Action of 1795-06-24

24th June 1795
Part of : The French Revolutionary Wars (1793 - 1802)
Previous action : Action of Ile Groix 23.6.1795
Next action : Battle of Hyeres 13.7.1795


Great Britain

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Dido (28) George Henry Towry (1767-1809)Squadron Flagship 6 killed, 15 wounded
Lowestoffe (28) Robert Gambier Middleton 3 killed, 3 wounded

République Française

Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Minerve (42) DelormeSquadron Flagship 28 killed and wounded Captured
L'Aréthuse (38)  

Notes on Action

In June, almost at the same time, the Admirals commanding the French and British fleets in the Mediterranean despatched each two frigates to ascertain one another's movements. The British pair were the Dido, 28, Captain George Henry Towry, and Lowestoft, 32, Captain Robert Gambier Middleton; the French, the Minerve, 40, Captain Delorme, and Artemise, 36, Captain Decasse. The enemies sighted each other to the north of Minorca on June 24th, early in the morning. The French retired, and meanwhile cleared for action. Having first drawn far ahead, they turned and stood to meet the Dido and Lowestoft. The Minerve was in advance, and engaged the Dido at 8.30 A.M. The Minerve attempted to run down her opponent, but, owing to the Dido porting her helm, only struck an oblique blow, and entangled her bowsprit in her enemy's rigging. The French endeavoured to board, but were beaten off, and in the heavy swell the Minerve 's bowsprit snapped and went overboard carrying with it the Dido's mizen-mast. The Minerve passed along the Dido's larboard side, carrying away sails and rigging, but, as soon as she was clear, was attacked by the Lowestoft, and had her foremast, main and mizentop-mast shot away. The Artemise, instead of helping her consort, only fired a broadside at each of the British ships, and retreated, pursued by the Lowestoft. Left to themselves, the Minerve and Dido repaired damage and cleared their decks. At 10.30 the Lowestoft was recalled by signal. At 11.30 she placed herself on the Minerve s quarter and opened a heavy fire, whilst the Dido made sail to renew the attack. At 11.45 the Minerve hailed to say that she surrendered. The action reflects great credit upon the senior British officer, Captain Towry, who had so boldly engaged a far superior force.

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