June 24 - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 20 May


1497 – John Cabot sets sail from Bristol, England, on his ship Matthew looking for a route to the west (other documents give a May 2 date).

John Cabot
(Italian: Giovanni Caboto [dʒoˈvanni kaˈbɔːto]; c. 1450 – c. 1500) was an Italian navigator and explorer. His 1497 discovery of the coast of North America under the commission of Henry VII of England is the earliest known European exploration of coastal North America since the Norse visits to Vinland in the eleventh century. To mark the celebration of the 500th anniversary of Cabot's expedition, both the Canadian and British governments elected Cape Bonavista, Newfoundland, as representing Cabot's first landing site. However, alternative locations have also been proposed.

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Route of 1497 voyage posited by Jones and Condon.

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A replica of the Matthew in Bristol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cabot
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_(ship)


1498 – Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama discovers the sea route to India when he arrives at Kozhikode (previously known as Calicut), India.

The discovery of the sea route to India was the first recorded trip made directly from Europe to India via the Atlantic Ocean. It was undertaken under the command of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama during the reign of King Manuel I in 1495–1499. Considered to be one of the most remarkable voyages of the Age of Discovery, it consolidated the Portuguese maritime presence over the Indian Ocean and that country's dominance of global trade routes

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Vasco da Gama on his arrival in India, bearing the flag used during the first voyage by sea to this part of the world: the arms of Portugal and the Cross of the Order of Christ, sponsors of the expansion movement initiated by Henry the Navigator, are seen. Painting by Ernesto Casanova

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


1666 - Undecided encounter between an English and a combined Dutch\French squadron at the isle of Nevis


1780 – Launch of HMS Daedalus, a 32-gun fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy, launched in 1780 from the yards of John Fisher, of Liverpool.

HMS Daedalus
was a 32-gun fifth rate frigate of the Royal Navy, launched in 1780 from the yards of John Fisher, of Liverpool. She went on to serve in the American War of Independence, as well as the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Daedalus_(1780)


1799 – End of Siege of Acre of 1799 was an unsuccessful French siege of the Ottoman-defended, walled city of Acre (now Akko in modern Israel) and was the turning point of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt and Syria.
It was Napoleon`s first strategic defeat as three years previously he had been tactically defeated at the Second Battle of Bassano.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Acre_(1799)
https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_battle&id=649


1801 Four US warships sent to Mediterranean to protect American commerce under Commodore Richard Dale


1806 – Launch of French Élisa, a Pallas class constituted the standard design of 40-gun frigates of the French Navy during the Napoleonic Empire period.




1814 – Launch of HMS Tyne, a Conway class sailing sixth rates were a series of ten Royal Navy post ships built to an 1812 design by Sir William Rule

The Conway class sailing sixth rates were a series of ten Royal Navy post ships built to an 1812 design by Sir William Rule. All ten were ordered on 18 January 1812, and nine of these were launched during 1814, at the end of the Napoleonic War; the last (Tees) was delayed and was launched in 1817.

These ships were originally designated as "sloops", but were nominally rated as sixth rates of 20 guns when built, as their 12-pounder carronades were not included in the official rating. When this changed in February 1817, they were rated at 28 guns.

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Scale 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines and longitudinal half breadth proposed and approved, for Fowey / Towey (1814), Mersey (1814), Conway (1814), Eden (1814), Tyne (1814), Tanmar (1814), Tees (1817), Menai (1814), Wye (1814), Dee (1814), all 26/28-gun Sloops to be built by contract in private yards. Note alterations to back stay, main channel, fore channel and hawse pipes for Tamar in 1817. Annotation at top: "Chatham Officers were directed to fit the fore backstay stool further aft and Mizzien backstay stool 3ft further aft, on board the Tamar, and to fit her with Trysail Mast Pr Warrant dated 26 February 17."

https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections.html#!csearch;authority=vessel-355971;browseBy=vessel;vesselFacetLetter=T


1855 – Launch of French Arcole, a 90-gun Algésiras-class steam ship of the line of the French Navy

The Arcole was a 90-gun Algésiras-class steam ship of the line of the French Navy.
Arcole was the second of production ship built on the principles of the "fast ship of the line" pioneered by Napoléon. She took the place of the 130-gun Desaix, of the Bretagne type, when the latter was cancelled.
She took part in the Second Italian War of Independence, and was broken up in 1872.

Borda_ex-Intrépide_Bougault.jpg

The Algésiras class was a late type of 90-gun ships of the line used by the French navy. They were designed from the beginning to use a combination of sail and steam engine for propulsion.
After the breakthrough of the Napoléon, the Algésiras class was the improved designed which went into mass production.

  • Algésiras 1855
  • Arcole 1855
  • Impérial 1856
  • Intrépide 1864
  • Redoutable 1857

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Arcole_(1855)


1886 – Launch of Ekaterina II (Russian: Екатерина II Catherine II of Russia) was the lead ship of the Ekaterina II-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1880s.

Ekaterina II (Russian: Екатерина II Catherine II of Russia) was the lead ship of the Ekaterina II-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1880s. Her crew was considered unreliable when the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutinied in June 1905 and her engines were decoupled from the propellers to prevent her from joining Potemkin. She was turned over to the Sevastopol port authorities before being stricken on 14 August 1907. She was re-designated as Stricken Vessel Nr. 3 on 22 April 1912 before being sunk as a torpedo target for the Black Sea Fleet.

1280px-EkaterinaII1902.jpg

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


1901 – Launch of HMS Euryalus, a Cressy-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy around 1900

HMS Euryalus
was a Cressy-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy around 1900. Badly damaged by multiple accidents while fitting out, she was not completed until 1904. She became flagship of the Australia Station that year and was reduced to reserve upon her return in 1905. Recommissioned in 1906, she became a training ship for the North America and West Indies Station before being placed in reserve with the Third Fleet in 1909.

HMS_Euryalus_(1901).jpg

Recommissioned at the start of World War I, Euryalus was assigned to the 7th Cruiser Squadron. She became flagship of the Southern Force defending the eastern end of the English Channel from any German attack, shortly after the war began. She was present at the Battle of Heligoland Bight a few weeks after the war began, but saw no combat. She was transferred to convoy escort duties in the Bay of Biscay in late 1914, before being sent to Egypt in early 1915. Euryalus was then assigned to support British troops during the Gallipoli Campaign by providing naval gunfire. She covered the landing at Cape Helles in April as well as providing fire support during one subsequent British offensive. She became the flagship of the East Indies Station in January 1916, until relieved in July 1917. Later that year she began a conversion into a minelayer at Hong Kong, but this was still incomplete when the war ended. Euryalus returned home in 1919 and was sold for scrap the following year.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Euryalus_(1901)


1902 – Launch of Komintern, a Soviet light cruiser originally named Pamiat' Merkuria (Memory of Mercury), a Bogatyr-class protected cruiser built for the Imperial Russian Navy.

Komintern was a Soviet light cruiser originally named Pamiat' Merkuria (Memory of Mercury), a Bogatyr-class protected cruiser built for the Imperial Russian Navy. She saw service during World War I in the Black Sea and survived the Russian Civil War, although heavily damaged. She was repaired by the Soviet Navy and put into service as a training cruiser. In 1941 she was reclassified as a minelayer and provided gunfire support and transported troops during the Siege of Odessa, Siege of Sevastopol, and the Kerch-Feodosiya Operation in the winter of 1941—42. She was damaged beyond repair at Poti by a German air attack on 16 July 1942. Afterwards she was disarmed and hulked. At some point she was towed to the mouth of the Khobi river and sunk there as a breakwater on 10 October 1942.

1280px-Pamyat'_Merkuriya_01.jpg

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Komintern under repair in 1923

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_cruiser_Komintern
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogatyr-class_cruiser


1907 - SS Izaro was a Spanish steamship that had been wrecked in 1907

SS Izaro
was a Spanish steamship that had been wrecked in 1907.
Izaro was on her way to Maryport, Cumbria, England, with a cargo of iron ore when she ran aground on Tomlin Rocks at St Bees, Cumbria, on 20 May 1907. The crew scrambled to safety, but the ship was stuck fast, with bow and stern on the rocks, but her midships unsupported. The weight of her cargo caused her to split in two. The cargo was salvaged, but the ship was a total loss. As much of the ship′s ironwork as possible was salvaged, and the remainder was dragged out to sea. The remains of her boilers and keel can still be seen.



1917 - HMS Paxton – British Q-ship sunk by German submarine U-46 on 20 May 1917 off the West coast of Ireland.

HMS Paxton
was a First World War Royal Navy Q-Ship torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-46 on 20 May 1917 in the Atlantic Ocean 90 miles west of Great Skellig, Eire. The ship was originally ordered as Lady Patricia for the British and Irish Steam Packet Company but taken over on completion by the British Government as HMAV Lady Patricia.

The ship was damaged by gunfire from the German submarine U-57 on 30 March 1917 in St George's Channel and six crew killed. Shortly afterwards work started on converting her to an anti-submarine Q-ship, Q25, which was completed on 30 April 1917. The ship was commissioned as HMS Paxton the following day and sunk less than three weeks later.

Sinking
At about 9:00 on 20 May 1917 the ship was heading west at about 8 knots when an unknown German submarine surfaced and shelled her with its deck gun, hitting the ship once. Paxton responded by firing back at the submarine with her stern 4 inch gun, thus revealing herself as a Q-Ship. The submarine dived to escape.

Paxton continued on her westerly course, and the crew changed her disguise by painting the name of a Swedish ship on her sides. At 19:15 on the same day U-46 torpedoed her, disabling the engines. Two men were killed, including the chief engineer, but the ship remained afloat because she was loaded with lumber. The submarine fired a second torpedo fifteen minutes later which broke the ship's back and it sank within about five minutes. The surviving crew abandoned the ship on two boats and two rafts, but had not been able to send a distress radio message. The submarine surfaced and took the captain, Commander George Hewett and the second engineer, Engineer Sub-Lieutenant James Wilfred Johnson prisoner.

The boats and rafts stayed together overnight, but at 5 am one boat separated to make for Berehaven (now Castletownbere) for help. The boat had no food or water onboard. However it was spotted just after 9 pm, by an American destroyer, USS Wadsworth, which rescued the three officers and eight ratings on it but despite spending the following day searching the destroyer could not locate the other survivors. On 26 May a further four crew were rescued from a raft by another ship, and on 26 or 27 May the second boat, containing the remaining survivors reached Killybegs. Provisions and water had run out four days before the boat arrived, and two people had died en route. In all 31 people were killed.

Surgeon Sub-Lieutenant Annesley George Lennon Brown, RNVR was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in June 1919 for his gallantry and devotion to duty following the torpedoing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Paxton
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SM_U-46


1939 – Launch of Chūyō (冲鷹, "hawk which soars") was a Taiyō-class escort carrier originally built as Nitta Maru (新田 丸), the first of her class of three passenger-cargo liners built in Japan during the late 1930s.

Chūyō (冲鷹, "hawk which soars") was a Taiyō-class escort carrier originally built as Nitta Maru (新田 丸), the first of her class of three passenger-cargo liners built in Japan during the late 1930s. She was requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in late 1941 and was converted into an escort carrier in 1942. She spent most of her service ferrying aircraft, cargo and passengers to Truk until she was torpedoed and sunk by an American submarine in late 1943 with heavy loss of life.

Nitta-maru_1940.jpg

1280px-Japanese_aircraft_carrier_Chūyō.jpg


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_aircraft_carrier_Chūyō
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiyō-class_escort_carrier


1943 - The Tenth Fleet is established in Washington D.C., under the command of Adm. Ernest J. King, to coordinate U.S. anti-submarine operations in the Atlantic. Disbanded after WWII, the Tenth Fleet is reactivated in Jan. 2010 as U.S. Fleet Cyber Command.


1944 - USS Angler (SS 240) sinks Japanese transport Otori Maru and survives depth charging by its escort, while both USS Silversides (SS 236) and USS Bluegill (SS 242) sink enemy vessels.



 

Uwek

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1565 - The Battle of Rügen
was a naval battle near the island of Rügen (in modern Germany), that took place on 21 May 1565 between an allied fleet of 6 Danish and 3 Lübeck ships, and a Swedish fleet of 48 ships with a total of 1,638 guns and 8,000 men under Klas Horn.
The Swedish fleet was victorious, and 4 of the allied ships were burned, while the remaining 5 were captured.



The Battle of Rügen was a naval battle near the island of Rügen (in modern Germany), that took place on 21 May 1565 between an allied fleet of 6 Danish and 3 Lübeck ships, and a Swedish fleet of 48 ships with a total of 1,638 guns and 8,000 men under Klas Horn. The Swedish fleet was victorious, and 4 of the allied ships were burned, while the remaining 5 were captured.

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On 21 May, eight Danish ship were found north of Pomerania. They were there to prevent Swedish ships getting to or from Greifswald. Four of the ships fled into Greifswald to escape the Swedes but they chose to burn the other four ships to prevent them falling into enemy hands.

Klas Horn planned to attack them inside the harbor, but after negotiations with the Duke of Pomerania, it was decided that the ships would be taken care of by the Duke on behalf of Sweden, pending a peace agreement, and their flags submitted to the Swedish admiral.



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1692 – Launch of HMS Boyne, an 80-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Deptford Dockyard


HMS Boyne
was an 80-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Deptford Dockyard on 21 May 1692.

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She was rebuilt to the 1706 Establishment at Blackwall Yard, mounting her guns on three instead of her original two gundecks, though she was still classified as a third rate. She was relaunched from Blackwall on 26 March 1708. Her second rebuild took place at Deptford, where she was reconstructed according to the 1733 proposals of the 1719 Establishment, and relaunched on 28 May 1739.

The Boyne was part of Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon's fleet and took part in the expedition to Cartagena de Indias during the War of Jenkins' Ear.

