36 guns but only mounting 24. Hussar captured a second, the Raison, pierced for 24 guns but only mounting 18. One of the vessels that had struck nonetheless sailed off. Two of the five had broken off the fight and sailed off earlier. (The three that escaped were the Normand, Trajan, and Hernoux.) An hour after she had struck, Prévoyante's main and foremasts fell over the side. In the battle, Thetis had lost eight men killed and 9 wounded; Hussar had only two men wounded.

Four of the French ships had escaped from Guadeloupe on 25 April. They had sailed to American ports to gather provisions and naval stores to bring back to France.

Cochrane had intended to leave the prizes in charge of the cutter Prince Edward after repairing the damage to his vessel during the night. However, a breeze picked up and by morning the escaping French vessels were out of sight. The British sailed with their prizes to Halifax. The British took Prévoyante into the Royal Navy as HMS Prevoyante.

On 20 July, Thetis was in company with Hussar and HMS Esperance when they intercepted the American vessel Cincinnatus, of Wilmington, sailing from Ireland to Wilmington. They pressed many men on board, narrowly exempting the Irish revolutionary Wolfe Tone, who was going to Philadelphia.

In 1797 Thetis recaptured Indian Trader as Indian Trader was sailing from Cayenne to Baltimore. Thetis sent her into Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In 1801 Thetis took part in Lord Keith's expedition to Egypt. Because Thetis served in the navy's Egyptian campaign (8 March to 2 September 1801), her officers and crew qualified for the clasp "Egypt" to the Naval General Service Medal that the Admiralty authorised in 1850 to all surviving claimants.

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MINERVA 1780 lines & profile

Napoleonic Wars
In 1809 boats from Thetis and several other vessels cut out the French 16-gun brig Nisus at Deshaies, Guadeloupe. Captain George Miller sent in boats with the marines from Pultusk, Achates and Bacchus, and 78 sailors. The landing party first captured the fort at Deshaies, whereupon Nisus surrendered when its guns were turned on her. During the operation, Attentive kept up a six-hour cannonade on Nisus and the battery. Many of the 300 men in the battery fled, as did most of the crew of Nisus before the British could take possession. The British destroyed the battery before withdrawing. British casualties amounted to two men from Thetis being wounded on shore, and two men being wounded on Attentive. The Royal Navy took Nisus into service as HMS Guadaloupe.

Thetis then took part in the storming of the batteries at Anse la Barque.

Thetis also participated in the capture of Guadeloupe in January and February 1810.[Note 3] In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Guadaloupe" to all surviving participants of the campaign.

Fate
Thetis was sold in 1814.


The Minerva-class sailing frigates were a series of four ships built to a 1778 design by Sir Edward Hunt, which served in the Royal Navy during the latter decades of the eighteenth century.

During the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, the Royal Navy - while well supplied with ships from earlier programs, but faced with coastal operations and trade protection tasks along the American littoral - ordered numerous forty-four gun, two-decked ships and thirty-two gun 12-pounder armed frigates. Anticipating the entry of European powers into the war, and with renewed resistance provided by the large, nine hundred ton, thirty-two gun 12-pounder armed frigates of the French Navy, the RN looked to a newer larger design of frigate to meet this challenge. From November 1778 larger frigates with a heavier 18-pounder primary armament were ordered.

They were the first Royal Navy frigates designed to be armed with the eighteen-pounder cannon on their upper deck, the main gun deck of a frigate. Before coming into service, their designed secondary armament was augmented, with 9-pounder guns being substituted for the 6-pounder guns originally planned, and with ten 18-pounder carronades being added (six on the quarter deck and four on the forecastle). The type eventually proved successful, and went on to be virtually the standard frigate type during the latter periods of the age of sail.

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Capture of the Pomona by Anson & Arethusa off Havannah, 23 Aug 1806

Ships in class
  • HMS Minerva
    • Builder: Woolwich Dockyard
    • Ordered: 6 November 1778
    • Laid down: November 1778
    • Launched: 3 June 1780
    • Completed: 6 July 1780
    • Fate: Fitted as a troopship and renamed Pallas 29 May 1798; broken up March 1803 at Chatham Dockyard.
  • HMS Arethusa
    • Builder: James Martin Hilhouse, Bristol
    • Ordered: 26 January 1779
    • Laid down: 23 August 1779
    • Launched: 10 April 1781
    • Fate: Broken up May 1815 at Sheerness Dockyard.
  • HMS Phaeton
    • Builder: John Smallshaw, Liverpool.
    • Ordered: 3 March 1780
    • Laid down: June 1780
    • Launched: 12 June 1782
    • Completed: 27 December 1782 at Plymouth Dockyard.
    • Fate: Sold to break up 26 March 1828
HMS_Phaeton.jpg
A contemporary Japanese drawing of the HMS Phaeton; in custody of the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture
  • HMS Thetis
    • Builder: John Randall, Rotherhithe.
    • Ordered: 22 September 1781
    • Laid down: December 1781
    • Launched: 23 September 1782
    • Completed: 15 November 1782 at Deptford Dockyard.
    • Fate: Sold 9 June 1814 at Chatham Dockyard.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Thetis_(1782)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minerva-class_frigate
 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1801 – Launch of HMS Aigle, a 36 gun Aigle class frigate


