Luc Urbain de Bouëxic, comte de Guichen
|Born||21 June 1712|
Fougères, Ille-et-Vilaine, Kingdom of France
|Died||13 January 1790 77) (aged|
Morlaix, Kingdom of France
|Allegiance||Kingdom of France|
|Years of service||1730–1783|
|Rank||Lieutenant général des armées navales|
|Awards|| Order of Saint Louis |
Order of the Holy Spirit
Luc Urbain du Bouëxic, comte de Guichen (June 21, 1712, Fougères, Ille-et-Vilaine – January 13, 1790, Morlaix) was a French admiral who commanded the French fleets that fought the British at the First Battle of Ushant (1778) and the Battle of Martinique (1780) during the American War of Independence.
Guichen joined the Navy in 1730 as a Garde-Marine. He was promoted to Lieutenant de vaisseau in 1746.
In 1748, Guichen fought five battles against superior British forces, while a convoy escorting from the Caribbean back to France. He was made a Knight in the Order of Saint Louis that same year.
In 1755, he participated in the abortive relief expedition to Louisbourg under Dubois de La Motte, on the 70-gun Héros. In 1775 he was appointed to the frigate Terpsichore, attached to the Escadre d'évolution. He was promoted to Captain in May 1756.
The year after, he was promoted to Chef d'Escadre.
After France entered the War of American Independence, Guichen was appointed to the command of the Channel fleet, which he led in the Battle of Ushant on 27 July 1778. His flagship, the 104-gun Ville de Paris, was next in line to the fleet flagship Bretagne. In March 1779, he was promoted Lieutenant Général des Armées navales, As such he commanded the French van in the Combined fleet of Orvillers and Córdoba from June to September.
In January 1780, Guichen was sent to the West Indies with a strong squadron. On 17 April to the leeward of Martinique, Guichen's fleet met a force under Rodney, leading to the Battle of Martinique.During the engagement, both Rodney's Sandwich and Guichen's Couronne were temporarily cut off from their respective fleets and had to bear the brunt of the battle.
Two inconclusive actions followed on 15 May and 19 May 1780.
With the hurricane season approaching in July, Guichen left the West Indies and returned home, reaching Cadiz in September with a convoy of 95 merchantmen. Guichen's second-in-command, Sade de Vaudronne, died at sea as the fleet arrived.
In December 1781, Guichen was tasked to carry stores and reinforcements to the West Indies. On 12 December, British Admiral Kempenfelt intercepted Guichen's squadron in the Bay of Biscay through a temporary clearance in a fog, at a moment when Guichen's warships were to leeward of the convoy, and attacked the transports at once, yielding the Second Battle of Ushant. Kempenfelt captured twenty of the transports and forced the others to retreat to port. Having failed his mission, Guichen then also returned to port. He had no opportunity to gain any counterbalancing success during the short remainder of the war, but he was present at the final relief of Gibraltar by Lord Howe.
Guichen Bay in South Australia and the French ship Guichen of the First World War were named after him.
In 1785, Guichen was elected an international member of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia.
The Second Battle of Ushant was a naval battle fought between French and British squadrons near Ushant, an island off the coast of Brittany, on 12 December 1781, as part of the American Revolutionary War.
The Battle of Martinique, also known as the Combat de la Dominique, took place on 17 April 1780 during the American Revolutionary War in the West Indies between the British Royal Navy and the French Navy.
HMS Berwick was a 74-gun Elizabeth-class third rate of the Royal Navy, launched at Portsmouth Dockyard on 18 April 1775, to a design by Sir Thomas Slade. She fought the French at the Battle of Ushant (1778) and the Dutch at the Battle of Dogger Bank (1781). The French captured her in the action of 8 March 1795 during the French Revolutionary Wars and she served with them with some success then and at the start of the Napoleonic Wars until the British recaptured her at the Battle of Trafalgar. Berwick sank shortly thereafter in a storm.
John Elliot was a Scottish officer of the Royal Navy who served during the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence. He rose to the rank of admiral, and served briefly as colonial governor of Newfoundland.
Admiral Mark Robinson was an officer of the British Royal Navy, one of several members of the Robinson family to serve at sea.
Charles René Magon de Médine was a French contre-amiral killed at the battle of Trafalgar whilst commanding the ship-of-the-line Algésiras - his conduct in the battle is seen by French historians as one of the few redeeming features of that disaster, and his name appears on the Arc de Triomphe. He is also notable as a Grand Officer of the Masonic Grand Orient de France.
Sir Hugh Cloberry Christian KB was an officer of the Royal Navy who saw service during the American War of Independence, and the French Revolutionary Wars.
Maxime Julien Émeriau de Beauverger was a French Navy officer and admiral.
Samuel Granston Goodall was an officer of the Royal Navy who saw service during the Seven Years' War, the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars in a career that spanned 50 years, rising to the rank of Admiral of the White.
Charles-Auguste Levassor de La Touche-Tréville (1712–1788) was a French Navy officer.
The Anglo-French War, also known as the War of 1778 or the Bourbon War in Britain, was a military conflict fought between France and Great Britain, sometimes with their respective allies, between 1778 and 1783. As a consequence, Great Britain was forced to divert resources used to fight the war in North America to theatres in Europe, India and the West Indies, and to rely on what turned out to be the chimera of Loyalist support in its North American operations. From 1778 to 1783, with or without their allies, France and Britain fought over dominance in the English Channel, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean.
Claude-René Pâris de Soulanges was a French aristocrat and naval officer. He was lord of Preuille and the last count of Soulanges.
Louis Charles du Chaffault de Besné was a French Navy officer. He notably took part in the Second Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1747, and was one of the commanders at the Battle of Ushant on 27 July 1778.
Jean-François du Cheyron du Pavillon was a French Navy officer. He served in the War of American Independence. He commanded the 80-gun Triomphant at the Battle of the Saintes, and died of wound two days after the battle.
Claude-Marguerite Renart de Fuchsamberg d'Amblimont was a French Navy officer. He served in the War of American Independence.
Charles-René de Gras-Préville was a French Navy officer. He served in the War of American Independence, earning membership in the Society of the Cincinnati.
Armand-Claude Poute de Nieuil was a French Navy officer. He served during the War of American Independence.
Pierre-Louis François Buor de La Charoulière was a French Navy officer. He notably served as major d'escadre of Guichen's squadron during the War of American Independence.
Louis-André Beaussier de Chateauvert was a French Navy officer. He notably served during the War of American Independence.
Antoine Hilarion de Beausset was a French Navy officer. He notably served during the War of American Independence.