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Waterloo 1815 (3) Mont St Jean and Wavre, John Franklin
Waterloo 1815 (3) Mont St Jean and Wavre, John Franklin
This is the third and final volume in a trilogy of Campaign titles looking at the Waterloo campaign, following on from books on Quatre Bras and on Ligny. The first two volumes in the trilogy were both stand-alone books, starting with Napoleon on Elba, and ending with a brief account of the other action on the same day. This final volume is different - we start at dawn on 17 June, in the aftermath of the battles of Quatre Bras and Ligny and trace the events of the next two days from there. As a result the reader really needs one of the previous books, or to be broadly familiar with the outline of the campaign, but I do think that this was the right approach to take - there is a fixed amount of space in a Campaign series title.
As with the first two books in the trilogy, the bulk of the available space is dedicated to the battle itself, a good decision that allows Franklin to pack a great deal of detail into his text.
Unlike many authors Franklin has chose to weave the Prussian contribution into the main flow of the text, placing their arrival on the battlefield in the correct place in the narrative. This makes it much clearer how big an impact the Prussians had, forcing Napoleon to divert more and more of his attention to his threatened right flank. The fighting at Wavre is dealt with separately, but it didn’t directly impinge on the battle at Waterloo, so that's a fair choice.
This is a good account of the crucial battle of Waterloo, benefiting greatly from being part of a trilogy, and thus not having to dedicate space to the build-up to the battle.
The Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Wavre
The Battlefields Today
Author: John Franklin
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Waterloo 1815 (3) - John Franklin
Wellington learns of the Prussians’ defeat • The French pursue the coalition armies
Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France • Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington • Gebhard Lebrecht, Fürst Blücher von Wahlstadt • August, Graf Neidhardt von Gneisenau
The command and composition of the French army • The command and composition of the Allied army • The command and composition of the Prussian army • Orders of battle
THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO
Movements on the morning of 18 June • The arduous march to Chapelle St Lambert • Preparations at Mont St Jean and Trimotiau • The struggle for Hougoumont commences • Communication with the Prussian vanguard • d’Erlon attacks the hamlet of Mont St Jean • Uxbridge counters with the British cavalry • The engagement escalates at Hougoumont • Blücher orders the assault upon Plancenoit • Ney leads the French cavalry to its downfall • The courageous defence of La Haie Sainte • du Plat advances with the King’s German Legion • Zieten confronts the French forces at Smohain • Wellington endures a crisis in the centre • Blücher succeeds in capturing Plancenoit • Napoleon advances with the Garde Impériale • The coalition armies gain a decisive victory
THE BATTLE OF WAVRE
Thielmann prepares to evacuate La Bawette • Vandamme launches an attack upon Wavre • Stengel delays the French forces at Limal
THE BATTLEFIELDS TODAY
As the grey light of dawn pierced the darkness on the morning of 17 June, the commanders of the three armies in the Low Countries contemplated the events of the preceding day. The French had gained a substantial advantage over their opponents at Ligny, but the decision by the Prussian leaders to retire along a parallel course to the Allied army had redeemed the situation.
Feldmarschall Blücher was at Mellery, where he had been taken following a heavy fall from his horse at the climax of the battle. In the absence of the elderly hussar the command of the army devolved upon August, Graf Neidhardt von Gneisenau, who joined Blücher in the village and issued instructions to the various staff officers in an attempt to establish order in the retreating columns. The I Korps was directed to retire through the villages of Tilly, Gentinnes and Mont St Guibert towards Wavre. The II Korps was ordered to follow this movement north, while III Korps and the army reserve park were to move via Gembloux. Orders were also sent to IV Korps, which had not been engaged in the fighting, to march by way of Sart-à-Walhain and Corbais to Dion-le-Mont, and to establish a vigorous rearguard to counter any French pursuit. Having overseen these measures, the majority of the Prussian staff officers left Mellery for Wavre, together with Feldmarschall Blücher, and they reached the new headquarters, which had been established at an inn by the marketplace, shortly after 6:00am. However, Gneisenau remained in Mellery for several hours, collating the reports which arrived. When he was convinced that the army was undertaking the prescribed movements, he dispatched Major Friedrich von Massow with a message for the Duke of Wellington, who was presumed to be at Quatre Bras, informing him of the enforced retreat upon Wavre.
The Allied army marched from the crossroads at Quatre Bras to the heights of Mont St Jean in three lengthy columns. (Graves Gallery, Museums Sheffield)
WELLINGTON LEARNS OF THE PRUSSIANS’ DEFEAT
The commander of the Allied army had risen before first light, unaware of the perilous position in which he was situated. Being anxious to concentrate the remainder of the troops at Quatre Bras, Wellington dictated orders to the various divisions to hasten their movement upon the crossroads, and sent a letter to the authorities in Brussels confirming his intention to attack the enemy. He then rode back to the battlefield with his sizeable entourage of staff officers. The duke reached Quatre Bras towards 5:00am, and within the hour was joined by the Hereditary Prince of Orange-Nassau. No intelligence had been received from the Prussian high command, and after reconnoitring the French positions on the left flank Wellington concluded that the line of communication had been severed with his allies at Sombreffe. Consequently, he sent his aide-de-camp, the Hon. Sir Alexander Gordon, with an escort from the 10th Hussars commanded by Captain John Grey, to make contact with the Prussians and to establish the true situation. As Gordon and the cavalry approached Marbais, en route to Sombreffe, they observed a French sentry posted on the heights opposite, and an enemy cavalry patrol stationed at a nearby house. The French evidently controlled the high road, and so Gordon and his party withdrew. After following a subsidiary road north, they encountered a local farmer who informed them that large numbers of Prussian soldiers had passed along the road during the night, heading east. Gordon determined to pursue them. Leaving most of his escort on the road to observe any enemy movements, he rode on with a small detachment until coming upon the rearguard of the Prussian II Korps, which was formed by the cavalry commanded by Oberstlieutenant Friedrich von Sohr. The duke’s aide-de-camp conversed with von Sohr in French, mistakenly believing that he was Generallieutenant von Zieten, the commander of I Korps, and the facts of the Prussian withdrawal from Sombreffe to Wavre were confirmed. Having obtained this information Gordon and his party rode back to the crossroads with the utmost haste.
The vanguard of the French army advanced rapidly on both sides of the road which led from Quatre Bras to the defile at Genappe. Painting by Henri Chartier. (Musée de l’Armée, Paris/ RMN-Grand Palais/Hubert Josse)
Upon the field at Quatre Bras the outposts returned to their respective battalions and the Allied army prepared to renew the attack. But as the French were not disposed to engage the Allied troops, except with a few straggling shots from their tirailleurs, the dead officers were buried and the wounded were collected in blankets and placed beneath the trees adjacent to the Nivelles Road, in the expectation that they would be taken to the hospital in the rear. Shortly before 9:00am Gordon returned with his escort and informed the Duke of Wellington of the Prussian army’s loss and subsequent retreat upon Wavre. The duke turned to Freiherr von Müffling, the Prussian officer attached to the Allied headquarters, to ask why he had not been informed of these occurrences, at which moment Major von Massow arrived with the message from Gneisenau. Realising that he could no longer occupy Quatre Bras for fear of being isolated, Wellington called for the map of Mont St Jean, a position he had surveyed previously. After studying the map intensely the duke directed Sir William de Lancey, the acting Quartermaster-General, to concentrate the Allied army at this point, for at Mont St Jean it would be in line with the Prussians, with only 8 miles between the two armies. This would allow them to act in unison against the French. The Allied troops were set in motion, while Major von Massow returned to the Prussian high command to seek an assurance of support.
THE FRENCH PURSUE THE COALITION ARMIES
At the conclusion of the fighting around Sombreffe, Napoleon retired to the Château de la Paix in Fleurus. He was exhausted from his exertions and slept deeply until the following morning. Maréchal Soult returned to imperial headquarters at the Château de Zualart, within close proximity of the emperor. However, no orders were issued to the army, and no serious pursuit of the Prussians was initiated. Instead, Soult busied himself writing to Maréchal Davout in Paris, informing the Minister for War of the victory which had been gained. Towards midnight a report from Maréchal Ney, written at 10:00pm, containing details of the engagement at Quatre Bras was delivered. But again, no action was taken and no instructions were sent to Ney. It was not until the arrival of Charles, Comte de Flahaut shortly after 7:00am on the 17th that any real activity took place. Flahaut had delivered a detailed letter from Napoleon to Maréchal Ney the morning before, and had remained with the commander of the left wing so as to assist in the execution of the emperor’s orders. He now acquainted Napoleon with the situation at the crossroads. The emperor was displeased and immediately dictated a letter to Soult for Ney. He requested a report and informed his subordinate of his displeasure, because Ney’s divisions had acted in isolation, and Comte d’Erlon’s Corps had failed to execute the movement he ordered. At 8:00am Napoleon travelled by carriage from Fleurus to Brye, where he reviewed his victorious troops. He conversed with his generals on various subjects and questioned the Prussian prisoners at length. Eventually, the emperor called for Maréchal Grouchy, the commander of the right wing, to join him.
Earlier that day Grouchy had received reports from two of his senior cavalry officers. The first was from Comte Exelmans of II Reserve Cavalry Corps. This informed the marshal that the cavalry under his command was moving towards Gembloux to observe a sizeable Prussian force which had assembled at that place. The second report was from Comte Pajol of I Reserve Cavalry Corps. It notified Grouchy of the capture of numerous prisoners, cannon and an immense quantity of baggage on the road to Namur. This information was communicated to the emperor, and it was decided to support Pajol’s cavalry with the division under Baron François-Antoine Teste from VI Corps. Napoleon then instructed Grouchy to pursue the remnants of the Prussian army with the right wing, via Gembloux, and to ensure that the enemy was unable to unite with the force commanded by the Duke of Wellington. The marshal let it be known that he disliked the mission he had given, but set out dutifully. Thereafter, Napoleon rode on to Gosselies with his staff officers, where he received confirmation that the Allied army still held Quatre Bras. He subsequently dictated a second letter to Soult for Ney, informing the errant commander of the left wing that an infantry corps from the Garde Impériale had been placed at Marbais to assist him in driving the enemy from Quatre Bras, and that his report of the situation was awaited with great impatience. The letter was dispatched shortly after midday. Having taken these steps Napoleon collected the troops at Marbais and moved by way of the Namur Road towards Quatre Bras. However, the rearguard was all that remained of the Allied army, and such was the tenacity of the cavalry and horse artillery under Lieutenant-General Henry Paget, the Earl of Uxbridge, that the French were unable to launch an attack until they reached Genappe.
The Allied army had retired in three columns, with that in the centre moving north by way of the high road to Brussels. This route took the troops through the narrow defile at Genappe. The road to the south of the village became so congested that several infantry battalions were ordered to march through the adjacent fields. But by 4:00pm all that remained of the Allied army were a number of cavalry regiments, which were stationed on the heights to the north of the village, and the rearguard. The French advanced from Quatre Bras on both sides of the high road. The vanguard on the left was formed by the 1st Cavalry Division commanded by Baron Charles-Claude Jacquinot. On the right was the 5th Cavalry Division under Baron Jacques-Gervais Subervie. These horsemen were followed by the emperor and his duty squadrons, two batteries of horse artillery from the Garde Impériale, and the cuirassiers from Comte Milhaud’s IV Reserve Cavalry Corps. As the cavalry on the right approached the defile to the south of Genappe the 1st Brigade of Lanciers wheeled towards the road and
Waterloo 1815 (3) Mont St Jean and Wavre, John Franklin - History
Battles, blockades, convoys, raids: how the indefatigable British Royal Navy ensured Napoleon's ultimate defeat Horatio Nelson's celebrated victory over the French at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 presented Britain with an unprecedented command of the seas. Yet the Royal Navy's role in the struggle against Napoleonic France was far from over. This groundbreaking book asserts that, contrary to the accepted notion that the Battle of Trafalgar essentially completed the Navy's task, the war at sea actually intensified over the next decade, ceasing only with Napoleon's final surrender.
In this dramatic account of naval contributions between 1803 and 1815, James Davey offers original and exciting insights into the Napoleonic wars and Britain's maritime history. Encompassing Trafalgar, the Peninsular War, the War of 1812, the final campaign against Napoleon, and many lesser known but likewise crucial moments, the book sheds light on the experiences of individuals high and low, from admiral and captain to sailor and cabin boy. The cast of characters also includes others from across Britain-dockyard workers, politicians, civilians-who made fundamental contributions to the war effort, and in so doing, both saved the nation and shaped Britain's history.
James Davey is curator of naval history at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. He lives in Greenwich, London.
Soult was born in Saint-Amans-la-Bastide (now called Saint-Amans-Soult in his honor, near Castres, in the Tarn department) and named after John of God. He was the son of a country notary named Jean Soult (1726–1779) by his marriage to Brigitte de Grenier. His paternal grandparents were Jean Soult (1698–1772) and Jeanne de Calvet, while his maternal grandparents were Pierre François de Grenier de Lapierre and Marie de Robert. He was a catholic.
Jean-de-Dieu Soult was expected to have a promising career as a lawyer. However, on April 16, 1785, at the age of sixteen, he enlisted as a private in the Royal-Infanterie regiment, to help his mother financially after the death of his father. His younger brother, Pierre-Benoît Soult, followed his example three years later, and would also become a French general.
