RF wrote:IronDuke wrote:Britain has only really lost one war between the End of the American War of Independence in 1782 and the present day, the First Anglo-Boer War of 1880-81, since Gladstone would not send reinforcements after Majuba.
There was also the failure to complete the occupation of Afghanistan and make it part of British India. Something particulary relevant to today and airbrushed out of the history books here.
The battle began on July 6, 1801, when the French Admiral Linois brought his three ships of the line and one frigate into Algeciras after finding that the British had blockaded Cádiz. No fewer than four Spanish fort protected the harbour at Algeciras, and was so the French and Spanish considered it safe despite its proximity to Gibraltar.
The British observed these movements from Gibraltar, and decided to move quickly to try to neutralise this threat. On 8 July, a fleet under Admiral Sir James Saumarez sailed out from Gibraltar into the Bay of Gibraltar, intending to attack the French ships.
The British fleet consisted of six ships of the line. Saumarez had a seventh ship of the line, HMS Superb, but she and her accompanying brig Pasley were absent; Saumarez dispatched his sole frigate - the HMS Thames - to recall her, but they did not return in time.
The British squadron consisted of:
Caesar 80 (flag of Rear-Adm. James Saumarez, with Captain Jahleel Brenton)
Pompee 74 (Captain Charles Stirling)
Spencer 74 (Captain Henry D'Esterre Darby)
Venerable 74 (Captain Samuel Hood)
Hannibal 74 (Captain Solomon Ferris)
Audacious 74 (Captain Shuldham Peard)
The French squadron consisted of:
Formidable 80 (flag of Rear-Adm. Linois, with Captain Laindet Lalonde)
Indomptable 80 (Captain Moncousu †)
Desaix 74 (Captain Jean-Anne Christy de la Pallière)
Muiron 40 (Captain Martinencq)
Saumarez's six ships attacked the French ships and Spanish forts, but a lack of wind and numerous shoals in the harbour hampered the attack. The French squadron, with aid from the forts and Spanish gunboats, held its own. They were able to drive off the larger British force, although the French purposely grounded their ships to avoid capture. Saumarez lost the 74-gun Hannibal after it ran aground near Spanish fortifications and was obliged to surrender, which enabled the French to capture her. Calpe lost several men and boats attempting to rescue Hannibal's crew. The rest of the British squadron suffered various degrees of damage and the British lost 121 men killed and 240 wounded. The French lost 306 killed, including Captains Laindet Lalonde and Moncousu, and 280 wounded.
Both sides retired to their respective sides of the bay, and over the next four days repaired their battle damage as best they could. The Pompée could not be repaired in the time available, and the Caesar was only repaired in time due to constant day-and-night work. The French refloated their ships and prepared them for sea.
Karl Heidenreich wrote:
1575 – Raid of the Redeswire, the last major battle between England and Scotland.
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