Capture of Abmoyna

9th February 1810 - 17th February 1810
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Capture of Guadeloupe 26.1.1810 - 6.2.1810
Next action : Capture of Santa Maura 21.3.1810 - 16.4.1810


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

British Squadron, Edward Tucker
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Dover (38) Edward TuckerFleet Flagship
Cornwallis (50) Christopher Cole (1770-1836)
Samarang (18)  

Kingdom of Holland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Madurense (12)  
Name Unknown (12)  
San Pan (10)  

Notes on Action

Rear-Admiral William O'Brien Drury decided to attempt the capture of the important Dutch settlement of Amboyna, in the Moluccas; and on February 9th, in compliance with his directions, the Dover, 38, Captain Edward Tucker, Cornwallis, 44, Captain William Augustus Montagu, and Samarang, 18, Commander Richard Spencer, anchored before the place, which was strongly defended by Victoria Castle, mounting, with its outlying batteries, 215 guns, Wagoo battery, mounting 9 guns, a detached battery, built on piles in the sea and also mounting 9 guns, and two highly placed works, Wannetoo, with 9, and Batto-Gautong, with 5 guns. On the 16th, after the defences had been reconnoitred, the ships weighed, as if intending to relinquish their project and to proceed to sea. Tucker had previously put a landing force into boats, which he kept carefully concealed behind his vessels; and he so managed his squadron that, while it appeared to be working out, it was in reality drifting towards the landing place which had been already selected. When the situation was favourable the boats were slipped by signal, and a force of four hundred and one men, drawn from the Madras European regiment, and from the seamen and Royal Marines of the squadron, was successfully thrown ashore. Wannetoo battery was soon carried, and, after some arduous marching by the troops, the enemy was induced to abandon Batto-Gautong. The fall of these works enabled the ships, which had been exposed in the interval to a heavy fire, to anchor in Portuguese Bay in positions where they could be no longer annoyed. That night Commander Spencer landed with a party and a couple of field-pieces; and, on the following day, the British fire obliged the foe first to abandon Wagoo and the pile battery, and finally to surrender Victoria Castle and the entire island. The only loss on the part of the Navy during the operations was two killed and four or five wounded. The loss on the part of the troops was almost equally insignificant. Three Dutch vessels of war had been sunk in the inner harbour before the surrender. One of these, the Mandarin, 12, was subsequently weighed by the captors.

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