June 27 - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1570 - Abraham Ortelius published Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the "first modern atlas"


Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Latin: [tʰɛˈaːtrʊm ˈɔrbɪs tɛˈrːaːrʊm], "Theatre of the World") is considered to be the first true modern atlas. Written by Abraham Ortelius, strongly encouraged by Gillis Hooftman and originally printed on May 20, 1570, in Antwerp, it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets and sustaining text bound to form a book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved. The Ortelius atlas is sometimes referred to as the summary of sixteenth-century cartography. The publication of the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (1570) is often considered as the official beginning of the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography (approximately 1570s–1670s).


OrteliusWorldMap1570.jpg
In 1570 (May 20) Gilles Coppens de Diest at Antwerp published 53 maps created by Abraham Ortelius under the title Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, considered the "first modern atlas".[note 1] Three Latin editions of this (besides a Dutch, a French and a German edition) appeared before the end of 1572; twenty-five editions came out before Ortelius' death in 1598; and several others were published subsequently, for the atlas continued to be in demand till about 1612. This is the world map from this atlas.

Content
The atlas contained virtually no maps from the hand of Ortelius, but 53 bundled maps of other masters, with the source as indicated. Previously, only the pooling of disparate maps were released as custom on order. The Ortelius atlas, however, dropped the maps for this all in the same style and on the same size on copper plates, logically arranged by continent, region and State. He provided the maps in addition to a descriptive comment and referrals on the reverse. As such, this was the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book.

In the bibliography, the section Catalogue Auctorum, not only were the 33 cartographers mentioned, whose work in the Theatrum was recorded (at that time not yet the habit), but also the total of 87 cartographers of the 16th century that Ortelius knew. This list grew in every Latin Edition, and included no less than 183 names in 1601. Among the sources are mentioned among other things the following: for the world map the World Map (1561) by Giacomo Gastaldi, the porto Avenue of the Atlantic coast (1562) by Diego Gutierrez, the world map (1569) of Gerardus Mercator, which have 8 maps derived from the Theatrum.

For the map of Europe, wall map (1554). of the Mercator map of Scandinavia (1539) by Olaus Magnus, map of Asia was derived from his own Asia-map from 1567, which in turn was inspired by that of Gastaldi (1559). Also for the Africa map he referred to Gastaldi.

This work by Ortelius, consisted of a collection of the best maps, refined by himself, combined into one map or split across multiple, and on the same size (folios of approximately 35 x 50 cm). The naming and location coordinates were not normalized.

Editions
After the initial publication of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Ortelius regularly revised and expanded the atlas,[3] reissuing it in various formats until his death in 1598. From its original seventy maps and eighty-seven bibliographic references in the first edition (1570), the atlas grew through its thirty-one editions to encompass 183 references and 167 maps in 1612.

The online copy of the 1573 volume held by the State Library of New South Wales contains 70 numbered double-page sheets, tipped onto stubs at the centerfold, with 6 maps combined with descriptive letterpress on the recto of each first leaf. The legends of most maps name the author whose map Ortelius adapted. In the preface Ortelius credits Franciscus Hogenberg with engraving nearly all the maps.

The 1573 Additamentum to the atlas is notable for containing Humphrey Llwyd's Cambriae Typus, the first map to show Wales on its own.

From the 1630s, the Blaeu family issued their work under a similar title, Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive, Atlas Novus.

Structure
Bodleian_Libraries,_Ortelius,_Theatrum_Orbis_Terrarum_Titlepage_with_four_figures_which_embody...jpg
Title page from a 1606 edition with female figures representing the continents

All those editions had the same structure. They started with an allegorical title page, on which the five known continents, were presented by allegorical women, with Europe as the Queen. Then a command to Philip II, King of Spain and the low countries, and a poem by Adolphus Mekerchus (Adolf of Meetkercke). From 1579, the editions contain a portrait of Ortelius by Philip Galle, an introduction by Ortelius, in the Latin editions followed by a recommendation by Mercator. This is followed by the bibliography (Auctorum Catalog), an index (Index Tabularum), the cards with text on the back, starting from 1579 in the Latin editions followed by a register of place names in ancient times (Nomenclator), the treatise, the Mona Druidum insula of the Welsh scientist Humphrey Lhuyd (Humphrey Llwyd) over the Anglesey coat of arms, and finally the privilege and a colophon.

Cost
The moneyed middle class, which had much interest in knowledge and science, turned out to be very much interested in the convenient size and the pooling of knowledge. For buyers who were not strong in Latin, published at the end of 1572, in addition to three Latin, there were a Dutch, German and French 2nd Edition. This rapid success prompted the Ortelius Theatrum constantly continued to expand and improve. In 1573, he released 17 more additional maps under the title Additamentum Theatri Orbis Terrarum, which in these master works were published, bringing the total at 70 maps. By Ortelius' death in 1598, there were twenty-five editions that appeared in seven different languages.

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

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1756 - Battle of Minorca
was a naval battle between French and British fleets. It was the opening sea battle of the Seven Years' War in the European theatre. French under la Galissonnière defeat British under John Byng



The Battle of Minorca (20 May 1756) was a naval battle between French and British fleets. It was the opening sea battle of the Seven Years' War in the European theatre. Shortly after the war began British and French squadrons met off the Mediterranean island of Minorca. The French won the battle. The subsequent decision by the British to withdraw to Gibraltar handed France a strategic victory and led directly to the Fall of Minorca.

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The British failure to save Minorca led to the controversial court-martial and execution of the British commander, Admiral John Byng, for "failure to do his utmost" to relieve the siege of the British garrison on Minorca.

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Attack and capture of Fort St. Philip on the island of Minorca, 29 June 1756, after the naval battle.

Background
Further information: Great Britain in the Seven Years War
The French had been menacing the British-held garrison on Minorca, which had come under British control during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1708. Great Britain and France had commenced hostilities in the New World colonies earlier in 1754 (the French and Indian War), and at this point the conflict was not going well for Great Britain. The government was anxious to protect her presence closer to home, and was concerned that the French might even be planning to invade Great Britain themselves (as France had attempted in previous wars by supporting the Stuart claimants to the throne during the Jacobite Wars).

The long-expected French move on Minorca finally caused the British government to act, albeit too belatedly, and a squadron of 10 ships of the line was dispatched from Gibraltar to its defence, under the command of John Byng (then a Vice-Admiral, but quickly promoted to Admiral for the purpose). Despite having considerable intelligence of the strength of the French fleet at Toulon that was designated for the invasion of Minorca, the ships allocated to Byng were all in a poor state of repair and undermanned.

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The departure of the French squadron on 10 April 1756 for the attack against Port Mahon. (Nicolas Ozanne, (1728 - 1811)

Prelude
When Byng and his fleet, now numbering 13 ships of the line (having been reinforced by ships of the Minorca squadron that had escaped the island), arrived off Minorca on 19 May, they found the island already overrun by French troops, with only the garrison of St. Philip's Castle in Port Mahon holding out. Byng's orders were to relieve the garrison, but a French squadron of 12 ships of the line and 5 frigates intervened as the afternoon was wearing on. The two fleets positioned themselves, and battle was drawn up on the morning of the following day.

Battle
Facing 12 French ships of the line, Byng formed his 12 largest ships into a single line of battle and approached the head of the French line on a parallel course while maintaining the weather gage. He then ordered his ships to go about and come alongside their opposite numbers in the French fleet. However, the poor signalling capability of the times caused confusion and delay in closing. The British van took a considerable pounding from their more heavily armed French adversaries, while the rear of the line, including Byng's flagship, failed to come within effective cannon range. During the battle Byng displayed considerable caution and an over-reliance on standard fighting procedures, and several of his ships were seriously damaged, while no ships were lost by the French. Following a Council of War, at which all the senior officers present concurred, it was agreed the fleet stood no chance of further damaging the French ships or of relieving the garrison. Byng therefore gave orders to return to Gibraltar.

Aftermath
The battle could hardly be considered anything other than a French victory in the light of Byng failing to press on to relieve the garrison or pursue the French fleet which inaction resulted in severe criticism. The Admiralty, perhaps concerned to divert attention from its own lack of preparation for the disastrous venture, charged him for breaching the Articles of War by failing to do all he could to fulfill his orders and support the garrison; he was court-martialled, found guilty and sentenced to death, and executed on 14 March 1757 aboard HMS Monarch in Portsmouth harbour.

Byng's execution is referred to in Voltaire's novel Candide with the line Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres – "In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others."

Despite William Pitt's eagerness to regain the island, a British expedition was not sent to recapture it for the remainder of the war. It was eventually returned to Britain following the Treaty of Paris, in exchange for the French West Indies and Belle-Île.

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English and French fleets

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Print depicting the English and French lines of battle at the Battle of Minorca, 1756. The print was published in Samuel Johnson's 'Literary Magazine and Universal Review', vol. 1, no. 5 (15 Aug. - 15 Sept. 1756) accompanying the lead article of the issue entitled 'Explanation of the Plate and of the Signals given by the English Admiral, taken by an Officer on board the Fleet.' The action took place about 20 miles north-east of Port Mahon harbour and was the inconclsive one in which Vice-Admiral John Byng failed to dislodge French sea control supporting their land siege of Fort St Philip on the south side of the harbour entrance. The surrender of the Fort sealed the loss of Minorca by Britain until it was returned in 1763 at the end of the Seven Years War. Byng was subsequently court-martialled and shot early in 1757 for 'failure to do his utmost' in the face of the enemy under Article 12 of the revised Articles of War of 1749. Both at the time and subsequently it has generally been considered a travesty of justice and political expediency, albeit strictly speaking legal. [PvdM 6/18]

Order of battle
In order of their place in the line of battle:
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HMS Royal Katherine (
HMS Ramilles after 1706) was an 84-gun second-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched in 1664 at Woolwich Dockyard. Her launching was conducted by Charles II and attended by Samuel Pepys. Royal Katherine fought in the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars and the War of the Grand Alliance before entering the dockyard at Portsmouth for rebuilding in 1702. She was upgraded to carry 90 guns and served in the War of the Spanish Succession during which she was renamed Ramillies in honour of John Churchill's victory at the Battle of Ramillies. She was rebuilt again in 1742–3 before serving as the flagship of the ill-fated Admiral John Byng in the Seven Years' War. Ramillies was wrecked at Bolt Tail near Hope Cove on 15 February 1760.

The_Royal_Katherine.jpg
Peinture représentant le vaisseau britannique HMS Royal Katherine, lancé en 1664.


The Foudroyant was an 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. She was later captured and served in the Royal Navy as the Third Rate HMS Foudroyant.

HMS_Monmouth_and_Foudroyant_1758.jpg
The Capture of the Foudroyant by HMS Monmouth, 28 February 1758



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Minorca_(1756)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1795 – Launch of French Incorruptible, a Romaine-class frigate of the French Navy


Incorruptible was a Romaine-class frigate of the French Navy.

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On 15 July 1796, under captain Bescond, she fought against the 56-gun HMS Glatton.

In 1800, she was involved in the battle of Dunkirk.

In January 1805, she was sent to observe British movements off Toulon, along with Hortense. On 4 February, they attacked a convoy, destroying 7 ships. Three days later, they encountered the convoy escorted by the 20-gun sloop HMS Arrow and the 8-gun bomb vessel HMS Acheron; the two Royal Navy vessels were destroyed, and 3 ships of the convoy captured.

In May 1807, Incorruptible, Annibal, Pomone and the corvette Victorieuse engaged HMS Spartan off Cabrera in the Mediterranean.

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Portrait of Incorruptible by Olivier Colin.



The Romaine class was a class of nine frigates of the French Navy, designed in 1794 by Pierre-Alexandre Forfait. They were originally designated as "bomb-frigates" (Fr. frégate-bombarde) and were intended to carry a main armament of twenty 24-pounder guns and a 12-inch mortar mounted on a turntable in front of the mizzen mast. Experience quickly led to the mortars being removed (in most vessels they were never fitted), and the 24-pounders were replaced by 18-pounder guns. The ships also featured a shot furnace, but they proved impractical, dangerous to the ships themselves, and were later discarded. A further eleven ships ordered to this design in 1794 were not built, or were completed to altered designs.

Two vessels of the class became breakwaters in less than 15 years after their construction. The British Royal Navy captured three. One was lost at sea. None had long active duty careers. All-in-all, these ships do not appear to have been successful with the initially intended armament, but proved of adequate performance once their heavy mortar was removed and their 24-pounders replaced with 18-pounder long guns.

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Romaine, (launched 25 September 1794 at Le Havre).
Immortalité, (launched 7 January 1795 at Lorient) – captured by the British Navy 1798, becoming HMS Immortalite.
Impatiente, (launched 12 March 1795 at Lorient).
Incorruptible, (launched 20 May 1795 at Dieppe).
Revanche, (launched 31 August 1795 at Dieppe).
Libre, (launched 11 February 1796 at Le Havre).
Comète, (launched 11 March 1796 at Le Havre).
Désirée, (launched 23 April 1796 at Dunkirk) – captured by the British Navy 1800, becoming HMS Desiree.
Poursuivante, (launched 24 May 1796 at Dunkirk).

Twenty ships of this type were originally included in the shipbuilding programme placed between October 1794 and April 1794, but several appear not to have been begun. Apart from the nine listed above, a tenth vessel, Furieuse, was begun at Cherbourg in March 1795 to the same design but was completed as a vessel of Forfait's earlier Seine class. An eleventh, Pallas (originally named Première) was begun at Saint-Malo in November 1795 to a much modified design; a twelfth, Fatalité was also ordered in October 1793 at Saint-Malo, but was cancelled in 1796, as was a further vessel, Nouvelle, ordered in 1794 at Lorient. Another vessel, Guerrière, was begun at Cherbourg in 1796 to this design but was also completed to a modified design.

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French frigate Poursuivante, a detail of a larger canvas: Combat de la Poursuivante contre l'Hercule, 1803 ("Fight of the Poursuivante against the Hercule", 1803). Which shows the French frigate Poursuivante raking the British ship HMS Hercule, in the action of 28 June 1803.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Incorruptible_(1795)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1797 - HMS Oiseau (36), Cptn. Charles Brisbane, engaged one of two Spanish frigate off the mouth of the Rio de la Plata.


Cléopâtre was a 32-gun Vénus class frigate of the French Navy. She was designed by Jacques-Noël Sané, and had a coppered hull. She was launched in 1781, and the British captured her in 1793. She then served the Royal Navy as HMS Oiseau until she was broken up in 1816.

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French career and capture
Cléopâtre took part in the taking of Cuddalore in 1782.

On 19 June 1793, as she sailed off Guernsey under Lieutenant de vaisseau Mullon, she encountered HMS Nymphe, under Captain Edward Pellew. During the short but sharp action, Cléopâtre lost her mizzenmast and wheel, and the ship, being unmanageable, fell foul of Nymphe. The British then boarded and captured her in a fierce rush. Mullon, mortally wounded, died while trying to swallow his commission, which, in his dying agony, he had mistaken for the vessel's secret signals. Pellew then sent the signals to the Admiralty.

In the battle Nymphe had 23 men killed and 27 wounded. Pellew estimated the number of French casualties at about 60.

Cléopâtre was the first French frigate taken in the war. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Nymphe 18 June 1793" to the four surviving claimants from the action.