Boyne was broken up in 1763.

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Scale: 1:48. A contemporary Navy Board model of the 'Boyne' (1692), an 80-gun two-decker ship of the line, built in the Navy Board style. The model is decked and partially planked and is complete with a number of fittings. A scroll at the break of the poop gives the ship's name and date, the name of the builder, Harding, and place of building: ‘YE BOYNE Bt [built] BY MR HARDING DEP [Deptford] SA’. The measurements also agree with the actual ship. This is a particularly fine example of 17th century modelmaking, illustrating the design and ornate decoration of the ships of this period. The model is thought to be unique in that it bears its name in the scroll carved at the break of the poop deck. The richly carved stern decoration is complete with the original and almost circular stern lanterns, while the intertwined monograms of William and Mary appear on the quarter galleries. The ‘Boyne’ was one of the first of a large class of 80-gun two-deckers built between 1692 and 1695. The vessel took part in the battle of Velez Malaga leading to the capture of Gibraltar in 1704, before being rebuilt in 1708 as a three-decker


j2415.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with some inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for Boyne (1708), Russell (1709), and Humber (1708), as originally designed as two-deckers under the 1691 programme. They were all later rebuilt as 1706 Establishment Third Rate, three-deckers


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Boyne_(1692)
https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections.html#!csearch;searchTerm=Boyne_1708
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1692 - The Action at Cherbourg was fought on 21 and 22 May Old Style (1st and 2 June New Style) 1692 as part of the aftermath of the Battle of Barfleur which had just been fought on 19 May (Old Style) 1692.
All six french ships including the Soleil Royal burned



The Action at Cherbourg was fought on 21 and 22 May Old Style (1st and 2 June New Style) 1692 as part of the aftermath of the Battle of Barfleur which had just been fought on 19 May (Old Style) 1692.

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Destruction_du_Soleil_Royal_à_la_bataille_de_La_Hougue_1692.jpg
Destruction of the French flagship Soleil Royal

Background
During the pursuit of the French fleet after the battle of Barfleur, three of the most badly damaged French ships, the Soleil Royal (of 104 guns), Admirable (90 guns), and Triomphant (76 guns), accompanied by two frigates, of 24 and 20 guns, and a fireship, sought a safe haven at Cherbourg. They were beached outside the town, as there was no suitable harbour for them. Russell detailed Delaval, his vice-admiral, to attack and destroy them. Delaval took station off Cherbourg, and so many of the English fleet joined him that his command became unwieldy. Retaining just eleven of the ships with him, mostly the smaller 3rd and 4th Rates, he dispatched the rest, a further sixteen, to join Russell in pursuit of Tourville and the main body of the French fleet.

Barfleur.png

Action
Transferring from his flagship, Royal Sovereign of 100 guns to the handier St Albans of 50 guns, Delaval mounted his first attack on the morning of 21 May. The French had made serious efforts to protect the ships; they were beached with their masts seaward, to create an obstacle for the attackers, their guns were manned, and they were overlooked by shore batteries, Soleil Royal under the battery at Fosse du Galet, the other two further east under the guns of two coastal towers

First attack
Sending ships ahead to take soundings Delaval moved in on the morning of the 21st with St Albans and Ruby 50 to bombard the ships and the fort, but the French return fire was so fierce that after an hour and a half he was forced to retreat.

Second attack
On the morning of the 22nd Delaval tried again, sending the 50-gun St Albans and Advice to bombard the Admirable, while he himself, (now in Grafton of 70 guns), attacked the others, supported by Monk of 60 guns and a group of other 3rd and 4th Rates. However, Monk and her consorts had insufficient depth in the low tide to get in close, and were forced to retire.

bhc0336.jpg
Oil painting, unsigned but attributed to Willem Van de Velde, the Elder, entitled 'The Burning of the Soleil Royal at the Battle of La Hogue, 23 May 1692'. Handwritten label on verso states that the painting was given by Captain Ingrams

Third and final attack
At one o'clock that afternoon, at high water, Delaval made a third attempt, this time using his fireships with boarding parties in boats. Soleil Royal was hit by fireship Blaze, her captain (Thomas Heath) bringing her within pistol-shot before firing and abandoning her, while Triomphant was burned by fireship Wolf, whose captain (James Greenway) laid her alongside before igniting her. However, the third fireship, Hound, was set alight by gunfire and burned before she reached Admirable, so Delaval led his boats in and boarded her. Beaujeu, her captain, and her crew were forced to abandon her, but about 40 of her crew, mostly wounded, were taken prisoner; the ship was burned, together with the two frigates and the fireship that were with her.

Conclusion
Delaval had achieved a clear success with few casualties, and at later that afternoon set off to rejoin the fleet at La Hogue.

Ships
English :
11 ships of the line, plus auxiliaries
St Albans 50, Grafton 70, Burford 70, Advice 50, Monk 60,Ruby 50.

French :
3 ships of the line, plus auxiliaries
Soleil Royal 104, Admirable 90, Triomphant 76.


bhc0334.jpg
In this relatively small, signed painting Peter Monamy employs a simple composition to depict a crucial scene from the wider context of the Battle of Barfleur, a naval battle of the War of the League of Augsburg, which was fought between an Anglo-Dutch and a French fleet in May 1692. The action was continuously hampered by fog and was not finally brought to a successful conclusion until 24 May in the Bay of La Hougue, in the course of which the French flagship ‘Soleil Royal’ was burned by the English. In Monamy’s painting the burning vessel can be seen on the right in the middle distance. It is depicted from a raised viewpoint looking into the bay across calm, empty waters dotted with wreckage. Red and brownish smoke and flames of the ‘Soleil Royal’ and two other destroyed ships of the French fleet, the ‘Triomphant’ and ‘Admirable’, dramatically rise in to the sky counterbalancing the cool overall greys and blues of the wetly-painted scene. The pictorial effect is created through the contrast between the fire and the austere and almost solitary atmosphere around it. In the distance to the left more vessels are entering the bay. Peter Monamy was one of the first English artists to continue the tradition of Willem van de Velde the Younger’s marine painting into the 18th century and his work is representative of the early British school of maritime art, which still shows an overwhelming influence of the Dutch style. Monamy was self-taught, but may have worked in van de Velde’s studio in Greenwich


Soleil Royal (Royal Sun) was a French 104-gun ship of the line, flagship of Admiral Tourville.

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She was built in Brest between 1668 and 1670 by engineer Laurent Hubac, was launched in 1669, and stayed unused in Brest harbour for years. She was recommissioned with 112 guns and 1200 men when the Nine Years' War broke out in 1688 as the flagship of the escadre du Ponant (squadron of the West).

She was said to be a good sailing ship and her decorations were amongst the most beautiful and elaborate of all baroque flagships. The emblem of the "sun" had been chosen by Louis XIV as his personal symbol.

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Drawing of Soleil Royal by Antoine Morel-Fatio

Soleil_Royal-IMG_8868.jpg

Career
Battle of Beachy Head

Soleil Royal was recommissioned with 112 guns and 1200 men when the Nine Years' War broke out. She departed Brest on 22 June 1690 as flagship of Anne Hilarion de Tourville. She spent three days in Camaret-sur-Mer waiting for favourable wind before sailing to Isle of Wight where the English fleet was thought to be anchored. Two ships sent in reconnaissance located the English anchored at Beachy Head.

The Battle of Beachy Head (known in French as "Bataille de Béveziers") began in the morning of the 10 July 1690 when the French surprised the English ships anchored. Soleil Royal led the centre of the French formation.

Battle of Barfleur
In 1692, on the 12th of May, now carrying 104 guns, she left Brest, leading a 45-vessel fleet; on the 29th, the squadron met a 97-ship strong English and Dutch fleet in the Battle of Barfleur. In spite of their numerical inferiority, the French attacked but were forced to flee after a large-scale battle resulting in heavy damage to both sides. The Soleil Royal was too severely damaged to return to Brest, and was beached in Cherbourg for repairs, along with the Admirable and Triomphant.

Battle at Cherbourg and the end of the Soleil Royal
During the night of the 2nd and 3 June, beached at the Pointe du Hommet, she was attacked by 17 ships, which she managed to repel with artillery fire. However, a fireship set her stern on fire and the fire soon reached the powder rooms. Although the population of Cherbourg came to rescue, there was only one survivor among the 883 (or even 950)-strong crew.

The remains of the Soleil Royal now lie buried beneath a parking space next to the Arsenal.

Legacy
Soleil Royal became a traditional name for capital ships of the Ancien Régime, and several ships bore it afterwards.

A detailed 1/40th scale model of the hull and sculptures was built in 1839 by sculptor and modelist Jean-Baptiste Tanneron. This model is now on display at the Musée national de la Marine in Paris.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_at_Cherbourg_(1692)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1692 - The Action at La Hogue (21–24 May OS(1–4 June(NS)), 1692)
occurred during the pursuit by the English of the French fleet after the Battle of Barfleur during the Nine Years' War.
The pursuing English fleet, under the command of Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, destroyed a number of French ships that had been beached near the port of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue.



The Action at La Hogue occurred during the pursuit by the English of the French fleet after the Battle of Barfleur on 19 May Old Style (29 May (New Style)), 1692, during the Nine Years' War. The pursuing English fleet, under the command of Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, destroyed a number of French ships that had been beached near the port of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue.

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The action at La Hogue in May 1692 formed a crucial scene in the wider context of the Battle of Barfleur. This was a naval battle of the War of the League of Augsburg, 1689-97, fought between an Anglo-Dutch and a French fleet. It was not finally brought to a conclusion until 24 May in the Bay of La Hogue, in the course of which the French flagship ‘Soleil Royal’ as well as the ‘Triomphant’ and the ‘Admirable’ were burned by the English. The centre of this dramatic scene is occupied by a group of six French ships burning. A seventh is shown burning on the shore. They have been attacked by the boats of the Anglo-Dutch fleet which are also attacking another group of ships further round the Bay of La Hogue, one to the left which is also burning. On the extreme left in the distance the Allied fleet can be seen at anchor. In the right background a third lot of shipping is burning near a town. An odd feature of the picture is that two of the ships in the nearest group wear white flags with a blue cross, a flag associated with 17th century French merchant ships. The painting is signed ‘Diest fe.’


Background
During the Nine Years War, the English and French fleets had engaged off the coast of Normandy. Tourville’s fleet of badly damaged ships was swept by wind and tide down the coast of the Cotentin peninsula, pursued by an English fleet under Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford.

The French beached three of their most badly damaged ships at Cherbourg, where they were attacked and destroyed by an English squadron under Vice Admiral of the Red Sir Ralph Delaval. The remaining ten French ships, commanded by Tourville and four of his flag officers, were swept down the coast, to be beached on the evening of 21 May (OS) outside the small port of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue.

px6273.jpg
The action, between a combined fleet of one hundred Dutch and English ships under Edward Russell and a fleet of forty-four French ships under de Tourville, took place off Cape Barfleur. The French offered stubborn resistance, but were scattered. Some escaped, but three groups were driven onto the French coast and destroyed. De Tourville's flagship the 'Soleil Royale' and twelve other ships were burnt. Van de Velde's drawing, inscribed in Dutch, was made some years after the event. It shows the English ships at anchor or under easy sail, while the boats and fireships are sent to burn the French ships. The drawing is inscribed 'no 4' which suggests that it is one of a series of drawings of the battle.

Action
Situation 21 May 1692

This was the place where the French had assembled an army, under the command of James II, and fleet of transports, for the invasion of England. Tourville’s force joined two of the ships that had retired from the battle with Nesmond ( Bourbon 68 and Saint-Louis 64), which had been beached at la Hougue the day before. The ships were put ashore in two groups on the wide beaches on either side of the town.

On the north beach, between the town and the small tidal island of Tatihou, lay Ambitieux 96 guns, (flagship of Villette Mursay and Tourville), Merveillieux 90 (d’Amfreville), Foudroyant 84 (Relingue), and Magnifique 86 (Coetlogon). With them was the smaller St Philippe 84, and, further out on the shore of Tatihou, the Terrible 80. These ships were covered by shore batteries at the Fort d’Islet, on Tatihou (44 guns in total), and on platforms set up by the army on the north shore.

On the south beach, under the eyes of James and his army at Morsalines, were the Bourbon 68, and St Louis 64, from Nesmond’s division, and Fier 80, Tonnant 80, Gaillard 68, and Fort 60, which came in with Tourville. These were covered by the 68 guns of Fort St Vaast, and artillery on gun platforms along the shore. Also, in a small harbour known as the port of La Hougue, which was behind the town of St Vaast and under the guns of the fort, was the fleet of transports prepared for the invasion. The fleet was also protected by a fleet of 200 boats, and 3 oared galleys mounting 12 guns each. James' offer to station troops on the ships to guard against boarding was not taken up.

Preparations 22 May
The English fleet, under Russell, started to arrive on the evening of 21 May; the rest of the fleet joined during the night and over the next two days. Russell immediately organised an inshore squadron under the Rear Admiral of the Red, Sir Cloudesley Shovell, to attack the French positions, but Shovell later collapsed from wounds received at Barfleur. He had to be replaced by Rear Admiral George Rooke, while the waters around St Vaast and La Hougue had to be sounded, which took up most of the 22nd. The assault did not start until the following day.

Russell also used the 22nd to organise the 3rd and 4th rates of his command to form a blockade line close inshore, while the bigger 1st and 2nd rates were set to organise boats and boarding crews. The Earl of Danby was keen to take part in the action, and appealed first to Shovell, and later to Rooke, to do so. In the assault he was given command of the boat parties that went close inshore.

