Honour - Velez Malaga 1704

Date - 13 August
Type - Fleet or Squadron Actions
Conflict - War of the Spanish Succession; 1702-13

Description The previous month, the British had taken Gibraltar and this was a battle between an Anglo-Dutch Fleet of 53 ships-of-the-line and a Franco-Spanish fleet of 50 ships-of-the-line, plus about 24 galleys. (The galleys did not take a great part in the action.)

The French objective was to win a victory at sea and go on to recapture Gibraltar.

The battle took place about 25 miles south-east of Marbella and developed as a day long artillery duel. No ships were taken, burnt or sunk, except for a French frigate and two galleys. However casualties were heavy:-
British; 695 killed and 1,663 wounded,
Dutch; about 400 casualties,
Franco-Spanish; about 1,500 killed and 3000 wounded.

The following day the French made no attempt to renew the battle and the British returned to Gibraltar to complete extensive repairs.

Although the battle was drawn, Anglo-Dutch supremacy was not seriously challenged for the rest of the war, which lasted another nine years.

The retention of Gibraltar helped Britain dominate the western Mediterranean basin for the next 150 years.


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This page last edited - 05 April, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.