Honour - BASQUE ROADS 1809

Date - 11/16-April
Conflict - Napoleonic War; 1803-15
Type - Fleet or Squadron Actions

Description The action took place off the Basque, Aix and Oleron roads.

A French Squadron under Rear Admiral Willaumez, with 10 ships-of-the-line sailed from Brest to join a smaller squadron at anchor in the Basque and Aix roads. They were followed by the Channel Fleet under Admiral Gambier and blockaded in the roads.

A reinforcing squadron of fireships was despatched under Lord Cochrane to join Gambier off Rochefort.

The fireships were let lose on the night of 11/12-Apr and in the resulting confusion all but two of the French ships ran aground.

However, Gambier did not join the action until later on the 13th when the Varsovie (80), Tonnere (80) and Aquilon (74) were captured and burned.

Sporadic actions took place over the following few days but were inconclusive.


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This page last edited - 26 August, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.