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Honour - LISSA 1811


Date - 13-March
Type - Fleet or Squadron Actions
Conflict - Napoleonic War; 1803-15

 
Description The action took place off Lissa island on the Dalmatian coast.

A British squadron of four frigates engaged a joint force of three French and three Venetian frigates plus several other smaller vessels.

The French squadron carried about 500 troops which were intended to land and occupy the island of Lissa which the British had been using as a base.

During the night HMS Active sighted the French-Venetian squadron to windward and at 0400hrs it was realised who they were.

As the French had the weather gauge they attacked in two divisions expecting a victory over the smaller British squadron.

The action began at 0900hrs and at 0940 hours the French flagship Favorite grounded on rocks close to shore. (She later blew up at 1600hrs having been set on fire by her crew.) At 1120hrs the French Flora struck her colours to HMS Amphion, when the French ensign took the French ensign and holding it up as if to ensure it was clearly visible threw it overboard. Just before noon the Venetian Bellona also struck her colours to Amphion which had continued the fight instead of securing her prize. About 1430hrs the Venetian Corona struck her colours to Active

Meantime having made good some damage and not having been secured Flora had set sail for the island of Lessina. Which at the time was considered a dishonourable act because it was done after surrendering. However the French later claimed the ensign had been shot away and therefore she had not surrendered, was entitled to make good her escape, and no dishonourable act had been committed.

 

The French-Venetians lost about 700 killed, wounded or missing.

The British lost:
Amphion 15 killed, 47 wounded out of 251 aboard;
Active 4 killed, 24 wounded out of 300 aboard;
Cerberus 13 killed, 41 wounded out of 160 aboard;
Volage 13 killed, 33 wounded out of 175 aboard.

A total of 45 killed and 145 wounded.

 

 
 
HM Ships
Active  Amphion  Cerberus  Volage   
         
 
This page last edited - 10 August, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.