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Capture of the Hirrondelle

31st July 1804
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Bombardment of Le Havre 23.7.1804
Next action : Bombardment of Le Havre 1.8.1804


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Tartar (32) 1801-1811
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
Keith MaxwellBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1794-1810
2 wounded

République Française

Ship NameCommanderNotes
L'Hirondelle (10) 1804-1804
French 10 Gun
Privateer Schooner
Naval Sailor
Service 1804
Captured 15 killed and wounded, 3 missing

Notes on Action

On July 31st, the Tartar, 32, Captain Keith Maxwell, chased the small French privateer Hirondelle, 10, into the difficult channel between the islands of Saona and San Domingo. The channel being impassable, the Hirondelle anchored in it under a reef. As the Tartar could not get at her, three boats were despatched under Lieutenants Henry Muller and Nicholas Lockyer to destroy her or bring her off. The boats rowed gallantly in under a heavy fire in broad daylight with the wind against them, and carried the privateer. In this dashing affair the British loss was only 2 wounded. The French had 15 killed or wounded, besides 3 missing, supposed to have been drowned while attempting to swim ashore. The Hirondelle was an exceedingly fast sailer. She had often been chased but had always escaped.

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