Jean Soult fought in the wars of Revolutionary France. Soult's superior education ensured his promotion to the rank of sergeant after six years of service, and in July 1791 he became instructor to the first battalion of volunteers of the Bas-Rhin. On January 17, 1792, his colonel appointed him instructor in the 1st battalion of Haut-Rhin volunteers, with the rank of second lieutenant (sous-lieutenant). The war period, which began in April 1792, offered him many opportunities to stand out and he rose through the ranks with regularity. Adjutant-major on July 16, 1792, captain on August 20, 1793, provisional adjutant to the staff of General Lazare Hoche to the Army of the Moselle on November 19, 1793. He took part in the Battle of Kaiserslautern from November 28 to 30, which allowed the recapture of Wissembourg and the relief of Landau. Hoche gives Soult the command of a detached body to take Marsthal's camp, a task which is brilliantly executed.
From December 26 to 29, he was present at the Second Battle of Wissembourg. He was appointed chief of staff of the avant-garde on January 27, 1794, provisional battalion commander on February 7, 1794, titular battalion commander on April 3, and adjutant-general brigade chief (adjudant-général chef de brigade) on May 14. On March 19, 1794, the Army of the Moselle was replaced by the Army of the Rhine under the command of General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan. This army immediately returns to the campaign. Two battles were fought in Arlon on April 17, 18 and 29, then on May 21, in which Soult took an active part.
After the Battle of Fleurus of 1794, in which he distinguished himself for coolness, he joined the Army of Sambre and Meuse on June 28. Soult was promoted to brigadier general by the representatives on mission. For the next five years, Soult was employed in Germany under Generals Jean-Baptiste Jourdan (a veteran of the American War of Independence and a future Marshal), Jean Victor Marie Moreau, Jean-Baptiste Kléber and François Lefebvre (also a future Marshal). He took part in the Battle of Aldenhoven on October 2, 1794. He moved to Jacques Hatry's division and took part in the Siege of Luxembourg from November 22 to June 7, 1795. He took a brilliant part in the battles of Altenkirchen on June 4, 1796, of Friedberg on July 10, 1796, and in the Battle of Stockach against the army of Charles of Austria on March 25, 1799. The rank of division general is attributed to him on April 4, 1799, on a provisional basis, and it is confirmed on the following April 21.
Soult passed to the Army of Helvetia under the orders of General André Masséna (another future Marshal). It was at this time that he built the bases of his military reputation, in particular during the First Battle of Zurich of June 2-5, 1799 then he subdued the insurgent cantons, drove the rebels on the Reuss and drove them back to in the valley of Urseren - relieving Frauenfeld, Altikon, Audelfinden. He obtains a citation on the order of the day of June 2, 1799. On the 10 of the same month, he hunts down, at the head of the 110th Demi-Brigade, the Austrians, occupying Mount Albis. Cross the Linth River on September 22, Soult leads the enemy to suffer a loss of 4,000 men, then he comes to meet the Russians who advance on Kaltbrunn, forcing the surrender of a body of 2,000 men, seized Weesen and pushed the enemy back to Lake Constance.
When in 1800 the First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte entrusted Masséna to reorganize the Army of Italy, he insisted that Soult be his deputy giving him the command of the right wing.
He distinguished himself for his active part in the defense of the country of Genoa. On April 6, in a first sortie, at the head of several battalions, he crossed the Austrian army and relieved General Gardanne, repulsed the enemy beyond Piotta, pursuing General Suvorov into the Alps seized Sassello and returned to Genoa with numerous prisoners, cannons and flags. During a new sortie, the general pushed in again the Austrian army, trapping a division at Monte-Facio. But, during a fight in Montecreto on 13 April 1800, a gunshot shatters his leg, laying on the battlefield wounded he is robbed and taken prisoner, expending days in agony in a filthy hospital. This experience traumatized Soult, and he would never again be so forward in the battleline.
He was rescued after the victory of Marengo on June 14, 1800. Appointed military commander of Piedmont, then in the midst of a rebellion, Soult managed to put down the so-called Barbets insurrection. He even manages to discipline these rowdy hordes and uses them for his service. Soult then received command of the southern part of the Kingdom of Naples.
Shortly before the Treaty of Amiens, General Soult returned to Paris where the First Consul welcomed him with the highest distinction. On March 5, 1802, he was one of the four generals called to command the Consular Guard with the post of colonel general. He therefore pledges allegiance to the new regime. In August 1803, Soult was entrusted with the command-in-chief of the Camp of Boulogne. Soult, a former drill instructor, imposes a rigorous discipline there, which ensued the effectiveness of the French troops during the future campaigns, and also earning Soult the nickname "Bras de Fer" ("Iron Arm"). Even Napoleon wondered if he was being too severe, to which Soult replied:
"Those who can't handle what I myself endure will be left behind in the depots. Those that can will be fit to conquer the world."
In May 1804, Soult was made one of the first eighteen Marshals of the Empire. He commanded a corps in the advance on Ulm, and at Austerlitz he led the decisive attack on the Allied centre.
Soult played a great part in many of the famous battles of the Grande Armée, including the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805 and the Battle of Jena in 1806. However, he was not present at the Battle of Friedland because on that same day he was capturing Königsberg. After the conclusion of the Treaties of Tilsit, he returned to France and in 1808 was anointed by Napoleon as 1st Duke of Dalmatia (French: Duc de Dalmatie). The awarding of this honour greatly displeased him, for he felt that his title should have been Duke of Austerlitz, a title which Napoleon had reserved for himself. In the following year, Soult was appointed as commander of the II Corps with which Napoleon intended to conquer Spain. After winning the Battle of Gamonal, Soult was detailed by the emperor to pursue Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore's British army. At the Battle of Coruña, in which Moore was killed, Soult failed to prevent British forces escaping by sea.
For the next four years, Soult remained in Spain engaged in the Peninsular War. In 1809, he invaded Portugal and took Porto, but was isolated by General Francisco da Silveira's strategy of contention. Busying himself with the political settlement of his conquests in French interests and, as he hoped, for his own ultimate benefit as a possible candidate for the Portuguese throne, he attracted the hatred of Republican officers in his army. Unable to move, he was eventually driven from Portugal in the Second Battle of Porto by Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Wellesley (later made Duke of Wellington), making a painful and almost disastrous retreat over the mountains, pursued by General William Beresford and Silveira. After the Battle of Talavera, Soult was made chief of staff of French forces in Spain with extended powers, and on 19 November 1809, won a great victory at the Battle of Ocana.
In 1810, he invaded Andalusia, which he quickly overran. However, because he then turned to seize Seville, the capture of Cádiz eluded him, saying, "Give me Seville and I will answer for Cádiz."  This led to the prolonged and futile Siege of Cadiz, a strategic disaster for the French. In 1811, Soult marched north into Extremadura and took Badajoz. When the Anglo-Portuguese army laid siege to the city, he marched to its rescue and fought and nearly won the famous and bloody Battle of Albuera on 16 May.
In 1812, after Wellington's great victory at Salamanca, Soult was obliged to evacuate Andalusia. In the subsequent Siege of Burgos, he was able to drive Wellington's Anglo-allied Army back to Salamanca. There, the Duke of Dalmatia, as Soult was now known, failed to attack Wellington despite superiority in numbers, and the British Army retired to the Portuguese frontier.  Soon after, he was recalled from Spain at the request of Joseph Bonaparte (who had been installed by his brother as King of Spain) with whom, as with the other marshals, he had always disagreed.
In March 1813, Soult assumed command of the IV Corps of the Grande Armée and commanded the centre at Lützen and Bautzen, but he was soon sent, with unlimited powers, to the South of France to repair the damage done by the defeat at Vitoria. It is to Soult's credit that he was able to reorganise the demoralised French forces.
His last offensives into Spain were turned back by Wellington in the Battle of the Pyrenees (Sorauren) and by General Manuel Freire's Spaniards at San Marcial. Pursued onto French soil, Soult was maneuvered out of several positions at Nivelle, Nive, and Orthez, before suffering what was technically a defeat at Wellington's hands at the Battle of Toulouse. He nevertheless inflicted severe casualties on Wellington and was able to stop him from trapping the French forces.
After Napoleon's first abdication in 1814, Soult declared himself a royalist, received the Order of Saint Louis, and acted as Minister of War from 26 November 1814 to 11 March 1815. When Napoleon returned from Elba, Soult at once declared himself a Bonapartist, was made a peer of France, and acted as chief of staff to the emperor during the Waterloo campaign, in which role he distinguished himself far less than he had done as commander of an over-matched army.
In his book, Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles, Bernard Cornwell summarizes the opinions of several historians that Soult's presence in the Army of the North was one of several factors contributing to Napoleon's defeat, because of the animosity between him and Marshal Michel Ney, the other senior commander, and because, in spite of his experience as a soldier, Soult lacked his predecessor Marshal Louis-Alexandre Berthier's administrative skills. The most glaring instance of this was his written order, according to Napoleon's instructions, to Marshal Emmanuel de Grouchy to position his force on the British Army's left flank in order to prevent reinforcement by the Prussians. Cornwell decries the wording of Soult's order as "almost impenetrable nonsense", and Grouchy misinterpreted the order, instead marching against the Prussian rearguard at Wavre.
Following the Second Bourbon Restoration in 1815, Soult went into exile in Germany, but in 1819 he was recalled and in 1820 again made a Marshal of France. He once more tried to show himself as a fervent royalist and was made a peer in 1827. After the revolution of 1830 he declared himself a partisan of Louis Philippe, who welcomed his support and revived for him the title of Marshal General of France, previously held only by Turenne, Claude Louis Hector de Villars, and Maurice de Saxe.
Creation of the French Foreign Legion Edit
As Minister of War (1830 to 1834), Soult organized and oversaw the rearmement of the French military. The strength of the Army of the Restoration numbered only a little over 200,000 men and Soult sought to double its size, carrying the necessary reforms from 1831 to 1832. The first law of this important military reform was that creating the Foreign Legion, on 9 March 1831 a force of foreign volunteers which could only be used outside the territory of metropolitan France, especially aimed at garrisoning the recently conquered Algiers. The Legion, when created, was loathed by the army and considered a lower posting the force being colloquially called as the "Bastard of Soult".
Military reforms Edit
Louis-Philippe, worried about having to rely solely on the National Guard to maintain public order, instructed Marshal Soult to reorganize the line army without delay. Soult wrote a report to the king, presented to the Chamber of Deputies on February 20, 1831, in which he criticized the recruitment Gouvion-Saint-Cyr law of 1818: the voluntary system combined with the drawing of ballots and the possibility of being replaced had not made it possible to increase the number of manpower sufficiently, and that the promotion procedures helped to maintain over-staffing. Soult proposed the main lines of a military policy aimed at increasing the army's strength, reducing said over-staffing and ensuring the supply of arms and ammunition.
Following the creation of the Legion in 9 March, Soult passed the laws of April 11, 1831 on military pensions, of March 21 and April 14, 1832 on army recruitment and promotion, and of May 19, 1834 on the status of officers. Soult also oversaw the construction of the fortifications of Paris. In 1831, he was sent by Louis-Philippe to Lyon with 20,000 men to crush the first insurrection of the city's silk workers, the canuts. Order is restored, but Soult becomes very unpopular within the Republican camp. In his play Napoléon Bonaparte ou Trente ans de l'histoire de France (Napoleon Bonaparte or Thirty Years of the History of France), Dumas Père represents him in a dreadful appearance during the Hundred Days.
In 1834, when a new insurrection broke out in April in Lyon, Marshal Soult received from Lieutenant-General Aymar, commander of the troops in the city, a desperate telegraphic dispatch about evacuating the city. The Duke of Dalmatia's firm response was not long in coming, chastising the general and ordering him to hold all his positions and to man the walls and be buried beneath them.
Prime Minister Edit
While he was Minister of War, he held the presidency of the Council of Ministers (or Prime Minister) for the first time in 1832-1834. France being the guarantor of the Treaty of the XXIV articles, he had the Antwerp expedition carried out by Marshal Gérard, who seized the city after heroic resistance from the Dutch (December 1832) and returned it to Belgium, its country of attribution.
In April 1838, Louis-Philippe chose Soult to represent him at the coronation of Queen Victoria. He receives a triumphant welcome in London – where his former enemy, the Duke of Wellington, reputedly caught him by the arm and exclaimed "I have you at last!"
Once again at the head of the government (1839-1840), he was at the same time the holder of the Foreign Affairs portfolio. He participated in the ceremonies for returning the ashes of Napoleon in December 1840.
President of the Council for almost seven years, from 1840 to 1847, he left the effective management of the Cabinet to his Minister of Foreign Affairs, François Guizot, who logically succeeded him when he left the government, for health reasons. For five years (1840-1845), he combined his function with that of Minister of War. On September 26, 1847, Louis-Philippe restored for him the honorary dignity of Marshal General of the king's camps and armies, however modifying this title into the unique Marshal General of France.
In 1848, Soult declared himself a republican. He died three years later in his castle in Soult-Berg, near Saint-Amans-la-Bastide where he was born, a few days before the Revolution of 1848. In his honor, the town was renamed Saint-Amans-Soult in December 1851. He is one of the eighteen Marshals of the Empire (out of twenty-six) who belonged to Freemasonry.
Soult published a memoir justifying his adherence to Napoleon during the Hundred Days, and his notes and journals were arranged by his son Napoleon Hector, who published the first part Mémoires du maréchal-général Soult (Memories of Marshal-General Soult) in 1854. Le Noble's Mémoires sur les operations des Français en Galicie (Memories of the Operations of the French in Galicia) are supposed to have been written from Soult's papers.