HMS Aigle was a 36-gun, fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Ordered on 15 September 1799 and built at Bucklers Hard shipyard, she was launched 23 September 1801. More than fifty of her crew were involved in the Easton Massacre when she visited Portland in April 1803 to press recruits. Much of her career as a frigate was spent in home waters where she fought the Battle of Basque Roads in 1809; initially providing support to the crews of the fireships, then forcing the surrender of the stranded French ships, Varsovie and Aquilon. Later that year she left The Downs to take part in the Walcheren Campaignwhere she carried out a two-day long bombardment of Flushing, leading to its capitulation on 15 August.

In October 1811, Aigle was sent to the Mediterranean where she and her crew raided the island of Elba before being asked to provide naval support during the invasion and occupation of Genoa. Refitted in January 1820, her square stern was replaced with a circular one, giving her a wider angle of fire and improved protection at the rear. Converted to a corvette in 1831, she returned to the Mediterranean under Lord Paget. From 1852, she became a coal hulk, then a receiving ship before being used as a target for torpedoes and broken up in 1870.

large (1).jpglarge.jpg
inboard works, expansion of This is Aigle (1801). NMM, Progress Book, volume 6, folio 314, states that 'Aigle' was at Plymouth Dockyard between January 1804 and May 1805; again between July and August 1805; again from October to November 1807; and again between December 1809 and February 1810 for defects to be rectified.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/82596.html#r1qptAAbhrQopezf.99

Construction and armament
Aigle was the first of two, Aigle-class frigates designed by naval surveyor, Sir John Henslow.[1] Built under contract by Balthazar Adams, she was ordered on 15 September 1798 and her keel was laid down in November at Bucklers Hard shipyard in Hampshire. Launched on 23 September 1801, her dimensions were: 146 feet 2 inches (44.6 metres) along the gun deck, 122 ft 1 in (37.2 m) at the keel, with a beam of 38 ft 8 in (11.8 m) and a depth in the hold of 13 ft 0 in (4.0 m). This made her 970 84⁄94 tons burthen (bm)

Although classed as a 36-gun fifth-rate, Aigle was armed with a main battery of twenty-six 18 pounders (8.2 kilograms) on her upper gun deck, four 9 pdr (4.1 kg) on the quarter deck and two on the forecastle. She additionally carried ten 32 pdr (15 kg) carronades, eight on the quarter deck and two on the forecastle.

1024px-Bombardment_of_Flushing.jpg
The bombardment of Flushing


Aigle class 36-gun fifth rates, 1801, designed by John Henslow.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Aigle_(1801)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1809 – Launch of HMS Curacoa, a 36 gun Apollo-class frigate

  • Builder: Robert Guillaume, Northam (Southampton)
  • Ordered: 1 October 1806
  • Laid down: January 1808
  • Launched: 23 September 1809
  • Completed: 23 January 1810 at Portsmouth Dockyard
  • Fate: Cut down into 24-gun sixth rate 1831. Broken up March 1849.
large (2).jpg
Critical situation of His Majesty's Ship Curacoa off Toulon in the Winter of 1812 (PAH8402)
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/148349.html#otI8IEc0J30oU5uG.99


The Apollo-class sailing frigates were a series of twenty-seven ships that the British Admiralty commissioned be built to a 1798 design by Sir William Rule. Twenty-five served in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, two being launched too late.

Of the 25 ships that served during the Napoleonic Wars, only one was lost to enemy action. Of the entire class of 27 ships, only two were lost to wrecking, and none to foundering.

The Admiralty ordered three frigates in 1798–1800. Following the Peace of Amiens, it ordered a further twenty-four sister-ships to the same design between 1803 and 1812. The last was ordered to a fresh 38-gun design. Initially, the Admiralty split the order for the 24 vessels equally between its yards and commercial yards, but two commercial yards failed to perform and the Admiralty transferred these orders to its own dockyards, making the split 14–10 as between the Admiralty and commercial yards.

Apollo class, 27 ships, 36-gun fifth rates 1799–1819, designed by William Rule.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo-class_frigate
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
23 September 1858 - Launch of HMS Donegal, a 101-gun Conqueror-class


HMS Donegal was a 101-gun screw-driven first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 23 September 1858 at Devonport Dockyard.