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The Battle at La Hogue: engraving by William Woollett (1781) after a painting by Benjamin West

First Action 23 May
At 6am on the 23, the ships of the inshore squadron were ordered to attack the ships on the north beach. After a preliminary bombardment the boats were despatched, and about 8.30 am one of the fireships grappled the Terrible, which was in a more exposed position. Finding her deserted, the fireship captain refrained from igniting his ship, but boarded Terrible and started fires with what material was to hand; for this he was much commended in saving his charge for a better occasion.

Meanwhile, the boats closed with the other ships. They were accompanied by another fireship, which drew the fire from the French batteries; the supporting ships countered, sweeping the French gun platforms, which were too exposed to continue. One boat, from the Eagle, grounded on the shore, and was attacked by French cavalry. In a highly unusual encounter, one of the troopers was pulled down by a sailor using a boathook, before the boat was re-floated.

Resistance melted away as the attack was pressed, and the English sailors were able to board and fire the five remaining great ships along the north beach.

Second Action 24 May
The second action opened at 5am on the 24 when Rooke again sent in his boats, to attack the six great ships on the south beach. Supported by gunfire from Deptford and Crown, and with close support from Charles and Greyhound, both under oars, the English sailors were able to board and fire all six ships. The French seamen, and the troops ashore, were demoralised by this point, and had abandoned the ships with little resistance in the face of the determined English assault. This episode was seen by James II, who had been watching from his camp at Marsaline; he was moved to remark, with the lack of tact for which he was notorious, “Only my English tars could have done such a deed”.

Third Action 24 May
Rooke now saw an opportunity to follow up the success with an attack, at high water, on the transports in La Hougue harbour. The boats, led by Rooke, and with two fireships in tow, entered the harbour on the flooding tide, despite gunfire from both the fort and the ships. Both fireships grounded in the shallows below the fort, and had to be burned without result, but a number of ships in the harbour were boarded and set alight, mostly transports, but also a 4th or 5th rate warship and a hulk. Several other of the transports were captured, and carried away when the boats retreated on the ebb, but most of the transports were too far up the harbour to be boarded, and escaped serious damage.

Conclusion
This marked the end of the action, which had been a complete success for the allied fleet; 12 French ships of the line and a number of smaller ships had been destroyed, with minimal English casualties. The action also dashed any hope that James or Louis might have had to mount an invasion that year.

Ships
English :
: Perhaps 30 ships of the line, of which
The Inshore Squadron : 15 ships of the line plus auxiliaries

(from the Red Squadron) Eagle 70, Chester 50, Greenwich 54, Swiftsure70, Kent 70, Oxford 54, Cambridge 70,
(from the Blue Squadron) Deptford 50, Woolwich 54, Crown 50, Dreadnought 64, Stirling Castle 70, Warspite 70, Berwick 70, Resolution 70.

French :
12 ships of the line, plus auxiliaries.

1st Rank – Ambitieux 96, Merveilleux 90, Foudroyant 84, Magnifique 86, and Saint Philippe 84
2nd Rank – Terrible 80, Bourbon 68, Fier 80, and Tonnant 80
3rd Rank – St Louis 64, Gaillard 68, and Fort 60,


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1760 – Launch of French Protecteur, a Souverain-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, the only to have borne the name.


Protecteur was a Souverain-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, the only to have borne the name.

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Career
She was laid down in 1757 and launched in 1760.

In 1762, under Captain de L'Ilsle Calian, Protecteur was part of Bompart's squadron. In 1766, she escorted merchantmen under Captain de Broves.

In 1788, Under Captain Dapchon, Protecteur was appointed to Admial d'Estaing's squadron and took part in the American revolutionary war. She was present at the Battle of Grenada.

In 1782, Protecteur was part of the escort of a 20-sail convoy, along with the ship Pégase and the frigates Indiscrète and Andromaque. The English HMS Foudroyant and HMS Queen intercepted, yielding the Third Battle of Ushant in which they captured Pégase and four transports, but where the rest of the French convoy escaped.

From 1784, Protecteur was hulked and used as a hospital in Rochefort.

Legacy
A model of a 64-ship of the line on display at the Musée de la Marine is labelled as representing Protecteur, probably as the result of an error of Admiral Pâris. The model is probably that of Protée (1748–1771)

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Scale model on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris. This model is a 64-gun, probably mislabeled.


Souverain class - designed by Noël Pomet.

Souverain
74 (launched 6 June 1757 at Toulon) – captured by the British at Toulon in August 1793, retaken there by the French in December 1793, renamed Peuple-Souverain c. 1794, captured by the British in the Battle of the Nile in August 1798 and added to the RN as HMS Guerrier, BU 1810.

Protecteur
74 (launched 21 May 1760 at Toulon) - hulked as hospital ship at Rochefort 1784.


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1768 - The Venetian Arsenal ship San Carlo Borromeo, a San Carlo Borromeo-class ship of the line 66-gun third rate, foundered


The San Carlo Borromeo-class ships of the line were a class of two 66-gun third rates built by the Venetian Arsenal from 1750 to 1793.

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Design
The San Carlo Borromeo class ships had a deck length of 147 feet 9 inches (45.03 m), a keel length of 143 feet 9 inches (43.82 m), and were 43 feet 4 inches (13.21 m) wide. Being built to hold 66 guns, by Venetian standards were considered Vascelli di Primo Rango, or first rate ship of the line. By contemporary Royal Navy standards, though, this number would make them third rate ships of the line.

The namesake ship of the class, the San Carlo Borromeo, originally was armed with 28 40-pounds guns on the lower gundeck, 26 20-pounds guns on the upper one and 12 14-pounds guns on the quarterdeck. In 1750 this gave a broadside of 904 Venetian pounds, or 272.1 kilograms (600 lb).

On the Vulcano, launched in 1793, of the 66 guns 26 were 40-pounds cannons, 28 were 30-pounds cannons, and 12 were 14-pounds cannons, located on the lower, upper, and quarterdecks, respectively. This gave a broadside weight of 1024 Venetian pounds, equal to 308 kilograms (679 lb).

The namesake ship, the San Carlo Borromeo, was haunted by a recurring problem: in stormy seas, the steering became disabled. This eventually led to its wreck. The only other ship made with the same plans was subsequently modified in 1788 while still in the shipbuilding dock. This resulted in a great improvement in maneuverability and sailing speed.

This class was prone to the same drawbacks as its contemporary Leon Trionfante class, which affected most of the sailing ships of the Venetian Navy at the time.

History
Little is known of the commanders of either ships, as none took part in important events. It is known, however, that Vulcano was captained by Zuanne Balielo from 30 April 1793 to the end of 1793.

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1776 – Launch of USS Raleigh, one of thirteen ships that the Continental Congress authorized for the Continental Navy in 1775


USS Raleigh
was one of thirteen ships that the Continental Congress authorized for the Continental Navy in 1775. Following her capture in 1778, she served in the Royal Navy as HBMS Raleigh.

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Model of the USS Raleigh in the U.S. Navy Museum

As USS Raleigh

Raleigh, a 32-gun frigate, was authorized by Continental Congress on 13 December 1775. Built by Messrs. James Hackett, Hill, and Paul under supervision of Thomas Thompson, the keel was laid on March 21, 1776 at the shipyard of John Langdon on what is now Badger's Island in Kittery, Maine. She was launched on May 21, 1776.

With a full-length figure of Sir Walter Raleigh as figurehead, Raleigh put to sea under Captain Thomas Thompson, who also supervised her construction, on August 12, 1777. Shortly thereafter, she joined Alfred and sailed for France. Three days out they captured a schooner carrying counterfeit Massachusetts money. Burning the schooner and her cargo, except for samples, the frigates continued their transatlantic passage. On September 2 they captured the British brig, Nancy, and from her they obtained the signals of the convoy which the brig had been escorting from the rear. Giving chase, the Americans closed with the convoy on September 4, 1777.

Raleigh, making use of the captured signals, intercepted the convoy and engaged HMS Druid. In the ensuing battle she damaged Druid, but the approach of the remaining British escorts forced her to retire.

On December 29, 1777, Raleigh and Alfred, having taken on military stores, set sail from L'Orient, France, following a course that took them along the coast of Africa. After capturing a British vessel off Senegal, Raleigh crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the West Indies. On March 9, 1778, in the Lesser Antilles, Alfred, some distance from Raleigh, was captured by the British ships HMS Ariadne and HMS Ceres. Raleigh, unable to reach Alfred in time to assist her, continued north and returned to New England early in April 1778.

Accused of cowardice and dereliction of duty for not aiding Alfred, Captain Thompson was suspended soon after reaching port. On May 30, 1778 the Marine Committee appointed John Barry to replace him as captain.

Barry arrived in Boston to assume command on June 24 only to find his ship without crew or stores and the Navy Board not wholly in support of the manner of his appointment. His reputation and character, however neutralized the ill-will of the Marine Committee, drew enlistments, and helped to obtain the stores.

On September 25, Raleigh sailed for Portsmouth, New Hampshire with a brig and a sloop under convoy. Six hours later two strange sails were sighted. After identification of the ships as British the merchant vessels were ordered back to port. Raleigh drew off the enemy. Through that day and the next the enemy ships HMS Unicorn and HMS Experiment pursued Raleigh. In late afternoon on the 27th, the leading British ship closed with her. A 7-hour running battle followed, much of the time in close action. About midnight, the enemy hauled off and Barry prepared to conceal his ship among the islands of Penobscot Bay.

The enemy, however, again pressed the battle. As Raleigh opened fire, Barry ordered a course toward the land. Raleigh soon grounded on Wooden Ball Island, part of Matinicus. The British hauled off but continued the fight for a while, then anchored. Barry ordered the crew ashore to continue the fight and to burn Raleigh.

A large party, including Barry, made it to shore. One boat was ordered back to Raleigh to take off the remainder of the crew, and destroy her, however the British again fired on the ship, striking the Continental colors. The battle was over. All three ships had been damaged, Unicorn particularly so. Of the Americans ashore, a few were captured on the island, but the remainder, including Barry, made it back to Boston, Massachusetts, arriving on October 7.

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Scale 1:48. A plan showing the body plan, stern board with decoration detail, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, longitudinal half breadth for Raleigh (1778), a captured American Frigate, as taken off at Plymouth Dockyard in July 1779, prior to fitting as a 32-gun, Fifth Rate Frigate. Reverse: j6611. Scale 1:96: Quater deck and forecastle, upperdeck, lower deck, fore & aft platforms


As HBMS Raleigh

The British refloated Raleigh at high tide on the 28th, and after repairs, commissioned her into the Royal Navy as HBMS Raleigh. They admired her design, and applied it in their new ships. She continued to fight during the War for Independence as a British vessel and took part in the capture of Charleston, SC. In May 1780, she was decommissioned at Portsmouth, England, on June 10, 1781 and was sold in July 1783.

Legacy
Raleigh is depicted on the Seal of New Hampshire. Raleigh was the first U.S. Navy warship commissioned at the shipyard of Portsmouth merchant and statesman John Langdon on what is today Badger's Island. Only about two tenths of a mile (322 m) from the wharves of Portsmouth, the island in the Piscataqua River was taken for granted as the seaport's shipbuilding annex, just as the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is today.



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1788 – Launch of French America, a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy


America was a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. The Royal Navy captured her in 1794 at the Battle of the Glorious First of June. She then served with the British under the name HMS Impetueux until she was broken up in 1813. She became the prototype for the Royal Navy America-class ship of the line.

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Capture

The vessel was captured by HMS Leviathan at the Battle of the Glorious First of June. In 1795 the Admiralty renamed her HMS Impétueux as there was already a ship named America in the British navy.

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Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, stern board outline, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'America' (1794), a captured French Third Rate, prior to fitting as a 74-gun Third Rate, two-decker at Portsmouth Dockyard. Note that by Admiralty Order 14 July 1795 her name was changed to 'Impetueux'. Signed by Edward Tippet [Master Shipwright, Portsmouth Dockyard, 1793-1799]

British service
On 5 October 1796, Captain John Willet Payne was given command. After a refit at Portsmouth, she sailed for Spithead on 11 October, where her refit continued until she sailed on English Channel duty on 28 October, returning to Spithead on 1 January 1797. In that year Payne resigned his commission through ill-health and Captain Sampson Edwards assumed command.

On 8 March 1797, Impetueux captured Vautour, a privateer cutter from an unknown harbour, commissioned in early 1797.

Captain Sir Edward Pellew assumed command on 1 March 1799.

In March 1799, while under Pellew's command, some of the crew of Impetueux fomented a mutiny. The Marine Guard remained loyal, which enabled Pellew to suppress the mutiny. Three were hanged and six were flogged around the fleet before being transferred to other ships.

On 4 June 1800, a squadron under Captain Edward Pellew in Impetueux, the 32-gun frigate Thames, Captain William Lukin, the 16-gun ship sloop Cynthia and some small-craft, attacked the south-west end of Quiberon and silenced the forts. Troops under Major Ramsey then landed and destroyed the forts. The attack resulted in the British taking several vessels and scuttling others. The only casualties were in Cynthia, which lost two men killed and one wounded.

On 29 July a boat each from Impetueux, Amethyst, and Viper, under the command of Lieutenant Jeremiah Coghlan of Viper brought out the brig Cerbère from Port-Louis, Morbihan. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp, "29 July Boat Service 1800" to the four surviving claimants from the action.

On 25 August a squadron and convoy under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren participated in another attack on a fort at the bay of Playa de Dominos (Doniños), outside the port of Ferrol. Impétueux, the 28-gun frigate Brilliant, Cynthia and the 14-gun hired armed cutter St Vincent silenced the battery, which was armed with eight 24-pounders. Then seamen from the ships landed to assist a large force of army troops to haul the guns up to the heights above Ferrol. However, it became apparent that Ferrol was too well fortified. The Navy then re-embarked the troops and the whole British force withdrew.

