Honour - Providien 1782

Date - 12-April
Type - Fleet or Squadron Actions
Conflict - American War of Independence; 1775-83

Description The battle was the second of a series of four actions awarded a battle honour in the East Indies between the British Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Hughes and the French Admiral Pierre Suffren, to establish naval supremacy in the Indian Ocean.

Hughes with 11 ships-of-the-line was reinforcing Trincomalee in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) which had been captured earlier in the year. Suffren with 12 ships-of-the-line encountered the British, while they were on a lee shore, 12 miles NE by E of Providien rock of the east coast of the island.

During the battle the British HMS Monmouth was carronaded almost to a wreck, but refused to strike her colours. Each side suffered about 500 casualties and the fighting continued until both were exhausted. They then anchored for the night, and next morning neither side wanted to continue the action.

They lay in sight of each other for a week, when the French sailed north and the British sailed south for Trincomalee.


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This page last edited - 31 January, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.