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British career
The Royal Navy commissioned her as HMS Oiseau in September 1793 under Captain Robert Murray. On 18 May 1794 he sailed her from Plymouth to Halifax in a squadron commanded by Rear-Admiral George Murray. Between 1793 and 1795, the Russian naval officer Yuri Lisyanski sailed aboard Oiseaux as a volunteer. Between 1803 and 1806 he would captain the Russian-American Company's sloop Neva on the first Russian circumnavigation of the world.

In June 1794 Oiseau and Argonaut seized fourteen French vessels of a convoy of 25, all loaded with flour, naval stores, beef, and pork. The vessels were American-owned and had sailed from Hampton Roads with two sets of papers, one set showing the cargo going to England and the other giving their destination as France. The British sent the vessels into Halifax.

In July, Argonaut, Oiseau, Thetis, and Resolution captured Potowmac and True Republican.

On 8 January 1795, Argonaut captured the French Republican warship Esperance on the North America Station. Esperance was armed with 22 guns (4 and 6-pounders), and had a crew of 130 men. She was under the command of lieutenant de vaisseau de St. Laurent and had been out 56 days from Rochfort, bound for the Chesapeake. Argonaut shared the prize money with Oiseaux. Because she was captured in good order and sailed well, Rear Admiral Murray put a British crew aboard and sent Esperance out on patrol with Lyn on 31 January.

In 1798, Oiseau served in the Indian Ocean, where she captured the French Réunion on 1 September. On 21 April 1799 her boats went into Saint Denis on the Íle de Bourbon and cut out two merchant vessels, Denree, which had a cargo of bale goods and coffee, and Augustine, which had a cargo of rum and arrack. Augustine was lost in St. Augustine's Bay.

On Monday, 26 January 1801, at 8.00 a.m., at 45°N 12°W, Oiseux, under Captain Samuel Hood Linzee fell in with and chased Dédaigneuse, which was bound from Cayenne to Rochefort with despatches. By noon the following day, with Cape Finisterre in sight, Captain Linzee signaled to Sirius and Amethyst, which were in sight, to join the pursuit. Dédaigneuse maintained her lead until 2.00 a.m. on the 28th when came within small arms range. Dédaigneuse opened fire from her stern-chasers, and the two British ships returned fire. After a running fight of 45 minutes, two miles off shore near Cape Bellem, fire primarily from Sirius had cut Dédaigneuse's running rigging and sails ). She had also suffered casualties with several men having been killed,and 17 wounded, including her Captain and fifth Lieutenant. She then struck her colours. Unfavourable winds kept Amethyst, from getting up before Dédaigneuse had struck. Sirius was the only British ship to sustain any damage (rigging, sails, main-yard and bowsprit) in the encounter and there were no fatalities on the English side. Captain Linzee declared the encounter a long and anxious chase of 42 hours and acknowledged a gallant resistance on the part of Dédaigneuse. At the time of the encounter she was armed with twenty-eight 12-pounder guns. Linzee described her as "a perfect new Frigate, Copper fastened and sails well...". He sent her into Plymouth with a prize crew under the command of his first lieutenant, H. Lloyd. The Admiralty took Dédaigneuse into the Royal Navy under the same name HMS Dedaigneuse.

On 28 January, along with HMS Sirius, she captured 3 French frigates off Ferrol.

On 16 September 1800, Oiseau, Wolverine and the cutter Fly captured the Neptunus when she was going into Havre de Grace. The next day Wolverine brought Neptunus into Portsmouth, together with her cargo of naval stores that Wight had captured

Fate
In June 1806 Oiseau was commissioned under Lieutenant Walter Kennedy as a prison hulk at Portsmouth. In 1812 Lieutenant William Needham succeeded Kennedy. She was laid up in December, but then lent to the Transport Board.

In 1814 she was under the command of Lieutenant John Bayby Harrison. She was then put in ordinary in 1815. Oiseau was advertised for sale on 2 September 1816, and sold for breaking up to a Mr. Rundle for £1500 on 18 September.

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1798 – Ending of the Operations against Ostend, 14th May 1798 - 20th May 1798


from Threedecks:
Description
But all the encounters which resulted from the threatened invasion of England were not equally successful. In the spring of the year it became known to the British government that very many small craft were fitting at Flushing for the transport of troops, and were about to be conveyed, by way of the Bruges Canal, to Ostend and thence to Dunquerque. It was determined, if possible, to frustrate this plan by destroying the lock gates and sluices at Ostend, and so rendering the canal useless; and, for the purpose, the naval force was entrusted to Captain Home Riggs Popham; and a body of troops under Major General Sir Eyre Coote was embarked in the vessels composing it.

The expedition assembled off Margate, sailed for the opposite coast on May 14th, and anchored off Ostend at 1 A.M. on May 19th. Although the weather was most unfavourable, all the troops, with the exception of those on board the Minerve, which had parted company and had not yet rejoined, were at once landed to the north-east of the town without opposition. At about 4.15 A.M., the Ostend batteries, having been alarmed, opened fire upon the nearest British vessels, the Wolverine, Asp, and Biter, and, by about 8.30, had so severely damaged the two former, that Popham signalled to them to weigh and move further out. The Hecla and Tartarus had already begun to shell the town and harbour; and, upon the withdrawal of the Wolverine and Asp, the Dart, Kite, and Harpy took their places as nearly as the fact of its then being low tide would admit.

At 9.30 A.M. the Minerve rejoined; and her Commander went ashore by Popham's order to report her arrival to the general. Lieut.-Colonel Ward, with part of the First Regiment of Guards, would also have hastened on shore from the Minerve, had he not been stopped and dissuaded while on his way by the prudent counsels of Captain James Bradby, of the Ariadne.

The lock gates and sluices, together with several gunboats, are said to have been destroyed by the troops at 10.20 A.M.; but at noon, when it was sought to re-embark, the weather was found to render the attempt perfectly hopeless. The British had, in consequence, to remain; and, being attacked on the 20th by the French in force, they were obliged, after they had lost 65 killed and wounded, to capitulate. Among those who surrendered was Commander Mackellar, of the Minerve. It is doubtful whether the objects to be attained justified the risks involved in this unfortunate expedition; it is still more doubtful whether those objects were attained, for the French deny the fact; and it is certain that, whether the objects were attained or not, the troops ought never to have been landed at a time when every indication went to show that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to re-embark them until after the lapse of some days.

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from wikipedia:
The British expedition to Ostend on 18 May 1798 was launched to destroy gun-boats harboured in Ostend and destined to take part in the planned invasion of Britain, and to destroy the infrastructure of the port including the locks, basin-gates, and sluices of the Bruges–Ostend Canal. It was a combined Royal Navy and British Army expedition under the command of Captain Home Popham (R.N.) and Major-General Eyre Coote. The British destroyed their objectives, but the army contingent was captured by the French.

History
As Coote held the Dover army command, he was appointed to command the troops employed in the expedition, which Sir Home Popham had planned to cut the sluices at Ostend and thus flood that part of the Netherlands which was then in the possession of the French. The troops were only 1,300 in number. The Navy successfully disembarked them and they succeed in cutting the sluices as proposed on 18 May. They also destroyed the lock-gates of the Bruges–Ostend Canal, which made canal navigation between Holland, Flanders, and France impossible. This meant that any movement of barges had to be by sea, leaving them vulnerable to attack by the Royal Navy.

A high wind off the land then sprang up, and the ships could not come in to take the troops off. French troops were hurried up, and the small English force was completely hemmed in. After a desperate resistance, in which he lost six officers and 109 men killed and wounded, Coote, who was himself severely wounded, was forced to surrender (although he was shortly back in command at Dover after a prisoner exchange)



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1799 – Launch of the third USS Boston, a 32-gun wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate of the United States Navy


The third USS Boston was a 32-gun wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate of the United States Navy. Boston was built by public subscription in Boston under the Act of 30 June 1798. Boston was active during the Quasi-War with France and the First Barbary War. On 12 October 1800, Boston engaged and captured the French corvette Berceau. Boston was laid up in 1802, and considered not worth repairing at the outbreak of the War of 1812. She was burned at the Washington Naval Yard on 24 August 1814 to prevent her capture by British forces.

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Design and Construction
Boston was designed and constructed by Edmund Hartt at Boston, Massachusetts. Boston was authorized by the Naval Act of 1798 [fr] funded by the donations from the people of Boston, Massachusetts as part of the group of ships built by the states to supplement the Original six frigates of the United States Navy provided by the Naval Act of 1794.

The frigate has a displacement of 400 tons and had a length between perpendiculars of 134 feet (41 m). She was originally armed with twenty-four 9-pounder and eight 6-pounder guns, and carried a complement of 220 officers and men. She was launched on 20 May 1799 and commissioned soon afterwards, Captain George Little in command.

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An engraving of USS Boston in the Mediterranean circa 1802

Service history
Boston cruised in the West Indies (July 1799 – June 1800) protecting American commerce against French privateers. Returning to Boston 25 June 1800, she cruised along the American coast until September when she sailed to the Guadeloupe Station in the West Indies. In 22°52′N 52°56′W, on 12 October 1800, she engaged and captured the French corvette Berceau. Boston lost seven killed and eight wounded in the encounter. She towed her prize to Boston, arriving in November. During her West Indian cruises Boston captured seven additional prizes (two in conjunction with USS General Greene).

During the winter of 1801 Boston carried Minister Livingston to France and then joined the Mediterranean Squadron off Tripoli while under the command of Captain Daniel McNeill. She fought an action with six or seven Tripolitanian gunboats on 16 May 1802, forcing one ashore. Boston returned to Boston in October 1802 and then proceeded to Washington where she was laid up. Considered not worth repairing on the outbreak of the War of 1812, she remained at Washington until 24 August 1814 when she was burned to prevent her falling into British hands.



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1800 - HMS Cormorant Sloop (24), Cptn. Hon. Courtenay Boyle, wrecked on a shoal near Rosetta, coast of Egypt.


Etna was a French naval Etna-class ship-sloop launched in 1795 that the Royal Navy captured in November 1796. She was taken into service as HMS Aetna and renamed to HMS Cormorant the next year. She captured several merchant vessels and privateers before she was wrecked in 1800 off the coast of Egypt.

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Capture
Etna's first commander was lieutenant de vaisseau Coudre Lacoudrais. By the time of her capture off Barfleur, he had received a promotion to capitaine de frégate.

In the night of 13 to 14 November 1796, Etna departed Le Havre, and was chased in the morning by HMS Melampus and Childers, which she tried to distance. Melampus came within range around 15:30 Etna resisted for two hours before striking her colours as Childers joined the battle.

The London Gazette reported that on 13 November HMS Melampus and HMS Minerva drove a French navy corvette ashore near Barfleur. However the British were not able to get close enough to assure her destruction. Then Melampus and Childers captured another corvette, which was the Etna. Etnawas armed with eighteen 12-pounder guns and had a crew of 137 men under the command of Citizen Joseph La Coudrais. The prisoners stated that both corvettes were carrying military and naval stores and that the corvette that had run ashore was the Etonnant.[Note 1] Both were new ships on their first cruise.

Captain Coudre Lacoudrais was found innocent of the loss of his ship by the court-martial.

j4204.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Cormorant (captured 1796), a captured French Corvette, as taken off prior to being fitted as a 20 gun Sixth Rate Corvette. The plan has the ship under her original French name of Etna, which was changed on 27 December 1796. The plan also indicates the centre lines for masts of the captured Bonne Citoyenne (1796), fitted as a 20 gun Ship Sloop (later a Sixth Rate Corvette). Signed by Edward Tippet [Master Shipwright, Portsmouth Dockyard, 1793-1799]

British service
Etna arrived in Portsmouth in November and the Royal Navy took her into service as HMS Aetna. However, she then underwent fitting out until 25 July 1797. At some point she was renamed HMS Cormorant and was classed as a post ship.

Captain John Clarke Searle commissioned Cormorant in May 1797. On 14 November she recaptured the George.

At some point Captain Lord Mark Kerr replaced Searle. While Cormorant was under Kerr's command, she, St Fiorenzo and Cynthia recaptured the American vessel Betty.[9] Then on 24 November 1797 Cormorant was in company with Cynthia and Grand Falconer when they captured the French merchant sloop Necessaire.[8]

In January 1798 Cormorant was in Sir Richard Strachan's squadron. On 15 February she captured the Prussian ship Welvaert. On 29 May Cormorant captured the brig Pruyiche Koopman.

Cormorant sailed for the Mediterranean in September 1798. Cormorant, HMS Argo, and HMS Pomone, convoyed a large fleet of merchantmen and transports to Lisbon. The convoy included the East Indiamen Royal Charlotte, Cuffnells, Phoenix, and Alligator. On 25 September the convoy encountered a French fleet of nine sail, consisting of one eighty-gun ship and eight frigates. The convoy commander signalled the Company's ships to form line of battle with the Royal Navy ships, and the convoy to push for Lisbon. This manoeuvre, and the warlike appearance of the Indiamen, deterred the French admiral from attacking them; the whole fleet reached Lisbon in safety.

On 27 October Cormorant captured the French privateer Tartar. In November she assisted in the British recapture of Minorca on 7 November. On 10 November she took possession in the harbour of Port Mahon of the Spanish Ship Francisco Xavier, alias Esperansa, which had a cargo of drugs and bale goods and which had been on her way to Cadiz. A part of the proceeds of the prize money, head money, and the like for the capture of Minorca amounted to £20,000 and was paid in May 1800 to the British army and navy units involved.

On 2 January 1799, Cormorant captured the Spanish 12-gun packet Valiente (or Valianta) off Malaga. Letters received at Plymouth from Gibraltar reported that

Cormorant... had captured a Spanish packet from Rio di Plata for Barcelona, very valuable. One boat was lost in boarding the packet, crew saved. Lieutenant W. Wooltiridge then gallantly boarded her in the jolly boat with eight men, took possession of her though there were fifty five Spaniards, and brought her into Gibraltar.
Between 28 January and 9 February Cormorant cruised the Spanish coast with Centaur. Cormorant captured one tartane, drove another ashore, and captured a settee carrying oil.

Then on 16 March, Centaur and Cormorant chased the Spanish frigate Guadaloupe, of 40 guns. Centaur drove Guadaloupe aground near Cape Oropesa, where she was wrecked.

Cormorant parted company with Centaur during the chase and then on the 19th, as she was proceeding to the rendezvous, she sighted a brig. After a chase of four hours, Cormorant captured the Spanish naval brig Vincejo. Vincejo was armed with eighteen 6-pounder guns on her gun deck, six brass 4-pounders on her quarterdeck, and two on her forecastle. She also had a crew of 144 men. During the chase Vincejo threw six of her 6-pounders overboard. The Royal Navy took her into service as HMS Vincejo.

In September Captain Courtenay Boyle replaced Kerr. Also, at some point Cormorant captured the Spanish xebec Vergen de la Victoria.

On 2 December Cormorant was in sight and joined in the chase when Racoon encountered a French lugger. After an hour's chase Racoon captured her quarry, which proved to be the Vrai Decide, of 14 guns and four swivel guns. Vrai Decide had 41 men on board, under the command of Citizen Defgardi. The lugger was from Boulogne, had been out 30 hours in company with three other privateers, and had taken no prizes.

On 20 February 1800 Cormorant recaptured the Elizabeth Jane, of London, which had been sailing from the Bahamas. She had had 25 Frenchmen aboard. She separated from Cormorant on the 24th.