Four days later, the same squadron sent a cutting out party consisting of two boats each from Amethyst, Stag, Amelia, Brilliant and Cynthia, four boats from Courageaux, as well as the boats from Renown, London and Impetueux into Vigo bay where the French privateer Guipe, of Bordeaux, had taken refuge. After a 15-minute fight the British captured the privateer and towed her out. She was flush-decked and or 300 tons. She was pierced for 22 guns but carried 18 9-pounders, and had a crew of 161 men under the command of Citoyenne Dupan. The expedition cost the British four dead, 23 officers and men wounded, and one man missing. The French lost 25 dead and 40 wounded. In 1847 the Admiralty issued the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "29 Aug. Boat Service 1800" to all survivors of this action that came forward to claim it.

Fate
Impétueux was broken up in 1813.

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This sketch, begun in pencil and then with parts of the hulls inked, shows two of the French prizes from the Battle of 1 June 1794. The vessels are shown at anchor, alongside each other, in Portsmouth Harbour after the return of Howe's fleet. They are identified by faint pencil inscriptions by the artist, which also included colour notes and small sketches of boats under sail, presumably also in the harbour. Pocock had been present at the battle in the frigate 'Pegasus' and perhaps did this drawing on his return to Portsmouth though it could have been later. PAJ2478, one print in a set by Richard Livesay showing the vessels captured in the battle, depicts the same two ships from a very similar viewpoint

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This print is one of a series depicting the six French ships captured by the British fleet under Admiral Lord Howe at the Battle of the First of June, 1794, which took place 400 (nautical) miles west of the French island of Ushant. This plate, the first in the series, portrays L'Amerique ('America'), left, and Le Juste from their stern quarter at anchor at Spithead, the port to which Howe returned with his six prizes after the battle. 'America' was take into service by the Royal Navy and enjoyed a long career as Impetueux (renamed in 1795) before being broken up in 1813. The Glorious First of June, as the battle became known in Britain, was the first naval engagement between Britain and France during the Revolutionary War. Inscribed: "A Splendid Record of British Bravery displayed in the Six French Ships of the line captured the first of June 1794, as they appeared on their arrival in Portsmouth Harbour / Plate I. Le Juste & L'America / Britannia thus, her dreadful thunder hurls / Rides o'er the waves sublime, and now, / Impending hangs o'er Gallia's humbled coast. / She rules the circling deep, and awes the world." The present print has been cut down. However, the other prints in the series are inscribed: "R Livesay London & Portsmouth and J Norman No 144 Strand, 10 March 1796." Mounted aquatint and etching. Portfolio



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1793 - the British privateer Active was captured by French frigate Sémillante


On 21 May 1793, Sémillante captured the Liverpool privateer Active. She was under the command of Captain Stephen Bower, and was sailing under a letter of marque dated 2 May 1793. The letter of marque described her as a sloop of 100 tons burthen (bm), armed with twelve 4-pounder guns and four swivel guns, and having a crew of 40 men. The British later recaptured Active and sent her into Guernsey. The next day Sémillante captured the Guernsey privateer Betsey, of 10 guns and 55 men.


HMS Actif was the British privateer Active that the French captured in 1793 and that became the French privateer Actif. Iphigenia recaptured Actif on 16 March 1794. The Royal Navy took her into service but she foundered on 26 November. All her crew were saved.

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British privateer
Active was a Liverpool privateer launched c. 1789. She was under the command of Captain Stephen Bower (or Bowers), and was sailing under a letter of marque dated 2 May 1793. The French frigate Sémillante captured her on 21 May 1793. At capture, Active was armed with eleven guns and three howitzers.

French service
On 16 March 1794 Iphigenia captured both Actif and Espiegle in the West Indies.

Royal Navy service and loss
The Royal Navy registered Actif as a sloop on 17 July. However, already by 4 June she was on active service with the Royal Navy, participating in the capture of Port-au-Prince.[6] Commander John Harvey became her captain on 5 September.

Harvey was sailing Actif to England when by 24 November she developed leaks while off Bermuda. Even with the crew working the pumps continuously, she took on so much water as her structure weakened that on the 26th she had to make distress signals. HMS St Albans came up and rescued Harvey and his crew. The rescuers left her to founder at 30°9′N 76°58′W.


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An incident from the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars, 1793-1815. The British ship ‘Venus’ commanded by Captain Jonathan Faulkner, sighted a strange sail at 03:00 when 120 miles south-west of Cape Finisterre. About 07:00 the ship put out blue colours and the ‘Venus’ answered by signalling a private code to which the other ship made no reply. The first shots were fired about 07:30 and then a close action from 08:00 to about 10:00. By this time the French frigate ‘Semillante’ was almost silenced, her captain and first lieutenant were killed and she had five feet of water in her hold. The ‘Venus’ was trying to close her to take possession when she bore away towards another ship that had appeared and which proved to be another French frigate. The sails, rigging and spars of the British frigate had taken the brunt of the enemy fire and were extremely cut up so that a further engagement was inadvisable. Indeed she was lucky to escape an encounter with a fresh opponent. In the right centre foreground, both frigates are shown starboard quarter view, with the ‘Semillante’ on the right. Most of her port lids have fallen shut, her main topgallant mast seems about to fall, and her colours are being struck. The ‘Venus’ is shown still firing although she is shot through and there are gaping holes in her main topsail. A seaman on the gunwhale of the quarter-deck can be seen putting out a small fire. In the left background of the painting is another French frigate, highlighting the precarious plight of the ‘Venus’. The painting is signed ‘T Elliott Pinxt’


The Sémillante (French: "Shiny" or "Sparkling") was a 32-gun frigate of the French Navy, lead ship of her class. She was involved in a number of multi-vessel actions against the Royal Navy, particularly in the Indian Ocean. She captured a number of East Indiamen before she became so damaged that the French disarmed her and turned her into a merchant vessel. The British captured her and broke her up in 1809.

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Defence of the Centurion in Vizagapatam Road, Septr. 15th 1804, Engraving by Thomas Sutherland after a painting by Sir James Lind

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Hand-coloured aquatint. The China Fleet heavily laden Commanded by Commodore Sir Nathaniel Dance beating off Adml Linois and his Squadron the 15th of Feby 1804. A scene from the Battle of Pulo Aura, a minor naval engagement of the Napoleonic Wars. Below are the names of the East Indiaman and the French Squadron; and a diagrammatic key to the picture. The scene shows the French squadron in formation on the left of the image, engaging with the East India Company’s fleet to the right. On the far right of the image are further British vessels, not part of the immediate action in the centrepoint of the image. The ships are shown at sea, with a cloudy sky, with no land visible. Painted by Thomas Buttersworth from a sketch by an officer


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Actif_(1794)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Sémillante_(1792)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1800 - Boats of HMS Minotaur (74), Cptn. Thomas Louis, & consorts cut out a galley La Prima, Cptn. Patrizio Galleano, from Genoa.


HMS Minotaur was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 6 November 1793 at Woolwich. She was named after the mythological bull-headed monster of Crete. She fought in three major battles - Nile, Trafalgar, and Copenhagen (1807) - before she was wrecked, with heavy loss of life, in December 1810.

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The shipwreck of the Minotaur, oil on canvas, by J. M. W. Turner

Career
On 26 September 1795 Minotaur and Porcupine recaptured Walsingham Packet. The French corvette brig Insolent, of 18 guns and 90 men, had captured Walsingham Packet, which was sailing from Falmouth to Lisbon, on 13 September. Insolent narrowly escaped being herself captured at the recapture of Walsingham Packet, getting into Lorient as the British ships came into range.

Minotaur fought at the battle of the Nile in 1798, engaging the Aquilon with HMS Theseus and forcing her surrender. In the battle Minotaur lost 23 men dead and 64 wounded.

After the French surrendered Rome on 29 September 1799, Captain Thomas Louis had his barge crew row him up the Tiber River where he raised the Union Jack over the Capitol.

In May 1800, Minotaur served as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Lord Keith at the siege of Genoa. On 28 April, the squadron captured the Proteus, off Genoa.

On 8 January 1801 Penelope captured the French bombard St. Roche, which was carrying wine, liqueurs, ironware, Delfth cloth, and various other merchandise, from Marseilles to Alexandria. Swiftsure, Tigre, Minotaur, Northumberland, Florentina, and the schooner Malta, were in sight and shared in the proceeds of the capture.

She was present at the landings in Aboukir Bay during the invasion of Egypt in 1801 where she lost a total of three men killed, and six wounded. Because Minotaur served in the navy's Egyptian campaign (8 March to 8 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.

On 28 May 1803 Minotaur, in company with Thunderer, and later joined by Albion, captured the French frigate Franchise. Franchise was 33 days out of Port-au-Prince, and was pierced for twenty-eight 12-pounder guns on her main deck and sixteen 9-pounders on her quarterdeck and forecastle, ten of which were in her hold. She had a crew of 187 men under the command of Captain Jurien.

Minotaur was present at the surrender of the French garrison at Civitavecchia on 21 September 1804. She shared the prize money for the capture of the town and fortress with Culloden, Mutine, Transfer, and the bomb vessel Perseus. The British also captured the French polacca Il Reconniscento.

Minotaur, under Captain Charles John Moore Mansfield, participated in the Battle of Trafalgar. There she was instrumental in capturing the Spanish ship Neptuno, although Neptuno's crew recaptured her in the storm that followed the battle.

Minotaur was towards the rear of Nelson’s wing of his fleet at Trafalgar. Mansfield pledged to his assembled crew that he would stick to any ship he engaged "till either she strikes or sinks – or I sink". Late in the battle he deliberately placed Minotaur between the damaged Victory and an attacking French ship; he was later awarded a sword and gold medal for his gallantry. Both are now in the National Maritime Museum.

In 1807 Minotaur served as the flagship of Rear-Admiral William Essington at the battle of Copenhagen.

Then on 25 July, during the Anglo-Russian War, 17 boats from a British squadron under the command of Captain Charles Pater, consisting of Minotaur, Princess Caroline, Cerberus and Prometheus, attacked a flotilla of four Russian gunboats and a brig off Aspö Head near Fredrickshamn in the Grand Duchy of Finland, Russia (present-day Hamina, Finland). Captain Forrest of Prometheus commanded the boats and succeeded in capturing gunboats Nos. 62, 65, and 66, and the transport brig No. 11. The action was sanguinary in that the British lost 19 men killed and 51 wounded, and the Russians lost 28 men killed and 59 wounded. Minotaur alone lost eight men killed and had 30 wounded, of whom four died of their wounds on the next day or so. In 1847 the Admiralty issued the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "25 July Boat Service 1809" to surviving claimants from the action. Cerberus then moved to the Mediterranean in 1810.

j3066.jpg
Scale 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Colossus' (1787), 'Leviathan' (1790), 'Carnatic' (1783), and 'Minotaur' (1793), all 74-gun Third Rate, two-deckers based on the lines for the captured French Third Rate 'Courageux' (captured 1761). Signed by John Williams [Surveyor of the Navy, 1765-1784] and Edward Hunt [Surveyor of the Navy 1778-1784]

Shipwreck
Whilst sailing from Gothenburg to Britain, under the command of John Barrett, Minotaur in darkness and heavy weather struck the Haak Bank, or Razende Bol, on the Texel off the Netherlands, then part of the First French Empire, in the evening of 22 December 1810, after becoming separated from her consorts, HMS Plantagenet and Loire. Minotaur got stuck in the sand, rolled on her side and quickly made water. It was decided to cut all the masts to lighten the ship; this destroyed some of the boats. By the early morning, the ship had nevertheless sunk deeper, flooding the forecastle. Waves pounded the hull. Around 08:00, the hull split asunder. The crew, taking refuge on the poop deck, tried to evacuate on a remaining launch and two yauls. Thirty-two men escaped on a yaul. When they reached the Dutch coast, this inspired another eighty-five to use the launch; they too reached the shore. Captain Barrett, together with about a hundred men, then tried to escape with the remaining yaul but it was swamped and all drowned. Around 14:00, the Minotaur turned completely, drowning the remaining crew. The 110 of her crew that had taken to her boats informed the Dutch authorities of the disaster. Another twenty survivors were rescued by a pilot vessel. The authorities placed the survivors under custody and refused to dispatch more rescue vessels until the following morning. The rescue party found however that apart from four men who had reached shore by clinging to wreckage, no survivors remained on the vessel or in the surrounding water. The death toll therefore was between 370 and 570 men. All survivors were taken to France as prisoners of war.

Den_Helder_4.77628E_52.95026N.jpg
The Noorderhaaks bank, in the mouth of the Texel, is today an island

Three and a half years later, when the prisoners were released, the customary court martial decided that the deceased pilots were to blame for steering the ship into an unsafe position, having misjudged their location by over 60 miles because of the weather. Some of the survivors, including Lieutenant Snell, criticized the Dutch authorities for their failure to despatch rescue boats sooner. Snell stated "The launch which had brought on shore eighty-five men, was of the smallest description of 74 launches, with one gunwale entirely broken in, and without a rudder. This will better prove than anything I can say how easy it would have been for the Dutch admiral in the Texel to have saved, or to have shown some wish to have saved, the remaining part of the crew". Reports from the Dutch chief officer of the marine district of the North coast indicated that the Dutch had sent two boats out to examine the wreck site on the morning of 23 December, but the wind and the seas prevented them from approaching. Maritime historian William Stephen Gilly concluded in 1850 that "There is not the slightest doubt but that, had the Dutch sent assistance, the greater part of the ship's company would have been saved".

Legacy
The famed landscape painter J. M. W. Turner depicted the sinking, though the subject was not originally the Minotaur, but a generic merchant ship. Turner had been producing sketches in preparation for the painting as early as 1805, but by the time he had completed the painting in 1810, the recent wreck of Minotaur was a subject of much discussion. He named the painting to capitalise on this public interest.

