Battle of Guadeloupe (1779)

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Battle of Guadeloupe
Part of the American Revolutionary War
Date21–22 December 1779
Location 16°15′54″N61°33′3.6″W / 16.26500°N 61.551000°W / 16.26500; -61.551000 Coordinates: 16°15′54″N61°33′3.6″W / 16.26500°N 61.551000°W / 16.26500; -61.551000
Result British victory [1]
Belligerents
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg  Great Britain Royal Standard of the King of France.svg  France
Commanders and leaders
Naval Ensign of Great Britain (1707-1800).svg Joshua Rowley Flag of the Kingdom of France (1814-1830).svg unknown
Strength
4 Ships of the line 3 Frigates
Casualties and losses
Light 3 frigates captured [2]

The Battle of Guadeloupe or the Action of 21–22 December 1779 was a naval engagement that took place off the French island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean during the American Revolutionary War between three Royal Navy ships and three French Navy frigates. [3] The Royal Navy under Joshua Rowley sighted and promptly chased the French frigates, all of which were captured after a brief fight. [4]

Contents

Battle

On 21 December 1779, HMS Magnificent along with the 74-gun ships of the line HMS Suffolk, HMS Vengeance, and the 64-gun HMS Stirling Castle under Rear-Admiral Joshua Rowley, sighted the 32-gun French frigates Fortunée and Blanche and the 28-gun Elise, off the French island of Guadeloupe. [2] The French ships had been part of the Comte d Estaing's fleet. [5]

The engagement that followed was one sided - the French ships were in disorder; their crews were weak; and they could not escape the vastly superior British force. [3] The Blanche was defeated and captured on the evening of 21 December. The Fortunée attempted to escape by throwing her quarter-deck guns overboard, but was captured on the early morning of 22 December, an hour before the Elise had struck. [5]

The Blanche and Fortunée were thus added to the British navy. [5]

Rowley then led his squadron to capture a large French convoy, which had sailed from Marseille, off Martinique. [2]

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References

  1. Marley p. 325
  2. 1 2 3 Clarke, James Stanier & McArthur, John, Naval Chronicle Vol. 4 p.186
  3. 1 2 Clowes p 47
  4. Naval Chronicle Vol. 21 p.179
  5. 1 2 3 Allen, Joseph (1852). Battles of the British Navy, Volume 1. H.G. Bohn. p. 296.

Sources