1024px-HMSDonegal1858.jpg

Upon commissioning she sailed to Liverpool to recruit a crew. She then joined the Channel Squadron, where she took part in a number of fleet reviews. In November 1861 she was one of a number of ships transporting troops to Mexico, and in February 1862 she assisted the recovery of equipment and stores from the wreck of her sister HMS Conqueror. On 28 October 1859 William Hall was awarded his Victoria Cross aboard the Donegal whilst she was anchored in Queenstown.

She spent several years as a coastguard vessel at Liverpool. She took the last surrender of the American Civil War on 6 November 1865 when the CSS Shenandoah surrendered after travelling 9,000 miles (14,500 km) to do so. The Shenandoah had originally been in the Pacific Ocean when news reached her of the end of the Civil War, necessitating such a long voyage.[2] On her next assignment she carried Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Kellett and a replacement crew to relieve HMS Ocean, then on the China Station under Vice-Admiral Henry Keppel. She was then commanded by Captain William Hewett, seconded by John Fisher. In 1870 she became a tender to HMS Duke of Wellington, which was then a receiving ship in Portsmouth. Donegal was paid offon 30 September 1870.

On 14 January 1886, Donegal was hulked and merged into the Torpedo School at Portsmouth, and her name was changed to Vernon. Between 1888 and 1892 she was commanded by Captain Arthur Knyvet Wilson. On 23 April 1895 she was moved to Portchester Creek, along with the rest of the hulks making up the school.

She remained in this role until the torpedo school moved onshore in 1923, and Donegal was sold for scrapping on 18 May 1925 to Pounds, of Portsmouth. Some of the timbers and panelling were used to rebuild the Prince of Wales public house (reopened as The Old Ship in 2007) in Brighousein 1926.

HMS_1861_Conqueror.JPG
Engraving depicting HMS Conqueror (1855), wrecked off the coast of Rum Cay, Bahamas.

The Conqueror-class ships of the line were a class of two 101-gun first rate screw propelled ships designed by the Surveyor’s Department for the Royal Navy.

Design
The Conqueror class ships were designed in 1852 as two-decker 101-gun first rates in a period when many under-construction sail ships of the line were being redesigned to use screw propulsion in addition to sail. Two ships were subsequently completed, HMS Conqueror and HMS Donegal.

Careers
Both ships saw service in the Channel Squadron, and later in the Crimean War. Both were used to transport troops to Mexico in support of the French intervention there in 1861. HMS Conqueror was wrecked on Rum Cay whilst carrying this out, but without losses, and most of her machinery, guns and stores were subsequently salvaged. The advent of armoured ironclads, such as HMS Warrior in the 1860s made the traditional ships of the line largely obsolete. HMS Donegal continued in service as a guard ship, in which role she took the last surrender of the American Civil War. She was hulked in 1886, and became part of the torpedo training school HMS Vernon. She served until the establishment moved on shore in 1923, and was broken up in 1925.

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"The loss of H.M.S. Conqueror 100 guns on Rum Cay, Bahamas, West Indies" [sic], attributed to George Pechell Mends
Signed lower left 'G.P.M' and inscribed along the bottom 'The loss of H.M.S. Conqueror 100 guns on Rum Cay, Bahamas, West Indies'. The 'Conqueror' was a 101-gun screw-assisted 1st-rate, of 3225 tons, built at Devonport in 1855. Under Captain Edward Sotheby she was carrying troops to assist French intervention in Mexico when wrecked on Rum Cay due to a navigational error, on 13 December 1861. All 1400 people on board got off safely. Mends would only just have arrived on the North American and West Indies station (as flag-captain of the 'Edgar') at the time of 'Conqueror's' loss, and the fact this drawing is dated two weeks after the wreck suggests he saw salvage work in progress that day, even though this is probably a composed drawing rather than an on-the-spot scketch. The remains of the ship are known and now designated as an underwater museum site, popular with divers.
Read more at http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/113560.html#wLRMGLExUtChBf1s.99

Ships
Builder: Devonport Dockyard
Ordered: 16 November 1852
Laid down: 25 July 1853
Launched: 2 May 1855
Completed: 9 April 1856
Fate: Wrecked at Rum Cay on 13 December 1861
Builder: Devonport Dockyard
Ordered: 27 December 1854
Laid down: 27 September 1855
Launched: 23 September 1858
Completed: 27 August 1859
Fate: Renamed HMS Vernon on 14 January 1886. Sold for breaking up on 18 May 1925[


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Donegal_(1858)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conqueror-class_ship_of_the_line
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Conqueror_(1855)
 
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