Bombardment of Algiers

27th August 1816


Allied (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland & United Kingdom of the Netherlands)

British Squadron, Sir Edward Pellew (1757-1833)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Queen Charlotte (100) Sir Charles Brisbane (1769-1829)Fleet Flagship 8 killed, 131 wounded
Impregnable (98) Edward Brace (1770-1843)50 killed, 160 wounded
Superb (74) Charles Ekins8 killed, 84 wounded
Albion (74) John Good3 killed, 15 wounded
Minden (74) Donald Hugh Mackay, William Paterson7 killed, 37 wounded
Leander (58) Edward Chetham17 killed, 118 wounded
Severn (44) Frederick Whitworth William Aylmer (1777-1858)3 killed, 34 wounded
Glasgow (44) Anthony Maitland10 killed, 37 wounded
Hebrus (36) Edmund Palmer4 killed, 15 wounded
Granicus (36) William Furlong Wise16 killed, 42 wounded
Mutine (16) James Mould
Heron (16) George Bentham (1787-?)
Hecla (12) William Popham
Fury (12) Constantine Richard Moorsom (1792-1861)
Infernal (12) Robert Heriot Barclay, George James Perceval2 killed, 17 wounded
Britomart (10) Robert Riddell (1782-1860)
Cordelia (10) William Sargent
Beelzebub (10) William Kempthorne (d.1835)1 killed, 3 wounded
Dutch Squadron, Theodorus Frederik van Capellen (1762-1824)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Melampus (46) Antoon Willem de Man (1773-1861)Squadron Flagship 3 killed, 15 wounded
Diana (46)  6 killed, 22 wounded
Amstel (44) Antoon Willem de Man (1773-1861)4 killed, 6 wounded
Frederica Sophia Wilhelmina (44) Jacob Adriaan van der Straten (1773-1838)5 wounded
Dageraad (44)  4 wounded
Eendracht (20)  



Previous comments on this page

Posted by John Wakefield on Tuesday 12th of April 2016 18:38

To Brian Stephens,
Brian do you have the name of the Midshipman who wrote the letter and source please - very interested - John Wakefield

Posted by Brian Stephens on Friday 18th of April 2014 18:08

October 11, 1816 - Letter from an Officer on board the Impregnable, Rear Admiral Milne; The great error of the Algerines, was their great confidence and assurance. They allowed us to come up along side and were greatly alarmed and afraid lest we should escape. This was owing to their French allies who assured them that not one of those Rascally English could escape. The Dey of Algiers held our fleet in great contempt, saying, that Algiers formerly, when not so well prepared, for defence, beat thirty sail of Spanish line of battle ships. Why then fear five Eglish line of battle ship? But we rather astonished him! We expended on board the Impregnable, out of our store of 500 barrels of powder, 480 barrels. The fight of Trafalgar, dreadful as it was, bore no comparison to this; that lasted only three hours and a half, this upwards of eight hours.

Posted by Brian Stephens on Friday 18th of April 2014 17:12

October 1, 1816
Letter from a Midshipman, of the Impregnable, Admiral Milne's ship, His Majesty's ship Impregnable, Algiers Bay, Aug. 29, 1816"
Dear Father, I am happy to say I have the honour of being wounded in this the hardest action, which has been fought for the last ten years. We have between 50 and 60 killed, and about 150 wounded. It is impossible to describe the heat and fury of the cannonade. For the first hour it was dreadful, and deprived me of my hearing; but I recovered it shortly after, and soon got used to the work. We have four and twenty shot between wind and water, eight shot in the main mast, and five in the fore-mast. Main-top-mast shot away, all standing and running rigging shot away. We are the most cut up of all the ships in the squadron. The Leander has also suffered severely. The pirates showed great bottom, and some skill, and spanked away at a fine rate. The ships company, Officers, men and boys, behaved in a most gallant manner, many of the men near me singing and laughing while the thunder was rattling at them. My old friend and companion on board the Berwick, and my mess mate in this ship, Hawkins, were killed, and Wesley and myself wounded. My wound is in the right arm. It is a contusion. The whole thing was glorious. Seven were killed and thirteen wounded within a few yards of me, all in less than ten minutes, about an hour after the Impregnable was nobly laid along side a mountain of batteries. They all say that the Algerines were assisted by a number of French engineers. The Dutch showed as much bottom and steadiness as the best of us. The Rear-Admiral, and Captain Brace, were everywhere exposing themselves to every danger, but they were only directing and superintending, for we did not want encouragement. Some of the men, though badly wounded would now go below.