That evening, at Lat. 45 Deg. 45 Min. N. 10 Deg. 29 Min. W., Cormorant captured the Spanish privateer brig Batador (or Battidor). Batador was armed with 14 guns and had a crew of 87 men. She was eight days out of St. Andero on a three-month cruise, but had not yet made any captures. The wind and seas were bad and it was difficult to get a prize crew of volunteers aboard Batador, and it proved impossible to remove the prisoners. The Spanish crew twice tried to recapture their vessel and were twice subdued.

Fate
Cormorant was sailing to Egypt with dispatches for Sir Sidney Smith when she reached the African coast near Benghazi on 15 May. She then sailed for Alexandria, skirting the coast. That evening she ran hard aground in shallow water. In the morning the shore was visible about a mile and a half away, with what proved to be the town of Damietta, which is east of Alexandria, in the distance. When it became clear that they could not free Cormorant, the crew abandoned ship, reaching the shore on boats and rafts. There the French took them prisoner.

Boyle, his officers, and his men remained prisoners until their release on 27 July, having suffered a "cruel imprisonment and savage treatment". Boyle sailed to Cyprus and then Minorca. The subsequent court-martial at Minorca absolved Boyle of any blame, attributing the loss to the "great incorrectness" of the available charts.

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The Etna class was a class of six 16 or 18-gun corvettes with a flat hull, designed by Pierre-Alexandre-Laurent Forfait and his pupil Charles-Henri Tellier. Four separate commercial shipbuilders were involved in their construction by contract - including André-François Normand, Courtois and Denise at Honfleur, and Fouache at Le Havre (2 ships), while the sixth vessel was built by Pierre Ozanne at Cherbourg Dockyard. The vessels were flush-decked and originally designed to carry a 12" mortar. However, as the British navy captured Etna within a year and a half of her launch at which time she was not carrying any mortar, it is possible that the design was modified quite early to delete the mortar.

The Royal Navy captured three of the six vessels in the class. Three members of the class (including two in Royal Navy service), were lost to wrecking or grounding. Only one of the corvettes served for over 20 years.

Etna Class (6 ships)
Builder: André François and Joseph-Augustin Normand, Honfleur
Begun: June 1794
Launched: April 1795
Completed: May 1795
Fate: Captured by HMS Melampus on 13 November 1796. Commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Aetna and later renamed HMS Cormorant. Wrecked off Egypt in May 1800.
Builder: Jean Fouache, Le Havre
Begun: May 1794
Launched: May 1795
Completed: July 1795
Fate: Wrecked on the shores of Norway on 17 February 1798
Notes: Renamed from Courageuse in May 1795; may have been renamed in 1797 to '"Engant de la Patrie
Builder: Denise, Honfleur
Begun: June 1794
Launched: 7 August 1795
Completed: October 1795
Fate: Broken up in Rochefort August/September 1830
Notes: Fitted as a flûte between November 1802 and June 1803; refitted at Le Havre in February 1807 and reclassified as a 20-gun corvette; on 31 October 1815 her use as a headquarters hulk in place of Serpente was approved.
Builder: Fouache & Reine, Honfleur
Begun: June 1796
Launched: 27 August 1795
Completed: November 1796
Fate: Hulked in Brest in 1806
Builder: Cherbourg Dockyard; constructeurs: Pierre Ozanne and after March 1795 Jean-François Lafosse
Begun: 6 October 1794
Launched: 15 October 1795
Completed: April 1797
Fate: HMS Goliath captured Mignonne in June 1803 in the West Indies. Though the Royal Navy never commissioned her, she did serve briefly before she grounded in December 1804 and was condemned.
Builder: Courtois, Honfleur
Begun: June 1794
Launched: April 1795
Completed: May 1795
Fate: Captured in August 1805 by HMS Goliath and incorporated in the Royal Navy as HMS Torch. She was never commissioned and was broken up in 1811.

for comparison
j4229.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with sternboard outline, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for Bonne Citoyenne (captured 1796), a captured French corvette as taken off at Portsmouth Dockyard prior to being fitted as a 20-gun Sixth Rate. Note the single bitts and the French-style capstan on the topgallant forecastle. Signed by Edward Tippet [Master Shipwright, Portsmouth Dockyard, 1793-1799]

j4228.jpg
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the inboard profile with some external detail for the Bonne Citoyenne (captured 1796), a captured French corvette as fitted at Deptford Dockyard in 1810. She had been previously converted after capture in Portsmouth Dockyard to a 20-gun Sixth Rate. The plan includes undated alterations. The work at Deptford may have resulted from the damage caused to her when she captured the French 36-gun frigate Furieuse, which was armed 'en flute' at the time in August 1809



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_corvette_Etna_(1795)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1810 – Launch of French frigate Iphigénie, a Pallas-class frigate of a nominal 44 guns


The French frigate Iphigénie was a Pallas-class frigate of a nominal 44 guns, launched in 1810. The British captured her in 1814. The British named her HMS Palma, and then renamed her HMS Gloire. She was sold in 1817, never having been commissioned into the Royal Navy.

In 1813, along with Alcmène, she served at Cherbourg, in the squadron of contre-amiral Amable Troude, to protect the harbour.

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Capture
In early 1814, Commander Jean-Léon Émeric was put in charge of a two-frigate squadron comprising Iphigénie and Alcmène, under Commander Ducrest de Villeneuve, for a cruise between the Azores and Cap-Vert, off Guinea.

On 16 January 1814, the 74-gun third-rate ship of the line Venerable, her prize, the ex-French letter of marque brig Jason, and Cyane were in company when they spotted Alcmène and Iphigénie. After a chase that left Cyane far behind, Venerable captured Alcmène, though not without a fight. Venerablelost two men dead and four wounded, while the French lost 32 dead and 50 wounded.

Jason and Cyane tracked Iphigénie and initially fired on her but broke off the engagement because they were outgunned. Cyane continued the chase for over three days until Venerable was able to rejoin the fight after having sailed 153 miles in the direction she believed that Iphigénie had taken. On 20 January, after a 19-hour chase, or what amounted in all to a four-day chase for Iphigénie, Venerable captured the quarry, having again left Cyane behind. In the chase, Iphigénie cast off her anchors and threw her boats overboard in order to try to gain speed. She apparently did not resist after Venerable came up. Before meeting up with the British ships, the two French vessels had taken some eight prizes. The action resulted in the award in 1847, to any surviving claimants, of the Naval General Service Medal with clasps "Venerable 16 Jany 1814" and "Cyane 16 Jany. 1814".

Venerable was able to locate Iphigénie because Commander Ducrest de Villeneuve of Alcmène was so angry at Captain Émeric, who was the senior French commander, for not having come alongside Venerable on the other side also to board, that he essentially revealed the rendezvous instructions to Admiral Durham. (Venerable was Durham's flagship). When some prisoners from Iphigénie's crew were brought on Venerable, crew from Alcmène too were enraged. Durham had to station Royal Marines between them, with fixed bayonets, to prevent fighting from breaking out.

Fate
A prize crew brought Iphigénie into Plymouth on 23 February 1814, and was laid up in ordinary. She was moved to Spithead in July. Capt. James A. Worth was in command of her, though she was never commissioned. The Admiralty named her Palma and then renamed her Gloire on 8 November. She was sold in September 1817 to a Mr. Freake for £1,750.



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

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1811 - Battle of Tamatave - Part I
HMS Astrea (36), HMS Phoebe (36), HMS Galatea (36) and HMS Racehorse (18) engaged 3 large French frigates, full of troops off Foul Point, Madagascar.
Renommee surrendered, but Clorinde and Nereide escaped.



The Battle of Tamatave (sometimes called the Battle of Madagascar or the Action of 20 May 1811) was fought off Tamatave in Madagascar between British and French frigate squadrons during the Napoleonic Wars. The action was the final engagement of the Mauritius campaign of 1809–1811, and it saw the destruction of the last French attempt to reinforce their garrison on Mauritius. Although the news had not reached Europe by February 1811 when the reinforcement squadron left Brest, Mauritius had been captured in December 1810 by a British invasion fleet, the French defences hampered by the lack of the supplies and troops carried aboard the frigate squadron under the command of Commodore François Roquebert in Renommée. Roquebert's heavily laden ships reached Mauritius on 6 May and discovered that the island was in British hands the following day, narrowly escaping a trap laid by a squadron of British frigates ordered to hunt and destroy them.

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On 20 May the British squadron, under the command of Captain Charles Marsh Schomberg, discovered the French off Tamatave and attacked, both sides hampered by light winds which impeded movement for much of the day. During a period of calm weather early in the battle, the French were better positioned than the disorganised British squadron and Roquebert's ships inflicted severe damage on several British vessels before an increasing breeze allowed Schomberg to press home his attack. As the evening approached, the French attempted to escape, Roquebert sacrificing his flagship and ultimately his life to allow the frigates Clorinde and the badly damaged Néréide to escape. Five days later, Schomberg's squadron rediscovered Néréide at Tamatave and persuaded the town's commander to surrender without a fight. The battle was the last action of the Mauritius campaign and confirmed British dominance of the seas east of the Cape of Good Hope for the rest of the Napoleonic Wars.

Battle_of_tamatave.jpg

Background
In August 1810, the French squadron on Isle de France (now Mauritius) achieved the most significant French naval victory of the Napoleonic Wars, when they captured or destroyed four Royal Navy frigates at the Battle of Grand Port. The battle was fought inside Grand Port, one of the harbours of Isle de France into which the French squadrons, dominant in the Indian Ocean during 1809, had been steadily pushed and blockaded by pressure from a British squadron under Commodore Josias Rowley. The British defeat had a noticeable galvanising effect on both the British and French naval commands: both recognised that the campaign would be won by the first to reinforce and resupply their forces. Although the French had achieved a significant victory, the naval bases on Isle de France lacked the military stores and food supplies to repair the battle damage to their ships or supply lengthy raiding voyages against British trade routes.

The British reaction was immediate: ships were dispatched from regional bases at Madras, the Cape of Good Hope and Rodriguez to replace Rowley's losses while a larger force was collected at Rodriguez in preparation for a major invasion of Isle de France intended to permanently eliminate the island as a raiding base. The French response from their squadron on Isle de France, based at Port Napoleon under Commodore Jacques Hamelin, was to exercise their regional superiority by attacking British reinforcements at the actions of 13 September 1810 and 18 September 1810. Despite inflicting severe damage on two British frigates, the French lost one of their own, captured with Hamelin aboard, and suffered two more damaged. Without supplies or reinforcements to replace these losses, the French were unable to resist the British invasion in November 1810 and the island fell within four days.

The French had also been preparing reinforcements for the region, but their nearest naval bases were in France itself, several thousand miles away across oceans almost totally controlled by the Royal Navy. These distances also delayed the arrival of news from the Indian Ocean, and therefore word had still not reached France of the fall of Isle de France by 17:00 on 2 February 1811, when a reinforcement squadron set sail from Brest. This squadron consisted of three powerful frigates, Renommée under Commodore François Roquebert, Clorinde under Captain Jacques Saint-Cricq and Néréide under Captain Jean-François Lemaresquier. Each ship carried over 200 soldiers for the Isle de France garrison and significant food and military supplies with which to refit Hamelin's squadron and resupply the island. The French authorities were aware of the possibility that Isle de France had been captured, and had ordered that if the island was in British hands, the squadron should continue on to the Dutch city of Batavia on Java, to operate against the British from there.

February to May 1811
By 1811, the Royal Navy enjoyed a worldwide naval supremacy over the French, including the seas immediately off the French coast. To avoid being attacked as they left Brest, French ships had to attempt to slip out either under cover of darkness or during storms that drove the British away from the dangerous coastline. This also however forced the French ships to fight against the wind to leave their harbours and as a result, Roquebert's ships only covered 600 nautical miles (1,100 km) in the first 18 days. On 24 February, the squadron captured a Portuguese merchant ship and discovered Lisbon newspapers aboard that announced the British invasion, although not its outcome. On 13 March, Roquebert's ships crossed the Equator and on 18 April they passed the Cape of Good Hope at distance, benefitting from good weather and a strong breeze during the latter stages of the journey. At 23:00 on 6 May, 93 days after leaving Brest, the French convoy arrived off Île de la Passe at the entrance to Grand Port.

The British had not been idle during the six months they had occupied Isle de France, now renamed Mauritius. The invasion fleet had broken up soon after the island fell and command of the remaining naval forces on the island had been given to Captain Philip Beaver. On 5 January, a small French dispatch ship had been captured off Port Louis (formerly Port Napoleon) and from the messages aboard the nature and destination of Roquebert's squadron was discovered. Information was also received describing a second French force being prepared for operations in the region, consisting of the frigates Nymphe and Méduse. Aware of the impending arrival of French reinforcements, Admiral Robert Stopford at the Cape of Good Hope sent Captain James Hillyar in HMS Phoebe to reinforce Beaver on Mauritius. Beaver ordered Hillyar, with HMS Galatea under Captain Woodley Losack and HMS Racehorse under Captain James de Rippe, to prepare for the arrival of Roquebert's convoy. Beaver then began eliminating French harbours in the western Indian Ocean, sending the brig HMS Eclipse to attack Tamatave on Madagascar, which was captured on 12 February. After the end of the hurricane season in March, Beaver personally sailed in HMS Nisus to invade the Seychelles, before collecting specie from Madras to refloat the Mauritian economy. In his absence, Mauritius came under the command of Captain Charles Marsh Schomberg in HMS Astraea.

When Roquebert's ships appeared off Grand Port, Hillyar had his three ships in the harbour ready to sail at short notice and ensured that French tricolours were flying from Île de la Passe and other landmarks in the hope that the French could be lured into the shallow waters of the bay and defeated in a similar manner to the British defeat at the battle at Grand Port the previous year. Signals were exchanged between the French squadron and the shore but Roquebert was wary: the signals from Île de la Passe were out of date and he knew of the British invasion from the Lisbon newspapers captured two months before. Waiting offshore, the French commodore sent three boats ashore during the night with instructions to discover the situation on the island. Seizing two black inhabitants, one of the boats returned on the morning of 7 May and from his captives Roquebert learned that the British had captured the island six months earlier. The other landing parties were captured by British troops and did not return. With Hillyar's trap uncovered, Roquebert raised French colours and turned eastwards away from Grand Port, Hillyar emerging from the harbour to give chase.

Roquebert's escape
At 04:00 on 8 May, Roquebert realised that his overladen ships were too slow to outrun Hillyar's squadron, which was 6 nautical miles (11 km) behind and gaining rapidly. At 08:00, he decided to turn and meet the British ships head-on rather than be overtaken. Hillyar, aware that his squadron was weaker than Roquebert's, held back in anticipation of the arrival of Schomberg in Astraea from Port Louis, to whom he had sent an urgent message the night before. As the British fell back towards the Île Ronde off the northeastern shore of Mauritius, Roquebert declined to follow them through the dangerous gap between Île Ronde and Île du Serpent and instead sailed southwards, escaping before Hillyar and Schomberg could join up. Although Losack, supported by many crew members on board both Phoebe and Galatea, remonstrated with Hillyar for not pursuing the French, the British commander could not be persuaded and Roquebert slipped away. The British retired to Port Louis, arriving on the 12 May.

