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Osprey vs Egyptienne

23rd March 1804
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Battle of Pulo Aura 14.2.1804
Next action : Capture of the Egyptienne 27.3.1804


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Osprey (18) 1797-1813
British 18 Gun
Unrated Sloop
George YounghusbandBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1793-1806
1 killed, 16 wounded

République Française

Ship NameCommanderNotes
L'Egyptienne (36) 1799-1804
French 36 Gun
Privateer Frigate
Antoine Sébastien PlassiardFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1798-1814
8 killed, 19 wounded

Notes on Action

On March 23rd, the Osprey, 18, Commander George Younghusband, cruising near Barbados, chased four ships, one of which had the appearance of a frigate. This was the Bordeaux privateer Egyptienne, 36, a vessel which, under the name of Railleuse, had formerly figured as a frigate in the French Navy. The Osprey closed and engaged her, despite the disparity of force, the privateer carrying twenty-six 12-prs., ten 6-prs., and 248 men, to the Osprey's sixteen 32-pr. carronades, two 6-prs., and 120 men. A close action of eighty minutes followed, in which the French had so much the worst of it that they ceased firing and set all sail, while the three ships which had been with the Egyptienne scattered, and steered different courses. The Osprey sailed so badly that she was quite unable to overtake her enemy, which, however, as will be seen, was taken a few days later. The British loss was 1 killed and 16 wounded; the French loss 8 killed and 19 wounded.

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