Posted by Brian Stephens on Friday 18th of April 2014 15:59

Edinburgh Advertiser, September 24, 1816
Lord Exmouth - Dispatches are the most perfect and satisfactory specimen of official composition which we remember to have seen since Lord Nelson's account of the Battle of Aben?kir. Algiers, containing a population of 80,000 souls rises with an awful abruptness from the waters edge to a great height. The batteries are one above the other, strongly constructed and fortified. Sweeping from the western extremity is a tongue of land which defends the entrance into the inner part of the harbour, and also the approach to it. Along the whole of this tongue of land is (was) a range of strong batteries, which ships must pass to take their station near the town, with the view of bombarding it. Our fleet passed along this line. The Impregnable, Admiral Milne, from getting closer was exposed not only to the fire of the batteries immediately opposite, but to other batteries rising behind and above them, and this will account for the enormous loss she sustained. At a distance behind the Impregnable, but parallel with the tongue of land, were our mortar and rocket boats, which were enabled to throw rockets, not only against the batteries immediately in front but over them to batteries in the rear. As we ranged along the line, to take our station, the enemy did not fire, either not thinking that we should venture so near the City, or wishing to get us as close as possible, to render their fire more destructive. The Queen Charlotte, Lord Exmouth, took her station off the extreme point of the tongue, by which she enfiladed the whole line of batteries along it. So near was she, that every person could distinctly be seen and voices heard from the shore. The fury and tremendous nature of the bombardment continued with little intermission from near three until near eleven. The Algerians fighting all that time with the utmost desperation, but yet with great skill. About ten it was deemed advisable to take a larger offing during the night. It was extremely dark indeed, but the darkness was illuminated, if we may use the expression, by a violent storm of lightning with thunder, which came on suddenly, and by the incessant fire of the batteries. Nothing, say private letters, could be more grand and awful. A land breeze sprung up about half passed ten which carried us out of reach of the batteries. etc... The happy termination of this expedition against Algiers, is a striking illustration of the old proverb, "The hotter the war, the sooner the peace"

Posted by Brian Stephens on Thursday 17th of April 2014 00:12

Edinburgh Advertiser, September 13, 1816
Several letters form Lord Exmouth's squadron, state the preparations for the attack upon Algiers. and the expectation that it will be a sanguinary conflict. The city rises from the shore to a considerable height so the batteries have a great command of the harbour. The Mole battery is deemed particularly strong and it is against that the three deckers will act. The Queen Charlotte is expected to lead the van, the Supurb next, then the Impregnable, Minden, Albion, and Leander. The frigates are to go inside the Mole, and burn, sink, or destroy every thing in their way. The mortar vessels will bombard the town, and the gun-boats and ship's boats do all in their power, in conjunction with the other force, to fulfill the work of chastisement. While the fleet was at Gibraltar it was employed in fitting a gun-boat for each line of battle ship and sending ashore the bulkheads, luggage, and spare stores from every ship, the Admiral reserving only a small trunk for himself. On the morning of the 14th the squadron sailed for Algiers, clear for action, with a strong westerly wind, which probably enabled it to get there about the 18th.

Posted by Tim Oakley on Thursday 23rd of January 2014 20:26

Queen Charlotte 100 guns flag to Lord Pellew, cap Brisbane,
Impregnable 98 guns R-Ad Sir David Milne, cap Edward Brace, 74's as listed. Frigates Glasgow plus those listed, bomb vessels Beelzebub, Fury, Hecla and Infernal [under commander William Kempthorne]plus other vessels including vessels adapted to fire Congreves rockets with Dutch Melampus, Frederica, Diana [the one listed], Amstel and Dageraad under V-Ad Frederickvan Caprllan

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