Battle of Porto Praya

16th April 1781
Part of : The American War of Independence (1775/04/19 - 1784/01/14)
Previous action : Action of 1781-04-14 14.4.1781
Next action : Battle of Fort Royal 29.4.1781 - 30.4.1781


Great Britain - George Johnston (1730-1787)

British warships
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Romney (50) Roddam Home (d.1801)Fleet Flagship
Hero (74) James Hawker (c.1731-1787)
Monmouth (64) James Alms (1728-1791)
Isis (50) Evelyn Sutton
Jupiter (50) Thomas Pasley (1734-1808)
Diana (32) Sir William Chaloner Burnaby (2nd Baronet Burnaby of Broughton Hall) (1746-1794)
Jason (28) James Pigot (d.1822)
Active (32) Thomas Mackenzie (1753-1813)
Apollo (32)  
Lark (16) Philip D'Auvergne (1754-1816)
Terror (8) Charles Wood (c.1732-1782), John Wickey (1750-1833)
Infernal (8) Henry d'Esterre Darby
British East-Indiamen

13 Vessels in total:

Asia, Chapman, Essex, Fortitude, Hastings, Hinchinbrook, Latham, Locko, Lord North, Osterley, Queen, Southampton., Valentine

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Osterley (26)  
Locko (26)  
Store ships

8 storeships were supposed to be present

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Armed transports

7 armed cruisers et 4 transports

Ship NameCommanderNotes

Royaume de France - Pierre-Andre de Suffren (1725/26-1788)

Ship in advance

The Artesien was first assigned to Vice-Admiral d'Estaing fleet, planed to sail to West Indies. She then being lately assigned to Suffren's squadron. This is the reason why she was obliged to call in cabo verde islands in order to replenish her water store.

The Artesien was the one who discovered the british fleet anchored in porto Praya and advised le Bailli de Suffen of it.

Ship NameCommanderNotes
L'Artesien (64)  
French battle line, Pierre-Andre de Suffren (1725/26-1788)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Héros (74)  Fleet Flagship
L'Annibal (74)  
Vengeur (64)  
Le Sphinx (64)  
Group of 3 French frigates
Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Bellone (32)   Presence in this battle to be confirmed
Fine (32)   Presence in this battle to be confirmed
Cleopatre (32)   Presence in this battle to be confirmed
Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Fortune (16)  

Notes on Action

Light descriptionEWIKI

The Battle of Porto Praya was a naval battle that took place during the American Revolutionary War on 16 April 1781 between a British squadron under Commodore George Johnstone and a French squadron under the Bailli de Suffren.

Both squadrons were en route to the Cape of Good Hope, the British to take it from the Dutch, the French aiming to help defend it and French possessions in the Indian Ocean. The British convoy and its escorting squadron had anchored at Porto Praya (now Praia) in the Cape Verde Islands to take on water, when the French squadron arrived and attacked them at anchor.

Due to the unexpected nature of the encounter, neither fleet was prepared to do battle, and in the inconclusive battle the French fleet sustained more damage than the British, though no ships were lost. Johnstone tried to pursue the French, but was forced to call it off in order to repair the damage his ships had taken.

The French gained a strategic victory, because Suffren beat Johnstone to the Cape and reinforced the Dutch garrison before continuing on his journey to the Ile de France (now Mauritius).


EWIKIWikipediaVariousWeb Site

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Jacques VALAT on Sunday 27th of September 2015 21:32

It seems that action isn't fullfilled
Many other ships were presents in the french squadron.
I could propose an amend. How can I do it ?

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