The shipwreck of Minotaur remains the largest ever, in terms of loss of life, on the Dutch coast, with the possible exception of the loss of HMS Hero on 24/25 December 1811, on the same location. The tragic event, and the British accusations, made the Dutch realise that, despite the notoriously dangerous shoals in their waters, they lacked specialised equipment to save the crews of wrecked ships. In response on 11 November 1824, for the area of the Texel the Koninklijke Noord-Hollandsche Redding-Maatschappij was founded, the first Dutch sea-rescue organisation.

Master’s mate Stephen Hilton brought home the Union Jack from Minotaur at Trafalgar as a souvenir, along with an Austrian flag from a captured Spanish ship. His descendants presented the flags to St Mary’s Church in Kent in 1930, where they hung until 2011 when the church sold them to the National Maritime Museum for a reported sum of £175,000. After conservation work the flag was put on display in October 2015 in the National Maritime Museum to mark Trafalgar Day. It has lost its right-hand edge, and an oblong section that may have been cut away as a souvenir, but was in surprisingly good condition. After cleaning and gently ironing out 200 years’ worth of creases and crumples it gained several centimetres, and now measures an imposing 233 x 310 cm.

j2515.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the inboard profile for the Carnatic (1783), and Leviathan (1790). Later the plan was used for Colossus (1787), and Minotaur (1793), all 74-gun Third Rate, two-deckers


The Courageux-class ships of the line were a class of six 74-gun third rates of the Royal Navy. Their design was a direct copy of the French ship Courageux, captured in 1761 by HMS Bellona. This class of ship is sometimes referred to as the Leviathan class. A further two ships of the class were built to a slightly lengthened version of the Courageux draught. A final two ships were ordered to a third modification of the draught.

Unbenannt.JPG

Ships
Standard group

Builder: Dudman, Deptford
Ordered: 14 July 1779
Launched: 21 January 1783
Fate: Broken up, 1825
Builder: Clevely, Gravesend
Ordered: 13 December 1781
Launched: 4 April 1787
Fate: Wrecked, 1798
Builder: Chatham Dockyard
Ordered: 9 December 1779
Launched: 9 October 1790
Fate: Sold out of the service, 1848
Builder: Woolwich Dockyard
Ordered: 3 December 1782
Launched: 6 November 1793
Fate: Wrecked, 1810

Lengthened group
Builder: Brindley, Frindsbury
Ordered: 24 November 1802
Launched: 18 November 1807
Fate: Sold, 1838
Builder: Deptford Dockyard
Ordered: 23 July 1805
Launched: 28 March 1808
Fate: Broken up, 1825

Modified group
Builder: Deptford Dockyard
Ordered: 30 October 1805
Launched: 23 August 1808
Fate: Sold, 1816
Builder: Woolwich Dockyard
Ordered: 30 October 1805
Launched: 3 March 1809
Fate: Sold, 1816

HMS_Carnatic_off_Plymouth,_18_August_1789_RMG_B6883_(cropped).jpg
HMS Carnatic off Plymouth, 18 August 1789


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1800 - HMS Peterel captured french Ligurienne
(wikipedia say 21.st March - threedecks says 21.st May)


In March 1800, HMS Peterel was sailing near Marseille with the frigate HMS Mermaid. On 21 March, Peterel spotted a large convoy with three escorts: the brig-sloop French brig Ligurienne, armed with fourteen brass 6-pounder guns and two brass 36-pounder howitzers, the corvette Cerf, of fourteen 6-pounder guns, and the xebec Lejoille, of six 6-pounder guns.

Peterel captured a bark of 350 tons and a bombarde (ketch) of 150 tons, both carrying wheat and which their crews had abandoned, and sent them off with prize crews; later that afternoon the escorts caught up to Peterel and attacked. Mermaid was in sight but a great distance to leeward and so unable to assist. Single-handedly, Peterel drove Cerf and Lejoille on shore, and after a 90-minute battle captured Ligurienne, which lost the French commander (lieutenant de vaisseaux Citoyen Francis Auguste Pelabon), and one sailor killed and two sailors wounded out of her crew of 104 men; there were no British casualties. Cerf was a total loss but the French were able to salvage Lejoille. The whole action took place under the guns of two shore batteries and so close to shore that Peterel grounded for a few minutes. Austen recommended, without success, that the Navy purchase Ligurienne, which was less than two years old. In 1847 the Admiralty authorised the issue of the Naval General Service medal with clasp "Peterel 21 March 1800" to all surviving claimants from the action.

1280px-Ligurienne_vs_HMS_Petrel-Antoine_Roux-p63.jpg
Battle between Ligurienne and HMS Peterel, 30 Ventôse an VIII (21 March 1800). Aquatint by Antoine Roux.


HMS Peterel (or Peterell) was a 16-gun Pylades-class ship-sloop of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1794 and was in active service until 1811. Her most famous action was the capture of the French brig Ligurienne when shortly after Peterel captured two merchant ships and sent them off with prize crews, three French ships attacked her. She drove two on shore and captured the largest, the 14-gun Ligurienne. The Navy converted Peterel to a receiving ship at Plymouth in 1811 and sold her in 1827.

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Design and construction
Peterel was part of the six-ship Pylades-class of ship-sloops designed by Sir John Henslow. The ship was built by John Wilson & Company of Frindsbury, and measured 365 57⁄94 tons bm with a total length of 105ft 1in. She was initially armed with 16 6-pound guns and 4 ½-pounder swivel guns and carried a complement of 121 men. She was later re-armed with sixteen 24-pounder carronades on the upper deck, with six 12-pounder carronades on the quarterdeck and two 12-pounder carronades on the forecastle. The ship was ordered on 18 February 1793, laid down in May 1793 and launched on 4 April 1794. She moved to Chatham to be fitted-out and have her hull covered with copper plates between 4 April and July 1794; at her completion she had cost £7,694 to build including fitting.


Ligurienne was a 16-gun sectional brig of the French Navy that was launched in 1798. The British captured her in 1800, but did not take her into service.

3.JPG 4.JPG

1024px-Brick_La_Ligurienne-Antoine_Roux-p37.jpg
The Ligurienne under way. Aquatint by Antoine Roux.

Design
Garnier designed Ligurienne to plans by François-Frédéric Poncet, following the design specifications of General Napoleon Bonaparte. What Napoleon wanted was a ship whose hull could be split into eight sections, joined by screw bolts so that she could be dismantled, carried in 10 wagons over land, and then be re-assembled on reaching water again. This would permit the French to transfer the ship from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, there being no Suez Canal at the time. She had 16 gun-ports, and seven small ports for oars.

Career
On 21 March 1800, HMS Peterel and HMS Mermaid captured Ligurienne while she was off Marseilles escorting a convoy from Cette to Toulon. Ligurienne was under the command of Lieutenant de vaisseau François Auguste Pelabon.

Her consorts, the demi-chébecs Cerf and Lejoille, ran aground; Ligurienne resisted until 6pm before striking her colours. The French apparently were able later to refloat Cerf and Lejoille.

English account
Peterel, under the command of Francis Austen, the brother of author Jane Austen and future admiral of the fleet, was sailing near Marseille with the frigate Mermaid. On 21 March 1800, Peterel spotted a large convoy with three escorts: the brig-sloop Ligurienne, armed with fourteen brass 6-pounder guns and two brass 36-pounder howitzers, the corvette Cerf, of fourteen 6-pounder guns, and the xebec Lejoille, of six 6-pounder guns. Peterel captured a bark of 350 tons and a bombarde (ketch) of 150 tons, both carrying wheat and which their crews had abandoned, and sent them off with prize crews; later that afternoon the escorts caught up to Peterel and attacked. Mermaid was in sight but a great distance to leeward and so unable to assist. Single-handedly, Peterel drove Cerf and Lejoille on shore, and after a 90-minute battle captured Ligurienne, which lost Pelabon and one sailor killed and two sailors wounded out of her crew of 104 men; there were no British casualties. Some British accounts declare that Cerf was a total loss but that the French were able to salvage Lejoille. The whole action took place under the guns of two shore batteries and so close to shore that Peterel grounded for a few minutes.

One month after the action, Austen received promotion post captain. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Peterel 21 March 1800" to the two surviving claimants from the action.

Fate
The British sent Ligurienne into Plymouth. Austen recommended, without success, that the Navy purchase Ligurienne, which was less than two years old.






https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_battle&id=786
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1809 - HMS Goldfinch (6) and HMS Black Joke (6) versus french Mouche (16), 17th May 1809 - 21st May 1809


Description

On May 17th 1809, the Goldfinch, 10, Commander Fitzowen George Skinner, gave chase to the French corvette Mouche, 16, in lat. 44 6 ! N., long. 11 20' W. The Mouche, though greatly superior in force, attempted to avoid an action. She was overtaken on the 18th, but, firing high, inflicted so much injury upon the Goldfinch's masts and sails that she was able to escape. On the 21st, she exchanged some broadsides with the hired armed lugger Black Joke, Lieutenant Moses Cannadey, and entered the Spanish port of Santander, where she was captured on June 10th by the British frigates Amelia, 38, and Statira, 38.

HMS Goldfinch (1808) was a 6-gun brig launched in 1808 and disposed of in 1838.

Hired armed lugger Black Joke was a hired armed lugger of ten 12-pounder carronades and 108 92⁄94 tons (bm) that entered naval service on 22 May 1808. On 1 July 1810 the French captured Black Joke in the Channel

j0161.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the inboard profile, upper deck, lower deck, and platforms for Frolic, a 10-gun Brig as fitted as a Packet. The plan was later altered at the Navy Office and copies sent to the Royal Dockyards for Goldfinch (1808), Redpole (1808), Hope (1824), Magnet (1823), Procris (1822), Weazle (1822), Hearty (1824), Lapwing (1825), Harpy (1825), Fairy (1826), Espoir (1826), Calypso (1826), Recruit (1829), Rapid (1829), Myrtle (1825), Musquito (1825), Briseis (1829, and Hyaena (cancelled 1831), all 10-gun Brigs to be fitted as Packets. Signed by Edward Churchill [Master Shipwright, Plymouth Dockyard, 1815-1830]



https://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_battle&id=896
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1844 - Saladin was a British barque that made voyages between Britain and the coast of Peru, carrying shipments of guano.
The ship is best known for its demise in an act of mutiny, murder and piracy which began with the murder of its captain and officers and ended with the ship being stranded off the coast of Nova Scotia on 21 May 1844, followed by the last major piracy trial in Canada.



Saladin was a British barque that made voyages between Britain and the coast of Peru, carrying shipments of guano. The ship is best known for its demise in an act of mutiny, murder and piracy which began with the murder of its captain and officers and ended with the ship being stranded off the coast of Nova Scotia on 21 May 1844, followed by the last major piracy trial in Canada.

1.JPG 2.JPG

Voyage
Saladin sailed from Valpasaiso on 8 February 1844, carrying a shipment of guano, 70 tons of copper, 13 bars of silver, and about $9000 of gold and silver coins. The ship's crew consisted of Captain Alexander MacKenzie, First Mate Thomas F. Bryerly, Second Mate and carpenter George Jones, John Hazelton, William Trevaskiss (also known as Johnston), Charles Gustavus Anderson, William Carr, John Galloway, and three seamen, James Allen, Thomas Moffat and Sam Collins. The ship was also carrying to two passengers, a Captain George Fielding and his son, also named George.

Saladin never made it to England, where its shipment was expected, instead it was found stranded on 21 May 1844 near Country Harbour, Nova Scotiaon the shores of Harbour Island beside the village of Seal Harbour. Captain William Cunningham of the schooner Billow boarded the ship to assist the stranded crew. The six remaining members of Saladin's crew told Captain Cunningham that their captain had died 7 to 8 weeks earlier, the officers shortly after, and the other crew members had drowned. The implausible story and the large amount of money and silver made Cunningham suspicious. He alerted the authorities and the six men were arrested and taken to Halifax to be tried for piracy and murder. The money, the silver and some of the copper was recovered before the ship broke up and sank.

According to the statements given by the remaining men at their trials, the Saladin was taken over by George Fielding, after Fielding discovered the Saladin was carrying silver bars and coins. Fielding had convinced crew members Johnston, Anderson, and Hazelton to mutiny and help murder the captain, the officers and the rest of the crew, secretly convincing them of the riches aboard and "what a fine prize a pirate would make of them". The Captain, First and Second Mate and several crew members were struck and killed and then thrown overboard as the ship crossed the equator on 14 April 1844. The mutineers swore piratical oaths of loyalty and secrecy on the ship's bible. However, after searching for the hidden silver, Fielding tried to convince a few of the ringleaders and other members to help kill remainder of the crew. Upon realizing Fielding's true intentions, the remaining crew threw Fielding and his son overboard. The remaining men intended to sail for the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, where they would divide the cargo, but the ship ran aground at Country Harbour.

Trial
The men were first charged with piracy. The charges were changed to murder as the court was reluctant to include gibbeting as part of the sentence. Anderson, Trevaskiss, Hazelton and Jones were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. They were executed on 30 July 1844. The cook, William Carr, and the Steward, John Galloway, convinced the court that they were forced to join the mutiny and were found not guilty. Carr settled in Digby County, and Galloway disappeared and was never heard from again




 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1860 – Launch of French Ville de Bordeaux, a Ville de Nantes-class 90-gun ship of the line of the French Navy


Ville de Bordeaux was a Ville de Nantes-class 90-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.

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Career
Ville de Bordeaux conducted trials in 1861 before being put in ordinary. Reactivated under Captain Delangle de Cary in 1862 for the French intervention in Mexico, she served for three years before returning to the ordinary. She was reactivated again, this time under Commander Mer, to bring back the French troops in Mexico back to France.

After the Paris Commune, Ville de Bordeaux was used as a prison hulk in Brest. In January 1880, she was renamed Bretagne and replaced Bretagne as a boys' schoolship, role which retained until 1894, when Fontenoy, also renamed Bretagne, took her place.