Although often found wanting tactically – even some of his own aides questioned his inability to amend a plan to take into account altered circumstances on the battlefield – Soult's performance in the closing months of the Peninsular War is often regarded as proof of his fine talents as a general. Repeatedly defeated in these campaigns by the Allies under Wellington, it was the case that many of his soldiers were raw conscripts while the Allies could count greater numbers of veterans among their ranks. Soult was a skillful military strategist. An example was his drive to cut off Wellington's British army from Portugal after Talavera, which nearly succeeded. Though repeatedly defeated by Wellington in 1813–1814, he conducted a clever defence against him.
Soult's armies were usually well readied before going into battle. After Vitoria, he reorganized the demoralized French forces of Joseph Bonaparte into a formidable army in a remarkably short time. An exception to this good logistical record was launching the Battle of the Pyrenees offensive when his soldiers only had four days' rations. Tactically, Soult planned his battles well, but often left too much to his subordinates. Wellington said that "Soult never seemed to know how to handle troops after a battle had begun".  An example of this was at the Battle of Albuera, where he brilliantly turned Beresford's flank to open the battle, yet when he found himself facing unexpected opposition from British and Spanish troops, he allowed his generals to adopt a clumsy attack formation and was beaten.  Another example of his strengths and weaknesses can be seen at the Battle of the Nive. Soult recognized Wellington's strategic dilemma and took advantage by launching surprise attacks on both wings of the Anglo-Allied Army. But French tactical execution was poor and the British general managed to fend off Soult's blows. Sloppy staff work marred his tenure as Napoleon's chief of staff in the Waterloo campaign.
On 26 April 1796, Soult married Johanna Louise Elisabeth Berg (1771–1852), the daughter of Johann Abraham Berg (1730–1786) by his marriage to Wilhelmine Mumm in Solingen.  She died at the Château de Soult-Berg on 22 March 1852. The couple had three children:
Waterloo 1815 (3) Mont St Jean and Wavre, John Franklin - History
25 October 2015 is the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt - a hugely resonant event in English (and French) history. Sir Ranulph Fiennes casts new light on this epic event, revealing that three of his own ancestors fought in the battle for Henry V, and at least one for the French.
This is a unique perspective on Agincourt from a trained and decorated soldier. Ran reveals the truth behind the myths and legends of the battle. He tells how after the battle Henry V entertained his senior commanders to dinner, where they were waited on by captured French knights. There is the story of Sir Piers Legge of Lyme Hall, who lay wounded in the mud while his mastiff dog fought off the French men-at-arms. Then there is the legend that the French intended to cut off the first and second right hand fingers of every captured archer, to prevent him from using his bow. The archers raised those two fingers to the advancing French as a gesture of defiance.
In this gripping new study Sir Ranulph Fiennes brings back to life these stories and more, including those of his own ancestors, in a celebration of a historical event integral to English identity.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes was the first man to reach both poles by surface travel and the first to cross the Antarctic Continent unsupported. In the 1960s he was removed from the SAS Regiment for misuse of explosives but, joining the army of the Sultan of Oman, received that country's Bravery Medal on active service in 1971. He is the only person yet to have been awarded two clasps to the Polar medal for both Antarctic and the Arctic regions. Fiennes has led over 30 expeditions including the first polar circumnavigation of the Earth, and in 2003 he ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents in aid of the British Heart Foundation. In 1993 Her Majesty the Queen awarded Fiennes the Order of the British Empire (OBE) because, on the way to breaking records, he has raised over GBP14 million for charity. He was named Best Sportsman in the 2007 ITV Great Briton Awards and in 2009 he became the oldest Briton to reach the summit of Everest.
Reviews for Agincourt: My Family, the Battle and the Fight for France
Fiennes, arguably our greatest explorer. has delved deep into history to tell the story of his family's epic journey. The Times
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This book serves as an excellent introduction to the early years of the Napoleonic Wars. As Napoleon's Grande Army crushes Austrian, Prussian, and Russian forces from Northern Italy through Germany and Poland, you'll gain an appreciation of the magnitude of these wars as well as the bravery and intelligence shown by Napoleon and his marshals. Political intrigue of the period is briefly discussed, but most of this book's attention falls on the details of the major battles fought. Full of exquisite art and maps, this book will give you a greater understanding of the styles of clothing and warfare of the time.
The Napoleonic Wars lead to unprecedented change throughout Europe in culture, politics, and warfare. This book serves as an excellent primer to introduce you to the story. While the writing occasionally gets a bit dry, the majority of the book reads almost like a novel. Highly recommended.
Description du produit
Biographie de l'auteur
John Franklin is a professional military historian based in Switzerland who specialises in the Napoleonic period, and the Waterloo campaign in particular. A Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society (FINS), and a graduate of the University of Bern, he has been engaged in one of the most comprehensive investigations of the campaign ever undertaken, with the aim of providing a wealth of previously unpublished material on the various armies and contingents present during the dramatic climax to this important period of European history. The vast majority of his work is based on manuscript and archival sources, with the emphasis on primary research. He is the author of the acclaimed books of correspondence on the Hanoverian and Netherlands armies, with further publications on the French and Prussians scheduled.
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Naval/Maritime History 23rd of June - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1565 - The Battle of Rügen
was a naval battle near the island of Rügen (in modern Germany), that took place on 21 May 1565 between an allied fleet of 6 Danish and 3 Lübeck ships, and a Swedish fleet of 48 ships with a total of 1,638 guns and 8,000 men under Klas Horn.
The Swedish fleet was victorious, and 4 of the allied ships were burned, while the remaining 5 were captured.
1692 – Launch of HMS Boyne, an 80-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched at Deptford Dockyard
Scale: 1:48. A contemporary Navy Board model of the 'Boyne' (1692),
1692 - The Action at Cherbourg was fought on 21 and 22 May Old Style (1st and 2 June New Style) 1692 as part of the aftermath of the Battle of Barfleur which had just been fought on 19 May (Old Style) 1692.
All six french ships including the Soleil Royal burned
Destruction of the French flagship Soleil Royal
1692 - The Action at La Hogue (21–24 May OS(1–4 June(NS)), 1692)
occurred during the pursuit by the English of the French fleet after the Battle of Barfleur during the Nine Years' War.
The pursuing English fleet, under the command of Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, destroyed a number of French ships that had been beached near the port of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue.
The action at La Hogue in May 1692 formed a crucial scene in the wider context of the Battle of Barfleur
1760 – Launch of French Protecteur, a Souverain-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, the only to have borne the name.
Scale model on display at the Musée de la Marine in Paris. This model is a 64-gun, probably mislabeled.
1768 - The Venetian Arsenal ship San Carlo Borromeo, a San Carlo Borromeo-class ship of the line 66-gun third rate, foundered
1776 – Launch of USS Raleigh, one of thirteen ships that the Continental Congress authorized for the Continental Navy in 1775
Model of the USS Raleigh in the U.S. Navy Museum
1788 – Launch of French America, a Téméraire-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, stern board outline, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'America' (1794),
This print is one of a series depicting the six French ships captured by the British fleet under Admiral Lord Howe at the Battle of the First of June, 1794, which took place 400 (nautical) miles west of the French island of Ushant. This plate, the first in the series, portrays L'Amerique ('America'), left,
1793 - the British privateer Active was captured by French frigate Sémillante
On 21 May 1793, Sémillante captured the Liverpool privateer Active. She was under the command of Captain Stephen Bower, and was sailing under a letter of marque dated 2 May 1793. The letter of marque described her as a sloop of 100 tons burthen (bm), armed with twelve 4-pounder guns and four swivel guns, and having a crew of 40 men. The British later recaptured Active and sent her into Guernsey. The next day Sémillante captured the Guernsey privateer Betsey, of 10 guns and 55 men.
1800 - Boats of HMS Minotaur (74), Cptn. Thomas Louis, & consorts cut out a galley La Prima, Cptn. Patrizio Galleano, from Genoa.
HMS Minotaur was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 6 November 1793 at Woolwich. She was named after the mythological bull-headed monster of Crete. She fought in three major battles - Nile, Trafalgar, and Copenhagen (1807) - before she was wrecked, with heavy loss of life, in December 1810.
The shipwreck of the Minotaur, oil on canvas, by J. M. W. Turner
1800 - HMS Peterel captured french Ligurienne
In March 1800, HMS Peterel was sailing near Marseille with the frigate HMS Mermaid. On 21 March, Peterel spotted a large convoy with three escorts: the brig-sloop French brig Ligurienne, armed with fourteen brass 6-pounder guns and two brass 36-pounder howitzers, the corvette Cerf, of fourteen 6-pounder guns, and the xebec Lejoille, of six 6-pounder guns.
Peterel captured a bark of 350 tons and a bombarde (ketch) of 150 tons, both carrying wheat and which their crews had abandoned, and sent them off with prize crews later that afternoon the escorts caught up to Peterel and attacked. Mermaid was in sight but a great distance to leeward and so unable to assist. Single-handedly, Peterel drove Cerf and Lejoille on shore, and after a 90-minute battle captured Ligurienne, which lost the French commander (lieutenant de vaisseaux Citoyen Francis Auguste Pelabon), and one sailor killed and two sailors wounded out of her crew of 104 men there were no British casualties. Cerf was a total loss but the French were able to salvage Lejoille. The whole action took place under the guns of two shore batteries and so close to shore that Peterel grounded for a few minutes. Austen recommended, without success, that the Navy purchase Ligurienne, which was less than two years old. In 1847 the Admiralty authorised the issue of the Naval General Service medal with clasp "Peterel 21 March 1800" to all surviving claimants from the action.
Battle between Ligurienne and HMS Peterel, 30 Ventôse an VIII (21 March 1800). Aquatint by Antoine Roux.
1809 - HMS Goldfinch (6) and HMS Black Joke (6) versus french Mouche (16), 17th May 1809 - 21st May 1809
On May 17th 1809, the Goldfinch, 10, Commander Fitzowen George Skinner, gave chase to the French corvette Mouche, 16, in lat. 44 6 ! N., long. 11 20' W. The Mouche, though greatly superior in force, attempted to avoid an action. She was overtaken on the 18th, but, firing high, inflicted so much injury upon the Goldfinch's masts and sails that she was able to escape. On the 21st, she exchanged some broadsides with the hired armed lugger Black Joke, Lieutenant Moses Cannadey, and entered the Spanish port of Santander, where she was captured on June 10th by the British frigates Amelia, 38, and Statira, 38.
1860 – Launch of French Ville de Bordeaux, a Ville de Nantes-class 90-gun ship of the line of the French Navy
1879 - Naval Battle of Iquique
The Battle of Iquique (Spanish: Batalla de Iquique or Combate naval de Iquique) was a confrontation that occurred on 21 May 1879, during the naval stage of the War of the Pacific, a conflict that pitted Chile against Peru and Bolivia. The battle took place off the then-Peruvian port of Iquique. The Peruvian ironclad Huáscar, commanded by Miguel Grau Seminario, sank Esmeralda, a Chilean wooden corvette captained by Arturo Prat Chacón, after four hours of combat.
Painting by Thomas Somerscales of the sinking of Esmeralda by Huáscar during the Battle of Iquique
1879 - The Battle of Punta Gruesa - a naval action and final ending of the Battle of Iquique
The Battle of Punta Gruesa was a naval action that took place on May 21, 1879, during the War of the Pacific between Chile and Peru. This may be labelled as the second part of the Naval Battle of Iquique, although it is described in many sources as a separate battle.
Naval Combat of Punta Gruesa - The stranding of the Independencia
1918 - The Action of 21 May 1918 was a naval engagement of World War I fought between an American armed yacht and a German submarine in the Atlantic Ocean off Spain.
Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
please use the following link and you will find the details and all events of this day . in the following you will find some of the events
Naval/Maritime History - 22nd of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
853 – Sack of Damietta - A Byzantine fleet sacks and destroys undefended Damietta in Egypt.
The Sack of Damietta was a successful raid on the port city of Damietta on the Nile Delta by the Byzantine navy on 22–24 May 853. The city, whose garrison was absent at the time, was sacked and plundered, yielding not only many captives but also large quantities of weapons and supplies intended for the Emirate of Crete. The Byzantine attack, which was repeated in the subsequent years, shocked the Abbasid authorities, and urgent measures were taken to refortify the coasts and strengthen the local fleet, beginning a revival of the Egyptian navy that culminated in the Tulunid and Fatimid periods.
1652 - Action of 22nd May 1652
On May 12th, 1652, Captain Anthony Young, in the President, accompanied by two other "frigates," fell in off the Start with a small squadron of a dozen ships. Taking them to be Ayscue's vessels, he stood towards them, but, on coining up, discovered that they were homeward-bound Dutch merchant ships, convoyed by three men-of-war wearing flags as admiral, vice-admiral, and rear-admiral. The Dutch admiral, on being summoned, struck his 'flag and held his course, but the vice-admiral who followed him refused point-blank, bidding Young come aboard and strike it himself. Young naively sent his master aboard, only to meet with a further refusal. On this the President ranged up on the Dutchman's weather quarter and again called on him to strike. The vice-admiral refused, and Young at once gave him a broadside, which was as promptly returned. The Dutch admiral hauled his wind the wind seems to have been north-west and tried to weather Young, who found himself obliged to put his helm down to prevent the admiral from getting out to windward of him and boarding. Meanwhile, Captains Chapman and Reynolds had fired on the rear-admiral astern. They now came up with the vice-admiral, but, as they overhauled him, the Dutchman struck his flag, and the rear-admiral did the like.
1654 – Launch of English ship Tredagh
The ship that became the first HMS Resolution was a 50-gun third-rate frigate built under the 1652 Programme for the navy of the Commonwealth of England by Sir Phineas Pett at Ratcliffe, and launched in 1654 under the name Tredagh(Tredagh is an alternative name for the Irish town of Drogheda, scene of the Siege of Drogheda, a Roundhead victory, during the English Civil War).
