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Battle of St. Lucia

14th December 1778 - 15th December 1778
Part of : The American War of Independence (1775/04/19 - 1784/01/14)
Previous action : Action of 1778-10-20 20.10.1778
Next action : Apollo vs Oiseau 31.1.1779

 

Royaume de France

 
French squadron,
Chevalier Charles - Henri Hector d'EstaingFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1759-1793
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Languedoc (90) 1766-1799
French 90 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1794 Renamed "Antifédéraliste"
1795 Renamed "Victoire"
 Fleet Flagship
Le Tonnant (80) 1743-1780
French 80 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Le César (74) 1768-1782
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 
Le Zélé (74) 1763-1806
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1805 Renamed "Reserve"
L'Hector (74) 1755-1782
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 
Le Guerrier (74) 1753-1798
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Louis Antoine Bougainville (Comte de Bougainville)French
Naval Sailor
Service 1770-1802
Le Marseillais (74) 1766-1794
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
1794 Renamed "Vengeur du Peuple"
 
Le Protecteur (74) 1760-1790
French 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 
Le Vaillant (64) 1755-1783
French 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Le Provence (64) 1763-1786
French 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
 
Le Fantasque (64) 1758-1784
French 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Chevalier Pierre-Andre de SuffrenFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1743-1780
Le Sagittaire (50) 1761-1790
French 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
François Hector d'Albert (Chevalier )French
Naval Sailor
Service 1743-1789
L'Engageante (32) 1766-1794
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 
L'Alcmene (32) 1774-1779
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
L'Aimable (32) 1776-1782
French 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 
La Chimère (30) 1757-1783
French 30 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
 
 

Great Britain

 
British squadron,
The Hon. Samuel BarringtonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1740-1794
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Prince of Wales (74) 1765-1783
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Benjamin HillBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1750-1783
Fleet Flagship
Boyne (68) 1766-1783
British 68 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Herbert SawyerBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1747-1794
Saint Albans (64) 1764-1814
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Richard OnslowBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1758-1805
Nonsuch (64) 1774-1802
British 64 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Samuel ReeveBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1746-1799
Preston (50) 1757-1815
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Samuel UpplebyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1747-1764
Isis (50) 1774-1810
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
John RaynorBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1747-1780
Centurion (50) 1774-1824
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Richard BrathwaiteBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1742-1801
Venus (36) 1758-1828
British 36 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
1807 Renamed "Heroine"
James FergusonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1742-1793
Aurora (28) 1777-1814
British 28 Gun
6th Rate Frigate
James CummingBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1751-1805
Ariadne (20) 1776-1814
British 20 Gun
6th Rate Ship
Thomas PringleBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1760-1801
Carcass (14) 1759-1784
British 14 Gun
Unrated Bomb Vessel
Edward EdwardsBritish
Naval Sailor
Privateer
Service 1746-1814
 

Notes on Action


Description of the actionTRN3

The night was passed by the soldiers in strengthening their positions, and by the Rear-Admiral in rectifying his order to meet the expected attack. The transports, between fifty and sixty in number, were warped inside the ships of war, and the latter were most carefully disposed across the mouth of the bay. At the northern (windward) end was placed the Isis, 50, Captain John Rayner, well under the point to prevent anything from passing round her; but for further security she was supported by three frigates; the Venus, 36, Captain William Peere Williams, the Ariadne, 20, Captain Thomas Pringle, and the Aurora, 28, Captain James Gumming, anchored abreast of the interval between her and the shore. From the Isis the line extended to the southward, inclining slightly outward; the Prince of Wales, 74, Barrington's flagship, taking the southern flank, as the most exposed position. Between her and the Isis were five other ships, the Boyne, 70, Nonsuch, 64, St. Allans, 64, Preston, 50, and Centurion, 50. The works left by the French at the north and south points of the bay may have been used to support the flanks, but Barrington in his report does not say so.


D'Estaing had twelve ships of the line, and was able to land, two days after this, 7,000 troops. With such a superiority it is evident that, had he arrived twenty-four hours sooner, the British would have been stopped in the midst of their operation. To gain time, Harrington had sought to prevent intelligence reaching Fort Royal, less than fifty miles distant, by sending cruisers in advance of his squadron, to cover the approaches to St. Lucia; but, despite his care, d'Estaing had the news on the 14th. He sailed at once, and, as has been said, was off St. Lucia that evening. At daybreak of the 10th he stood in for the Cardnage; but when he came within range, a lively cannonade told him that the enemy were already in possession. He decided therefore to attack the squadron, and at 11.30 the French passed along it from north to south, firing, but without effect. A second attempt was made in the afternoon, directed upon the lee flank, but it was equally unavailing. The British had three men killed; the French loss is not given, but is said to have been slight. It is stated that the sea breeze did not penetrate far enough into the bay, that day, to admit closing.




Previous comments on this page

Posted by nolan flavien on Tuesday 12th of November 2013 21:09

i love st lucia


Posted by Douglas Raynor on Monday 21st of October 2013 00:13

Raynor not Rayner please

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