Roquebert's squadron sailed westwards towards Bourbon, initially planning to raid the eastern coast of island for food supplies, as his own were running low. Although the British garrison in the eastern part of the island was weak, the plan was thwarted by heavy surf on the landing beaches and Roquebert continued eastwards on half rations, reaching Tamatave in Madagascar on 19 May. The British garrison at Tamatave, 100 men of the 22nd Regiment of Foot, were afflicted with malaria and surrendered without contesting the town, where the French squadron gathered water and food supplies.

When Hillyar's squadron arrived at Port Louis, Captain Schomberg immediately assumed command and led the squadron out again on 14 May, following the French eastwards. Heading straight for Tamatave, the only resupply point between Bourbon and the Cape of Good Hope, Schomberg rapidly gained on the French and when dawn broke on 20 May the French were within sight of the harbour. During the day, both commanders were frustrated by light winds and periods of calm in which none of the ships were able to move. Roquebert completed resupplying his ships at 12:00 and pulled away from the harbour in battle line, Clorinde followed by Renommée and Néréide while the British, although initially intending to form a line with Astraea at its head, gradually broke into a loose formation created by the vagaries of the wind

......... see also next post .....


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Java_(1811)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1811 - Battle of Tamatave - Part II
HMS Astrea (36), HMS Phoebe (36), HMS Galatea (36) and HMS Racehorse (18) engaged 3 large French frigates, full of troops off Foul Point, Madagascar.
Renommee surrendered, but Clorinde and Nereide escaped.



Battle
1024px-Battle_of_Madagascar_(1811).svg.png
Action off Tamatave, 20 May 1811

Firing began at 16:00, when Renommée attempted to engage Astraea at extreme range. The British returned fire, Phoebe and Galatea joining the attack as they advanced, but the long distances and slow speeds involved meant that little damage was caused by either side. The British squadron gradually drifted beyond the range of the French, Schomberg desperately but unsuccessfully attempting to turn back towards them. With the British becalmed, Roquebert's ships began to close the distance, using the breeze to position their broadsides close to the sterns of the British ships. From this position the French were able to unleash a destructive raking fire, Clorinde concentrating on Phoebe and Renommée on Galatea. The rearmost ship, Néréide, was unable to manoeuvre successfully in the light winds and remained beyond the effective range of Astraea and Racehorse, despite an ineffectual cannonade in her direction.

Over the next two hours, Néréide advanced on Phoebe, sandwiching the British frigate between two opponents and exposing her to a destructive fire. Both squadrons had been rendered immobile by the lack of wind, and although Schomberg ordered de Rippe to use boats to tow Racehorse within range of the main engagement, the brig was still over a mile away at 18:30, when the breeze picked up and Hillyar was able to advance on Néréide, engaging her at close quarters. Stranded by light winds, Renommée and Clorinde were unable to come to Lemaresquier's assistance and in half an hour Phoebe had killed Captain Lemaresquier and inflicted such severe damage on her opponent that Néréide could no longer return fire. As Phoebe and Néréide fought, the becalmed Renommée and Clorinde concentrated their fire on Galatea, causing severe damage to Losack's vessel. As the breeze strengthened at 19:00, Renommée and Clorinde advanced on Phoebe, Losack firing on the French as they pulled away before steering his battered ship westwards and informing Schomberg that the damage was such that he could not continue in action. Continuing to the west with his rigging and masts in disarray and a distress signal flying, Losack's ship disappeared into the growing darkness at 20:30. Phoebe fell back before the French attack and joined Schomberg.

With the wind strengthening, Schomberg marshalled his forces and advanced on Roquebert's squadron. The French were clustered together in support of Néréide, whose crew were attempting to make hasty repairs while the squadron limped in a northwesterly direction towards Madagascar. Following the French lights, Schomberg pursued the French in the darkness and when Clorinde lost a man overboard and stopped to rescue him at 21:50, Roquebert was forced to fall back and protect his consort from being overwhelmed. Steering Renommée directly at Astraea, Roquebert opened fire at close range but was soon surrounded, with Astraea on one side, Racehorse on the other and Phoebe raking her stern. In a ferocious 25 minute engagement, Roquebert was killed and the French flagship suffered severe damage, surrendering after a shot from Racehorse ignited her mainsail. The British ships were also badly damaged: Racehorse was unable to launch a boat to take possession of Renommée due to a fallen topmast on her deck and Astraea's boats all badly damaged by shot and leaked severely during the short row to the stricken French vessel.

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Commencement of Captn Schomberg's Action off Madagascar, May 26th 1811, HMS Astrea From a drawing by Mr Beechey (PAD5803)

Surrender at Tamatave
During the final battle of the Renommée, Saint-Cricq in Clorinde had remained out of range of the British, refusing to support his commodore. When Renommée surrendered, he made all sail to the north, abandoning both Roquebert and Néréide in his attempt to escape. Although Clorinde was closely pursued by Astraea and Phoebe until 02:00 on 21 May, the damage they had suffered prevented them from gaining on the French ship and Clorinde eventually disappeared into the darkness. During the night Schomberg gathered Phoebe, Racehorse and Astraea, and rejoined Renommée at dawn on 21 May. A prize crew of seven men was sufficient to exercise control over the French frigate until Schomberg could remove most of the French crew and replace them with British sailors the following morning. Although Galatea was still within sight at dawn, Losack was unsure of the identity of the approaching squadron and decided to sail directly to Port Louis rather than risk combat with a superior enemy force.

While making repairs to his ships, particularly the battered Phoebe, and transferring prisoners from Renommée, Schomberg despatched Racehorse to Tamatave to investigate the situation at the port. De Rippe returned on 24 May and informed Schomberg that Néréide was in the harbour and the town was in the hands of a French garrison. Despite sailing directly to Tamatave, Schomberg's ships were delayed by a gale and did not arrive until the afternoon of 25 May. Aware that no one in the British squadron had intimate knowledge of the coral reefs that surrounded the entrance to the bay and thus that he was poorly positioned to attack the French if they chose to resist him, Schomberg sent Racehorse into the harbour under a flag of truce. De Rippe presented the French commander, Lieutenant François Ponée, with a demand for surrender, the demand falsely stating that "Renommée and Clorinde have struck after a brave defence". Ponée refused, instead proposing that the ship's crew and the garrison of Tamatave be repatriated to France without conditions if the frigate, town and a 12-gun battery were surrendered to Schomberg's squadron. Schomberg accepted Ponée's proposal and Tamatave and Néréide were surrendered without further conflict.

Aftermath
Clorinde had been almost undamaged in the battle and comfortably outran all British pursuit. Without a safe harbour in the entire Indian Ocean, Saint-Criq initially sailed for the Seychelles, hiding among the islands until 7 June. On 26 June, Clorinde landed at Diego Garcia and collected fresh water and coconuts before beginning the return journey to France in defiance of the orders to continue on to Batavia issued before the convoy left Brest. On 1 August, Clorinde passed the Cape of Good Hope, Saint-Criq supplementing his provisions by raiding British and American merchant ships in the Atlantic. On 24 September, Clorinde encountered the British blockade squadron off Brest and was chased by the 80-gun ship of the line HMS Tonnant under Captain Sir John Gore. Although Tonnant came close enough to Clorinde to discharge her broadside at the frigate, Gore was unable to catch the elusive French ship and was eventually forced to retire to open waters after coming under fire from batteries at Pointe Trépassée. By 17:00, Clorinde was anchored in Brest harbour. Saint-Criq was heavily criticised for his failure to support Roquebert and for ignoring his orders to sail to Batavia if Mauritius had been captured. In March 1812, he was brought to a court martial to examine his behaviour and found to have been negligent in his duty, for which he was dismissed from the service, expelled from the legion of Honour and sentenced to three years' imprisonment. Napoleon is reported to have suggested that Saint-Criq be shot for deserting his commanding officer.

There were also recriminations among the British squadron, Schomberg praising Astraea and Phoebe but omitting Racehorse and Galatea from the recommendations in his post-battle report. Captain Losack was particularly offended as Schomberg had implied that Galatea's distress signal was an overreaction in the face of the enemy, despite her casualties being greater than the rest of the squadron combined. He subsequently requested a court martial to clear any suggestion of cowardice from his name but the Admiralty refused, commenting that they were fully satisfied with his conduct. Historian William James claims that opinion within the Navy was also with Losack and that Schomberg had been excessively harsh in his criticism.

Due to the variable winds of 20 May, some ships were more heavily engaged than others and as a result the casualties in the action were unevenly spread. According to the French account of the battle, Renommée suffered 93 killed and wounded, including Commodore Roquebert dead and the first lieutenant and commander of the troops on board both badly wounded, although British accounts give a figure of 145 casualties. The French accounts also demonstrate that Néréide had suffered severely, losing 25 dead including Captain Lemaresquier and 32 wounded (again the British accounts differ, stating that she suffered 130 casualties). Clorinde, which had caused severe damage to Galatea while the British ship was immobile but had failed to support Renommée against Schomberg, lost just one man killed and six wounded. British losses were less severe, although still significant, Galatea losing 16 and 46 wounded, Phoebe seven dead and 24 wounded and Astraea two dead and 16 wounded. Racehorse, despite being badly damaged in her masts and rigging, reportedly suffered no casualties.

The captured ships were both purchased into the Royal Navy and recommissioned, Renommée becoming HMS Java and Néréide becoming HMS Madagascar. Nearly four decades later the battle was among the actions recognised by a clasp attached to the Naval General Service Medal, awarded upon application to all British participants still living in 1847. The action marked the end of the final French attempt to operate in the Indian Ocean during the Napoleonic Wars: with their bases now in British hands, any deployment to the region would require a significant quantity of ships and supplies at a time when France was unable to even protect the entrances to her principal harbours, as Clorinde's brush with Tonnant had demonstrated. The action also ended the threat to British merchant ships, especially the large East Indiamen, from attack in the Indian Ocean and the requirement for a significant Royal Navy presence in the region. With the exception of a few small Dutch ports in the East Indies, the world east of the Cape of Good Hope was now either under British control or in the hands of neutral powers and Britain's allies.

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1811 - Battle of Tamatave - Part III - The ships
HMS Astrea (36), HMS Phoebe (36), HMS Galatea (36) and HMS Racehorse (18) engaged 3 large French frigates, full of troops off Foul Point, Madagascar.
Renommee surrendered, but Clorinde and Nereide escaped.



HMS Java was a British Royal Navy 38-gun fifth-rate frigate. She was originally launched in 1805 as Renommée, described as a 40-gun Pallas-class French Navy frigate, but the vessel actually carried 46 guns. The British captured her in 1811 in a noteworthy action during the Battle of Tamatave, but she is most famous for her defeat on 29 December 1812 in a three-hour single-ship action against USS Constitution. Java had a crew of about 277 but during her engagement with Constitution her complement was 475.

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Capture of the HMS Java Drawn & Etched by N. Pocock, from a Sketch by Lieut. Buchanan / Engraved by R. & D. Havell / Published by Messrs. Boydell & Co.


HMS Madagascar was a 38-gun Piémontaise-class frigate originally of the French Navy. Her French name had been Néréide, and she had been built to a design by François Pestel.

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In 1810 as Néréide, she sailed to Guadeloupe but was repelled by the blockade off Basse-Terre, and returned to Brest after a fight with HMS Rainbow and HMS Avon.
The British captured Néréide during the action of 20 May 1811, and commissioned her into the Royal Navy as HMS Madagascar.
She took part in the Peninsular War against France, and the War of 1812 with the United States.

Madagascar, Vengeur, and Lightning were in company on 6 March 1814 at the recapture of Diamond.[Note 1] Shortly thereafter, Captain Bentinck Cavendish Doyle of Lightning transferred to take command of Madagascar.
In June 1814, Madagascar served in a flotilla under the command of Admiral Lord Cochrane, and carried General William Miller and his troops from Bordeaux to the Chesapeake Bay to reinforce General Ross in the War of 1812.1

During the Battle of North Point, a supplementary body of Royal Marines, drawn from 15 ships of the fleet, were assigned to the 2nd Battalion of Royal Marines, under the command of brevet Lieutenant Colonel James Malcolm.[2] One of the two fatalities, Thomas Daw, was from HMS Ramillies


HMS Phoebe was a 36-gun fifth rate of the Royal Navy. She had a career of almost twenty years and fought in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. Overall, her crews were awarded six clasps to the Naval General Service Medals, with two taking place in the French Revolutionary Wars, three during the Napoleonic Wars and the sixth in the War of 1812. Three of the clasps carried the name Phoebe. During her career, Phoebe sailed to the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, North America and South America.

Once peace finally arrived, Phoebe was laid up, though she spent a few years as a slop ship during the 1820s. She was then hulked. The Admiralty finally sold her for breaking up in 1841

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Scale: unknown. A full hull model of the ‘Phoebe’ (1795), a 36-gun frigate. The model is decked, equipped and rigged. This model represents the new, large types of frigate which were built in large numbers in the 1790s.It is fully rigged and shows the seamen’s hammocks stowed around the decks. It also shows the Nelson chequer, or black and white painting of the hull. This style was not common until about 1815, which may date the model to this time. The ‘Phoebe’ was built on the Thames in Dudman’s yard at Deptford. It served off the Irish coast in 1796–1800 and captured many enemy ships. In 1805 it was present at the Battle of Trafalgar captained by Thomas Bladen Capel, one of Nelson’s original ‘band of brothers’. It became a depot ship at Plymouth in 1822 and was finally broken up in 1840


HMS Astraea (frequently spelled HMS Astrea) was a Royal Navy 36-gun fifth rate Apollo-class frigate, launched- in 1810 at Northam. She participated in the Battle of Tamatave and in an inconclusive single-ship action with the French frigate Etoile. Astrea was broken up in 1851.


HMS Galatea was an Apollo-class fifth rate of the Royal Navy. The frigate was built at Deptford Dockyard, London, England and launched on 31 August 1810. In 1811 she participated in the Battle of Tamatave, which battle confirmed British dominance of the seas east of the Cape of Good Hope for the rest of the Napoleonic Wars. She was hulked in 1836 and broken up in 1849.

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H.M. Frigate Galatea, 38 Guns off the Needles, Isle Of Wight, by Thomas Whitcombe



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1813 - HMS Algerine Schooner (10), Lt. Daniel Carpenter, wrecked Galapagos Roads, West Indies.


HMS Algerine was a Pigmy-class 10-gun schooner of the Royal Navy. She was launched in March 1810. She served in the North Sea and then transferred to the West Indies, where she was wrecked in 1813.

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Career
Algerine was commissioned in April 1810 under Lieutenant John Aitken Blow. She served initially in the Downs. On 30 March 1811, Algerine, under the command of Lieutenant Thomas Greenwood, seized the smuggling vessel Mandamus. The account in the London Gazette refers to Algerine as a cutter.

On 13 July 1811, Algerine, again under Blow, and the 12-gun brig-sloop Brev Drageren, under Thomas Barker Devon, engaged three Danish brigs in Long Sound, Norway, the 20-gun Lolland, the 18-gun Lougen, and the 16-gun Kiel. The Danes had 54 guns and 480 men, against the British 22 guns and 107 men; outnumbered and outgunned, the British vessels took flight.