1681 - HMS Kingfisher (46) engages seven Algerine pirates.
Kingfisher was a 46-gun fourth-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Phineas Pett III at Woolwich Dockyard and launched in 1675. She was specially designed to counter the attacks of Algerine corsairs, or pirates, in the Mediterranean by masquerading as a merchantman, which she achieved by hiding her armament behind false bulkheads. She also was provided with various means of changing her appearance.
Painting signed by Peter Monamy, and dated 1734, which was probably intended to depict Kingfisher's fight with seven Algerines
1703 - The Battle of Cap de la Roque was a naval battle between a Dutch convoy protected by captain Roemer Vlack and a French squadron under Alain Emmanuel de Coëtlogon, during the War of the Spanish Succession.
1745 – Launch of HMS Weazel or Weazle, a 16-gun ship-sloop of the Royal Navy,
1748 – Launch of HMS Mermaid, a 24-gun sixth-rate post ship of the Royal Navy, built in 1748-49, which served in the Seven Years' War.
1760 – Launch of French Protecteur, a Souverain-class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, the only to have borne the name.
1774 – Launch of HMS Centurion, a 50-gun Salisbury-class fourth rate of the Royal Navy.
Scale: 1:48. A contemporary full hull model of the ‘Centurion’ (1774),
1807 – The naval Battle of the Dardanelles took place on 22-23 May 1807 during the Russo-Turkish War (1806–12, part of the Napoleonic Wars).
It was fought between the Russian and Ottoman navies near the Dardanelles Strait. Russians under Admiral Seniavin defeat Turks
1810 - Boats of HMS Alceste (38), Cptn. Murray Maxwell, captured four feluccas, drove two on the rocks at Agaye.
On 22 May 1810, Alceste encountered some French feluccas — lightly-armed merchant vessels with lateen rigs — that were forced to seek refuge under the guns of the bay of Agay. Under cover of darkness, two boats from Alceste, one under Lieutenant Andrew Wilson, the other led by the ship's master, Henry Bell, attacked the shore batteries. This was only partially successful Wilson was unable to achieve his objective, while Bell's section managed to spike the guns of the second battery but only after taking heavy fire. Alceste stood out to sea for three days, and on the night of 25 May, Maxwell sent two armed boats to lay in wait in a rocky cove. The following morning Alceste set sail. The French, assuming Alceste had gone, attempted to leave, but the two British boats lying in ambush attacked. Despite fierce resistance and fire from the guns on shore, four ships of the French convoy were captured and two driven on to the rocks. The remainder made it safely back to their anchorage.
1811 – Launch of French Pacificateur, a Bucentaure-class 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, designed by Sané.
1812 - The Action of 22 May 1812 took place off Groix when a small French two-frigate squadron returning from a commerce raiding campaign in the Atlantic, met the 74-gun HMS Northumberland while trying the slip to Lorient through the British blockade.
HMS Northumberland (74) and HMS Growler (12) drove ashore and destroyed French frigates Arianne (44) and Andromaque (44) and brig Mameluke (18) off Port Louis.
Destruction of the French Frigates Arianne & Andromaque 22nd May 1812. Nineteenth century British school, after Thomas Whitcombe
The image shows the last stages of the Action of 22 May 1812. From left to right: Mameluck, Ariane, Andromaque and Northumberland.
1819 – SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
SS Savannah was an American hybrid sailing ship/sidewheel steamer built in 1818. She is notable for being the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, transiting mainly under sail power from May to June 1819. In spite of this historic voyage, the great space taken up by her large engine and its fuel at the expense of cargo, and the public's anxiety over embracing her revolutionary steam power, kept Savannah from being a commercial success as a steamship. Originally laid down as a sailing packet, she was, following a severe and unrelated reversal of the financial fortunes of her owners, converted back into a sailing ship shortly after returning from Europe.
1852 – Launch of HMS Agamemnon, a Royal Navy 91-gun battleship ordered by the Admiralty in 1849 in response to the perceived threat from France by their possession of ships of the Napoléon class.
Launch of HMS Agamemnon, 22 May 1852.
1878 – Launch of Holland Boat No. I, a prototype submarine designed and operated by John Philip Holland.
Work on the vessel began at the Albany Iron Works in New York City, moving to Paterson, New Jersey, in early 1878. The boat was launched on 22 May 1878. It was 14 feet long, weighed 2.25 tons, and was powered by a 4-horsepower Brayton petroleum engine driving a single screw. The boat was operated by Holland himself.
1941 - cruisers HMS Gloucester and HMS Fiji and other ships sunk during the Battle of Crete
HMS Gloucester (62) was one of the last batch of three Town-class light cruisers built for the Royal Navy during the late 1930s. Commissioned shortly before the start of World War II in August 1939, the ship was initially assigned to the China Station and was transferred to the Indian Ocean and later to South Africa to search for German commerce raiders. She was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in mid-1940 and spent much of her time escorting Malta Convoys. Gloucester played minor roles in the Battle of Calabria in 1940 and the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941. She was sunk by German dive bombers on 22 May 1941 during the Battle of Crete with the loss of 722 men out of a crew of 807. Gloucester acquired the nickname "The Fighting G" after earning five battle honours in less than a year.
1968 - USS Scorpion (SSN-589) – A nuclear-powered submarine that sank (most likely due to an internal explosion) on 22 May 1968 460 nautical miles (850 km) southwest of the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. In late Oct. 1968, her remains are found on the sea floor more than 10,000 feet below the surface by a deep-submergence vehicle towed from USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11).
USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was a Skipjack-class nuclear submarine of the United States Navy and the sixth vessel of the U.S. Navy to carry that name. Scorpion was lost on 22 May 1968, with 99 crewmen dying in the incident. USS Scorpion is one of two nuclear submarines the U.S. Navy has lost, the other being USS Thresher. It was one of four mysterious submarine disappearances in 1968, the others being the Israeli submarine INS Dakar, the French submarine Minerve and the Soviet submarine K-129.
Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
please use the following link and you will find the details and all events of this day . in the following you will find some of the events
Naval/Maritime History - 23rd of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1685 – Launch of Coronation, a 90-gun second-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, built at Portsmouth Dockyard as part of the '30 great ships programme' of 1677
Coronation was a 90-gun second-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, built at Portsmouth Dockyard as part of the '30 great ships programme' of 1677, and launched in 1685. She was lost in a storm off Rame Head, Cornwall on 29 October 1690 and is designated as a protected wreck under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. The area has been subjected to a geophysical survey and it is possible to acquire a licence and dive on the site.
1701 – After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London.
William Kidd, also known as Captain William Kidd or simply Captain Kidd (c. 1654 – 23 May 1701), was a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean. Some modern historians, for example Sir Cornelius Neale Dalton (see Books), deem his piratical reputation unjust.
Captain Kidd, gibbeted, following his execution in 1701.
1742 – Relaunch of HMS Swiftsure, a 70-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Sir Anthony Deane at Harwich, and first launched in 1673.
This is a ship portrait viewed from before the port beam. The ship is flying a Union flag at a staff on her forecastle as at a launching. Her mainmast, however, to the height of the fourth woulding, has been drawn in. The ‘Swiftsure’ was launched at Harwich on 8 April 1673. This is a faint offset based on an accurate original worked up with a little pencil on the figurehead and a crude wash along the side. It has also been strengthened in some places by pen-work
1762 - HMS Hussar, a 28-gun Coventry-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy, stranded off Cape Francois and captured by the french
Scale 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail, longitudinal half breadth for Coventry (1757), Lizard (1757),Liverpool (1757), Maidstone (1758), Acteon (1757), Shannon (1757), Levant (1757), Coberus (1757), Griffin (1757), Hussar (1757), all 28-gun,
1796 – Launch of French Poursuivante ("chaser"), a Romaine class frigate of the French Navy.
Fight of Poursuivante against HMS Hercule, 28 June 1803
1807 – Launch of HMS Elizabeth, a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Blackwall
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for building 'Magnificent' (1806), 'Valiant' (1807), 'Elizabeth' (1807), 'Cumberland' (1807), and 'Venerable' (1808), all 74-gun Third Rate, two-deckers, similar to the 'Repulse' (1803), 'Sceptre' (1802), and 'Eagle' (1804)
1808 – Launch of French Aréthuse, a 40-gun Pallas-class frigate of the French Navy
1864 – Launch of HMS Prince Albert, designed and built as a shallow-draught coast-defence ship, and was the first British warship designed to carry her main armament in turrets.
1918 - The armed merchant cruiser RMS / HMS Moldavia was torpedoed and sunk off Beachy Head in the English Channel by a torpedo from SM UB-57.
At the time she was carrying US troops, 56 of whom were lost.
RMS Moldavia was a British passenger steamship of the early 20th century. She served as the Royal Navy armed merchant cruiser HMS Moldavia during World War I until sunk by an Imperial German Navy submarinein 1918.
1939 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sinks off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians.
The remaining 32 sailors and one civilian naval architect are rescued the following day.
Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
please use the following link and you will find the details and all events of this day . in the following you will find some of the events
Naval/Maritime History - 24th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1370 - Treaty of Stralsund
The Treaty of Stralsund (24 May 1370) ended the war between the Hanseatic League and the kingdom of Denmark. The Hanseatic League reached the peak of its power by the conditions of this treaty.
1719 - The Battle of Oesel Island took place on May 24, 1719 (O.S.), during the Great Northern War.
The Battle of Oesel Island took place on May 24, 1719 (O.S.), during the Great Northern War. It was fought near the island of Saaremaa (Ösel). It led to a victory for the Russian captain Naum Senyavin, whose forces captured three enemy vessels, sustaining as few as eighteen casualties. It was the first Russian naval victory which did not involve ramming or boarding actions.
1757 – Launch of HMS Baleine, a 32-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy
1758 – Launch of HMS Conqueror, a 68-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Harwich
1766 - Launch of HMS London, a 90-gun second-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Chatham Dockyard.
HMS London depicted during the Action of 18 October 1782
Scale 1:48. Plan showing the above waterline profile for altering the sheer of 'London' (1766),
1766 – Launch of French Bretagne, a large 110-gun three-decker French ship of the line, built at Brest, which became famous as the flagship of the Brest Fleet during the American War of Independence.
She was funded by a don des vaisseaux grant by the Estates of Brittany.
Model of the 110-gun Bretagne, lacking anchors and boats. The figurehead features a never-completed project of a woman carrying the arms of Britanny it was actually a lion bearing the arms of Britanny. Aft sculptures are mode elaborate than on chief sculptor Lubet's drawings. The configuation is likely that of the 1777 refit.
1781 – Launch of HMS Quebec, a 32-gun fifth rate frigate launched in 1781 and broken up in 1816
Capture of the American Frigate South Carolina by the British frigates Diomede, Quebec and Astrea
1792 - Death of George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, English admiral and politician, 16th Governor of Newfoundland (b. 1718)
George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, KB (bap. 13 February 1718 – 24 May 1792), was a British naval officer. He is best known for his commands in the American War of Independence, particularly his victory over the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782. It is often claimed that he was the commander to have pioneered the tactic of "breaking the line".
1813 – Launch of USS Lawrence, one of two 493-ton Niagara-class brigs (more correctly: snows) built at Erie, Pennsylvania, by Adam and Noah Brown under the supervision of Sailing Master Daniel Dobbins and Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry, for United States Navy service on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812.
Raised hulk of Lawrence, Misery Bay, Erie, Pennsylvania, 1875
1842 – Launch of Ingermanland (Russian: Ингерманланд), a 74-gun Iezekiil‘-class ship of the line, built in Arkhangelsk
Ingermanland (Russian: Ингерманланд) was a three-masted, fully-rigged Iezekiil‘-class ship, built in Arkhangelsk in 1842. The third-rate ship-of-the-line belonged to the Russian Baltic Fleet, but was built by the White Sea. Ships of this type were characterized by good seaworthiness, practical location of artillery and rational interior planning. The ship was armed with 74 pcs. of 24- and 36-pound cannons.
The wreck of the Ingermanland off the coast of Norway (Painting by KV Krugovilin, 1843)
1842 – Launch of The first USS Cumberland, a 50-gun sailing frigate of the United States Navy. She was the first ship sunk by the ironclad CSS Virginia.
Drawing of hull plan of USS Cumberland as a frigate
Drawing of USS Cumberland after being razeed
1865 – Launch of French Bouvet, a sail and steam aviso of the French Navy, lead ship of her class.
Bouvet was a sail and steam aviso of the French Navy, lead ship of her class. She is remembered as the opponent of the German gunboat SMS Meteor during the Battle of Havana in 1870, at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War.
Aviso "Bouvet" (1865-1871) and "Jérôme-Napoléon" (1865-1895)
1868 - First German North Polar Expedition
The first expedition took place in the summer of 1868 and was led by Carl Koldewey on the vessel Grönland.The expedition explored some hitherto unknown coastal tracts of northeastern Spitsbergen, but did otherwise not lead to any new scientific knowledge. However, it served as preparation for the second expedition
1876 - HMS Challenger returned to Spithead, Hampshire, having spent 713 days out of the intervening 1,250 at sea.
The Challenger expedition of 1872–1876 was a scientific exercise that made many discoveries to lay the foundation of oceanography. The expedition was named after the mother vessel, HMS Challenger.
Prompted by Charles Wyville Thomson—of the University of Edinburgh and Merchiston Castle School—the Royal Society of London obtained the use of Challenger from the Royal Navy and in 1872 modified the ship for scientific tasks, equipping her with separate laboratories for natural history and chemistry. The expedition, led by Captain George Nares, sailed from Portsmouth, England, on 21 December 1872. Other naval officers included Commander John Maclear.
