Destruction of the Volontaire

23rd August 1794
Part of : The French Revolutionary Wars (1793 - 1802)
Previous action : Capture of the Sibylle 17.6.1794
Next action : Capture of the Révolutionnaire 21.10.1794


Great Britain

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Flora (36) John Borlase Warren (1st Baronet of Little Marlow) (1753-1822)Fleet Flagship
Diamond (38) William Sidney Smith (1764-1840)
Diana (38) Jonathon Faulknor (d.1809)
Arethusa (38) Sir Edward Pellew (1757-1833)
Artois (38) Charles Fitzgerald (1756-1810), Edmund Nagle
Santa Margarita (36) Eliab Harvey (1758-1830)

République Française

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Volontaire (36)  
L'Espion (18)  
Le Alerte (16)  

Notes on Action

On August 23rd, early in the morning, the British frigates Flora, Captain Sir John Warren; Arethusa, 38, Captain Sir Edward Pellew; Diamond, 38, Captain Sir William Sidney Smith; Artois, 38, Captain Edmund Nagle; Diana, 38, Captain Jonathan Faulknor; and Santa Margarita, 36, Captain Eliab Harvey, discovered the French frigate Volontaire, 36, Captain Papin, off Brest, and compelled her to anchor off the Penmarcks. There she was vigorously attacked by four of the British ships, and, cutting her cables to take up a better position, was driven ashore. Her pumps could not keep the water down, and therefore Captain Papin abandoned her. At the same time the French corvettes Alerte, 12, and Espion, 18, were driven ashore in Audierne Bay, and boarded by British boats. Fifty-two French prisoners were brought off, but the vessels, as they had many wounded on board, could not be destroyed. The Espion was got off by the French in the night. The Alerte was lost.

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