Ville-de-Nantes_Vaisseau_France_90_canons_1858.jpg
Launching of Ville de Nantes, by Louis Le Breton

Ville de Nantes sub-class

Unbenannt.JPG

Ville de Nantes 90 (launched 7 August 1858 at Cherbourg) – Stricken 1872
Ville de Bordeaux 90 (launched 21 May 1860 at Lorient) – Stricken 1879
Ville de Lyon 90 (launched 26 February 1861 at Brest) – Stricken 1883


The Napoléon class was a late type of 90-gun ships of the line of the French Navy, and the first type of ship of the line designed from the start to incorporate a steam engine.

Designed by Henri Dupuy de Lôme, the prototype Napoléon displayed such outstanding performances during her trials that a production series was immediately ordered, yielding the Algésiras sub-class. Furthermore, construction of the two Bretagne class 130-gun ships was interrupted: Desaix, whose construction had only just started, was cancelled altogether and replaced with Arcole, while Bretagne was dismantled and entirely rebuilt on principled heralded by Napoléon. Further improvements to the Algésiras type yielded the Ville de Nantes sub-class.

The "swift ships of the line" of the Napoléon class were initially considered of the 3rd rank, behind the 120-gun first rank ships of the Océan class and Valmy and the 2nd rank 100-gun ships of the Hercule-class, and on par with the 90-gun Suffren class; however, in practice, most of the ships of the Hercule and Suffren classes had been transformed for steam and sail, losing ten guns in the operation, which made them steam ships of the line of 90 and 80 guns respectively. The Napoléon class was thus quickly promoted to 2nd-rank ships, also reflecting the status provided by their nautical performances.

Lebreton_engraving-19.jpg
Napoléon (1850), first purpose-built steam battleship in history.

Units
  • Napoléon 90 (launched 16 May 1850 at Toulon) – Stricken 1876
Algésiras sub-class
  • Algésiras 90 (launched 4 October 1855 at Toulon) – Transport 1869
  • Arcole 90 (launched 20 March 1855 at Cherbourg) – Stricken 1870
  • Redoutable 90 (launched 25 October 1855 at Rochefort) – Stricken 1869
  • Impérial 90 (launched 15 September 1856 at Brest) – Hulked 1869
  • Intrépide 90 (launched 17 September 1864 at Rochefort) – Stricken 1889
Ville de Nantes sub-class


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Ville_de_Bordeaux_(1860)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1879 - Naval Battle of Iquique


The Battle of Iquique (Spanish: Batalla de Iquique or Combate naval de Iquique) was a confrontation that occurred on 21 May 1879, during the naval stage of the War of the Pacific, a conflict that pitted Chile against Peru and Bolivia. The battle took place off the then-Peruvian port of Iquique. The Peruvian ironclad Huáscar, commanded by Miguel Grau Seminario, sank Esmeralda, a Chilean wooden corvette captained by Arturo Prat Chacón, after four hours of combat.

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Sinking_of_the_Esmeralda_during_the_battle_of_Iquique.jpg
Naval Combat of Iquique - The sinking of the Esmeralda

Background
Main article: Naval Campaign of the War of the Pacific
The Bolivian government had threatened to confiscate and to sell the Antofagasta Nitrate & Railway Company, a mining enterprise with Chilean and British investors, by a decree on 1 February 1879. In response, the Chilean government sent a small military force which disembarked and seized control of the port of Antofagasta on 14 February. This event made Bolivian President Hilarión Daza declare war on Chile, and also forced Peru to honor a secret 1873 treaty with Bolivia. Although Peru tried to negotiate and to stop the imminent conflict, Chile, knowing of this pact, declared war on both Peru and Bolivia on 5 April. Another small Chilean force took control of the city of Calama after its victory in the Battle of Topater on March 23.

From the beginning of the conflict, both sides clearly knew that control of the sea was the key to obtaining victory. Whichever country controlled the sea could freely transport troops and land them at any strategic point. So, during the first year of the war, Chilean strategy focused on destroying the Peruvian Navy.

In order to achieve this goal, the Chilean naval commander, Juan Williams Rebolledo, planned to sail north with his entire fleet, trying to engage the Peruvian Navy at Callao and achieve domination of the sea once and for all. The main ships of the Chilean Navy were sent towards the Peruvian port of Callao. Two old, wooden ships, the corvette Esmeralda and the schooner Covadonga, commanded by Captains Arturo Prat and Carlos Condell respectively, were left blockading the Peruvian port of Iquique.

However, as the Chilean Navy steamed north towards Callao, two ironclad ships of the Peruvian Navy steamed south from Callao, unseen. These ships were the monitor Huáscar and the armored frigate Independencia, commanded by Rear Admiral Miguel Grau (then a Captain), the commanding officer of the Peruvian Navy, and Captain Juan Guillermo More.

Forces in combat
The wooden corvette Esmeralda was constructed in 1854 in Henry Pitcher's shipyard, arriving in Valparaíso in 1856. This vessel was named Esmeralda after the frigate of the same name captured by Lord Cochrane at El Callao in 1820. Esmeralda displaced 854 tons, and was armed with twenty 32-pound cannons and two 12-pound cannons. In 1868, this was replaced with twelve 40-pound rifled cannons and four 40-pound Whitworth cannons.

The Peruvian ironclad Huáscar was built in 1865 in the Laird Brothers' shipyard in Birkenhead, England. Huáscar displaced 1,180 tons and was armed with two cannons of 300 lb (140 kg), two cannons of 40 lb (18 kg), one cannon of 12 lb (5.4 kg), and one Gatling machine gun. This ship could reach a speed of 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph).

Before the battle
It was 21 May 1879, 6:30 in the morning, and the harbor was obscured by a thick marine fog. When the fog began to clear, Covadonga's lookout shouted: "Smoke to the north!" but the crew was not able to identify the newly arrived ships. After a few moments, they concluded that it was the Peruvian squadron coming back.


Commander Miguel Grau Seminario.


Commander Arturo Prat Chacón

At 6:45 a.m., a sailor by Condell's side asked for the telescope, and in a moment of clarity, he observed the warships' rigging and said to Condell: "It's the Huáscar and the Independencia." "What basis do you have to assert that?" asked Condell, and the sailor answered "From the shape of the platform on top of the foremast."

Immediately Condell ordered a shot to be fired in the air to warn Esmeralda, still anchored in the port. The ships were indeed Independencia and Huáscar.

In that same moment, the Peruvian admiral Grau roused his crew:


"Crewmembers and Sailors of the Huáscar, Iquique is in sight, there are our afflicted fellow countrymen from Tarapacá, and also the enemy, still unpunished. It's time to punish them! I hope you will know how. Remember how our forces distinguished in Junin, the 2nd of May, Abtao, Ayachucho, and other battlefields, to win us our glorious and dignified independence, and our consecrated and brilliant laurels of freedom. No matter what the outcome, Peru will not fall. For our fatherland, Long Live Peru!"
Carlos Condell de la Haza warned Prat, and Commander Arturo Prat, seeing the difference between their forces and the enemies', ordered to hoist the signal: "reinforce the charge," "come to the talks," and "follow my waters" (follow his course) and then inspired the crew with the following words:

Lads, the struggle will be against the odds, but cheer up, and have courage. Never has our flag been hauled down in the face of the enemy, and I hope, thus, this will not be the occasion to do so. For my part, as long as I live, this flag will fly in its place, and if I should die, my officers shall know how to fulfill their duties. Long Live Chile!
After the speech, Covadonga came to a halt, and Commander Prat then told the crews of Esmeralda and Covadonga led by Commander Condell: "For lunch people, strengthening loads, each to his duty!" Condell simply replied, "All right, sir!" A young ordering bugler at the same time was sounding the call to stations, and the Chilean crew then took their positions. After this everyone, felt an explosion and a plume of water and foam up on the two ships; Huáscarhad fired its first shot. The battle had begun.

On land, people awoke to the first shot of Covadonga's gun and went to the beach to get a first-hand look at the vessels coming to lift the blockade of the city.


The battle
First phase

At 8:15, the first volley hit between the ships, and Prat ordered Esmeralda to start moving, followed by Covadonga. The transport Lamar was ordered (by Prat) to retreat to the south.

At 8:25, a second volley fell and a shot from Huáscar hit fully on the starboard (right) side, passed through Esmeralda's side, killing the surgeon Videla, beheading his assistant, and mortally wounding another sailor. Condell changed his course and went behind Lamar. Grau ordered Independencia to block Covadonga and Lamars way. Prat observed Condell's action and asked himself: "What is Condell doing?" Condell ignored Prat's order and followed Lamar, but the warship did get away from Covadonga, and Independencia, under control of Juan Guillermo More, followed him.

Independencia pursued Covadonga, while Huáscar finished Esmeralda. Prat quickly positioned the ship in front of the coast, 200 metres (660 ft) from it, forcing Huáscar to shoot with a parabolic trajectory to avoid hitting the Peruvian village, whose people gathered in crowds to see the battle.

Buque_de_Torre_Huascar.jpg
Huáscar in Peruvian service before her foremast was removed in June 1879

Second phase
General Buendía, commander of the Peruvian garrison of Iquique, had artillery placed on the beach and sent an emissary in a fast rowing boat with a warning to Huáscar that Esmeralda was loaded with torpedoes. Grau stopped 600 m (660 yd) from her and began shooting with the 300-pound cannons, not hitting her for an hour and a half, owing to the Peruvian sailors' inexperience in the handling of the monitor's Coles turret. The Chilean crew answered with their 30-pound cannons and gunfire, shots that rebounded uselessly on Huáscar's plated armour.

On the coast, the Peruvian Army garrison in the town installed a cannon battery manned by gunners and bombardiers, and began to attack the Chilean ship. A grenade reached her, killing three men. Prat order the warship to move, overexerting the engine and causing one of the boilers to explode. The ship's speed dropped to 2 knots (3.7 km/h; 2.3 mph) (her engine was defective due to age and lack of maintenance). This move allowed Grau to see the absence of the torpedoes that supposedly filled Esmeralda. One of Huáscar's shots hit directly on board, beheading the ordering bugler and mutilating the gun crews.

The battle dragged on. The sailors from Huascar were very hard put to try and hit the Chilean corvette, seeing as, from Huascar's point of view, their own countrymen and the Peruvian port were behind Esmeralda. Any missed cannon shot would very probably land among the population or batteries of the Peruvian port. Grau, seeing how useless it was to try to win the battle by exchange of cannon fire, and wanting to end the combat, ordered his ship to ram Esmeralda. Prat tried to avoid the blow by giving the rod forward and closing a port and managed to sidestep the blow to the mizzen mast height without further damage. When the ships collided, Huáscar was finally able to fire their 10-inch (300-pound) cannons at close range, causing the deaths of 40 or 50 sailors and marines.

Several sources[which?] point out that Prat's body was afterwards found on Huascar's deck. Chileans argue that Prat, in a heroic gesture, tried to abandon his badly damaged ship and take over the enemy one. He would have shouted "Let's board, boys!" and jumped over the Peruvian ship, but without being followed by more than one countryman due to the noise of the combat. Then he would have been shot to death, while the one who boarded with him, Petty Officer Juan de Dios Aldea, would have been wounded.

After the first ram, Esmeralda's situation was downright desperate. Grau wanted to give his opponents time to surrender. In Esmeralda Lieutenant Luis Uribe Orrego, by now the ship's acting Captain, then called an official meeting and decided not to surrender to the Peruvian Navy. While this was happening a sailor climbed the mizzen-mast to nail down the Chilean national flag, in order that the crew remember what Prat had said before the battle.

Grau was soon notified that the truce did not work again and decided to again ram Esmeralda, rushing at full speed on it, now for the starboard side. Uribe tried to maneuver like Prat and managed to present his side at an angle to spur the monitor Huáscar, but this time he opened a water route, entering pouring into the powder magazine and machines. The ship by then had a crew shortage and without more ammunition than he had on deck he could not mount an effective defense.

Huáscar again fired guns at such close range that they killed several crew members including engineers and firemen who went up on deck and washed away the officers' mess room, which was then also the ship's clinic. Sublieutenant Ignacio Serrano boarded Huáscar with eleven more men, armed with machetes and rifles but they were again unsuccessful, falling on the deck of the monitor to the Gatling guns and the monitor's crew, some dying immediately due to bullet wounds sustained. Serrano was then the only survivor and had received several shot wounds in the groin. Grau quickly had him picked up and carried to the infirmary in a state of shock, where they left him next to the dying petty officer Aldea.

Twenty minutes later Huáscar rammed Esmeralda a third time, this time in the sector of the mizzen mast accompanied by two guns. The corvette leaned forward and began to sink. While Esmeralda was sinking, the last cannon shot was fired by Midshipman Ernesto Riquelme. The Chilean flag was the last part of the warship to go underwater, still flying and nailed to the mizzen-mast. It was 12.10 pm at midday, and Grau realized that many Chilean sailors and marines (sources point out that 57 survived) were trying to avoid the suction of their sinking ship, and their captain had died hours before. Grau ordered boats to be lowered and for the enemy survivors to be rescued before they drowned. The Chilean sailors, seeing the Peruvians maneuvering on Huascar's deck thought at first they were going to be shot, but were very nonplussed when those who they thought were their murderers proved to actually be their saviors and picked them up, one by one.