Under the scientific supervision of Thomson himself, she travelled nearly 70,000 nautical miles (130,000 km 81,000 mi) surveying and exploring. The result was the Report Of The Scientific Results of the Exploring Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–76 which, among many other discoveries, catalogued over 4,000 previously unknown species. John Murray, who supervised the publication, described the report as "the greatest advance in the knowledge of our planet since the celebrated discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries". Challenger sailed close to Antarctica, but not within sight of it.
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the profile illustrating the inboard details for Challenger (1858),
1887 – Launch of French Marceau, an ironclad turret ship built for the French Navy during the 1880s, the lead ship of her class.
Marceau was an ironclad turret ship built for the French Navy during the 1880s, the lead ship of her class. She served in the Mediterranean Squadron until 1900, when she was rebuilt and subsequently placed in reserve. She returned to service in 1906 as a torpedo training ship. During World War I, she served in Malta and Corfu as a submarine tender. The old ironclad was sold for scrapping in 1920, and while being towed to Toulon, she ran aground in a gale off Bizerte and became stranded. The wreck remained visible there until the 1930s.
1941 - Battle of the Denmark Strait - Bismarck and Prinz Eugen sink HMS Hood
The Battle of the Denmark Strait was a naval engagement on 24 May 1941 in the Second World War, between ships of the Royal Navy and the German Kriegsmarine. The British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser HMS Hood fought the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which were attempting to break out into the North Atlantic to attack Allied merchant shipping (Operation Rheinübung).
Less than 10 minutes after the British opened fire, a shell from Bismarck struck Hood near her aft ammunition magazines. Soon afterwards, Hood exploded and sank within three minutes, with the loss of all but three of her crew. Prince of Wales continued to exchange fire with Bismarck but suffered serious malfunctions in her main armament. The British battleship had only just been completed in late March 1941, and used new quadruple gun turrets that were unreliable. Therefore, the Prince of Wales soon broke off the engagement.
Profile drawing of Hood as she was in 1921, in Atlantic Fleet dark grey
1982 - HMS Antelope, a Type 21 frigate of the Royal Navy that participated in the Falklands War. was sunk by Argentine aircraft
HMS Antelope was a Type 21 frigate of the Royal Navy that participated in the Falklands War and was sunk by Argentine aircraft. Her keel was laid down 23 March 1971 by Vosper Thornycroft in Woolston, Southampton, England.
Initial budget costs for this class were £3.5 million, with final costs exceeding £14 million. She was commissioned on 17 July 1975, and was the only unit of the class never to be fitted with Exocet launchers.
Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Naval/Maritime History - 25th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1622 - Tryall (or Trial), a British East India Company-owned East Indiaman launched in 1621, wrecked.
She was under the command of John Brooke when she was wrecked on the Tryal Rocks off the north-west coast of Western Australia
Her crew were the first Englishmen to sight or land on Australia. The wreck is Australia's oldest known shipwreck.
1676 – Battle of Bornholm
May 25 and 26 - Dutch/Danish fleet under Niels Juel defeat Swedes under Baron Creutz between Bornholm and Rugen in the Baltic Sea
The battle of Bornholm was a naval battle between a superior Swedish and a smaller Danish-Dutch fleet that was fought 25–26 May 1676 as a part of the Scanian War. The objective for both sides was naval supremacy in the southern Baltic Sea. The Swedish commander Lorentz Creutz sought to destroy the allied fleet and then land reinforcements in Swedish Pomerania to relieve the Swedish forces in northern Germany. The aim of the Danish fleet under Niels Juel was to prevent this reinforcement without being destroyed by the superior numbers of the Swedish forces.
Swedish ship of the line HMS Stora Kronan 1668.
1750 – Launch of HMS Swiftsure, a 70-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, and in active service during the Seven Years' War.
This engraving depicts the British naval vessel Monmouth, in port bow view, taking the French naval vessel Foudroyant, shown in port broadside view, on 28th February 1758 in the Mediterranean.The Monmouth is central to the picture, issuing starboard cannon fire into the stern of Foudroyant, on the left of the image. Although both vessels have holes in their sails and have lost their mizzen masts, Foudroyant has only her foremast intact her main mast is falling into the sea. Two other ships, Swiftsure and Hampton Court, can be seen on the right of the picture. Although the sea is relatively calm the sky seems dark and forbidding, but a full moon creates a shaft of light on the sea, illuminating four figures clinging to the floating wreckage of rigging in the foreground. Engraving PAH7694, by another artist, shows the same event moments before the present image
1793 - HMS Hyaena (HMS Hyæna), a 24-gun Porcupine-class post-ship of the Royal Navy launched in 1778, was captured by french, took her into service as Hyène
1796 – HMS Suffisante captures the privateer Revanche
The French brig Suffisante was launched in 1793 for the French Navy. In 1795 the Royal Navy captured her and took her into service under her existing name. HMS Suffisante captured seven privateers during her career, as well as recapturing some British merchantmen and capturing a number of prizes, some of them valuable. She was lost in December 1803 when she grounded in poor weather in Cork harbour.
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board outline, sheer lines with inboard detail, and longitudinal half-breadth for Suffisante (captured 1803), a captured French 16-gun Brig Sloop, as taken off at Sheerness Dockyard while laid up in Ordinary. The plan includes the Table of Mast and Yard dimensions. Signed by George Parkin [Master Shipwright, Sheerness Dockyard, 1806-1813]
1801 - Boats of HMS Mercury (28), Cptn. T Rogers, re-captured and brought out bomb vessel HMS Bulldog from Ancona but had to abandon her.
Mercurythen made an attempt to recapture the 18-gun bomb vessel HMS Bulldogat Ancona on 25 May 1801. The cutting out party was able to get Bulldog out of the harbour, but then the winds died down just as enemy boats started to arrive. The cutting out party were too few in numbers both to guard the captured prisoners and resist the approaching enemy, and were tired from the row in to board Bulldog. Mercury had drifted too far away to come to the rescue either. The cutting out party therefore abandoned Bulldog. Mercury lost two men killed and four wounded in the attempt Rogers estimated that the enemy had lost some 20 men killed, wounded and drowned.
1806 – Merchant ship Barton repels attack by French privateer Fairey
1814 - Boats of HMS Elizabeth (74), Cptn. Leveson Gower, took Aigle off Corfu.
1838 – Launch of HMS Peterel , a six-gun Alert-class packet brig built for the Royal Navy during the 1830s.
1855 - Sea of Azoff naval campaign begins
During the Crimean War (1853–1856), a naval campaign was fought in the Sea of Azov between the Royal Navy and the French Navy against the Russian Navybetween 25 May–22 November 1855. British and French warships struck at every vestige of Russian power along the coast of the Sea of Azov. Except for Rostov and Azov, no town, depot, building or fortification was immune from attack and Russian naval power ceased to exist almost overnight. Contrary to established images of the Russian War, here was a campaign which was well-planned, dynamically led and overwhelmingly successful. The British authorities, significantly, issued the bar "Azoff" to the British Crimean War Medal, thus acknowledging the services of those who waged the most successful operations against the Russians during the war of 1854-1856. The bar was awarded only to the Royal Navy, together with units of the Royal Marines present during the campaign. The unauthorised French clasp, reading Mer d'Azoff , was worn by sailors of the French Navy.
The French squadron during the Crimean War
1861 – Launch of The Murray, a clipper ship of the Orient Line, which sailed from London to South Australia for 20 years.
1868 – Launch of HMS Monarch, the first seagoing British warship to carry her guns in turrets, and the first British warship to carry guns of 12-inch (300 mm) calibre.
Monarch after her 1872 conversion to barque rig.
Scale: 1:48. A half frame model of the port side of the turret ship HMS Monarch (1868), made entirely in wood with metal fittings and painted in realistic colours
1911 - USS Wyoming (BB 32) launches. She is commissioned in Sept. 25, 1912 and later participates in the Veracruz Intervention and World War I.
USS Wyoming (BB-32) was the lead ship of her class of dreadnought battleships and was the third ship of the United States Navy named Wyoming, although she was only the second named in honor of the 44th state. Wyoming was laid down at the William Cramp & Sons in Philadelphia in February 1910, was launched in May 1911, and was completed in September 1912. She was armed with a main battery of twelve 12-inch (305 mm) guns and capable of a top speed of 20.5 kn (38.0 km/h 23.6 mph).
1915 - the pre-dreadnought battleship HMS Triumph was torpedoed and sunk off Gaba Tepe by U-21 in the Gallipoli Campaign.
The destroyer HMS Chelmer took off most of her crew before she capsized ten minutes later. She floated upside down for about 30 minutes then slowly sank in about 180 feet (55 m) of water. Three officers and 75 ratings were lost.
1941 – Last battle of the battleship Bismarck
2011 – Launch of Alexander von Humboldt II, a German sailing ship built as a replacement for the ship Alexander von Humboldt, which had been launched in 1906 and used for sail training since 1988.
Alexander von Humboldt II is a German sailing ship built as a replacement for the ship Alexander von Humboldt, which had been launched in 1906 and used for sail training since 1988. Constructed by Brenn- und Verformtechnik (BVT) in Bremen, the new ship was launched in 2011.
Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Naval/Maritime History - 26th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1573 – The Battle of Haarlemmermeer was a naval engagement during the early stages of the Dutch War of Independence.
Spanish under Bossu defeat Sea Beggars
The Battle of Haarlemmermeer was a naval engagement fought on 26 May 1573, during the early stages of the Dutch War of Independence. It was fought on the waters of the Haarlemmermeer – a large lake which at the time was a prominent feature of North Holland (it would be drained in the 19th century).
Battle of Haarlemmermeer circa 1621 by Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom, oil on canvas. Rijksmuseum.
1603 - Battle of Sluis - Dutch under Joos de Moor beat back Spanish under Frederik Spinola
The Battle of Sluis was a naval battle during the Eighty Years' War in which a Spanish squadron commanded by the Italian captain Federico Spinola tried to break through a blockade of Sluis by Dutch ships under the command of Joos de Moor. After about two hours of fighting the heavily damaged Spanish ships returned to Sluis Federico Spinola was killed during the action.
Battle of Sluis, from the Legermuseum, Delft
1658 – Launch of Richard, a 70-gun second-rate ship of the line of the navy of the Commonwealth of England, built by the Master Shipwright Christopher Pett at Woolwich Dockyard,
The Richard was a 70-gun second-rate ship of the line of the navy of the Commonwealth of England, built by the Master Shipwright Christopher Pett at Woolwich Dockyard, and launched in 1658. She was named after Richard Cromwell, to honour his appointment as the Protector in succession to his late father Oliver Cromwell.
The Battle of Lowestoft, 13 June 1665, showing Royal Charles and the Eendracht by Hendrik van Minderhout, painted c. 1665
1742 – Launch of HMS Medway, a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built to the 1733 proposals of the 1719 Establishment at Rotherhithe,
1758 - Action of 26 May 1758 - HMS Dolphin (24), Captain Benjamin Marlow, and HMS Solebay (28), Captain Robert Craig, engage Marechal de Belleisle (44), François Thurot.
1796 - Lord Hawkesbury, launched in America in 1781, captured and wrecked
Lord Hawkesbury was launched in America in 1781, probably under another name. She entered Lloyd's Register in 1787. She made six voyages as a whaler and was lost on the seventh after a squadron of French naval vessels had captured her.
This painting has the alternative title 'Ships of the East India Company at Sea' but was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1803 as 'The Hindostan, G. Millet[t], commander, and senior officer of eighteen sail of East Indiamen, with the signal to wear, sternmost and leewardmost ships first'. (That is, for the fleet to alter course to the opposite tack, in the sequence indicated, with the wind astern.) It is believed to represent the convoy under George Millett, as commodore, during their return voyage from China early in 1802. The 'Hindostan', in the centre, was a large East Indiaman of 1248 tons, built in 1796 to replace a previous vessel of the same name that had been sold to the Navy. The new 'Hindostan' undertook three voyages in the service of the Company, the last being the one illustrated. On 11 January 1803, at the start of a fourth voyage, she was lost during a heavy gale on Margate Sands with up to thirty of her crew. Eleven of the other vessels in the convoy depicted here are known to have reached their moorings in England between 11 and 14 July 1802: the 'Lord Hawkesbury', 'Worcester', 'Boddam', 'Fort William', 'Airly Castle', 'Lord Duncan', 'Ocean', 'Henry Addington', 'Carnatic', 'Hope' and 'Windham'. The other ships have not been identified but are also presumed to have done so. Pocock placed considerable importance on accuracy and he referred to annotated drawings and sketch plans in the production of his oil paintings. He was born and brought up in Bristol and went to sea at the age of seventeen, rising to be the master of several merchant vessels. Although he only took up painting as a profession in his early forties, he became extremely successful, receiving commissions from naval commanders anxious to have accurate portrayals of actions and ships. By the age of eighty Pocock had recorded nearly forty years of maritime history, demonstrating a meticulous understanding of shipping and rigging with close attention to detail. The painting is signed and dated 1803
'The East Indiaman General Goddard capturing Dutch East Indiamen, June 1795'.
1808 – Launch of HMS Brazen, a Bittern-class 28-gun Royal Navy ship sloop
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the framing profile (disposition) for Plover (1796) and with later alterations for Brazen (cancelled 1799) and Brazen (1808), all 18-gun Ship Sloops. Initialled by John Henslow [Surveyor of the Navy, 1784-1806] and William Rule [Surveyor of the Navy, 1793-1813]
1808 – Launch of HMS Podargus, a Crocus-class brig-sloop of the Royal Navy.
inboard works, expansion of Date: NMM, Progress Book, volume 7, folio 205, states that 'Podargus' was fitted at Portsmouth Dockyard in 1808, repaired at Portsmouth Dockyard in 1809, and had defects repaired at Plymouth Dockyard in 1810
1811 – HMS Alacrity (18), Nisbet Palmer, captured by French corvette Abeille (20) off Bastia, Corsica.
