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Attack in Saldanha Bay

21st July 1781
Part of : The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War (1780 - 1784)
Previous action : Action of 1781-05-30 30.5.1781
Next action : Battle of Dogger Bank 5.8.1781

 

Great Britain

 
British Squadron,
George JohnstonBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1744-1787
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Romney (50) 1762-1804
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Roddam HomeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1772-1896
Fleet Flagship
Jupiter (50) 1778-1808
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
Thomas PasleyBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1751-1805
 
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Active (32) 1780-1796
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Thomas MackenzieBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1765-1810
 

Dutch Republic

 
VOC Squadron,
Gerrit HarmeyerDutch
Naval Sailor
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Middelburg (24) 1775-1781
Dutch 24 Gun
Merchant East Indiaman
Justinus van GennepDutch
Naval Sailor
Burnt
Dankbaarheid (24) 1772-1781
Dutch 24 Gun
Merchant East Indiaman
Hendrik SteedselDutch
Naval Sailor
Honcoop (20) 1770-1781
Dutch 20 Gun
Merchant East Indiaman
Nikolaas SevieDutch
Naval Sailor
Captured
Hoogkarspel (20) 1771-1781
Dutch 20 Gun
Merchant East Indiaman
 
Parel (20) 1778-1781
Dutch 20 Gun
Merchant East Indiaman
 

Notes on Action


DescriptionTRN4

On July 21st, Commodore George Johnstone's squadron, on the way to the East Indies, captured five valuable prizes in Saldanha Bay. These were the Dutch East Indiamen Dankbaarheid, 24, Perel, 20, Schoonkoop, 20, Hoogcarspel, 20, and Middelburg, 24. Their masters were surprised and could not escape; they therefore cut their cables, loosed their fore-topsails, and drove on shore, where the ships were fired, and the men landed. The British boats, however, were smartly on the spot and checkmated the Dutch designs. The fires were got under on board all the ships except the Middelburg, which burnt furiously, floated off, and nearly drifted on board two of the other prizes. Finally she blew up. A hooker laden with the sails of the captured ships, was discovered hidden away, and captured. Two other hookers were taken, but restored to the Dutch inhabitants by the Commodore. The prizes were sent home, but it is noteworthy as showing the extreme insecurity of British waters at that time, that two of them had sharp fights in coming up the Channel.

The Hoogcarspel was chased by a French frigate, and had to retire to Mount's Bay, there to await an escort. The Perel was attacked by two privateers, which only retired when their ammunition was exhausted.




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