Honour - Cape Tenez 1805
The action took place about 30 miles north-west of Cape Tenez, Algeria.
A convoy of 35 ships from Malta bound for Britain under escort by HMS Acheron (8-gun) and Arrow (14-gun) sighted two suspicious sail at daybreak on 03-February.
By noon it was clear the two ships were enemies and the convoy was directed to sail away. By 1630hrs it was decided the ships were the larger French frigates, Hortense (40-gun) and Incorruptible (38-gun), and that the two British escorts would close and keep themselves between the convoy and the Frenchmen. The wind died about 1700hrs and only increased to a slight breeze at 2300hrs.
Shortly after 0415hrs Hortense opened fire on Acheron and the action began. By 0830hrs Arrow had been disabled, badly damaged and struck her colours, Acheron surrendered about 20 minutes later.
Arrow lost 13 killed and 27 wounded out of 132 aboard, Acheron lost 3 killed and 8 wounded out of 67 aboard.
Shortly after the survivors from Arrow had been removed she sank. Acheron was so badly damaged that the French set fire to her when all aboard had been removed.
The commanders of both British ships were later promoted.
This page last edited -
06 September, 2012.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.