1903 – Launch of SMS Elsass, the second of five pre-dreadnought battleships of the Braunschweig class in the German Imperial Navy.
SMS Elsass was the second of five pre-dreadnought battleships of the Braunschweig class in the German Imperial Navy. She was laid down in May 1901, launched in May 1903, and commissioned in November 1904, though an accident during sea trials delayed her completion until May 1905. She was named for the German province of Elsass, now the French region of Alsace. Her sister ships were Braunschweig, Hessen, Preussen and Lothringen. The ship was armed with a battery of four 28 cm (11 in) guns and had a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h 21 mph). Like all other pre-dreadnoughts built at the turn of the century, Elsass was quickly made obsolete by the launching of the revolutionary HMS Dreadnought in 1906 as a result, her career as a frontline battleship was cut short.
1908 – Launch of SMS Emden ("His Majesty's Ship Emden"), the second and final member of the Dresden class of light cruisers built for the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine)
SMS Emden ("His Majesty's Ship Emden")[a] was the second and final member of the Dresden class of light cruisers built for the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). Named for the town of Emden, she was laid down at the Kaiserliche Werft (Imperial Dockyard) in Danzig in 1906. Her hull was launched in May 1908, and completed in July 1909. She had one sister ship, Dresden. Like the preceding Königsberg-class cruisers, Emden was armed with ten 10.5 cm (4.1 in) guns and two torpedo tubes.
1908 – Launch of USS Michigan (BB-27), a South Carolina-class battleship, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the 26th state.
USS Michigan (BB-27), a South Carolina-class battleship, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the 26th state. She was the second member of her class, the first dreadnought battleships built for the US Navy. She was laid down in December 1906, launched in May 1908 sponsored by Mrs. F. W. Brooks, daughter of Secretary of the Navy Truman Newberry and commissioned into the fleet 4 January 1910. Michigan and South Carolina were armed with a main battery of eight 12-inch (305 mm) guns in superfiring twin gun turrets they were the first dreadnoughts to feature this arrangement.
1941 - last battle of the German battleship Bismarck
Later on 25 May Admiral Lütjens, apparently unaware that he had lost his pursuers, broke radio silence to send a coded message to Germany.
This allowed the British to triangulate the approximate position of the Bismarck and aircraft were dispatched to hunt for the German battleship. She was rediscovered in the late morning of 26 May by a Catalina flying boat from No. 209 Squadron RAF and subsequently shadowed by aircraft from Force H steaming north from Gibraltar.
For some time, Bismarck remained under long-distance observation by the British. At about 03:00 on 25 May, she took advantage of her opponents' zig-zagging to double back on her own wake Bismarck made a nearly 270° turn to starboard, and as a result her pursuers lost sight of the battleship, thus enabling her to head for German naval bases in France unnoticed. Contact was lost for four hours, but the Germans did not know this. For reasons that are still unclear, Admiral Günther Lütjens transmitted a 30-minute radio message to HQ, which was intercepted, thereby giving the British time to work out roughly where he was heading. However, a plotting error made onboard King George V, now in pursuit of the Germans, incorrectly calculated Bismarck's position and caused the chase to veer too far to the north. Bismarck was therefore able to make good time on 25/26 May in her unhindered passage towards France and protective air cover and destroyer escort. By now, however, fuel was becoming a major concern to both sides.
Five aircrew from HMS Ark Royal who were decorated for their part in the Bismarck attack, photographed in front of a Swordfish bomber
Map of Operation "Rheinübung" and Royal Navy operations against the battleship Bismarck
1954 - Catapult explosion on USS Bennington
At 06:11 on 26 May 1954, while cruising off Narragansett Bay, the fluid in one of her catapults leaked out and was detonated by the flames of a jet causing the forward part of the flight deck to explode, setting off a series of secondary explosions which killed 103 crewmen, predominantly among the senior NCO's of the crew and injured 201 others.Bennington proceeded under her own power to Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Rhode Island, to land her injured. This tragedy caused the Navy to switch from hydraulic catapults to steam catapults for launching aircraft. A monument to the sailors who died in this tragic event was erected near the southwest corner of Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island.
Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Naval/Maritime History - 27th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1770 – Battle of Nauplia (1770) or sometimes named Action of Nafplio - May 27 and 28 - Russians vs Turks near southern Greece
Fought during the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774, this indecisive battle took place on 27 and 28 May 1770 at the entrance to the Argolic Gulf, Greece, when a Russian fleet under John Elphinstone engaged a larger Ottoman fleet. No ships were lost on either side, and casualties were small.
1774 – Launch of HMS Hector, a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, at Deptford.
HMS Hector and Bristol in distress during the Great Hurricane of 1780
|Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board decoration, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Hector' (1774), a 74-gun Third Rate, two-decker. The plan may represent her as built|
1778 – Launch of HMS Nymph
HMS Nymph was a 14-gun Swan-class sloop of the Royal Navy launched at Chatham Dockyard on 27 May 1778. She was accidentally burnt and sank in the British Virgin Islands in 1783.
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan with stern board decoration, sheer lines with inboard detail and quarter gallery decoration and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Nymph (1778), a 14-gun Ship Sloop as built at Chatham Dockyard. Initialled by Edward Hunt [Surveyor of the Navy, 1778-1784]
1782 – Launch of French Alcide, a 74-gun Pégase class ship of the line of the French Navy
In 1782, she took part in the American war of Independence in De Grasse's fleet.
Scale: 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, stern board outline with decoration detail and name in a cartouche on the counter, sheer lines with inboard detail and figurehead, and longitudinal half-breadth for Pegase (1782), a captured French Third Rate, as taken off at Portsmouth Dockyard. The plan shows the ship with the French layout of fittings, and the proposed alterations for fitting her as a British 74-gun Third Rate, two-decker. Signed by George White [Master Shipwright, Portsmouth Dockyard, 1779-1793]
1793 – HMS Venus (32), Cptn. Jonathan Faulknor, engaged french La Semillante (36).
On 27 May 1793, Venus, Captain Jonathon Faulkner, encountered the French frigate La Sémillante south-west of Cape Finisterre which resulted in close action. "The sails, rigging and spars of the British frigate had taken the brunt of the enemy fire and were extremely cut up so that a further engagement was inadvisable. Indeed she was lucky to escape an encounter with a fresh opponent.
Action between HMS Venus (left) and French frigate La Sémillante, 27 May 1793.
1798 - HMS Seahorse versus french Sensible
After the capture of Malta by the French, the frigate Sensible, 36, Captain Bourde, was sent with dispatches and valuables to Toulon, and when on her way thither off Marittimo, was chased by the British Seahorse, 38, Captain Edward James Foote. The French ship turned and ran towards Malta, as she had but a very weak crew on board and was not properly equipped. In the night of the 26th-27th, the Seahorse gained upon her, and, after a running fight, brought her to close action at 4 A.M. Many of the Maltese galley slaves, who had been placed on board the Sensible, deserted their guns at the first broadside, and at the end of eight minutes' action the French captain, having made a vain attempt to board his enemy, hauled down his flag. He was censured by the French Directory for not having offered a more stubborn resistance, but, as a matter of fact, the force opposed to him was very superior, and he was acquitted with honour by a French court-martial on his return to Toulon.
1813 - Action of 1813/05/27, 27th May 1813 - Boats of HMS Apollo (38), Cptn. Bridges W. Taylor, and HMS Cerberus (32), Cptn. Thomas Garth, took 3 gunboats at Faro.
On May 27th, observing in Otranto a convoy which, it was expected, would make for Corfu with the first favourable wind, Captain Thomas Garth, with the Cerberus, took up a station off Fano, having first sent in two boats from the Cerberus, and two belonging to the Apollo, under Lieutenants John William Montagu and William Henry Nares, to lie in wait under the Apulian shore. At 1 A.M. on the 28th, the convoy came out, protected by eight gunboats yet, in spite of the inequality of force, the boats attacked them with great determination. Nares boarded and carried one Midshipman William Hutchison mastered another. In attempting a third, Master's Mate Thomas Richard Suett was shot through the heart. He, and 1 seaman, were the only British killed, and but one other person was wounded. Each of the captured gunboats mounted three guns. Four of the convoy were taken also.
1862 - USS Bienville captures the British blockade-runner Patras off Bulls Island, S.C. and USS Santiago de Cuba captures the schooner Lucy C. Holmes off Charleston.
USS Bienville was a 1,558 long tons (1,583 t) (burden) wooden side-wheel paddle steamer acquired by the Union Navy early in the American Civil War. She was armed with heavy guns and assigned to the Union blockade of the waterways of the Confederate States of America.
1905 - Battle of Tsushima - May 27–28 Tsushima - Japanese defeat Russians in large fleet battle between Korea and Japan
The Battle of Tsushima (Russian: Цусимское сражение, Tsusimskoye srazheniye), also known as the Battle of Tsushima Strait and the Naval Battle of the Sea of Japan (Japanese: 日本海海戦, Nihonkai-Kaisen) in Japan, was a major naval battle fought between Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War. It was naval history's only decisive sea battle fought by modern steel battleship fleets, and the first naval battle in which wireless telegraphy (radio) played a critically important role. It has been characterized as the "dying echo of the old era – for the last time in the history of naval warfare, ships of the line of a beaten fleet surrendered on the high seas".
Admiral Tōgō on the bridge of Mikasa, at the beginning of the Battle of Tsushima in 1905. The signal flag being hoisted is the letter Z, which was a special instruction to the Fleet.
Russian battleship Oslyabya, the first warship sunk in the battle
1915 - HMS Princess Irene, an ocean liner requisitioned by the Royal Navy on completion and converted to an auxiliary minelayer, exploded and sank off Sheerness, Kent with the loss of 352 lives.
HMS Princess Irene was a 5,394 GRT ocean liner which was built in 1914 by William Denny and Brothers Ltd, Dumbarton, Scotland for the Canadian Pacific Railway. She was requisitioned by the Royal Navy on completion and converted to an auxiliary minelayer. On 27 May 1915, she exploded and sank off Sheerness, Kent with the loss of 352 lives.
1915 - HMS Majestic – while stationed off W Beach at Cape Helles, Majestic became the third battleship to be torpedoed off Gallipoli in two weeks. SM fired one torpedo through the defensive screen of destroyers and anti-torpedo nets, hitting Majestic and causing a huge explosion. She began to list to port and in nine minutes capsized in 54 feet (16 m) of water killing 49 men. Her masts hit the mud of the sea bottom and her upturned hull remained visible for many months until it finally submerged when her foremast collapsed in a storm.
HMS Majestic was a Majestic-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1895, she was the largest predreadnought launched at the time. She served with the Channel Fleet until 1904, following which she was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. In 1907, she was part of the Home Fleet, firstly assigned to the Nore Division and then with the Devonport Division. From 1912, she was part of the 7th Battle Squadron.
Scale 1:48. A plan showing the inboard profile of the battleship HMS Majestic (1895). The plan shows the ship as completed in 1896, with subsequent alterations up to 1904
Scale 1:48. A plan showing the upper deck of the battleship HMS Majestic (1895). The plan shows the ship as completed in 1896, with subsequent alterations up to 1904
1941 - After being hunted by British forces following the sinking of HMS Hood, german battleship Bismarck was herself sunk three days later
Of the more than 2,200 crew aboard, over 2,000 were killed, 114 survived.
The last battle of the German battleship Bismarck took place in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 300 nmi (350 mi 560 km) west of Brest, France, on 26–27 May 1941. Although it was a decisive action between capital ships, it has no generally accepted name.
On 24 May, before the final action, Bismarck's fuel tanks were damaged and several machinery compartments, including a boiler room, were flooded in the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Her intention was to reach the port of Brest for repair. Late in the day Bismarck briefly turned on her pursuers (Prince of Wales and the heavy cruisers Norfolk and Suffolk) to cover the escape of her companion, the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen to continue further into the Atlantic. Early on 25 May the British forces lost contact with Bismarck, which headed ESE towards France while the British searched NE, presuming she was returning to Norway. Later on 25 May Admiral Lütjens, apparently unaware that he had lost his pursuers, broke radio silence to send a coded message to Germany. This allowed the British to triangulate the approximate position of the Bismarck and aircraft were dispatched to hunt for the German battleship. She was rediscovered in the late morning of 26 May by a Catalina flying boat from No. 209 Squadron RAF and subsequently shadowed by aircraft from Force H steaming north from Gibraltar.
The final action consisted of four main phases. The first phase late on the 26th consisted of air strikes by torpedo bombers from the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal, which disabled Bismarck's steering gear, jamming her rudders in a turning position and preventing her escape. The second phase was the shadowing and harassment of Bismarck during the night of 26/27 May by British destroyers, with no serious damage to any ship. The third phase on the morning of 27 May was an attack by the British battleships King George V and Rodney supported by cruisers. After about 100 minutes of fighting, Bismarck was sunk by the combined effects of shellfire, torpedo hits and deliberate scuttling. On the British side, Rodney was lightly damaged by near-misses and by the blast effects of her own guns. British warships rescued 111 survivors from Bismarck before being obliged to withdraw because of an apparent U-boat sighting, leaving several hundred men to their fate. The following morning, a U-boat and a German weathership rescued five more survivors. In the final phase the withdrawing British ships were attacked on 27 May by aircraft of the Luftwaffe, resulting in the loss of the destroyer HMS Mashona.
