Battle of Cartagena

Bataille de Carthagène

Osborne's Action

28th February 1758
Part of : Seven Years' War (1756/05/17 - 1763/02/10)
Previous action : Action of 23 November 1757 23.11.1757
Next action : Capture of Fort Louis 9.3.1758 - 24.5.1758


Royaume de France (Marine Royale) - Michel-Ange Duquesne-Menneville (Marquis de Menneville) (1698-1778)

French squadron
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Foudroyant (80) Michel-Ange Duquesne-Menneville (Marquis de Menneville) (1698-1778)Fleet Flagship Captured 100 killed, 90 wounded
L'Orphee (64)   Captured
L'Oriflamme (50)   Sunk
La Pléiade (32)  

Great Britain

British squadron, Henry Osborne (1694-1771)
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Montagu (60) Joshua Rowley (1734-1790)
Monarch (74) John Montagu (1719-1795)
Monmouth (70) Arthur Gardiner (c.1716-1758)28 killed, 79 wounded CO Killed
Revenge (64) John Storr (c.1709-1783)33 killed, 54 wounded
Berwick (64) Robert Hughes (c.1716-1774)
Swiftsure (68) Thomas Stanhope (c.1718-1770)
Hampton Court (64) Augustus John Hervey (1724-1779)

Notes on Action

Description of the actionTRN3

In the Mediterranean Admiral Henry Osborn and Rear-Admiral Charles Saunders commanded. The French had on several occasions discovered the wisdom and advantage of despatching in winter their reinforcements of ships and troops for abroad, since they found that the British blockading squadrons and squadrons of observation were frequently prevented at that season by fogs or bad weather from obtaining touch of the outward-bound detachments. But one of their divisions which, under M. cle La Clue, left Toulon in December, 1757, for North America and the West Indies, was forced by the vigilance of Admiral Osborn into Cartagena, and was there blockaded. The French Government, in response to M. de La Clue's representations, sent five ships of the line and a frigate, under M. Duquesne, to endeavour to join him there, and then to assist him in breaking the blockade. Two of the line-of-battleships succeeded in getting in, but the rest of the force was not so fortunate. On February 28th, off Cape de Gata, Osborn at daybreak sighted four strange sail near his fleet, and ordered them to be chased. The French ships separated, but each was pursued. At 7 P.M. the Revenge, 64, Captain John Storr, brought the Orphee, 64, to action; and, on the Berwick, 64, coming up, the enemy struck. In the Revenge, thirty-three were killed and fifty-four wounded, among the latter being Captain Storr. The Orphee was but six miles from Cartagena when she hauled down. Meanwhile the Monmouth, 64, Captain Arthur Gardiner, the Swiftsure, 70, Captain Thomas Stanhope, and the Hampton Court, 64, Captain the Hon. Augustus John Hervey, chased the largest of the enemy, the Foudroyant, 84, flag ship of Duquesne. The Monmouth, being far ahead of her consorts, got up with and engaged the enemy at 8 P.M. and fought her gallantly. When Gardiner fell his place was taken by Lieutenant Robert Carkett, till 12.30 A.M., when the Frenchman's guns were reduced to silence. Not until then was the Swiftsure able to get up. Captain Stanhope hailed the foe to know whether she had surrendered, but was answered with a few guns and a volley of small arms, whereupon he poured in a broadside and part of a second, and the enemy promptly surrendered. She had 100 killed and 90 wounded, while the Monmouth lost only 28 killed and 79 wounded. It was a magnificently conducted action, and Lieutenant Carkett was deservedly rewarded with the command of the prize. When measured, at Gibraltar, she was found to be 185 feet 3 inches in length from stem to taffrail, and to have a length of keel of 155 feet. She was thus about 12 feet longer than the large British first-rates of her day. Moreover she carried 24 and 42-pounders, whereas the Monmouth was armed only with 12 and 24-pounders.

As for the other French vessels, one, the Oriflamme, 50, was driven ashore by the Monarch, 74, Captain John Montagu, and the Montagu, 64, Captain Joshua Rowley. The last, the Pleiade, 26, escaped by superior sailing.

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