1280px-Combate_Naval_Iquique-Thomas_Somerscales.jpg
Painting by Thomas Somerscales of the sinking of Esmeralda by Huáscar during the Battle of Iquique

Third phase
See also Battle of Punta Gruesa for a more detailed account
Independencia
was in pursuit of Covadonga, which was heading south of the port of Iquique. Covadonga stuck close to the beach in the bay of Chiquinata, as Independencia had a deeper draft, until the latter came on to the rocks and shallow waters of Punta Gruesa and grounded. Commander Condell ordered an attack on Independencia which resulted in it being sunk and its crew fleeing using its lifeboats, with only 20 of its crew left. Condell ordered to shoot he survivors justifying his action because the Peruvian flag was still in the mast. The difference in attitude between the Chilean commander Condell and the Peruvian commander Grau is often noted by Peruvian maritime historians. Grau had ordered the rescue of the 57 survivors of Esmeralda, but at 2:20 pm saw Independencia 9 miles (14 km) away being shelled by Covadonga, and went to engage, arriving at 3:10 pm. He found Independencia stranded in the shallow water with 20 surviving crew members aboard, including More, since the rest had landed in boats on the shore. The Peruvian armored ship continued the pursuit of Covadonga for three hours until Miguel Grau, convinced that the distance that separated them it could not be shortened before sunset, he returned to the aid of Independencia. Grau estimated then that the loss of the frigate was complete and ordered the ship burnt after taking off the remaining crew.

Epilogue
After the battle, Rear Admiral Grau gave orders that Prat's personal objects (diary, uniform and sword among others) were to be returned to his widow. When she received them, a letter from the Peruvian flag officer describing the valor and bravery her late husband had shown was carried with them.

In Chile, news reached the submarine cable in Valparaiso. On Saturday 24 May the Chilean Navy General Staff and the Naval High Command convened a special meeting about the events in Iquique and Punta Gruesa on 21 May, and sent reports of the battles to the War Department in Santiago, resulting in a mass draft being ordered in response. In the coming days many enlisted into both the Army and the Navy, eager to honor the fallen and help the country win the war.

Aftermath
The Naval Battle of Iquique was a Peruvian victory; the blockade on Iquique was lifted and Chile temporarily left the area. However, Peru's loss of Independencia, one of its most powerful warships, in the following battle of Punta Gruesa was strategically costly, while Chile only lost one of its oldest wooden warships. Also, Captain Prat's sudden death while on duty inspired thousands of Chilean youth to join the army and the navy. This is considered by Chilean historians to be one of the most important factors leading to victory in the war. Years later the figure of Prat became so popular that newspapers started to talk about "Pratiotism" and "Patriotism".

Since 1905 the date of the battle is a Chilean national holiday as Naval Glories Day (Dia de las Glorias Navales) and is honored through celebrations all over the nation.

And it was not just Prat that was being honored. Grau, also now known as the "Gentleman of the Seas" due to his actions in the battle and later for his noble gesture toward Prat's widow and the surviving crewmembers, is honored in both Peru and Chile as a gallant naval hero




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Iquique
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esmeralda_(1855)
 
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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1879 - The Battle of Punta Gruesa
a naval action and final ending of the Battle of Iquique



The Battle of Punta Gruesa was a naval action that took place on May 21, 1879, during the War of the Pacific between Chile and Peru. This may be labelled as the second part of the Naval Battle of Iquique, although it is described in many sources as a separate battle.

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Combate_naval_de_Punta_Gruesa.jpg
Naval Combat of Punta Gruesa - The stranding of the Independencia

Context
During the first year of the war, Chilean war efforts were focused on destroying the Peruvian Navy, since the Chileans understood the strategic importance of sea domination. This was in order to enable the Chilean Navy to help the army to conquer Bolivian and Peruvian territories with troop landings and port blockades without interference.

During May 1879, the main ships of the Chilean Navy were sent towards the Peruvian port of Callao in order to destroy its navy, while two old, wooden ships - the corvette Esmeralda and the schooner Covadonga,commanded by Captain Arturo Prat and Captain Carlos Condell respectively - were left blockading the Peruvian port of Iquique.

However, as the Chilean Navy steamed north towards Callao, two ironclad ships of the Peruvian Navy steamed south from Callao, undetected. These ships were the monitor Huáscar and the armoured frigate Independencia, commanded by Captain Miguel Grau and Captain Juan Guillermo More.


The battle
Forces in combat


Unbenannt.JPG

On the morning of May 21, 1879, the lookout of Esmeralda spotted two ships coming from the north. These were the Peruvian Independencia and Huáscar. Attempting to escape, the Covadonga headed south, but Esmeralda experienced engine problems. By this time, the battle was inevitable: while Huáscar engaged Esmeralda, Independencia pursued Covadonga south.

Captain Condell of the Covadonga realized that the quicker but heavier Independencia had a deeper draft than his schooner. He kept close to the coast, with Independencia in pursuit, while both ships exchanged fire. The Independencia's lack of trained gunners and the Covadonga's accurate sniper fire prolonged the chase for over three hours. Captain More of the Independencia decided to take a riskier approach and ram the Chilean ship. Constantly sounding the depth, he attempted to do so twice, only to have to call off the attack when approaching the shallows. Close to Punta Gruesa, a shallow cove, Covadonga scraped and barely cleared a reef. The Independencia, attempting to ram for a third time, struck the obstacle and immediately took on water while listing to starboard. The Covadongathen turned around and opened fire, while Independencia's crew returned fire and tried to float her off the reef.

As Captain More realized his ship was lost, he ordered her scuttled, but the magazine was already flooded and it could not be blown up. The Covadonga kept firing, but retreated when Huáscar was seen coming from the north. Huáscar's commander checked on Independencia and decided to pursue the enemy after seeing she was immobilized, but this cost precious time and Covadonga steamed south as fast as possible. Captain Grau realized that Huáscar could not catch up on the 10 mile head start before dusk, gave up the chase, and returned to assist Independencia and salvage her guns; the crew (those aboard and some who had escaped to the beach) were rescued and the ship set on fire.

The Peruvians lost 5 crew with 5 wounded; 3 Chilean crewmen were killed and 5 wounded.

Aftermath
The naval battle of Punta Gruesa was a Peruvian defeat. One of the most powerful warships in the Peruvian Navy was lost, while Chile only lost one of its oldest wooden warships.



Independencia was a broadside ironclad built in England for the Peruvian Navy during the mid-1860s. During the War of the Pacific of 1879–83, Independencia ran aground while pursuing the Chilean schoonerCovadonga during the Battle of Punta Gruesa on 21 May 1879. The survivors were rescued by Huáscar and the wreck destroyed to prevent its capture.

BAP_Independencia.jpg
Independencia in 1866

Description
Independencia was 215 feet (65.5 m) long between perpendiculars, had a beam of 44 feet 9 inches (13.6 m) and a draft of 22 feet 6 inches (6.9 m). The ship displaced 3,500 long tons (3,600 t). She had one trunk steam engine that drove her single propeller. The engine produced 2,200 indicated horsepower (1,600 kW) which gave the ship a speed of 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph). For long-distance travel, Independencia was fitted with three masts and barque rigged. She had a crew of 250 officers and crewmen.

The ship was armed with four Armstrong 7-inch (178 mm), twelve 6-inch (152 mm) and four 30-pounder rifled, muzzle-loading guns. The 7-inch guns were on pivot mountings on the spar deck. She was a central-battery ironclad with the armament concentrated amidships. Independencia was equipped with a ram at her bow and her hull was divided into three watertight compartments. The ship had a complete waterline armor belt 4.5 inches (110 mm) thick. Her battery was protected by armor plates equally as thick.

Construction and career

Independencia was built by Samuda Brothers at their shipyard in Poplar, London. She was laid down in 1864 and launched on 8 August 1865 and completed in December 1866.[4] She had her boilers replaced in 1878. In February 1879, her armament was reinforced by a 9-inch (229 mm) rifled, muzzle-loading pivot gun in the bow and a 150-pounder Parrott gun in the stern, also on a pivoting mount.

On 21 May, she was in pursuit of Covadonga after the Battle of Iquique and attempted to ram the Chilean ship as Independencia had only hit her opponent once thus far. The smaller Covadonga was hugging the coastline and one of her sharpshooters shot Independencia's helmsman just as the ship began to turning. Without anyone at the wheel, Independencia ran aground. Covadonga turned around and came up underneath Independencia's stern and raked her, forcing her surrender, until Huáscar drove off the Chilean ship. Independencia's casualties were four dead and eleven wounded; the ship was a total loss and only two 7-inch guns could be salvaged. Huáscar loaded Independencia's crew aboard and blew up the wreck and set it on fire to prevent her capture.




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

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1918 - The Action of 21 May 1918 was a naval engagement of World War I fought between an American armed yacht and a German submarine in the Atlantic Ocean off Spain.


The Action of 21 May 1918 was a naval engagement of World War I fought between an American armed yacht and a German submarine in the Atlantic Ocean off Spain.

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USS_Christabel_1917.jpg
USS Christabel in 1917.

Background
In May 1918, the Great War had been raging for four years and the Germans were making every attempt possible to sink enemy shipping which fueled the war in Europe. On 21 May 1918, the fight was still at hand when USS Christabel—under Lieutenant Commander M. B. McCord—sighted a distinctive oil slick while escorting the slow British steamer Danse north from La Pallice to Quiberon Bay. Unknown at the time, a German submarine—commanded by Lieutenant Commander Wilhelm Kisewetter—was nearby.

Danse was about 8 mi (7.0 nmi; 13 km) behind the main convoy of allied merchant ships, making about 7.5 kn (13.9 km/h; 8.6 mph) with Christabel off her port bow. The North Atlantic was smooth, the weather was clear and there was no wind.

1217016205.jpg
25 December 1918

Action
Once the allied convoy was within 2 mi (1.7 nmi; 3.2 km) of Île d'Yeu, a well-defined oil slick was sighted between the American warship and the British steamer, off Danse′s port bow. Christabel cruised over to the slick for better observation but saw nothing to further indicate a German submarine's presence. The convoy continued for a little while when at 17:20 the wake from UC-56 was spotted by the officer-of-the-deck and a lookout, about 600 yd (550 m) off the port quarter.

Christabel was—at this time—about 300 yd (270 m) from the port bow of Danse. Christabel headed for the wake, making all possible speed, which was around 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph), whereupon the wake disappeared and a number of oil slicks were seen. The U-boat had apparently submerged. The American commanding officer ordered his ship to follow this oil for as long as possible and at 17:24—believing that his ship was just ahead of the submarine—Christabel′s crew dropped a depth charge, but nothing resulted although the charge exploded.


Daniel Sullivan, MOH.

The action was over for now and the allied vessels continued northward. At 19:00, the convoy changed course, following the contour of the Spanish coast, making about 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph) for almost two hours when Christabel encountered the German U-boat once again. This time at 20:52, Christabel was astern, making about 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) to catch up with the convoy. The German submarine was sighted by lookouts who witnessed a periscope roughly 200 yd (180 m) off the starboard beam.

Her commander was quickly notified, and Christabel turned toward the U-boat when the periscope disappeared under the water. At 20:55, a depth charge was dropped which detonated 10 seconds afterward. A second charge was dropped a few moments later. No secondary explosion was heard after the explosion of the first charge but after the sound of the second depth charge a third, "very violent", explosion was heard which threw up a large water column close to Christabel's stern.

An "enormous" amount of debris from the damaged submarine was seen, mixed in with the water column of the third explosion. Christabel was then ordered to turn and cruised in the vicinity of UC-56's position when she was engaged. The crew of the American armed yacht noticed a quantity of thick, black oil and splintered pieces of wood. There were also very large oil bubbles rising to the surface, no doubt belonging to UC-56.

Sometime during the dropping of the depth charges, a number of other charges—which were prepared and live aboard Christabel—were shaken lose and Ensign Daniel Augustus Joseph Sullivan reacted quickly by jumping on top of them and securing the charges before they could detonate. Sullivan would later be awarded the Medal of Honor for "extraordinary heroism" in this action.

Aftermath

Christabel's white star.

Nothing further was heard of this submarine before it surfaced after the engagement; it was not capable of submerging again due to battle damage. On 24 May 1918, the U-boat arrived at Santander, Spain after a dangerous three-day voyage in a severely damaged condition. The crew of UC-56 were interned, the Germans reported to the Spanish authorities that their submarine had been seriously damaged by Christabel, and that they had had no choice but to take refuge in a neutral port. It was originally thought that the yacht sank the German submarine so a traditional white star was painted on Christabel's smoke stack which represented a U-boat kill. Although the American ship did not actually sink the German vessel, Christabel was still responsible for protecting her convoy and inflicting serious damage on an enemy submarine which resulted in internment.

No Allied vessels were damaged as the German submarine was spotted and attacked before it could line up for an attack. No German casualties were reported.


USS Christabel (SP-162) was a civilian yacht purchased by the U.S. Navy during the start of World War I. She was outfitted with military equipment, including heavy 3" guns, and was then assigned to patrol duty in the North Atlantic Ocean. She served as a patrol craft with honor during the war, surviving an attack on a German U-Boat. Post-war she was stripped of her military hardware and sold in 1919.

Built in Scotland
Christabel (No. 162), an iron yacht, was built in 1893 by D. and W. Henderson, Glasgow, Scotland; purchased by the Navy 30 April 1917 from Irving T. Bush; commissioned at New York Navy Yard 31 May 1917, Lieutenant H. B. Riebe in command; and assigned to U.S. Patrol Squadrons Operating in European Waters.

World War I service


USS_Christabel_1917_at_dock.jpg
USS Christabel in port.

She was placed in commission a month later, following conversion to a warship, and during June and early July crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Brest, France, after clearing New York City 9 June 1917.

For the remainder of the conflict, Christabel was employed on escort and patrol work off western France, and took part in at least two actions with German U-Boats. One of which was the Action of 21 May 1918 when she was credited with sinking a German submarine off Spain. However, later it was found that the U-boat was only damaged but had to be interned by Spain a few days later.

Service as a training ship
After returning to the United States in December 1918, she was based at New London, Connecticut, and served with reserve antisubmarine squadrons as an anti-submarine training ship.