1941 - German battleship Bismarckwas scuttled by her crew, and sank with heavy loss of life
Bismarck was the first of two Bismarck-class battleships built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. Named after Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the ship was laid down at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg in July 1936 and launched in February 1939. Work was completed in August 1940, when she was commissioned into the German fleet. Bismarck and her sister ship Tirpitz were the largest battleships ever built by Germany, and two of the largest built by any European power.
HMS Dorsetshire picking up survivors
Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Naval/Maritime History - 28th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1588 – The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, heading for the English Channel.
(It will take until May 30 for all ships to leave port.)
The Spanish Armada (Spanish: Grande y Felicísima Armada, lit. 'Great and Most Fortunate Navy') was a Habsburg Spanish fleet of 130 ships that sailed from Corunna in late May 1588, under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England. Medina Sidonia was an aristocrat without naval command experience but was made commander by King Philip II. The aim was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and her establishment of Protestantism in England, to stop English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and to stop the harm caused by English and Dutch privateering ships that interfered with Spanish interests in America.
English fireships are launched at the Spanish armada off Calais
1672 - Battle of Solebay - A Dutch fleet of 75 ships, under Lt.-Admirals Michiel de Ruyter, Adriaen Banckert and Willem Joseph van Ghent, surprised an Anglo-French fleet of 93 ships, under The Duke of York and Vice-Admiral Comte Jean II d'Estrées, at anchor in Solebay.
HMS Royal James (102) was destroyed by a fireship and the Earl of Sandwich was drowned. HMS Royal Katherine (84), Cptn. John Chichely, struck but was recaptured. The Dutch Jozua was destroyed, Stavoren was captured, and a third ship blew up.
Overview of the battle by Van de Velde
1672 - Battle of Solebay - 102-gun ship of the line HMS Royal James (1671) lost, appr. 700 of the crew lost their life
HMS Royal James was a 102-gun first rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Anthony Deane at Portsmouth Dockyard at a cost of £24,000, and launched on 31 March 1671.
The ‘Royal James’, 100 guns, was built in 1675, renamed Victory in 1691 and rebuilt 1695. Her predecessor of the same name had been burnt at the battle of Solebay in 1672
1708 - Wager's Action - British squadron, under Charles Wager, of HMS Expedition (70), HMS Kingston (60), HMS Portland (50) and HMS Vulture fireship (8) engaged Spanish treasure fleet, under José Fernández de Santillán , of eleven merchant ships (some armed), and seven escorting warships San José (64), San Joaquín (64), Santa Cruz (44), Concepción (40), Carmen (24), French Le Mieta (34) and French Saint Sprit (32) off Cartagena.
San José blew up, Santa Cruz was taken and Concepción beached itself on Baru Island where the crew set the ship alight. The rest escaped
Action off Cartagena, 28 May 1708 (O.S.). Oil by Samuel Scott. of San José during Wager's Action. Oil on canvas by Samuel Scott
1774 – Launch of the fourth HMS Diamond, a modified Lowestoffe-class fifth-rate frigate
ordered on 25 December 1770 as one of five fifth-rate frigates of 32 guns each contained in the emergency frigate-building programme inaugurated when the likelihood of war with Spain arose over the ownership of the Falkland Islands
The fourth HMS Diamond was a Modified Lowestoffe-class fifth-rate frigate, ordered on 25 December 1770 as one of five fifth-rate frigates of 32 guns each contained in the emergency frigate-building programme inaugurated when the likelihood of war with Spain arose over the ownership of the Falkland Islands (eight sixth-rate frigates of 28 guns each were ordered at the same time). Sir Thomas Slade's design for the Lowestoffe was approved, but was revised to produce a more rounded midships section the amended design was approved on 3 January 1771 by Hawke's outgoing Admiralty Board, just before it was replaced.
1791 – Launch of French La Pompée, a Téméraire class ship of the French Navy,
HMS Pompee was a 74-gun ship of the line of the British Royal Navy. Built as La Pompée, a Téméraire class ship of the French Navy, she was handed over to the British at Spithead by French royalists who had fled France after the Siege of Toulon (September-December 1793) by the French Republic, only a few months after being completed. After reaching Great Britain, La Pompée was registered and recommissioned as HMS Pompee and spent the entirety of her active career with the Royal Navy until she was broken up in 1817.
1794 - Atlantic campaign of May 1794
The Atlantic campaign of May 1794 was a series of operations conducted by the British Royal Navy's Channel Fleet against the French Navy's Atlantic Fleet, with the aim of preventing the passage of a strategically important French grain convoy travelling from the United States to France. The campaign involved commerce raiding by detached forces and two minor engagements, eventually culminating in the full fleet action of the Glorious First of June 1794, at which both fleets were badly mauled and both Britain and France claimed victory. The French lost seven battleships the British none, but the battle distracted the British fleet long enough for the French convoy to safely reach port. .
Lord Howe's first partial action with the of the rear of the French Fleet. May 28 1794. With inscription (PAF0009)
The Bretagne was a large 110-gun three-decker French ship of the line, built at Brest, which became famous as the flagship of the Brest Fleet during the American War of Independence. She was funded by a don des vaisseaux grant by the Estates of Brittany.
The Bretagne was one of seventeen ships of the line ordered in 1762 as a result of the Duc de Choiseul’s campaign to raise funds for the navy from the cities and provinces of France. She was completed at Brest in 1766.
She fought at the Battle of Ushant in 1778 as Orvilliers' flagship.
1797 – East Indiaman ship Friendship was launched in Salem, Massachusetts by Enos Briggs's shipyard at Stage Point on the South River for owners Aaron Waite and Jerathmiel Pierce.
The original Friendship was built in Salem, Massachusetts by Enos Briggs's shipyard at Stage Point on the South River for owners Aaron Waite and Jerathmiel Pierce. The Friendship was launched 28 May 1797. It weighed 342 tons and was registered at the customs house on August 18, 1797. The Friendship was 102 feet long and 27 feet 7 inches wide. She regularly recorded speeds of 10 knots and was known to have logged a top speed of 12 knots. The Friendship made fifteen voyages during her career and visited Batavia, India, China, South America, the Caribbean, England, Germany, the Mediterranean and Russia.
1803 - Embuscade, a 32 gun fifth rate frigate was captured by HMS Victory, commanded by Captain Samuel Sutton in the Atlantic.
She was restored to the Royal Navy in her old name, the existing Ambuscade being renamed HMS Seine. First captured by the British during the Battle of Tory Island in 1797, recaptured by the Bayonnaise in 1798 to be recaptured by the British again in 1803
Combat de la Bayonnaise contre l'Ambuscade, 1798, by Louis-Philippe Crépin
1803 - HMS Minotaur (74), HMS Thunderer (74) and HMS Albion (74) captured French frigate Franchise (34) near Brest.
Franchise was launched in 1798 as a 40-gun Coquille-class frigate of the French Navy. The British captured her in 1803 and took her into the Royal Navy under her existing name. In the war on commerce during the Napoleonic Wars she was more protector than prize-taker, capturing many small privateers but apparently few commercial prizes. She was also at the battle of Copenhagen. She was broken up in 1815.
1810 - French privateer brig Fantôme, was captured by the british frigate HMS Melampus
1812 HMS Menelaus (38), Cptn. Peter Parker, engaged French frigate Pauline and brig Ecureuil off Toulon.
HMS Menelaus (ship in center) sailing with three other ships from a 19th century watercolor painting by artist, William Innes Pocock
1813 – The Action off James Island
During the War of 1812, the 30-gun frigate USS Essex, commanded by Capt. David Porter, and her prize, Georgiana, capture the British whalers Atlantic, Greenwich, Catharine (burned), Rose, and Hector (burned) in the Pacific.
1813 May 28–29 Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor - US General Jacob Brown turns back British under Sir George Prevost
The Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor or simply the Battle of Sacket's Harbor, took place on 29 May 1813, during the War of 1812. A British force was transported across Lake Ontario and attempted to capture the town, which was the principal dockyard and base for the American naval squadron on the lake. Twelve warships were built here. The British were repulsed by American regulars, militia, marines and sailors.
1892 – Launch of HMS Resolution, a Royal Sovereign-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy.
HMS Resolution was a Royal Sovereign-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the Royal Navy. The ship was built by Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company, starting with her keel laying in June 1890. She was launched in May 1892 and, after completing trials, was commissioned into the Channel Squadron the following December. She was armed with a main battery of four 13.5-inch guns and a secondary battery of ten 6-inch guns. The ship had a top speed of 16.5 knots.
1906 – Launch of SMS Schlesien, one of five Deutschland-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) between 1904 and 1906.
SMS Schlesien was one of five Deutschland-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the German Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Navy) between 1904 and 1906. Named after the German province of Silesia, Schlesien was laid down at the Schichau-Werke shipyard in Danzig on 19 November 1904, launched on 28 May 1906, and commissioned on 5 May 1908. She was armed with a battery of four 28 cm (11 in) guns and had a top speed of 18 knots (33 km/h 21 mph). The ships of her class were already outdated by the time they entered service, as they were inferior in size, armor, firepower, and speed to the revolutionary new British battleship HMS Dreadnought.
1907 – Launch of French Vérité, a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the French Navy in the mid-1900s.
Vérité was a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the French Navy in the mid-1900s. She was the second member of the Liberté class, which included three other vessels and was a derivative of the preceding République class, with the primary difference being the inclusion of a heavier secondary battery. Vérité carried a main battery of four 305 mm (12.0 in) guns, like the République, but mounted ten 194 mm (7.6 in) guns for her secondary armament in place of the 164 mm (6.5 in) guns of the earlier vessels. Like many late pre-dreadnought designs, Vérité was completed after the revolutionary British battleship HMS Dreadnought had entered service and rendered her obsolescent.
Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Naval/Maritime History - 29th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1416 - Battle of Gallipoli - Venetians defeat Ottoman Turks
The Battle of Gallipoli occurred on 29 May 1416 between a squadron of the Venetian navy and the fleet of the Ottoman Empire off the Ottoman naval base of Gallipoli. The battle was the main episode of a brief conflict between the two powers, resulting from Ottoman attacks against Venetian possessions and shipping in the Aegean Sea in late 1415. The Venetian fleet, under Pietro Loredan, was charged with transporting Venetian envoys to the Sultan, but was authorized to attack if the Ottomans refused to negotiate. The subsequent events are known chiefly from a letter written by Loredan after the battle. The Ottomans exchanged fire with the Venetian ships as soon as the Venetian fleet approached Gallipoli, forcing the Venetians to withdraw.
14th-century painting of a light galley, from an icon now at the Byzantine and Christian Museum at Athens
1691 – Death of Cornelis Tromp, Dutch admiral (b. 1629)
Cornelis Maartenszoon Tromp (3 September 1629 – 29 May 1691) was a Dutch naval officer. He was the son of Lieutenant Admiral Maarten Tromp.[a]He became Lieutenant Admiral General in the Dutch Navy and briefly General admiral in the Danish Navy. He fought in the first three Anglo-Dutch Warsand in the Scanian War.
1758 - HMS Dorsetshire (70) and HMS Achilles (60), Cptn. Hon. Samuel Barrington, took French Raisonnable (64)
On 29 May 1758, she was captured in the Bay of Biscay by HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Achilles at the Action of 29 April 1758, and commissioned in the Royal Navy as the third rate HMS Raisonnable. She was lost off Martinique on 3 February 1762.
1781 - Colonial frigate USS Alliance (36), Cptn. John Barry, captures HMS Atalanta (14), Cdr. Sampson Edwards, and HMS Trepassy (14), Cdr. James Smyth (Killed in Action), off Nova Scotia.
The first USS Alliance of the United States Navy was a 36-gun sailing frigate of the American Revolutionary War.
Originally named Hancock, she was laid down in 1777 on the Merrimack River at Amesbury, Massachusetts, by the partners and cousins, William and James K. Hackett, launched on 28 April 1778, and renamed Alliance on 29 May 1778 by resolution of the Continental Congress. Her first commanding officer was Capt. Pierre Landais, a former officer of the French Navy who had come to the New World hoping to become a naval counterpart of Lafayette. The frigate's first captain was widely accepted as such in America. Massachusetts made him an honorary citizen and the Continental Congress gave him command of Alliance, thought to be the finest warship built to that date on the western side of the Atlantic.
1794 – Launch of French Droits de l'Homme (French for Rights of Man), a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy
Droits de l'Homme (French for Rights of Man) was a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy during the French Revolutionary Wars. Launched in 1794, the ship saw service in the Atlantic against the British Royal Navy.
She was part of the fleet that sailed in December 1796 on the disastrous Expédition d'Irlande. After unsuccessful attempts to land troops on Ireland, the Droits de l'Homme headed back to her home port of Brest with the soldiers still on board. Two British frigates were waiting to intercept stragglers from the fleet, and engaged Droits de l'Homme in the Action of 13 January 1797. Heavily damaged by the British ships and unable to manoeuvre in rough seas, the ship struck a sandbar and was wrecked. Hundreds of lives were lost in the disaster.
1794 - Atlantic campaign of May 1794
The Mont-Blanc off Marseille (detail of this image), by Antoine Roux.
1794 - frigate action of 29 May 1794 - HMS Carysfort (28), Cptn. Francis Laforey, re-captured HMS Castor (32) off Land's End.
