Honour - 'Guillaume Tell' 1800
The action took place in the Mediterranean, beginning outside Valetta
Harbour, Malta and ending 20 miles south of Cape Passero, Sicily.
Valetta harbour had been under blockade when at 2300hrs on 30-March the French Guillaume Tell (80) which had escaped from the Victory at the Nile sailed taking advantage of the southerly gale which was blowing. She was discovered by the frigate HMS Penelope (36) at 2355hrs which began chase and sent an alert to HMS Lion (64) leader of the blockading squadron. During the chase Penelope damaged her adversary with regular broadsides.
By 0500hrs Lion had joined the engagement but by 0530 hours had been so damaged that she dropped astern.
At 0600hrs HMS Foudroyant (80) arrived and opened fire but received severe damage to her masts, sail and rigging.
At 0800 the foremast of Guillaume Tell, the last one remaining was shot away, leaving her in an unmanageable state giving her no option but to strike her colours.. However both Lion and Foudroyant were too disabled to take possession of the prize.
Guillaume Tell lost over 200 killed and wounded out of 919 aboard.
Foudroyant lost 8 killed and 64 wounded out of 719 aboard.
Lion lost 8 killed and 37 wounded out of about 300 aboard.
Penelope lost 17 killed and 101 wounded out of a reduced crew aboard.
This page last edited -
02 April, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.