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2nd Battle of Negapatam

6th July 1782
Part of : The American War of Independence (1775/04/19 - 1784/01/14)
Previous action : Crocodile vs Prince de Robecq 25.4.1782
Next action : Santa Margarita vs Amazone 29.7.1782

 

Royaume de France

 
French Battle Line
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Héros (74) 1778-1793
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 Fleet Flagship
L'Annibal (74) 1778-1794
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1786 Renamed "Achille"
Bernard Boudin de Tromelin (Seigneur de Tromelin)French
Naval Sailor
Service 1750-1784
L'Orient (74) 1759-1782
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 
Le Sévère (64) 1778-1784
French 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
de Cillart (Chevalier de Cillart)French
Naval Sailor
Service 1781-1782
Le Brillant (64) 1774-1797
French 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
47 killed, 136 wounded
Le Vengeur (64) 1765-1785
French 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 
L'Artesien (64) 1765-1786
French 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
,
Le Sphinx (64) 1775-1802
French 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Charles Louis du Chilleau (Vicomte du Chilleau)French
Naval Sailor
Service 1754-1814
Le Bizarre (64) 1751-1782
French 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 
Le Flamand (56) 1765-1786
French 56 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Louis Hyacinthe Cavelier de CuvervilleFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1755-1814
Le Petit Hannibal (50) 1782-1792
French 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
 
 
Not in the Line
Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Pourvoyeuse (38) 1772-1786
French 38 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 
La Fine (32) 1779-1794
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Chevalier Eléonor Jacques Marie Stanislas Périer de SalvertFrench
Naval Sailor
Marine
Service 1762-1783
La Bellone (32) 1778-1798
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
de PiervertFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1682-1782
 

Great Britain

 
British Battle Line,
Edward HughesBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1735-1793
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Eagle (64) 1774-1812
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1800 Renamed "Buckingham"
Ambrose ReddallBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1754-1783
Burford (68) 1757-1785
British 68 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Peter RainierBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1768-1805
Monmouth (64) 1772-1818
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1796 Renamed "Captivity"
James AlmsBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1739-1784
Worcester (64) 1769-1816
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1788 Renamed "Worcester Hulk"
Charles WoodBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1748-1782
Superb (74) 1760-1783
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Dunbar MaclellanBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1776-1779
Fleet Flagship CO Killed
Hero (74) 1759-1810
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1800 Renamed "Rochester"
Henry NewcomeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1782-1797
Squadron Flagship
Isis (50) 1774-1810
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
The Hon. Thomas LumleyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1778-1782
Monarca (68) 1780-1791
British 68 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
John GellBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1760-1805
Exeter (64) 1763-1784
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Robert MontaguBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1779-1825
Sultan (74) 1775-1816
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1805 Renamed "Suffolk"
James WattBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1755-1782
Magnanime (64) 1780-1794
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Charles WolseleyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1759-1805
 
Not in the Line
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Seahorse (24) 1748-1784
British 24 Gun
6th Rate Frigate
 
Combustion (8) 1781-1784
British 8 Gun
Unrated Fireship
William ClarkBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1778-1796
 

Notes on Action


Description of the ActionTRN4


The action, known as that of Negapatam, began shortly before 11, when both fleets were on the starboard tack, heading south-south-east, wind south-west. The British being to windward, Hughes ordered his fleet to bear up together to the attack, exactly as Suffren had done on the 12th of April. As commonly happened, the rear got less close than the van (Position I.). The fourth ship in the French order (a), losing her mainmast early, dropped to leeward of the line {a'), and astern of her place (a")- At half -past noon the wind flew suddenly to south-south-east, the sea-breeze, taking the ships a little on the port bow. Most of them, on both sides, paid off from the enemy, the British to starboard, the French to port; but between the main lines, which were in the momentary confusion consequent upon such an incident, were left six ships four British and two French that had turned the other way (Position II.). These were the Burford, Sultan (s), Worcester, and Eagle, fourth, fifth, eighth, and tenth, in the British order; and the Severe (b). third in the French, with the dismasted Brillant, towards the rear of the fight (a). Under these conditions, the Severe, 64, underwent a short but close action with the Sultan, 74; and with two other British ships, according to the report of the Severe's captain. The remainder of the incident shall be given in the latter's own words.


"Seeing the French squadron drawing off, for all the ships except the Brillant had fallen off on the other tack, Captain de Cillart thought it useless to prolong his defence, and had the flag hauled down. The ships engaged with him immediately ceased their fire, and the one on the starboard side moved away. At this moment the Severe fell off to starboard, and her sails filled. Captain de Cillart then ordered the fire to be resumed by his lower-deck guns, the only ones which remained manned, and he rejoined his squadron" (Position III.).


When the Severe's flag came down, Suffren was approaching with his flagship. The Sultan wore to rejoin her fleet, and was raked by the Severe in so doing (Position III.). The Brillant, whose mainmast had been shot away in conflict with either the Sultan or the Burford, both much heavier ships, had at this later phase of the fight fallen under the guns of the Worcester and the Eagle. Her captain, de Saint-Felix, was one of the most resolute of Suffren's officers. She was rescued by the flagship, but she had lost 47 killed and 136 wounded, an almost incredible slaughter, being over a third of the usual complement of a sixty-four; and Suffren's ships were under-manned.


These spirited episodes, and the fact that his four separated ships were approaching the enemy, and being approached by them, caused Hughes to give the orders to wear, and for a general chase; the flag for the line being hauled down. Two of his fleet, however, made signals of disability; so he annulled the orders, and at 1.30 formed on the port tack, recalling the engaged vessels. Both squadrons now stood in shore, and anchored at about 6 P.M.; the British near Negapatam, the French some ten miles north. The loss in the action had been: British, 77 killed, 233 wounded; French, 178 killed, 601 wounded. Among the slain was Captain the Hon. Dunbar Maclellan of Hughes 's flagship.




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