The next day Brev Drageren unsuccessfully re-engaged first one and then two of the brigs. In the inconclusive engagement each British vessel sustained one man killed and Brev Drageren also had three wounded. In the second day’s fight, Algerine sent a boat with ten men and sweeps to Brev Drageren, which helped her escape the Danes, though not until after her crew had rowed for 30 hours.

On 15 July the gun-brig Wrangler, under Lieutenant J.B. Pettit (or Pettet), captured the Danish sloop Experiment, P. Loft, Master. Algerine shared in the prize money by agreement.

Early in September Primus, carrying tar and hemp, Worksam, in ballast, Experiment, carrying iron, Columbus, carrying linseed, Neptunus, carrying timber, and Hctor, carrying sundry goods, came into Yarmouth. They were prizes to Tremendous, Ranger, Calypso, Algerine, Musquito, Earnest, and Portia.

In October, a court martial dismissed Blow from Algerine after he challenged a Captain Campbell of the Marines to a duel. Brenton suggests that this saved Blow from a serious investigation for his lack of aggressiveness in the action.[8] However, Clowes et al. dispute this. Admiral Sir James Saumarezhad transmitted to Blow the acknowledgments of the Board of Admiralty for his skillful manoeuvres, which detached the remainder of the enemy's force, and for his exertions in facilitating the subsequent escape of himself and consort. On 19 February 1813, Blow received an appointment to the Impress service at Folkestone, where he remained until August 1813. He then resumed his Naval career, reaching the rank of Captain in 1842.

Blow's successor was Lieutenant Daniel Carpenter, who took command in November 1811. He sailed Algerine to the West Indies on 13 May 1812. On 8 February 1813, she was in an action in which the British lost three men killed and seven or eight wounded. The may have been a single-ship action involving the American privateer Saratoga. Algerine returned to port in Jamaica, while Saratoga went on to capture the 600-ton (bm) merchant vessel Nelson.

Fate
Algerine escorted a convoy from Jamaica into the Atlantic via the Crooked Island Passage in the Bahamas. As she was returning to Jamaica, she was wrecked on the Little Bahama Bank on 20 May 1813 when a heavy swell pushed her off course. Although her crew had to abandon her, they and a large quantity of stores were saved and taken to New Providence.



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1815 - Commodore Stephen Decatur sails with his flagship USS Guerriere and a squadron of nine ships for the Mediterranean to suppress piracy. Under strict negotiations, Decatur is able to secure a treaty with the Day of Algiers, His Highness Omar Bashaw, on July 3.


Stephen Decatur Jr.
(January 5, 1779 – March 22, 1820) was a United States naval officer and commodore. He was born on the eastern shore of Maryland in Worcester County, the son of a U.S. naval officer who served during the American Revolution. His father, Stephen Decatur Sr., was a commodore in the U.S. Navy, and brought the younger Stephen into the world of ships and sailing early on. Shortly after attending college, Decatur followed in his father's footsteps and joined the U.S. Navy at the age of nineteen as a midshipman.

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Decatur supervised the construction of several U.S. naval vessels, one of which he later commanded. Promoted at age 25, he is the youngest man to reach the rank of captain in the history of the United States Navy. He served under three presidents, and played a major role in the early development of the American navy. In almost every theater of operation, Decatur's service was characterized by acts of heroism and exceptional performance. His service in the Navy took him through both Barbary Wars in North Africa, the Quasi-War with France, and the War of 1812 with Britain. He was renowned for his natural ability to lead and for his genuine concern for the seamen under his command. His numerous naval victories against Britain, France and the Barbary states established the United States Navy as a rising power.

During this period he served aboard and commanded many naval vessels and ultimately became a member of the Board of Navy Commissioners. He built a large home in Washington, known as Decatur House, on Lafayette Square, and was the center of Washington society in the early 19th century. He became an affluent member of Washington society and counted James Monroe and other Washington dignitaries among his personal friends.

Decatur's career came to an early end when he was killed in a duel with a rival officer. Decatur emerged as a national hero in his own lifetime, becoming the first post-Revolutionary War hero. His name and legacy, like that of John Paul Jones, became identified with the United States Navy.


Second Barbary War
Main article: Second Barbary War
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Decatur's squadron off Algiers, 1815

Now that war with Britain was over, the United States could concentrate on pressing matters in the Mediterranean, at Algiers. As had occurred during the First Barbary War American merchant ships and crews were once again being seized and held for large ransoms. On February 23, 1815, President Madison urged Congress to declare war. Congress approved the act but did not declare war against Algiers. Madison had chosen Benjamin Williams Crowninshield as the new Secretary of the Navy, replacing William Jones.

Two squadrons were then assembled, one at New York, under the command of Stephen Decatur, and one at Boston, under the command of Commodore William Bainbridge. Decatur's squadron of ten ships was ready first and set sail for Algiers on May 20. At this time it was the largest US fleet ever assembled. Decatur was in command of the flagship USS Guerriere. Aboard was William Shaler who had just been appointed by Madison as the consul-general for the Barbary States, acting as joint commissioner with Commodores Decatur and Bainbridge. Shaler was in possession of a letter authorizing them to negotiate terms of peace with the Algerian government.[64] Because of Decatur's great successes in the War of 1812 and for his knowledge of and past experience at the Algerian port, Crowninshield chose him to command the lead ship in the naval squadron to Algiers.

The US was demanding the release of Americans held captive as slaves, an end of annual payments of tribute, and finally to procure favorable prize agreements.[150] Decatur was prepared to negotiate peace or resort to military measures. Eager to know the Bey's decision, Decatur dispatched the president's letter which ultimately prompted the Bey to abandon his practice of piracy and kidnapping and come to terms with the United States.

Command of USS Guerriere
On May 20, 1815, Commodore Decatur received instructions from President James Madison to take command of the frigate Guerriere and lead a squadron of ten ships to the Mediterranean Sea to conduct the Second Barbary War, which would put an end to the international practice of paying tribute to the Barbary pirate states. His squadron arrived at Gibraltar on June 14.

Before committing himself to the Mediterranean, Decatur learned from the American consuls at Cadiz and Tangier of any squadrons passing by along the Atlantic coast or through the Strait of Gibraltar. To avoid making known the presence of an American squadron, Decatur did not enter the ports but instead dispatched a messenger in a small boat to communicate with the consuls. He learned from observers there that a squadron under the command of the notorious Rais Hamidou had passed by into the Mediterranean, most likely off Cape Gata. Decatur's squadron arrived at Gibraltar on June 15, 1815. This attracted much attention and prompted the departure of several dispatch vessels to warn Hammida of the squadron's arrival. Decatur's visit was brief with the consul and lasted only for as long as it took to communicate with a short letter to the Secretary of the Navy informing him of earlier weather problems and that he was about to "proceed in search of the enemy forthwith", where he at once set off in search of Hamidou hoping to take him by surprise.

On June 17, while sailing in Guerriere for Algiers, Decatur's fleet encountered near Cape Palos the frigate Mashouda, commanded by Hamidou and the Algerian brig Estedio, which were also en route to Algeria. After overtaking the Mashouda, Decatur fired two broadsides, crippling the ship, killing 30 of the crew, including Hamidou himself, and taking more than 400 prisoners. Lloyd's List reported that the Algerine frigate Mezoura, which had been under the command of the Algerine admiral, had arrived at Carthagena on June 20 as a prize to Decatur's squadron. The newspaper also reported that Decatur's squadron had run another Spanish frigate onshore near Carthagena.

Capturing the flagship of the Algerian fleet at the Battle off Cape Gata Decatur was able to secure sufficient levying power to bargain with the Dey of Algiers. Upon arrival, Decatur exhibited an early use of gunboat diplomacy on behalf of American interests as a reminder that this was the only alternative if the Dey decided to decline signing a treaty. Consequently, a new treaty was agreed upon within 48 hours of Decatur's arrival, confirming the success of his objectives.

After bringing the government in Algiers to terms, Decatur's squadron set sail to Tunis and Tripoli to demand reimbursement for proceeds withheld by those governments during the War of 1812. With a similar show of force exhibited at Algiers Decatur received all of his demands and promptly sailed home victorious. Upon his arrival Decatur boasted to the Secretary of the Navy that the settlement had "been dictated at the mouths of our cannon." For this campaign, he became known as "the Conqueror of the Barbary Pirates".



USS Guerriere was the first frigate built in the United States since 1801. The name came from a fast 38-gun British frigate captured and destroyed in a half-hour battle by USS Constitution on 19 August 1812. This victory was one of the United States' first in the War of 1812.

She was built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard under the supervision of Joseph and Francis Grice. She was launched on 20 June 1814 under the command of Commodore John Rodgers and attached to the Delaware Flotilla. She served in the United States Navy during the Second Barbary War.




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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1844 - USS Constitution sails from New York on round the world cruise


USS Constitution
, also known as Old Ironsides, is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy named by President George Washington after the United States Constitution. She is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat.[Note 1] She was launched in 1797, one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794 and the third constructed. Joshua Humphreys designed the frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so Constitution and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than standard frigates of the period. She was built at Edmund Hartt's shipyard in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts. Her first duties were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.

Constitution is most noted for her actions during the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom, when she captured numerous merchant ships and defeated five British warships: HMS Guerriere, Java, Pictou, Cyane, and Levant. The battle with Guerriere earned her the nickname "Old Ironsides" and public adoration that has repeatedly saved her from scrapping. She continued to serve as flagship in the Mediterranean and African squadrons, and she circled the world in the 1840s. During the American Civil War, she served as a training ship for the United States Naval Academy. She carried American artwork and industrial displays to the Paris Exposition of 1878.

Constitution was retired from active service in 1881 and served as a receiving ship until being designated a museum ship in 1907. In 1934, she completed a three-year, 90-port tour of the nation. She sailed under her own power for her 200th birthday in 1997, and again in August 2012 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of her victory over Guerriere.

Constitution's stated mission today is to promote understanding of the Navy's role in war and peace through educational outreach, historical demonstration, and active participation in public events as part of the Naval History & Heritage Command. As a fully commissioned Navy ship, her crew of 60 officers and sailors participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events while keeping her open to visitors year round and providing free tours. The officers and crew are all active-duty Navy personnel, and the assignment is considered to be special duty. She is usually berthed at Pier 1 of the former Charlestown Navy Yard at one end of Boston's Freedom Trail.

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Constitution c. 1803–04

Around the world
In late 1843, she was moored at Norfolk, serving as a receiving ship. Naval Constructor Foster Rhodes calculated that it would require $70,000 to make her seaworthy. Acting Secretary David Henshaw faced a dilemma. His budget could not support such a cost, yet he could not allow the country's favorite ship to deteriorate. He turned to Captain John Percival, known in the service as "Mad Jack". The captain traveled to Virginia and conducted his own survey of the ship's needs. He reported that the necessary repairs and upgrades could be done at a cost of $10,000. On 6 November, Henshaw told Percival to proceed without delay, but stay within his projected figure. After several months of labor, Percival reported Constitution ready for "a two or even a three-year cruise."

She got underway on 29 May 1844 carrying Ambassador to Brazil Henry A. Wise and his family, arriving at Rio de Janeiro on 2 August after making two port visits along the way. She sailed again on 8 September, making port calls at Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zanzibar, and arriving at Sumatra on 1 January 1845. Many of her crew began to suffer from dysentery and fevers, causing several deaths, which led Percival to set course for Singapore, arriving there 8 February. While in Singapore, Commodore Henry Ducie Chads of HMS Cambrian paid a visit to Constitution, offering what medical assistance his squadron could provide. Chads had been the Lieutenant of Java when she surrendered to William Bainbridge 33 years earlier.

Leaving Singapore, Constitution arrived at Turon, Cochinchina (present day Da Nang, Vietnam) on 10 May. Not long after, Percival was informed that French missionary Dominique Lefèbvre was being held captive under sentence of death. He went ashore with a squad of Marines to speak with the local Mandarin. Percival demanded the return of Lefèbvre and took three local leaders hostage to ensure that his demands were met. When no communication was forthcoming, he ordered the capture of three junks, which were brought to Constitution. He released the hostages after two days, attempting to show good faith towards the Mandarin, who had demanded their return. During a storm, the three junks escaped upriver; a detachment of Marines pursued and recaptured them. The supply of food and water from shore was stopped, and Percival gave in to another demand for the release of the junks in order to keep his ship supplied, expecting Lefèbvre to be released. He soon realized that no return would be made, however, and Percival ordered Constitution to depart on 26 May.

She arrived at Canton, China on 20 June and spent the next six weeks there, while Percival made shore and diplomatic visits. Again the crew suffered from dysentery due to poor drinking water, resulting in three more deaths by the time that she reached Manila on 18 September, spending a week there preparing to enter the Pacific Ocean. She then sailed on 28 September for the Hawaiian Islands, arriving at Honolulu on 16 November. She found Commodore John D. Sloat and his flagship Savannah there; Sloat informed Percival that Constitution was needed in Mexico, as the United States was preparing for war after the Texas annexation. She provisioned for six months and sailed for Mazatlán, arriving there on 13 January 1846. She sat at anchor for more than three months until she was finally allowed to sail for home on 22 April, rounding Cape Horn on 4 July. Arriving in Rio de Janeiro, the ship's party learned that the Mexican War had begun on 13 May, soon after their departure from Mazatlán. She arrived home in Boston on 27 September and was mothballed on 5 October.



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1822 - Charles Mills, launched at Chester in 1810 and made two voyages for the British East India Company (EIC) was foundered on 20 May 1822 with the loss of most of the people on board.


Charles Mills was launched at Chester in 1810. She made two voyages for the British East India Company (EIC). She then traded between London and India under a license from the EIC. She foundered on 20 May 1822 with the loss of most of the people on board.

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Career
Captain George Raincock received a letter of marque on 11 May 1811. The EIC had her measured and then chartered her for two voyages.

Raincock sailed from Torbay on 30 May 1811, bound for Bombay. Charles Mills reached Madeira on 30 June with a number of other India-bound vessels. Their escort, Theban, and another East Indiaman arrived the next day. They were expected to resume their voyages at the end of June.[4] They actually sailed on 2 July. Charles Mills arrived at Bombay on 25 October. Homeward bound, she reached St Helena on 23 February 1812, and arrived at the Downs on 10 May.

Raincock sailed from Portsmouth on 2 June 1813, bound for Bombay. Charles Mills reached Madeira on 21 June, and arrived at Bombay on 24 October. Homeward bound, she was at Point de Galle on 12 January 1814 and the Cape of Good Hope on 1 March. She reached St Helena on 18 March, and Deal on 31 May with several vessels (including Baring and Fairlie), and two whalers (including Indispensable), all under escort by HMS Cornwallis. Charles Mills arrived at Long Reach on 1 June.

Listings of departures in Lloyd's Register for India of ships licensed by the EIC provide the following information:
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Fate
Charles Mills, sailing from Bengal, left the pilot on 11 May. A storm came up on 17 May and she foundered on 20 May at 15°00′N 85°30′E in the Bay of Bengal, about 370 miles ENE of Madras. Sixty-six persons drowned; the seven survivors were at sea in a small boat for five days before they approached land. While the surf prevented them from landing, the French brig Scythe, which was sailing from Mauritius to Calcutta, came upon them and rescued them. The survivors included Captain Wise, Mr. Roberts (the second officer), and five others. Scythe took them to Kedgeree, where they arrived on 28 May.[7] The entry for Charles Mills in the 1823 Lloyd's Register carries the annotation "lost".