The frigate action of 29 May 1794—not to be confused with the much larger fleet action of 29 May 1794 that took place in the same waters at the same time—was a minor naval engagement of the French Revolutionary Wars between a Royal Navy frigate and a French Navy frigate. The action formed a minor part of the Atlantic campaign of May 1794, a campaign which culminated in the battle of the Glorious First of June, and was unusual in that the French ship Castor had only been in French hands for a few days at the time of the engagement. Castor had previously been a British ship, seized on 19 May by a French battle squadron in the Bay of Biscay and converted to French service while still at sea. While the main fleets manoeuvered around one another, Castor was detached in pursuit of a Dutch merchant ship and on 29 May encountered the smaller independently cruising British frigate HMS Carysfort.
Captain Francis Laforey on Carysfort immediately attacked the larger ship and in an engagement lasting an hour and fifteen minutes successfully forced its captain to surrender, discovering a number of British prisoners of war below decks. Castor was subsequently taken back to Britain and an extended legal case ensued between the Admiralty and Captain Laforey over the amount of prize money that should be awarded for the victory. Ultimately Laforey was successful, in part due to testimony from the defeated French captain, proving his case and claiming the prize money. The lawsuit did not harm Laforey's career and he later served at the Battle of Trafalgar and became a prominent admiral.
Capture of the Castor May 29th 1794 (PAD5476)
1797 - Boats of HMS Lively (20) and HMS Minerve (38), Cptn. George Cockburn, cut out and captured french Mutine (14) from the roads of Santa Cruz, under command of Thomas Masterman Hardy.
Mutine was an 18-gun Belliqueuse-class gun-brig of the French Navy, built to a design by Pierre-Alexandre-Laurent Forfait, and launched in 1794 at Honfleur. She took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where the British captured her. She was recommissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Mutine, and eventually sold in 1803.
1802 – Launch of French Surveillante, a 40-gun Virginie-class frigate of the French Navy
sistership Belle Poule
1869 – Launch of HMS Invincible, a Royal Navy Audacious-class ironclad battleship.
HMS Invincible was a Royal Navy Audacious-class ironclad battleship. She was built at the Napier shipyard and completed in 1870. Completed just 10 years after HMS Warrior, she still carried sails as well as a steam engine.
1877 - Battle of Pacocha - Indecisive battle between HMS Shah, HMS Amethyst and Huascar
The naval Incident of Pacocha took place on 29 May 1877 when Nicolás de Piérola was leading a revolution to overthrow then Peruvian President Mariano Ignacio Prado. Piérola's supporters used the Peruvian monitor Huáscar as a raiding ship. She harassed the shipping especially off El Callao, the main commercial port of Peru. However, after she boarded some British merchant ships, British authorities sent Rear Admiral de Horsey to capture the vessel. The Peruvian warship managed to outrun the British squadron after a fierce exchange of fire. Huáscar's guns were undermanned, and she fired just 40 rounds. Shah's mast was damaged by splinters. On the British side, Shah fired 237 shots and Amethyst 190, but none of them carried armour-piercing ammunition. Huáscar was hit 60 times, but her armour shield defeated all the rounds. There was a last-ditch effort to stop or sink the rebels when two small torpedo rams from Shah attempted to find the Huáscar, but the Peruvian ship managed to escape under the cover of darkness. The rebel crew was forced to surrender their ship to the Peruvian government just two days later.
1914 - the passenger liner RMS Empress of Irelandsank after colliding with the cargo ship Storstad on the Saint Lawrence River, killing 1,012 people. About 465 survived.
RMS Empress of Ireland was an ocean liner that sank near the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River following a collision in thick fog with the Norwegian collier SS Storstad in the early hours of 29 May 1914. Although the ship was equipped with watertight compartments, and in the aftermath of the Titanic disaster two years earlier, carried more than enough lifeboats for all onboard, she foundered in only 14 minutes. Of the 1,477 people on board, 1,012 died, making it the worst peacetime marine disaster in Canadian history.
Damage sustained by Storstad after its collision with Empress of Ireland.
1940 - while taking part in the evacuation of Dunkirk, the British destroyer HMS Wakeful was torpedoed and sunk by E-Boat S-30. Of the 750 crew and troops aboard, 724 were killed.
HMS Wakeful was a W-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was built under the 1916-17 Programme in the 10th Destroyer order. Wakeful was assigned to the Grand Fleet after completion, and served into the early years of the Second World War. Wakeful was torpedoed and sunk during Operation Dynamo by a German E-Boat on 29 May 1940.
1944 - USS Block Island (CVE 21) is torpedoed and is sunk by German submarine U 549, USS Barr (DE 576) is also damaged.
Block Island is the only U.S. carrier lost in the Atlantic during World War II. U-549 is later sunk that night by USS Eugene E. Elmore (DE-686) and USS Ahrens (DE 575).
USS Block Island (CVE-21/AVG-21/ACV-21) was a Bogue-class escort carrier for the United States Navy during World War II. She was the first of two escort carriers named after Block Island Sound off Rhode Island. Block Island was launched on 6 June 1942 by Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation in Tacoma, Washington, under a Maritime Commission contract sponsored by Mrs. H. B. Hutchinson, wife of Commander Hutchinson transferred to the United States Navy on 1 May 1942 and commissioned on 8 March 1943, Captain Logan C. Ramsey in command. Originally classified AVG-21, she became ACV-21 on 20 August 1942, and CVE-21 on 15 July 1943. She was named after Block Island, an island in Rhode Island east of New York.
1950 – The St. Roch, the first ship to circumnavigate North America, arrives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
RCMPV St. Roch is a Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner, the first ship to completely circumnavigate North America, and the second vessel to transit the Northwest Passage. She was the first ship to complete the Northwest Passage in the direction west to east (Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean), going the same route that Amundsen on the sailing vessel Gjøa went east to west, 38 years earlier.
Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Naval/Maritime History - 30th of May - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
1213 - Battle of Damme - May 30 and 31 - Damme - English under William Longsword sink most of fleet of France's King Philip II in the harbor of Damme
The Battle of Damme was fought on 30 and 31 May 1213 during the 1213–1214 Anglo-French War. An English fleet led by William Longespée, Earl of Salisbury accidentally encountered a large French fleet under the command of Savari de Mauléon in the vicinity of the port of Damme, in Flanders. The French crews were mostly ashore, pillaging the countryside, and the English captured 300 French ships at anchor, and looted and fired a further hundred beached ships. The main French army, commanded by King Philip II of France, was nearby besieging Ghent and it promptly marched on Damme. It arrived in time to relieve the town's French garrison and drive off the English landing parties. Philip had the remainder of the French fleet burned to avoid capture. The success of the English raid yielded immense booty and ended the immediate threat of a French invasion of England.
Philip II awaits his fleet
1563 - The Battle of Bornholm (1563) was the first naval battle of the Northern Seven Years' War (1563–70).
Naval battles of the Northern War: Battle of Bornholm (1563)
1564 - The first battle of Öland (Swedish: Första slaget vid Ölands norra udde) took place on 30–31 May 1564 between the islands of Gotland and Öland, between a fleet of Allied ships, the Danes under Herluf Trolle and the Lübeckers under Friedrich Knebel, and a Swedish fleet of 23 or more ships under Jakob Bagge. It was an Allied victory.
1757 – Launch of HMS Coventry, a 28-gun Coventry-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy
HMS Coventry was a 28-gun sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy, launched in 1757 and in active service as a privateer hunter during Seven Years' War, and as part of the British fleet in India during the Anglo-French War. After seventeen years' in British service she was captured by the French in 1783, off Ganjam in the Bay of Bengal. Thereafter she spent two years as part of the French Navy until January 1785 when she was removed from service at the port of Brest. She was broken up in 1786.
1757 - Action of 30 May 1757, 30th May 1757
french Duc d'Aquitaine, French East-India ship, of 1,500 tons, mounting 50 long 18-pounders, with a crew of 463 men, was captured, after an hour's action, by the HMS Eagle and HMS Medway, 60 gun ships, Captains Hugh Palliser and Charles Proby. The Eagle had 10 men killed, and the Medway 10 wounded, before they compelled the French ship to strike.
1781 - HMS Flora (36), Capt. William Pere Williams, and HMS Crescent (28), Cptn. T. Packenham, engaged 2 Dutch ships off the Barbary coast.
Flora took Castor (32) but Crescent struck to Brille (32) before she was driven away by Flora.
Scale model on display at the Musée de la Marine in Toulon
1794 - Atlantic campaign of May 1794 – the days before the Glorious 1.st June
Between the actions
On the morning of 30 May, Howe sent a signal to all his captains asking if they considered their ships ready for combat. All but Caesar replied in the affirmative and Howe pushed his ships after the retreating French. Despite holding the weather gage, Howe's pursuit was soon hampered by descending fog, and unable to see or come to grips with the enemy throughout the whole day, the admiral feared he may have lost his opportunity for battle. However, by 31 May the fog had cleared and the French were still within sight to the north. To the surprise of the British, none of the 26 battleships in the French fleet appeared to show battle damage, whereas many of the British ships were nursing damaged rigging and battered hulls. Villaret had made use of the fog to reorganise his force, losing Montagnard and the frigate Seine to the convoy but gaining the independently sailing battleship Trente-un-Mai and Nielly's squadron of Sans Pareil, Trajan, and Téméraire. Villaret had also dispatched the battered Indomptable for home, escorted by an undamaged French ship.
Throughout 31 May Howe's fleet closed with the French, making full use of the advantage of the weather gage. By 17:00 the fleets were five miles (9 km) apart, but at 19:00 Howe gave orders to keep his ships out of shot range but within easy sailing of the French. He did not want a repeat of the confusion of 29 May and preferred to delay any combat until he was assured of a full day in which to conduct it, in order that his signals not be obscured or misinterpreted. During the night the fleets remained in visual contact, and by first light on 1 June the British were just six miles (11 km) from Villaret's fleet and organising in preparation to attack once more. Both fleets were now sailing in a western direction, Villaret still hoping to draw Howe away from the convoy.
1798 - The Action of 30 May 1798 - HMS Hydra (38), Cptn. Sir Francis Laforey, and consorts destroyed Confiante (36)
The Action of 30 May 1798 was a minor naval engagement between a small British squadron and a small French squadron off the coast of Normandy, France during the French Revolutionary Wars. A British blockading force, which had been conducting patrols in the region in the aftermath of the battle of St Marcou earlier in the month, encountered two French vessels attempting to sail unnoticed between Le Havre and Cherbourg. Closing with the French, the British commander Sir Francis Laforey sought to bring the French ships to battle as they attempted to turn back to Le Havre before the British squadron could attack. The French were unable to escape, and Laforey's ship, the fifth rate HMS Hydra, engaged the French corvette Confiante, while two smaller British ships chased the Vésuve.
Capture of La Confiante, May 31st 1798 by Thomas Whitcombe, 1816. NMM.
1845 – The Fatel Razack coming from India, lands in the Gulf of Paria in Trinidad and Tobago carrying the first Indians to the country.
Fatel Razack (Fath Al Razack, Victory of Allah the Provider, Arabic: قتح الرزاق) was the first ship to bring indentured labourers from India to Trinidad. The ship was built in Aprenade for a trader named Ibrahim Bin Yussef, an Indian Muslim merchant in Bombay. It was constructed from teak and had a carrying capacity of 415 tons. When the British decided they were going to bring Indians to Trinidad in 1845, most of the traditional British ship owners did not wish to be involved. The confusion as to the proper name possibly stems from the name "Futtle Razak", which was on the ship's manifest.
The ship was originally named Cecrops, but upon delivery it was renamed to Fath Al Razack. The ship left Calcutta on 16 February 1845 and landed in the Gulf of Paria on 30 May 1845, with 227 immigrants.
Early Indian indentured laborers.
1906 - HMS Montagu, a Duncan-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the British Royal Navy, wrecked
HMS Montagu was a Duncan-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the British Royal Navy. Built to counter a group of fast Russian battleships, Montaguand her sister ships were capable of steaming at 19 knots (35 km/h 22 mph), making them the fastest battleships in the world. The Duncan-class battleships were armed with a main battery of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns and they were broadly similar to the London-class battleships, though of a slightly reduced displacement and thinner armour layout. As such, they reflected a development of the lighter second-class ships of the Canopus-class battleship. Montagu was built between her keel laying in November 1899 and her completion in July 1903. The ship had a brief career, serving for two years in the Mediterranean Fleet before transferring to the Channel Fleet in early 1905. During wireless telegraphy experiments in May 1906, she ran aground off Lundy Island. Repeated attempts to refloat the ship failed, and she proved to be a total loss. She was ultimately broken up in situ.
An elevated middle-distant starboard bow view, taken from the cliffs, of the battleship HMS Montagu (1901) aground off Shutter Point, south-west point of Lundy. A large number of the battleship's pinnaces, whalers and boats are afloat between the rocks and the starboard broadside. A large dumb barge is tied alongside the ship. There is a lot of human activity on board the Montagu and in the boats. On 30 May 1906, the battleship was on its way back to an anchorage off Lundy having conducted wireless telegraphy experiments when it struck Shutter Point in increasingly dense fog. The ship was stuck fast and a salvage operation was conducted over two months to remove the guns and other equipment
1907 - Chanzy, an Amiral Charner-class armored cruiser built for the French Navy in the 1890s, wrecked
Chanzy was an Amiral Charner-class armored cruiser built for the French Navy in the 1890s. Upon completion, she served in the Mediterranean Squadron and she was assigned to the International Squadron off the island of Crete during the 1897-1898 uprising there and the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 to protect French interests and citizens. The ship was in reserve for several years in the middle of the first decade of the 20th century before she was transferred to French Indochina in 1906. Chanzy ran aground off the Chinese coast in mid-1907, where she proved impossible to refloat and was destroyed in place after her crew was rescued without loss.