Honour - BAY OF BISCAY 1805

Date - 04-November
Type - Fleet or Squadron Actions
Conflict - Napoleonic War; 1803-15

Description The action took place off the Cape Ortegal on the north west corner of Spain.

After the Battle of Trafalgar the survivors of the Franco-Spanish Fleet dispersed and tried to make for French Ports.

Four ships under Rear Admiral Le Pelley, Formidable (80), Mont Blanc (74), Scipion (74) and Duguay-Trouin,  encountered a British squadron under Captain Sir Richard Strachan. After a long chase which started about 11pm on the 3rd, the French realised they could not escape and formed line ahead at 1145hrs on the 4th.

The action began at 1215hrs when Caesar opened fire at Formidable. At 1505hrs Formidable struck her colours and was taken possession of by Namur. Scipion struck at 1510hrs and was taken possession of by Phoenix and Revolutionnaire.

The remaining two French ships tried to escape but were overtaken by Hero and Caesar. After a close action which lasted 20 minutes, Mont Blanc struck to Caesar and Duguay-Trouin struck to Hero at 1535hrs.

The British lost 24 killed and 111 wounded.

The French considerably more, Formidable - 200 killed and wounded, Scipion - 200 killed and wounded, Mont Blanc - 180 killed and wounded, Duguay-Trouin - 150 killed and wounded.


HM Ships
Aeolus  Caesar  Courageux  Hero  Namur 
Phoenix  Revolutionnaire  Santa Margarita     
This page last edited - 12 September, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.