This same storm caught Lady Nugent at 15°N 88°E. She survived after having thrown a third of her cargo overboard. She was so damaged that she had to put back into Bengal.


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1856 – Launch of HMS Alert, a 17-gun wooden screw sloop of the Cruizer class of the Royal Navy, launched in 1856 and broken up in 1894.


MS
Alert
was a 17-gun wooden screw sloop of the Cruizer class of the Royal Navy, launched in 1856 and broken up in 1894. She was the eleventh ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name (or a variant of it), and was noted for her Arctic exploration work; in 1876 she reached a record latitude of 82° North. Alert briefly served with the US Navy, and ended her career with the Canadian Marine Service as a lighthouse tender and buoy ship.

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HMS Alert in pack ice during the Arctic Expedition of 1876.

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Construction
The wooden sloops of the Cruizer class were designed under the direction of Lord John Hay, and after his "Committee of Reference" was disbanded, their construction was supervised by the new Surveyor of the Navy, Sir Baldwin Walker. Ordered together with her co-ship Falcon on 2 April 1853, Alert was laid down at the Royal Dockyard, Pembroke in January 1855. It was fitted at Chatham with a two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine, which was supplied by Ravenhill & Salkeld at a cost of £6,052 and generated an indicated horsepower of 383 hp (286 kW); driving a single screw, this gave a maximum speed of 8.8 knots (16.3 km/h). The class was given a barque-rig sail plan.

Armament
All the ships of the class were provided with one 32-pounder (56 cwt) long gun on a pivot mount and sixteen 32-pounder (32 cwt) carriage guns in a broadside arrangement. When converted for Arctic exploration in 1874, her armament was reduced to a token outfit of four Armstrong breech-loaders.

History
Pacific Station (1857–1868)
Alert spent the first 11 years of her life on the Pacific Station, based at Esquimalt at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Canada. Alert Bay, British Columbia is named after the ship, and nearby Pearse Island, at the north entrance to Johnstone Strait, is named after Commander William Alfred Rumbulow Pearse, her commanding officer. During this period it returned to Plymouth between October 1861 and May 1863 for a refit. Her service on the Pacific station was the type of work for which her class had been designed—the policing of Britain's far-flung maritime empire.

A photograph exists of Alert at Esquimalt, British Columbia from 1867, and it is further attested to by the following extract from The Colonist newspaper:

The 'Alert' Taken! – On Wednesday, H.M.S. Alert was taken without resistance on the part of her officers and crew, who are believed to have lent themselves to the plot. The ship was lying at anchor in Esquimalt harbour when the affair occurred, and the time chosen by the enemy was noon-day. The captor was Mr. Robinson the Photographer, and the only weapons he used in effecting his object were a Camera, and a bit of glass.
— The Colonist, 5 July 1866
Alert paid off at Plymouth on 30 May 1868 and was placed in the Steam Reserve.

Arctic exploration (1874–1876)

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HMS Alert pushed aground by ice, Radmore Harbour, 1875–1876 (Illustrated London News, 1876)

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An orthographic projection showing the location of Alert, Nunavut

In 1874, Alert was taken in hand for conversion to the role of Arctic exploration. Her single-expansion engine was replaced with an R & W Hawthorn compound-expansion engine, it was reboilered to 60 pounds per square inch (410 kPa), her armament was reduced to four guns and her hull was strengthened with felt-covered iron. Above the waterline it was sheathed with teak, and below it, Canadian elm and pitch-pine. The modifications caused her displacement to increase to 1,240 tons.

The British Arctic Expedition was commanded by Captain George Strong Nares, and comprised Alert (Captain Nares) and Discovery (Captain Henry Frederick Stephenson). The expedition aimed to reach the North Pole via Smith Sound, the sea passage between Greenland and Canada's northernmost island, Ellesmere Island. Contemporary geographers proposed that there could be an Open Polar Sea, and that if the thick layer of ice surrounding it were overcome, access to the North Pole by sea might be possible. Ever since Edward Augustus Inglefield had penetrated Smith Sound in 1852, it had been a likely route to the North.

Despite finding heavier-than-expected ice, the expedition pressed on. Leaving Discovery to winter at Lady Franklin Bay, Alert pressed on a further 50 nautical miles (93 km; 58 mi) through the Robeson Channel, establishing her winter quarters at Floeberg Beach.[9] Spring 1876 saw considerable activity by sledge, charting the coasts of Ellesmere Island and Greenland, but scurvy had begun to take hold, with Alert suffering the greatest burden. On 3 April the second-in-command of Alert, Albert Hastings Markham, took a party north to attempt the Pole. By 11 May, having made slow progress, they reached their greatest latitude at 83° 20' 26"N. Suffering from snow blindness, scurvy and exhaustion, they turned back.

The expedition was rewarded on its return; Nares was knighted, Markham was promoted to captain. The geography of northern Canada and Greenland is dotted with the names of those connected with the expedition: Nares Strait, Nares Lake, Markham Ice Shelf, Ayles Ice Shelf, and Mount Ayles. The northernmost permanently inhabited place on earth, the settlement of Alert at the northern point of Ellesmere Island, was named for the ship.

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Survey (1876–1884)
Alert recommissioned at Chatham on 20 August 1878 under the command of Captain Sir George Strong Nares for a survey of the Strait of Magellan. On 12 March 1879 Captain John Fiot Lee Pearse Maclear took command, and under him she went to Australia Station and the Pacific. She was employed in surveying, but the presence of Doctor Richard Coppinger, her surgeon, ensured that she also made a huge contribution to the field of zoology. Coppinger, who had also served in the Arctic expedition, was an accomplished naturalist and his collections from the period 1878–1882, which included indigenous cultural artifacts purloined, as he admitted, from Mutumui sites on Clack Island, added 1,300 species to the National Collection. Alert paid off at Sheerness on 20 September 1882.


Loan to the US Navy (1884)
Adolphus Greely led the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition to the Arctic in 1881. Two supply ships failed to reach his party, and a relief expedition in 1883 also failed to extract the team. The US Navy put together a further relief expedition in 1884 under Captain W. S. Schley, and Alert was offered. She was loaned to the US Navy under the command of Captain George W Coffin on 20 February 1884, and was used to set up supply dumps to support USS Bear in the extrication of Greely and his men.

Two members of Greely's expedition, Lieutenant James B. Lockwood and Sergeant David Legge Brainard had achieved a new record of 83° 30'N, just 4 miles (6.4 km) closer to the Pole than Markham had achieved in 1876. Lockwood and 19 other members of the expedition died; Greely, Brainard and four others survived.

Loan to the Canadian Government
In September 1880, the United Kingdom transferred its rights of Arctic sovereignty to Canada. From 1884 to 1886 the Canadian Marine Service of the Department of Marine and Fisheries sent an expedition to Hudson Bay to establish observation posts and to estimate the length of season for ice-free navigation. A former lieutenant of the Royal Navy, Andrew Robertson Gordon, was placed in command, and a suitable ship was sought. Having finished her work with the US Navy, Alert seemed the ideal vessel for the task. She was sailed to the Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax and transferred by the senior naval officer to the marine agent of the Department of Marine and Fisheries.

The Alert was a screw steamship, barque rigged, of about 700 tons gross . . . constructed as to be capable of resisting great ice pressure, and her engines being only 50 nominal horsepower, the screw is small . . . so that in every way she was well adapted for the work of the expedition.
— Andrew Robertson Gordon
In 1886 she carried Captain Markham, who had been second-in-command of Alert during the 1876 Arctic Exploration, and now represented the interests of a railway company interested in building a line from Winnipeg to Hudson Bay. Captain Markham left the ship at York Factory, Manitoba and returned by the Hayes River canoe route.

CGS_Alert.jpg
Alert as a lighthouse supply ship in 1893

After the last Hudson Bay expedition in 1886, Alert was reconfigured as a light-house supply vessel and buoy tender. Her topmasts and yards were removed, and a wheelhouse was built abaft the remains of the main mast. She worked at first in Nova Scotia, but as her wooden hull showed signs of deterioration, she was moved to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, sailing out of Quebec. Thirty years after her launch little was left of her original appearance; in essence she was now a small, old, low-powered steamer showing the scars of hard labour and many an ungainly conversion. Nevertheless, she continued to give useful service until the last decade of the nineteenth century.

Disposal
CGS Alert was laid up in November 1894 and sold, the bill of exchange being forwarded to the Admiralty, since she was still officially on loan, the total sum being 814 pounds, 2 shillings and 7 pence. The ship was probably broken up at an undisclosed location.

Legacy
CFS Alert, a Canadian military listening post, Alert, Nunavut the world's northernmost continuously inhabited settlement, and Alert Bay, British Columbia, are named after the ship.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Alert_(1856)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1865 - City of Dunedin – The side wheel paddle steamer wrecked in Cook Strait near Cape Terawhiti on 20 May 1865 while sailing from Wellington to Hokitika via Nelson, New Zealand with the loss of all on board.


The City of Dunedin was a 327-ton side wheel paddle steamer wrecked in Cook Strait near Cape Terawhiti on 20 May 1865 while sailing from Wellingtonto Hokitika via Nelson with the loss of all on board. Captain James Parker Boyd commanded her.


Construction
The City of Dunedin was an iron paddle steamer built in Glasgow by Archibald Denny of Dumbarton. She was fitted with 100 hp Denny and Co steam engines. Miss Margaret Robson of Glasgow named her.

She had been built specifically for the coastal trade around New Zealand. She was owned by Jones and Co of Otago.

She was described as not being elegant in appearance, but .. handsome proportions, and thorough adaption for the trade in which she is to be employed ... She had a full length spar deck, a new type of windlass to aid mooring and unmooring the vessel. The main deck was 7 feet below the spar deck. She had fore and aft holds, separated by the engine room. Her dimensions were 167 feet long by 23 feet beam. Her fully laden draught was 6.5 feet and her depth 15 feet. Her normal speed was 10 knots. There were 56 berths for passengers.

John Jones who owned a 54/64ths share in the boat had not insured his share. The remaining 10/64th owners had insured their shares.

Maiden voyage
Its maiden voyage from Glasgow to Dunedin under Captain McFarlane took 87 days. She left Glasgow on 9 July and arrived in Dunedin in November. The ships engineers for the journey were inexperienced and did not maintain the engines properly. On reaching the Bay of Biscay the ship no longer ran on steam and had to revert to sail. She put into Madeira to repair the engines and to the Cape Verde Islands to obtain coal. On reaching the equator the ship again reverted to sail until it reached the Solanders. The journey was without incident until 600 miles from the Cape of Good Hope where she ran into strong winds. After arriving at Dunedin she was sent over to Melbourne to be docked as there was no dock at Dunedin.

Coastal trade
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Hokitika in 1868

Her first journey was an excursion for guests of the owners from Port Chalmers to Otago Heads on 5 December 1863. Her first commercial voyage was the following week, sailing from Port Chalmers at 1pm on Wednesday, 9 December. She stopped at Waikouaiti, Moeraki, Oamaru, Timaru, and Akaroa before arriving at Lyttleton on 12 December. She left Lyttelton on 16 December and arrived back at Port Chalmers on the 20th. The proposal was for this to be a prelude to a weekly service between these ports in conjunction with the Geelong.

By May 1864 she had sailed to Wellington and was regularly sailing to Havelock and Picton. In early 1865 she began calling at Wellington and Nelson. With the West Coast gold rush, Hokitika was added to her ports of call by April.

Disappearance
Sightings
1280px-Cape_Terawhiti.jpg
Cape Terawhiti

The City of Dunedin sailed from Wellington at about 4pm on Saturday 20 May 1865. She was sighted later that afternoon by a 15-year-old girl, Miss McMenamen while she was out horse riding at Cape Terawhiti, close in shore among the rocks. She thought the steamer had lost its steering as it was sailing in circles. The crew appeared to be confused, raising and lowering the sails. On returning home she asked her mother to come and look, but as her mother was busy she did not go. The wind on that day was reported as a fresh south-easterly. Later accounts refer to there having been a storm on the 20th and 21st.

Search
When the City of Dunedin failed to arrive in Nelson she was initially thought of as being either delayed or having sailed straight to Hokitika. As time went on and debris was found along the Wellington coast, she was considered to have hit one of the rocks near the Cape and sunk.

The gunboat Sandfly under Captain Fox carried out a search of the shores on both sides of the strait.

A search on foot of the coast from Lyall Bay to Ohariu Bay was carried out by J W Rayer to ascertain the ships fate. Various pieces of the ship and its contents were found strewn along the coast. The majority of the relics of the wreck were found between the Pilot Station and Sinclair Head.




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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1905 – Launch of HMS Africa, a pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy, and the penultimate ship of the King Edward VII class.


HMS
Africa
was a pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy, and the penultimate ship of the King Edward VII class. The ship was built by Chatham Dockyard between 1904 and 1906. Armed with a battery of four 12-inch (305 mm) and four 9.2 in (234 mm) guns, she and her sister ships marked a significant advance in offensive power compared to earlier British battleship designs that did not carry the 9.2 in guns. Like all ships of the class (apart from HMS King Edward VII), she was named after an important part of the British Empire, namely Africa.

HMS_Africa.jpg

After commissioning in July 1905, she served briefly with the Atlantic Fleet from October to March 1907 before transferring to the Channel Fleet. She then joined the Home Fleet in 1909. Africa participated in tests with shipboard aircraft in January 1912, and she was the first British ship to launch an aeroplane. In mid-1912, she, along with her sister ships, was assigned to the 3rd Battle Squadron, part of the Home Fleet. That year, the squadron went to the Mediterranean Sea during the First Balkan War as part of an international blockade of Montenegro. In 1913, the ship returned to British waters.

When the First World War broke out, Africa was transferred back to the 3rd Battle Squadron, which was assigned to the Grand Fleet, the main British fleet during the war. Through 1914 and 1915, the ships frequently went to sea to search for German vessels, but Zealandia saw no action during this period. By the end of the year, the Grand Fleet stopped operating with the older 3rd Battle Squadron ships, and in April 1916 the 3rd Squadron was relocated to the Nore Command. Later that year, Africa was attached to the 2nd Detached Squadron, then serving in the Adriatic Sea. In 1917, she was sent to the 9th Cruiser Squadron, based in Sierra Leone; while she was there, her crew was stricken with Spanish flu. Africa returned to Britain in October 1918, was decommissioned the following month, and sold for scrap in 1920.


Design
Main article: King Edward VII-class battleship
1024px-King-Edward-Class.png
Left elevation and deck plan as depicted in Jane's Fighting Ships

Following the development of pre-dreadnought type battleships carrying heavy secondary guns of 8-inch (200 mm) diameter in the Italian Regia Marina and the United States Navy, the Royal Navy decided to build similar ships. Initial proposals called for a battleship equipped with eight 7.5 in (190 mm) guns to support the main battery, though under the direction of William Henry White, the Director of Naval Construction, these were replaced with four 9.2 in (234 mm) guns. The new ships, though based on the general Majestic type that had formed the basis of the preceding four battleship designs, marked the first significant change in the series. Like all late pre-dreadnoughts that entered service in the mid-1900s, Africa was made almost instantaneously obsolescent by the commissioning of the all-big-gun HMS Dreadnought in December 1906, armed with a battery of ten heavy guns compared to the typical four of most pre-dreadnoughts.

