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Actions at La Hougue

13th November 1810 - 23rd December 1810
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Capture of the César 4.11.1810
Next action : Capture of Mauritius 29.11.1810 - 3.12.1810


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

British Ships
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Donegal (76) 1798-1845
British 76 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Pulteney MalcolmBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1778-1835
Fleet Flagship
Revenge (74) 1805-1849
British 74 Gun
3rd Rate Ship of the Line
Sir John GoreBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1779-1825
Diana (38) 1794-1815
British 38 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Charles GrantBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1790-1824
Niobe (38) 1800-1816
British 38 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
John Wentworth LoringBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1794-1837

Empire Français

French Ships
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Ship NameCommanderNotes
L'Elisa (40) 1808-1810
French 40 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
L'Amazone (40) 1807-1811
French 40 Gun
5th Rate Frigate

Notes on Action

On the night of November 12th, the two 40-gun frigates Amazone and Eliza left Le Havre with a N.E. wind, steering N.W., with the object of joining the French squadron in Cherbourg, which, since the summer of 1809, had been blockaded with some closeness. At about 12.30 A.M. on the 13th, when the wind had shifted to N. by E., the frigates were sighted by the British 38-gun ships Diana, Captain Charles Grant, and Niobe, Captain John Wentworth Loring, which were to leeward, and inshore. At 4 A.M., the French, in order to weather the land, tacked off shore. The Diana followed, and exchanged broadsides with them, while the Niobe endeavoured to head them off; but the enemy, probably well acquainted with the local navigation, bore up, and managed to anchor between Marcouf and the mainland, under the protection of the works on shore. In the forenoon they shifted their berths to the road of La Hougue, where they re-anchored beneath a strong battery. On the following day, Captain Grant sent the Niobe with news of the situation to Captain Pulteney Malcolm, of the Donegal, 74, who was senior officer off Cherbourg. In the meantime, the Eliza, having been partially disabled by a southerly gale, the Diana, first in the road of La Hougue, and afterwards within the shoals of St. Vaast, whither the Frenchman had removed, made three separate attempts, but in vain, to get near enough to the Amazone to cause her serious damage. When, before noon on the 15th, the Donegal and Niobe, with the Revenge, 74, Captain the Hon. Charles Paget, arrived on the scene, the four ships stood in and renewed the attack; but after going about three times, each time delivering a broadside, they had to desist, and retire out of range of the frigate and batteries. The British vessels all suffered considerably aloft, and lost among them 11 wounded, 2 mortally. That night Malcolm tried the effect of some Congreve rockets upon the two frigates; but it is doubtful whether he did them any great injury. On the night of the 27th, the Amazone slipped out, and returned unmolested to Le Havre. The Eliza was carefully watched. On December 6th, the excellent practice of a British bomb drove her into a position where she eventually bilged, and on the night of the 23rd, the Diana's boats, under Lieutenant Thomas Rowe, completed her destruction.

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