Honour - CURACOA 1807

Date - 01-January
Type - Fleet or Squadron Actions
Conflict - Napoleonic War; 1803-15

Description The action took place at the island of Curacoa in the West Indies.

Intelligence indicated that the Dutch held island of Curacoa wished to ally themselves with Britain. A small squadron under Vice-Admiral Dacres was sent to check the wishes of the islands inhabitants.

Curacoa Harbour was strongly defended by a number of forts, and Dacres did not wish to lie off the harbour conducting negotiations with the Dutch Governor while the fortifications would no doubt be strengthened.

So at daybreak on the first of January he sailed directly into the harbour with a flag of truce and gave the defenders a five minute warning to surrender or else he would storm the defending batteries. The date was deliberately chosen as the Dutch were known to celebrate the New Year and their effectiveness would be reduced.

At 0615hrs with no reply having been received the action began. The two Dutch ships in the harbour were boarded and taken and sailors and marines landed. At 0730hrs Fort Amsterdam was stormed and taken in about 10 minutes. Shortly afterwards two small forts, the citadel and town were also taken. Fort Republique was then attacked and taken by about 1000hrs. The remainder of the island surrendered at just after 1200hrs.

The British lost 3 killed and 14 wounded. The Dutch lost 5 killed and 8 wounded on their ships in the harbour, and about 200 killed and wounded on shore.


HM Ships
Anson  Arethusa  Fisgard  Latona  Morne Fortunee 
This page last edited - 18 September, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.