Africa was 453 feet 9 inches (138.30 m) long overall, with a beam of 75 ft (23 m) and a draft of 25 ft 8 in (7.82 m). The King Edward VII-class battleships displaced 15,585 to 15,885 long tons (15,835 to 16,140 t) normally and up to 17,009 to 17,290 long tons (17,282 to 17,567 t) fully loaded. Her crew numbered 777 officers and ratings. The King Edward VII-class ships were powered by a pair of 4-cylinder triple-expansion engines that drove two screws, with steam provided by sixteen water-tube boilers. The boilers were trunked into two funnels located amidships. The King Edward VII-class ships had a top speed of 18.5 knots (34.3 km/h; 21.3 mph) from 18,000 indicated horsepower(13,000 kW). On her 8-hour full power trials conducted on 3 June 1906, Africa reached a top speed of 18.95 knots (35.10 km/h; 21.81 mph) from an average of 18,671 ihp (13,923 kW).

Africa had four 12-inch (305 mm) 40-calibre guns mounted in twin-gun turrets fore and aft. These were supported by a heavy secondary battery of four 9.2 in (234 mm) guns in four single turrets, two on each broadside. The ships also mounted ten 6-inch (152 mm) 45-calibre guns mounted in casemates, in addition to fourteen 12-pounder 3 in (76 mm) guns and fourteen 3-pounder 47 mm (1.9 in) guns for defence against torpedo boats. As was customary for battleships of the period, she was also equipped with five 18-inch (457 mm) torpedo tubes submerged in the hull; two were on each broadside, with the fifth in the stern.

Africa had an armoured belt that was 9 inches (229 mm) thick; the transverse bulkheads on the aft end of the belt was 8 to 12 in (203 to 305 mm) thick. The sides of her main battery turrets were also 8 to 12 in thick, atop 12 in barbettes, and the 9.2 turrets had 5 to 9 in (127 to 229 mm) sides. The casemate battery was protected with 7 in (178 mm) of armour plate. Her conning tower had 12-inch-thick sides. She was fitted with two armoured decks, 1 and 2.5 in (25 and 64 mm) thick, respectively

King_Edward_VII_class_battleship.jpg
Line-drawing of the King Edward VII class

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HMS King Edward VII, lead ship of the King Edward VIIclass.

The King Edward VII class was a class of eight pre-dreadnought battleships launched by the Royal Navy between 1903 and 1905. The class comprised King Edward VII, the lead ship, Commonwealth, Hindustan, Britannia, Dominion, New Zealand, Africa, and Hibernia. They marked the first major development of the basic pre-dreadnought type that had been developed with the Majestic type of the mid-1890s, all of which had been designed by the Director of Naval Construction, William Henry White, with the primary innovation being the adoption of a heavy secondary battery of four 9.2-inch (234 mm) guns to supplement the standard main battery of four 12 in (300 mm) guns. The King Edward VIIs were among the last pre-dreadnoughts built for the Royal Navy before the construction and launch of the revolutionary battleship HMS Dreadnought in 1906, which immediately rendered them obsolescent.

The ships served with the Atlantic Fleet from 1905 to 1907, when they were transferred to the Channel Fleet, though this service lasted only until 1908–1909, when they were reassigned to the Home Fleet. During this period, King Edward VII served as fleet flagship as a result of a request from her namesake that she always serve as such. Africa and Hibernia were involved with experiments with seaplanes in 1912, and that year all members of the class were assigned to the 3rd Battle Squadron of the Home Fleet and were later sent to the Mediterranean Sea to respond to the First Balkan War.

By the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, the King Edward VIIs were sent to the Grand Fleet to support the Northern Patrol and to conduct sweeps in the North Sea for German warships, though they never saw combat. In January 1916, King Edward VII struck a German naval mine and sank, though her crew was safely evacuated. By mid-1916, the surviving ships were no longer suitable for front-line fleet service, and so they were dispersed to other tasks, including coastal defence with the Nore Command and for operations in the Gallipoli Campaign. Africa was sent to the Atlantic Patrol in 1917 and was later stricken with Spanish flu, and Britannia was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat two days before the end of the war, one of the last British warships to be sunk in the conflict. The surviving members of the class were all sold for scrap in the early 1920s.

Construction
King Edward VII, the first battleship laid down after the beginning of Edward VII's reign, was named for the monarch; the rest of the members of the class were named for the constituent parts of the British Empire, including the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, Hindustan (India), Britannia (the Roman name for Great Britain), New Zealand, the Empire's African colonies, and Hibernia (the Roman name for Ireland).

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HMS_New_Zealand_LOC_ggbain_16722.jpg
New Zealand at some point between 1905 and 1911



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1909 - USS Mississippi (BB 23) arrives at Natchez, Miss., and becomes the first U.S. Navy battleship to visit an inland city.


USS Mississippi was the lead ship of the Mississippi class originally built by the US Navy in 1904–1908. The class was built to a design smaller than other American battleships as the result of a limit on displacement imposed by Congress as part of an effort to constrain costs. The ships were armed with a main battery of four 12 in (305 mm), the standard for pre-dreadnought battleships of the time, but to secure that heavy primary armament, significant compromises in speed, secondary batteries, and armor protection were necessary to keep the ship within the prescribed displacement limit.

1920px-Kilkis2.jpg

Mississippi served with the Atlantic Fleet from 1909 to 1912, which consisted primarily of routine training operations. In 1910, she and other ships of the fleet visited Europe and in 1912, she carried marines to Cuba during civil unrest in the country. Too slow to operate effectively with the fleet, she was placed in reserve in 1912. Mississippi was reactivated in January 1914 for use as an aviation support ship assigned to the Naval Air Station Pensacola, and she supported flying boats during the occupation of Veracruz, Mexico in April 1914. By this time, the navy was prepared to dispose of the ship, and Greece, which had entered a naval arms race with the Ottoman Empire, sought to acquire warships as quickly as possible.

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Greece bought Mississippi in July 1914 and renamed her Kilkis (Greek: Θ/Κ Κιλκίς); she thereafter became the flagship of the Greek fleet. She did not see action during World War I, as the Greek government remained neutral until 1917, and after entering the war she only served as a harbor defense ship. She saw service during the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, supporting landings in Turkey and covering the final withdrawal of Greek forces in September 1922. Still plagued by her low speed, Kilkis was withdrawn from flagship duties in 1930, placed in reserve in 1932, and used as a training ship until the outbreak of World War II, after which she was used as a floating battery. During the German invasion of Greece on 23 April, she was attacked and sunk by German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers at Salamis Naval Base, together with her sister ship Lemnos. The two ships were ultimately raised in the 1950s and broken up for scrap.


Design
Main article: Mississippi-class battleship
Mississippi_-_12_inch_Guns_-_1908.jpg
Forward main battery turret of Mississippi

The two Mississippi-class battleships were ordered under the terms of the 1903 naval appropriations, which stipulated a maximum designed displacement of 13,000 long tons (13,209 t). The limit was an effort led by senior naval officers including Admiral George Dewey and Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, who believed a force of smaller but more numerous battleships would better suit the navy's needs. Elements in Congress also opposed the continually increasing size, and more importantly, cost of each new battleship design. The limited displacement amounted to a reduction of 3,000 long tons (3,048 t) compared to the preceding Connecticut class, which necessitated significant compromises in speed, armament, and armor, making them poor designs unable to serve with the main fleet and led to their quick disposal.

Mississippi was 382 feet (116 m) long overall and had a beam of 77 ft (23 m) and a draft of 24 ft 8 in (7.52 m). She displaced 13,000 long tons as designed and up to 14,465 long tons (14,697 t) at full combat load. The ship was powered by two-shaft vertical triple expansion engines and eight coal-fired Babcock & Wilcox boilers rated at 10,000 indicated horsepower (7,500 kW) and a top speed of 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph). Lattice masts were installed in 1909. She had a crew of 744 officers and enlisted men.

The ship was armed with a main battery of four 12 in (305 mm) L/45 guns in two twin turrets, one on either end of the superstructure. Eight 8 in (203 mm) L/45 guns were mounted in four twin turrets, two on other side of the vessel amidships. The secondary battery was rounded out with eight 7 in (178 mm) L/45 guns mounted individually in casemates along the length of the hull, two fewer than the Connecticut class. Close-range defense against torpedo boats was protected by a battery of twelve 3 in (76 mm) L/50 guns (compared to twenty aboard the Connecticuts), six 3-pounder guns and two 1-pounder guns. The ship's armament system was completed by two 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes submerged in her hull

The ship's main armored belt was 7 to 9 in (178 to 229 mm) thick and, reduced to 4 to 7 in (100 to 180 mm) on either end. This amounted to a two-inch reduction compared to the Connecticuts. The main battery gun turrets had 12 in (305 mm) thick faces, mounted atop 10 in (250 mm) barbettes. Her secondary battery was protected by 7 in (180 mm) side armor. The forward conning tower had 9 in thick sides.

Service history
1024px-USS_Mississippi_BB-23_construction.jpg
Mississippi during fitting out

United States career
Construction – 1910
Laid down at the William Cramp & Sons shipyard in Philadelphia on 12 May 1904, the ship was launched on 30 September 1905 and was commissioned into the United States Navy on 1 January 1908 as USS Mississippi. The ship left Philadelphia on 15 February to begin sea trials that lasted from 24 February to 9 March. She went to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for final fitting-out on 15 March, and embarked on further trials beginning on 1 July. Over the course of the following months, she visited numerous ports along the east coast of the United States before returning to Philadelphia on 10 September for repairs that lasted into 1909.

On 16 January 1909, Mississippi left Philadelphia, bound for Key West, Florida by way of Hampton Roads. There, she met the battleship Maine and the two ships proceeded south to Havana, Cuba on 25 January, where they represented the United States at the inauguration ceremony for President José Miguel Gómez. On 28 January, she went to Guantanamo Bay and thereafter cruised the area until 10 February, when she was assigned to the Third Division of the Atlantic Fleet. She met the returning Great White Fleet off Hampton Roads and was present for the naval review in the harbor there on 22 February. Mississippi returned to Guantanamo Bay on 8 March for gunnery training there in April. From there, she crossed the Caribbean Sea to steam up the Mississippi River as far north as Natchez, Mississippi. She then returned to the east coast of the US, stopping in Philadelphia in June and then in Eastport, Maine for Independence Day celebrations on 4 July. More gunnery training followed in Cape Cod Bay, along with maneuvers with the Atlantic Fleet and various port visits through September. These operations culminated in the Hudson–Fulton Celebration in September and October. After periodic maintenance at Philadelphia in October, she visited New Orleans and other ports in the area before returning for more repairs at Philadelphia.

Mississippi got underway on 5 January 1910, again headed for Cuba, where she joined the other units of the Atlantic Fleet for training from 12 January to 24 March. She then steamed to Hampton Roads, arriving there on 4 April, and taking part in target practice from then until 28 April. More repairs followed in Philadelphia, lasting until 16 July. She then conducted torpedo training in Maine in late July before embarking a contingent from the Rhode Island Naval Militia for sea training that included further torpedo drills. In August, she steamed south to Hampton Roads for more shooting training and battle practice with the fleet through September. Another stint in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard followed from 5 October to 1 November, after which she and the rest of the Third Division crossed the Atlantic to visit Europe, including stops in Gravesend, United Kingdom and Brest, France. On the way back to Cuban waters, the ships conducted mock battle training.

1911–1914
1920px-USS_Mississippi_NARA-45512772.jpg
Mississippi after her aft lattice mast was installed in 1909

On 13 January 1911, Mississippi arrived in Guantanamo Bay, and she spent the following two months conducting various maneuvers with the Atlantic Fleet. She left the area on 13 March and arrived in Hampton Roads four days later. Further training followed over the next month, after which she returned to Philadelphia for periodic maintenance that lasted from 12 April to 1 May. She thereafter cruised the east coast of the US in company with the other ships of the division and into the Gulf of Mexico, proceeding as far as Galveston, Texas. Mississippi embarked a group from the New York Naval Militia for a training cruise that lasted from 13 to 22 July, and in August took part in maneuvers with torpedo boats off the coast of Massachusetts. She returned to Hampton Roads on 24 August to meet the rest of the fleet for shooting practice. She participated in a naval review for President William Howard Taft in the North River on 1 November

The ship then returned to Hampton Roads for training with the Second Squadron before stopping in Newport News, Virginia on 24 November. Another period of repair work at Philadelphia followed from 8 December to 16 March 1912, when she departed to rejoin the fleet off Hampton Roads. She took part in a variety of training exercises through 22 April, when she was detached from the fleet for cruising trials off Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her squadron joined her there on 15 May for exercises that began five days later. On 26 May, Mississippi, seven other battleships, and the armored cruiser Washington, embarked a contingent of marines from the 2nd Marine Regiment and carried them to Cuba, where domestic unrest threatened the Cuban government. The fleet arrived on 19 June, disembarked the marines, and then remained in Guantanamo Bay until conditions in the country improved, allowing the fleet to leave for training. Fleet and division maneuvers began on 10 July off the coast of Rhode Island and Connecticut and on 1 August, Mississippi went to Philadelphia, where she was placed in reserve.

She remained in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until 30 December 1913, when she was sent to Pensacola, Florida for use as a support ship for the creation of the Naval Air Station Pensacola. She took on a group of nine officers and twenty-three enlisted men along with aircraft and other equipment. She arrived there on 20 January 1914, where the men set about establishing the base. In April, Mississippi received orders to carry a 500-man detachment from the 2nd Marines, who had by then transferred to Pensacola, to Tampico, Mexico after the Tampico Affair that saw a minor confrontation between Mexican soldiers and USN sailors. She also carried a pair of seaplanes and supporting equipment. The ship got underway for Veracruz, Mexico on 21 April, arriving there four days later. On 26 April, she transferred both seaplanes to shore, along with their ground crews and other equipment. The aircraft operated in the area for a month and a half during the occupation of Veracruz, conducting reconnaissance and searching the surrounding sea for naval mines, supported by men from Mississippi. In late May, the ship departed for Pensacola, where she remained until 28 June, thereafter steaming north for Hampton Roads.

Greece became engaged in a naval arms race with the Ottoman Empire in the early 1910s; in 1910 the Ottomans had purchased a pair of German pre-dreadnoughts (renamed Barbaros Hayreddin and Turgut Reis) and ordered dreadnought battleships from Britain in 1911 and 1914. The Royal Hellenic Navy ordered the dreadnought Salamis from Germany in 1913 and the dreadnought Basileus Konstantinos from France in response. As a stop-gap measure, the Greeks purchased Mississippi and Idaho from the US Navy. The Greek government bought the ships through an intermediary, the shipbuilder Fred Gauntlett, who acquired them on 8 July and handed them over to Greece. Two days later, Mississippi and Idaho were taken to Newport News and were decommissioned and transferred to the Greek Navy on 21 July. Renamed Kilkis and Lemnos, respectively, they quickly left the United States after their transfer due to the rising tensions in Europe following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria the previous month. After arriving in Greece, Kilkis became the flagship of the Greek fleet.

