Confessions of a Sentimentalist

jotting the history; living the moment; dreaming the future

>something interesting…

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>very busy nowadays. came upon something interesting enough to make a post. haha! it’s from wikipedia ;D

The Action of 13 January 1797 was a famous naval battle fought between a French warship and two British frigates off the coast of Brittany during the French Revolutionary Wars. The frigates successfully outmanoeuvered the much larger French vessel and drove it on shore in heavy seas, resulting in the death of over 900 of the 1,630 persons aboard. One of the British frigates was also lost in the engagement, running onto a sandbank after failing to escape a lee shore.

The French 74-gun ships Droits de l’Homme had been part of the Expédition d’Irlande, a disastrous attempt by a French expeditionary force to invade Ireland. During the operation, the French fleet was plagued by poor coordination and violent weather, eventually returning to France without landing a single soldier. Two British frigates, the 38-gun HMS Indefatigable (actually carrying 44 guns) and the 36-gun HMS Amazon, had been ordered to patrol the seas off Ushant in an attempt to intercept the returning French force and sighted Droits de l’Homme on the afternoon of 13 January.

The engagement lasted from early evening until near dawn in an increasing onshore gale off the rocky Breton coast. The seas were so violent that the French ship was unable to open her lower gun ports during the action and could only fire with her upper deck guns. This significantly reduced the overwhelming advantage that a ship of the line would normally have over a frigate. The damage inflicted by the more manoeuvrable British vessels was so severe that as the winds increased, the French crew lost steerage and Droits de l’Homme was swept onto a sandbar and later destroyed.


Written by GekTeng

February 6, 2009 at 11:48 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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