Awards and honors
As an officer on board the Christabel, Ensign Daniel Augustus Joseph Sullivan was awarded the Medal of Honor for "extraordinary heroism" during combat action on 21 May 1918. He exhibited "extraordinary heroism" in securing live depth charges that had come loose during combat with a German U-Boat. For this act, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Officer of the Deck Lt. j.g. Howard Rutherford Shaw was awarded the Navy Cross for "promptly heading for the submarine with the intent to ram, with the result that it was possible to drop depth charges at the right time and place, damaging the submarine so severely that she was obliged to intern at Santander, Spain, for the remainder of the war."

Post-war decommissioning

Decommissioned 19 May 1919, Christabel was sold at the end of June to the Savannah Bar Pilots Association, of Savannah, Georgia on 30 June 1919.


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
21 May 1932 – Launch of French Algérie, a French heavy cruiser that served during the early years of World War II.


Algérie was a French heavy cruiser that served during the early years of World War II. She was built in response to the Italian Zara-class cruisers incorporating better armour than previous French cruisers. One of the last of the so-called "Treaty Cruisers," she was considered one of the best designs commissioned by any of the naval powers.

Algerie-1.jpg

Service history
Algérie started World War II as flagship of the 1st Cruiser Squadron which also included the cruisers Dupleix, Foch, Duquesne, Tourville, Colbert and destroyers from the 5th, 7th and 9th contre-torpilleur divisions. Algérie, Dupleix, the battleship Strasbourg and the British aircraft carrier Hermes were based in Dakar in French West Africa, while searching for the German heavy cruiser Admiral Graf Spee.

In March 1940, after refitting at Toulon, she accompanied the battleship Bretagne to Canada, with 3,000 cases of French gold. In April, Algérie returned to the Mediterranean and when Italy declared war on France, she helped shell Genoa in June. Her last mission before the French surrender was as a convoy escort.

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After the French defeat in 1940, Algérie remained with the Vichy fleet based at Toulon. Her only mission for the Vichy navy was to escort the battleship Provence back to Toulon, as the battleship had been summarily repaired after the damages received during the British attack on Mers-el-Kébir in 1940. In 1941, her secondary and anti-aircraft weaponry was strengthened and in 1942, she was fitted with the early French-built radar.

She was still there when the Germans invaded the so-called "Free Zone" on 27 November 1942. She was among the ships scuttled in the scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon. Demolition charges were set on the ship. The Germans tried to persuade her crew that scuttling was not permitted by Armistice provisions; her captain requested the Germans to wait until his superior could advise, as the fuses were lit. When Admiral Lacroix finally arrived, he ordered the ship evacuated; as the Germans were preparing to board, he told them that the cruiser was about to explode. She was blown up and burned for 20 days.

The Italians raised her in sections on 18 March 1943. The remains were bombed and sunk again on 7 March 1944, and were finally raised and broken up for scrap in 1949.


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 21 May


1788 – Launch of French Apollon, a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.

Apollon was a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.
Between 1791 and 1793, she was based in Saint-Domingue.
During the Siege of Toulon, her commanding officer, Captain Imbert, negotiated the surrender of the town with Admiral Hood aboard HMS Victory. After the siege, she ferried 1,500 anti-revolutionary prisoners to Rochefort, where most of them were executed.
She took part in the battle of the Glorious First of June, and the Croisière du Grand Hiver ("Campaign of the Great Winter") in 1794–1795.
She was eventually broken up in 1798.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Apollon_(1788)


1791 – Launch of Mexicana, a topsail schooner (Spanish goleta) built in 1791 by the Spanish Navy at San Blas, New Spain.

The Mexicana was a topsail schooner (Spanish goleta) built in 1791 by the Spanish Navy at San Blas, New Spain. It was nearly identical to the Sutil, also built at San Blas later in 1791. Both vessels were built for exploring the newly discovered Strait of Georgia, carried out in 1792 under Dionisio Alcalá Galiano, on the Sutil, and Cayetano Valdés y Flores, on the Mexicana. During this voyage the two Spanish vessels encountered the two British vessels under George Vancouver, HMS Discovery and Chatham, which were also engaged in exploring the Strait of Georgia. The two expeditions cooperated in surveying the complex channels between the Strait of Georgia and Queen Charlotte Strait, in the process proving the insularity of Vancouver Island. After this first voyage the Mexicana continued to serve the San Blas Naval Department, making various voyages to Alta California and the Pacific Northwest coast.

Sutil_and_Mexicana.jpg
The Mexicana (left, following) and Sutil (right, leading) during the 1792 voyage around Vancouver Island, drawn by José Cardero. Galiano's pennant flies from the mainmast of the Sutil. The Mexicana is spilling the wind from her sails to slow the ship. Mount Baker is in the background



1794 - Fleche was a French corvette built by Louis-Hilarion Chapelle (cadet) and launched at Toulon in 1768.
The British captured her at the Fall of Bastia in May 1794 and commissioned her into the Royal Navy under her existing name.




1806 - HMS Dominica was a schooner that the British purchased in 1805 in the Leeward Islands.
Her crew mutinied 21 May 1806, turning her over to the French, who immediately sent her out as the privateer Napoléon.
The British recaptured her four days after the mutiny and returned her to their service.




1810 – Launch of French Nestor, a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy


Nestor was a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy.
Nestor was commissioned in 1810 and manned, upon direct orders from Napoleon, by crews from the 14th Battalion of the Fleet, taken from the frigates Renommée and Clorinde.
On 2 December 1812, she accidentally collided with the corvette Diligente in the Roads of Toulon.
Decommissioned at the Bourbon Restoration in 1814, on 3 March 1822 she was ordered to be razeed to a frigate, but the order was rescinded on 22 May.
Nestor was refitted in 1823. She was reactivated in 1830 and took part in the Invasion of Algiers.
Plans were drawn up in 1846-49 to convert her to steam. The order to do so was given on 24 April 1848, and she was to receive a 450bhp engine. However, a survey determined that Nestor was too rotted. Instead, on 29 August 1849 she was converted to a prison hulk. The engine that had been acquired for her went instead to the 90-gun Charlemagne.
Nestor was broken up before 1865

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Nestor_(1810)


1811 – Launch of French Andromaque, a 40-gun Ariane class frigate of the French Navy


The Andromaque was a 40-gun Ariane class frigate of the French Navy.
Ariane was commissioned on 1 August 1811 under Captain Nicolas Morice, as part of a two-frigate squadron tasked with commerce raiding in the Atlantic, that also comprised Ariane and the brig Mameluck.
Returning to Lorient, the squadron met with met the 74-gun HMS Northumberland. In the ensuing Action of 22 May 1812, the two frigates ran aground trying to escape their much stronger opponent, and were set afire to prevent their capture

Clorinde-cropped.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Andromaque_(1811)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pallas-class_frigate_(1808)


1905 – Launch of SMS Erzherzog Ferdinand Max (German: "His Majesty's ship Archduke Ferdinand Max") was a pre-dreadnought battleship built by the Austro-Hungarian Navy in 1902. The second ship of the Erzherzog Karl class

SMS Erzherzog Ferdinand Max
(German: "His Majesty's ship Archduke Ferdinand Max") was a pre-dreadnought battleship built by the Austro-Hungarian Navy in 1902. The second ship of the Erzherzog Karl class, she was launched on 21 May 1905. She was assigned to the III Battleship Division.

Smserzherzogfriedrich.jpg

For most of World War I, Erzherzog Ferdinand Max remained in her home port of Pola, in present-day Croatia, except for four engagements. In 1914, she formed part of the Austro-Hungarian flotilla sent to protect the escape of the German ships SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau from the British-held Mediterranean; she advanced as far as Brindisi before being recalled to her home port. Her sole combat engagement occurred in late May 1915, when she participated in the bombardment of the Italian port city of Ancona. She also took part in suppressing a major mutiny among the crew members of several armored cruisers stationed in Cattaro between 1–3 February 1918. She also attempted to break through the Otranto Barrage in June of that year, but had to retreat when the dreadnought SMS Szent István was sunk. After the war, Erzherzog Ferdinand Maxwas awarded to the United Kingdom as a war prize in 1920.

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


1917 - During World War I, USS Ericsson (DD 56) becomes the first U.S. Navy warship to fire a torpedo in the war at a German U-boat.

USS Ericsson (Destroyer No. 56/DD-56)
was an O'Brien-class destroyer built for the United States Navy prior to the American entry into World War I. The ship was the second U.S. Navy vessel named in honor of John Ericsson, the Swedish-born builder of the ironclad warship USS Monitor during the American Civil War.

Ericsson was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding of Camden, New Jersey, in November 1913 and launched in August of the following year. The ship was a little more than 305 feet (93 m) in length, just over 31 feet (9.4 m) abeam, and had a standard displacement of 1,090 long tons (1,110 t). She was armed with four 4-inch (102 mm) guns and had eight 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes. Ericsson was powered by a pair of steam turbines that propelled her at up to 29 knots (54 km/h).

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After her May 1916 commissioning, Ericsson sailed off the east coast and in the Caribbean. She was one of seventeen destroyers sent out to rescue survivors from five victims of German submarine U-53 off the Lightship Nantucket in October 1916, and carried 81 passengers from a sunken British ocean liner to Newport, Rhode Island. After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Ericsson was part of the first U.S. destroyer squadron sent overseas. Patrolling the Irish Sea out of Queenstown, Ireland, Ericsson made several unsuccessful attacks on U-boats, and rescued survivors of several ships sunk by the German craft.

Upon returning to the United State after the war, Ericsson conducted operations with the destroyers of the Atlantic Fleet until August 1919, when she was placed in reserve, still in commission. After a brief stint of operations in mid 1921, she was placed in reserve until she was decommissioned at Philadelphia in June 1922. In June 1924, Ericsson was transferred to the United States Coast Guard to help enforce Prohibition as a part of the "Rum Patrol". She operated under the name USCGC Ericsson (CG-5) until May 1932, when she was returned to the Navy. She was sold for scrap in August 1934.



1924 – Launch of French Primauguet, a French Duguay-Trouin-class light cruiser built after World War I.

Primauguet was a French Duguay-Trouin-class light cruiser built after World War I. During the Anglo-American invasion of French North Africa in 1942, she was burnt out and abandoned, having been subject to gunfire from a fleet led by the battleship Massachusetts, and repeated aerial attacks by SBD Dauntless dive bombers. She was named after the 15th century Breton captain Hervé de Portzmoguer, nicknamed "Primauguet".

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_cruiser_Primauguet_(1924)


1941 - May 21-June 1 - Battle of Crete - Royal Navy loses three cruisers and 6 destroyers to Axis air attacks

The Battle of Crete (German: Luftlandeschlacht um Kreta, also Unternehmen Merkur, "Operation Mercury," Greek: Μάχη της Κρήτης) was fought during the Second World War on the Greek island of Crete. It began on the morning of 20 May 1941, when Nazi Germany began an airborne invasion of Crete. Greek and other Allied forces, along with Cretan civilians, defended the island. After one day of fighting, the Germans had suffered heavy casualties and the Allied troops were confident that they would defeat the invasion. The next day, through communication failures, Allied tactical hesitation and German offensive operations, Maleme Airfield in western Crete fell, enabling the Germans to land reinforcements and overwhelm the defensive positions on the north of the island. Allied forces withdrew to the south coast. More than half were evacuated by the British Royal Navy and the remainder surrendered or joined the Cretan resistance. The defence of Crete evolved into a costly naval engagement; by the end of the campaign the Royal Navy's eastern Mediterranean strength had been reduced to only two battleships and three cruisers.

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The Battle of Crete was the first occasion where Fallschirmjäger (German paratroops) were used en masse, the first mainly airborne invasion in military history, the first time the Allies made significant use of intelligence from decrypted German messages from the Enigma machine, and the first time German troops encountered mass resistance from a civilian population. Due to the number of casualties and the belief that airborne forces no longer had the advantage of surprise, Adolf Hitler became reluctant to authorise further large airborne operations, preferring instead to employ paratroopers as ground troops. In contrast, the Allies were impressed by the potential of paratroopers and started to form airborne-assault and airfield-defence regiments.

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More German paratroops landing on Crete from Junkers 52 transports, 20 May 1941.

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


1943 – Launch of The Japanese cruiser Ibuki (伊吹) was a heavy cruiser built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during World War II. The lead ship of her class of two ships, she was ordered to be converted into a light aircraft carrier in 1943 before completion to help replace the aircraft carriers sunk during the Battle of Midway in mid-1942.

The Japanese cruiser Ibuki (伊吹) was a heavy cruiser built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during World War II. The lead ship of her class of two ships, she was ordered to be converted into a light aircraft carrier in 1943 before completion to help replace the aircraft carriers sunk during the Battle of Midway in mid-1942. The conversion was delayed and finally stopped in March 1945 in order to concentrate on building small submarines. Ibuki was scrapped in the Sasebo Naval Arsenal beginning in 1946.

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1943 - USS Nields (DD 616) sinks Italian submarine Gorgo that is attacking a US convoy off Algeria.

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1944 - During preparations for the invasion of Saipan, accidental ordnance blasts on LST 353 at West Loch, Pearl Harbor, kills 163 and injures 396. Six tank landing ships, three tank landing craft, and 17 track landing vehicles are destroyed in explosions and fires.


1996 - Bukoba – The overloaded ferry sank on 21 May 1996 on Lake Victoria. While the ship's manifest showed 443 aboard, it is estimated that about 800 people died in the sinking.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Bukoba
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bukoba_(Schiff)


2007 - Malta migrant shipwreck – On Monday, 21 May 2007, a small and crowded migrant boat was spotted some 80 nmi (150 km) south of Malta by the Maltese Air Force, and photographed while the 53 people on board were apparently trying to bail out water. Then the boat went missing. No trace of the boat or its occupants was found by the Maltese boats sent to their search and rescue, and there were no means by which they could have reached the shore during the time span in between.
 
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