Greek career
H77442-cropped.jpg
Kilkis or Lemnos in port in the United States

At the outbreak of World War I in July 1914, Greece's pro-German monarch, Constantine I, decided to remain neutral, so the ships saw no action. The Entente powers landed troops in Salonika in 1915, which was a source of tension between France and Greece. Ultimately, the French seized the Hellenic Navy on 19 October 1916 (see Noemvriana and National Schism). Kilkis was reduced to a skeleton crew and had the breech blocks for her guns removed to render them inoperable. All ammunition and torpedoes were also removed. Ultimately, a pro-Entente government replaced Constantine and declared war on the Central Powers. Kilkis, however, did not see active service with Greece's new allies, and instead was used solely for harbor defense until the end of the war.

After the end of World War I Kilkis saw service in the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War in the Black Sea. While supporting the French and British forces defending Sevastopol in April 1919, Kilkis observed mutinies on several French battleships. Her crew taunted the French mutineers by hanging a dummy from the yardarm. Kilkis then returned to Greece. During the subsequent Greco-Turkish War, Kilkis served in support of landings to seize Ottoman territory. On 15 May 1919, she and a pair of destroyers escorted a convoy of six transports carrying the troops that undertook the occupation of Smyrna and its environs. Kilkis carried Rear Admiral Kaloulides, who thereafter served as the military governor of the city. The Ottoman Navy had been interned by the Allies after the end of World War I, and so provided no opposition to the Royal Hellenic Navy's activities.

In March 1920, Kilkis was stationed in Constantinople as part of an Allied fleet, which was composed primarily of British warships. The ships' crews practiced landing operations to support the garrison occupying the city, but in the event only crews from the British ships went ashore. Kilkis left the theater to represent Greece during the Fleet Review in Spithead to honor King George V on his birthday, 3 June 1920. In July, Kilkis and a pair of destroyers escorted a convoy carrying 7,000 infantrymen, 1,000 artillerists, and 4,000 mules to Panderma. Among the Greek naval vessels that supported the landings with Kilkis were the armored cruiser Georgios Averof and the destroyers Aetos, Leon, and Ierax, and a hospital ship. Landings also took place at Eregli on the other side of the Sea of Marmora. On 19 July, Kilkis departed with several transport ships and the British seaplane carrier HMS Ark Royal, which provided aerial reconnaissance for the Greek forces. Operations came to a close in September 1922 when the Greek Army was forced to evacuate by sea, along with a sizable number of civilians, from Asia Minor. The fleet transported a total of 250,000 soldiers and civilians during the evacuation. Kilkis and Lemnos departed Smyrna on the evening of 8 September.

Greek_ships_under_air_attack_in_April_1941.jpg
Kilkis under attack by German bombers

Kilkis underwent repairs and upgrades in 1926–1928 but was already obsolete due to low speed and low freeboard. The ship had her boilers re-tubed during this refit. On 29 November 1929, the Hellenic Navy announced that Kilkis would be withdrawn from service and broken up for scrap. Consequently, in 1930, Georgios Averof replaced her as the fleet flagship. Nevertheless, Kilkis remained in service with the fleet until 1932. The ship was then withdrawn from the active fleet and used as a training ship. A failed insurrection in the Greek fleet in March 1935 led to Kilkis being reactivated in response to the capture of Georgios Averof being seized by the revolutionaries. After the revolt collapsed, Kilkis was used as a training ship for anti-aircraft gunners.

World War II
On 28 October 1940, Italy invaded Greece, initiating the Greco-Italian War as part of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's expansionist ambitions. The Greek army quickly defeated the Italians and pushed them back to Albania. Less than two weeks later, the Italian fleet was badly damaged in the British Raid on Taranto, which significantly reduced the threat the Italian Regia Marina posed to the Greek fleet. From the start of the conflict, Kilkis was used as a floating battery based in Salamis. Spare guns from Kilkis and Lemnos were employed as coastal batteries throughout Greece.

On 6 April 1941, the German Wehrmacht invaded Greece to support its Italian ally in the stalemated conflict. British planners suggested using the ship to block the Corinth Canal by scuttling her at the southern entrance to the canal, but the Greeks refused, preferring to use the ship as a barracks ship if they should have to retreat from Salamis. The ship was attacked in Salamis Naval Base by Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers on 23 April 1941, during the German invasion. Kilkis attempted to get underway to evade the attacks, but she was hit by several bombs and sank in the harbor. Her wreck was refloated and broken up for scrap in the 1950s.



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

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
20 May 1943 – Launch of HMS Nairana (/naɪˈrɑːnə/), the lead ship of the Royal Navy's Nairana-class escort carriers that saw service in the Second World War


HMS
Nairana
(/naɪˈrɑːnə/) was the lead ship of the Royal Navy's Nairana-class escort carriers that saw service in the Second World War. She was built at John Brown & Company shipyards in Clydebank, Scotland. When construction started in 1941 she was intended as a merchant ship, but was completed and launched as an escort carrier, entering service at the end of 1943.

Nairana operated escorting convoys and doing anti-submarine work in the Atlantic and Arctic theatres. On 26 May 1944, Royal Navy Sea Hurricanes operating from Nairana claimed the destruction of three Junkers Ju 290s during the defence of a convoy. This represented 10 percent of the total German inventory of the type. She survived the war, and in 1946 was transferred to the Dutch Navy as the Karel Doorman (QH1), the first Dutch aircraft carrier. In 1948, she was replaced in the Dutch Navy by another vessel of the same name. Nairana was returned to the Royal Navy, and sold to the Port Line company, becoming the merchant ship Port Victor.

HMS_Nairana.jpg

Design and description
The Nairanas were a class of three escort carriers built for the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Escort carriers were designed to protect convoys of merchant ships from U-boat and aircraft attack.[4]Following the successful conversion and operation of Activity, the Admiralty decided to take over three more merchant ships while they were still under construction and convert them into escort carriers. The three ships chosen were being built at three different shipyards Harland and Wolff in Northern Ireland, Swan Hunter in England and John Brown & Company in Scotland. The prototype was built by John Brown who supplied the other two companies with copies of the plans. The three ships were supposed to be identical but in reality they were all slightly different.

HMS Nairana—built by John Brown was launched on 20 May 1943 and completed on 12 December 1943.[6] She had a complement of 728 men and displaced 14,050 long tons (14,280 t). Her other dimensions were a length of 528 ft 6 in (161.09 m), a beam of 68 ft 6 in (20.88 m) and a draught of 21 ft (6.4 m). Her aircraft facilities included a 495 ft (151 m) flight deck,[8] a hangar measuring 231 ft × 61 ft (70 m × 19 m), eight arrestor wires and an aircraft lift measuring 45 ft × 34 ft (14 m × 10 m).

She had a traditional rivetted hull, steel flight decks and a closed hangar. Propulsion was provided by diesel engines connected to two shafts giving 11,000 hp (8,200 kW), which could propel the ship at 17 kn (20 mph; 31 km/h). Her armaments concentrated on anti-aircraft (AA) defence and comprised two 4 in (100 mm) dual purpose guns on a twin mount, sixteen 20 mm (0.79 in) AA autocannons on eight twin mounts and sixteen 2-Pounder "Pom Pom" AA guns on four quadruple mounts. Aircraft assigned were either anti-submarine or fighter aircraft, which could be made up of a mixture of Hawker Sea Hurricanes, Grumman Wildcats or Fairey Swordfish.

Service history

Nairana was commissioned in December 1943, and moved to Gourock for working up.[10] Nairana with 835 Naval Air Squadron Fleet Air Arm on board commenced flying exercises with Activity on 27 January 1944. Both carriers left the River Clyde on 29 January with the 2nd Escort Group under the command of Captain Frederic John Walker. They were to form a "hunter killer group" in the waters west of Ireland, providing cover for two southbound convoys OS 66 and KMS 70. Weather conditions had prohibited flying until 31 January. With clearer weather Nairana turned into the wind to send off her first anti-submarine patrol. At the same time, Wild Goose reported contact with a submerged U-boat on her ASDIC. Warning Nairana that she had just turned into danger, the carrier took avoiding action. U-592 was sunk by Wild Goose and Walker's own ship Starling, while a Fairey Swordfish from Nairana circled the area.

At the end of May 1944, Nairana sailed with the 15th Escort Group. Her air group was still 835 Naval Air Squadron equipped with nine Swordfish and six Sea Hurricanes. The Swordfish patrolled day and night and some contacts were made on the air to surface vessel radar (ASV). All the contacts came to nothing; it is now known the older model ASV in Nairana's Swordfish could be detected by receivers on board U-boats. In May, they escorted convoys SL 157 (Freetown to Britain) with MKS 48 (Mediterranean to Britain) and the next group SL 158 with MKS 49. On 25 May, the convoys were located by German Junkers Ju 290 reconnaissance aircraft. From then until the next morning, they were driven off undamaged, but one Sea Hurricane failed to pull out of a dive killing the pilot. On 26 May 1944, shortly after daybreak, a Sea Hurricane piloted by Sub Lieutenant Burgham from Nairana shot down Ju 290 9K+FK of FAGr 5 over the Bay of Biscay. The afternoon of the same day, Sub Lieutenants Mearns and Wallis attacked two more Ju 290s, Mearns shooting down 9V+GK piloted by Kurt Nonneberg, which ditched in the sea. The other Ju 290 disappeared on fire into cloud and was assumed to have crashed.


Three Fairey Swordfish armed with RP-3 rockets.

Russian convoy JW 61—which sailed on 20 October—had three escort carriers, Nairana, Vindex and Tracker. This was a large convoy of 62 merchant ships with a large escort group. Vice-Admiral Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton was in command with Vindex as his flagship. Nairana had 835 Naval Air Squadron with 14 Swordfish IIIs and six Wildcat VIs on board for what would be their first Arctic convoy. Vindex had the same aircraft types and numbers. The third carrier—Tracker—had 10 Grumman Avengers and six Wildcats. The short Arctic days meant that most flying would be at night. The three carriers worked a system of eight-hour watches; one would be the duty carrier with its aircraft aloft, the second would be on standby with its aircraft arranged on deck ready to scramble and the third resting. The two Swordfish-equipped squadrons, because of their better night-flying equipment, shared the nighttime hours while Tracker's Avengers worked the daylight hours. The strength of the convoy's escort may have deterred the Germans and no U-boats or reconnaissance aircraft were detected until the convoy approached the Kola Inlet; even then the heavy escort prevented any attack and the convoy reached port safely. The return convoy RA 61 was equally as successful with only one frigate damaged by a torpedo just after leaving Kola and Vindex had to take avoiding action after detecting a torpedo coming towards her. Vindex's inexperienced squadron lost a Wildcat pilot when his plane crashed into the sea attempting to land back on board. A Swordfish crashed into the sea following a rocket-assisted take off with the loss of the two man crew. Another Swordfish crashed on landing with the aircraft initially hung over the ship's side from its tail hook. When the hook gave way, it crashed into the sea and only the pilot was rescued. The squadron in total lost or so severely damaged eight Swordfish and two Wildcats that they could not fly again.


A Fleet Air Arm Grumman Wildcat.

On 6 February 1945, Nairana, Campania, the cruiser Bellona, and eight fleet destroyers joined 26 merchant ships in convoy JW64. This time, the squadrons had spare aircrews for their aircraft and Campania's squadron included a Fairey Fulmar fitted with a Royal Air Force A1 air-to-air interception radar, for use as a dedicated night fighter. Shortly after the escorts and convoy came together Campania's radar operator reported a target approaching. Both carriers scrambled two Wildcats to intercept the intruder. Campania's Wildcats arrived first and shot down a Junkers Ju 88; one of the Wildcats was also shot down with the loss of the pilot. The next morning at 07:45, Campania's radar detected aircraft approaching. Two groups of Junkers Ju 88 torpedo bombers appeared and the convoy's escorts opened fire. The ships manoeuvred to avoid the torpedo attack and Nairana's Wildcats were airborne by 08:10. No ships were hit during the attacks and the bombers evaded the fighters in the heavy cloud cover. Campania's Swordfish were flying the daylight anti-submarine patrols, with a mixed armament of four RP-3 rockets and two depth charges.

On 7 November, 835 Squadron claimed a Junkers Ju 88 damaged. The long Arctic night with only four hours of light a day—together with heavy seas and low visibility—hampered any operations by the Wildcats. In the darkness, the ships could hear the engines of the shadowing German aircraft closing in. Campania's night fighting Fulmar took off at 17:30, but its electrics failed as it was approaching the German aircraft and it was forced to return to the carrier. The Fulmar landed off centre and crashed into the safety barrier, putting itself and the carrier out of action. On 10 November, a Swordfish on anti-submarine patrol reported 30 Junkers Ju 88s approaching the convoy. The Wildcats took off to intercept the torpedo bombers and the escorts opened fire on them. The combined fire from the escorts and the Wildcats shot down four Ju 88s, two more were claimed as probably shot down by the Wildcats, and another was severely damaged. Those Ju 88s that did release their torpedoes failed to hit any of the ships and a number of the torpedoes were seen to detonate in the ships' wakes, as they turned away from the attack. Two of the Wildcats were also shot down by the barrage from the escorts.[20] The combined losses had reduced the escort's fighter cover to three aircraft, one on Campania and two on Nairana. At 11:30, another group of Ju 88 torpedo bombers were discovered approaching. Nairana's Wildcats took off and shot one down. The others, under fire from the escorts, dropped their torpedoes too soon and they all missed.

The return convoy RA 64 left Kola Inlet on the morning of 17 February. One of the escorts and a merchant ship were torpedoed almost immediately. Another merchant ship was torpedoed that afternoon. Terrible weather conditions kept all aircraft grounded until 20 February. When it began to clear, the Luftwaffe also appeared and the Wildcats were scrambled to intercept them. Two Ju 88s were shot down by the fighters, another two by the escorts, and three were damaged. The convoys had lost to enemy action two fighters, two escorts and two merchant ships. In return, they claimed 15 aircraft destroyed, seven aircraft probably destroyed and one U-boat sunk. Campania did one more Russian convoy JW 65 in March 1945, which had two merchant ships torpedoed and sunk on their approach to Kola Inlet. These were the last losses on a Russian convoy.

With the war over there was no further need for escort carriers. Nairana was transferred to the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1946. In Dutch service, she was renamed HNLMS Karel Doorman until 1948, when she was converted into a merchantman named the Port Victor. Until March 1968, Port Victor was owned by the Cunard Line but managed by Blue Star Port Lines. She eventually became owned by Port Line in 1971; on July 21, she was sent to Faslane to be scrapped.


The Nairana-class escort carrier (/naɪˈrɑːnə/) was a British-built class of three escort carriers. They were constructed one each in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to the same basic design during the Second World War for service with the Royal Navy.

Converted from merchant ships, they were only able to accommodate a composite squadron of about 15–20 aircraft. Their armaments were mainly anti-aircraft weapons, with one twin 4 inch Dual Purpose, Anti Aircraft gun. One of the class, Campania, was the first British carrier to be fitted with an Action Information Organisation (AIO) and a Type 277 Radar able to detect low-level aircraft.

Once completed the first carrier did not take part in active service until January 1944, but all three served as convoy escorts during the final year of the war. They had some success during their patrols, and anti-submarine Fairey Swordfish flying from their decks sank and damaged some German U-boats and their fighters succeeded in shooting down German long-range reconnaissance aircraft.

Ships of the class were:
  • HMS Nairana,
  • HMS Campania,
  • HMS Vindex,



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Nairana_(D05)
 
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