Honour - Groix Island 1812
The action took place inshore of the Isle of Groix.
The French ships Andromaque, Ariane and Mameluk had been on a successful anti-commerce cruise when HMS Northumberland was detached from a squadron off Ushant to intercept them on their return to the port of Lorient.
About 1000hrs three sail bound for were sighted about 10 miles south of the Isle of Groix and Northumberland signalled HMS Growler a 12-gun brig to join the chase.
The Frenchmen having been cut off from the port formed line ahead and attempted to pass close along shore between Northumberland and the coast which was covered by several shore batteries. Northumberland closed and forced the enemy to pass so close to shore that at 1545hrs the two frigates grounded followed five minutes later by the brig.
Northumberland opened fire with a 20 minute barrage which damaged the Andromaque, and then tacked to sea to repair damage and leave the three ships to the effects of the falling tide.
At 1700 hours HMS Growler joined and opened fire on the grounded ships. Then at 1728hrs Northumberland anchored close inshore and opened fire. By 1850hrs Andromaque had caught fire and had her exposed bottom shot through so that she would fill when the tide rose. Northumberland moved off shore out of range of a shore battery. At 2000hrs Andromache blew completely up. By 2200hrs Ariane was on fire and Mameluk was on her beam ends with her bottom completely riddled with gunfire.
So at 0030hrs Northumberland and Growler made their way out to sea ending the action.
At 0230hrs Ariane exploded followed later by Mameluk.
This page last edited -
30 March, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.