Honour - Gut of Gibraltar 1801
The honour was awarded for two separate actions fought within a week off
Gibraltar, between a British squadron of six ships-of-the-line plus two
smaller ships, and a squadron of French and Spanish ships-of-the-line.
On 6-July Rear Admiral Sir James Saumarez engaged a smaller Spanish squadron of 3 ships-of-the-line plus a frigate, under Rear Admiral Durand-Linois, lying at anchor in Algeciras Bay. The Spanish were forced to run their ships aground to avoid destruction and gain the protection of shore batteries. HMS Hannibal also ran aground and was forced to surrender by the shore batteries. The remaining British ships retired to Gibraltar to repair their damage.
Six days later the British ships sailed and engaged a joint Franco-Spanish fleet comprising 8 ships-of-the-line and 3 frigates at dusk on 12-July. About midnight two Spanish first rates, each of 112 guns, collided and caught fire. Later they both foundered with heavy loss of life. After this the French St. Antoine (74) was captured.
Although several British ships were damaged, (HMS Venerable badly damaged), all reached Gibraltar safely.
This page last edited -
22 March, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.