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Encyclopedia > Battles of Barfleur and La Hougue
Battle of Barfleur–La Hougue
Part of the War of the Grand Alliance

The Battle of Barfleur, 29 May 1692 by Richard Paton, painted 18th century.
Date: 27 May - 3 June 1692
Location: near Cherbourg Peninsula, France
Result: French tactical victory,
Anglo-Dutch strategic victory
Combatants
France England
United Provinces
Commanders
Anne Hilarion de Tourville Edward Russell
Strength
44 ships
(3,142 guns)
98 ships
(8,980 guns)
Casualties
15 ships burnt 2 ships sunk
War of the Grand Alliance
WalcourtFleurusBeachy HeadStaffardaLeuzeBarfleur-La Hougue – 1st Namur – SteenkirkLandenMarsaglia – Charleroi – Toroella – 2nd Namur

The related naval battles of Barfleur and La Hougue took place between 27 May and 3 June 1692 (17-23 May in the Julian calendar then in use in England) at Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue near Barfleur in the Cotentin peninsula, Normandy, France. It was the decisive naval battle of the War of the Grand Alliance. The War of the Grand Alliance (also known as the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the English Succession, and the Nine Years War) was a major war fought in Europe and America from 1688 to 1697, between France and the League of Augsburg (which, by 1689... The Battle of Barfleur, 19 May 1692 by Richard Paton, painted 18th century The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... May 29 is the 149th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (150th in leap years). ... Events February 13 - Massacre of Glencoe March 1 - The Salem witch trials begin in Salem Village, Massachusetts Bay Colony with the charging of three women with witchcraft. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... May 27 is the 147th day (148th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 218 days remaining. ... June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... Events February 13 - Massacre of Glencoe March 1 - The Salem witch trials begin in Salem Village, Massachusetts Bay Colony with the charging of three women with witchcraft. ... Cherbourg is a city of Normandy, in northwestern France, in the Manche département, of which it is a sous_préfecture. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification    - by Athelstan AD927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi   - Water (%) Population... Map of Dutch Republic by Joannes Janssonius United Netherlands redirects here. ... Anne Hilarion de Contentin, comte de Tourville Anne Hilarion de Contentin, comte de Tourville Anne Hilarion de Contentin, comte de Tourville (1642–1701) was a French naval commander who served under King Louis XIV. Aged 17, a Knight of Malta, he fought his first naval fight on a frigate of... Categories: People stubs | 1653 births | 1727 deaths | Peers | Royal Navy admirals | Lords of the Admiralty ... The War of the Grand Alliance (also known as the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the English Succession, and the Nine Years War) was a major war fought in Europe and America from 1688 to 1697, between France and the League of Augsburg (which, by 1689... Combatants France England United Provinces Commanders Duke of Humières Prince of Waldeck Strength Unknown Unknown Casualties 600–1,000 dead or wounded Unknown The Battle of Walcourt was a sharp skirmish on August 27, 1689 near the Belgian village of Walcourt, as a part of the War of the... Combatants France England United Provinces Spain Holy Roman Empire Commanders Duc de Luxembourg Prince of Waldeck Strength 35,000 38,000 Casualties 3,000 dead 3,000 wounded 6,000 dead 5,000 wounded 8,000 captured The Battle of Fleurus took place on July 1, 1690. ... Combatants France England United Provinces Commanders Anne Hilarion de Tourville Earl of Torrington Strength 75 ships 56 ships Casualties None 7 Dutch ships lost The naval Battle of Beachy Head or Bataille de Béveziers took place on 30 June 1690 near Beachy Head, a promontory near Eastbourne, on the... Combatants France Piedmont Spain Austria Commanders Nicolas Catinat Duke of Savoy Strength 18,000 17,000 Casualties 2,000 6,700 The Battle of Staffarda, was a battle in the War of the Grand Alliance, fought in Italy on August 18, 1690 between the French army of Marshal Catinat and... Combatants France England United Provinces Commanders Duc de Luxembourg Friedrich of Waldeck Strength 28 squadrons 72 squadrons Casualties 400 dead or wounded 1,500 - 2,000 dead or wounded The Battle of Leuze took place on September 18, 1691, and was a famous French cavalry victory in the War of... The Battle of Steenkerque (Steenkerque also spelled Steenkerke or Steenkirk) was fought on August 3, 1692, as a part of the Nine Years War. ... The Battle of Landen (or Neerwinden), in the current Belgian province of Flemish Brabant, was a battle in the War of the Grand Alliance, fought in the Netherlands on July 29, 1693 between the French army of Marshal Luxembourg and the Allied army of King William III of England. ... Combatants France Piemont Spain Commanders Nicolas Catinat Duke of Savoy Strength 35,000 30,000 Casualties 1,800 dead or wounded 10,000 dead, wounded, or captured The Battle of Marsaglia, was a battle in the War of the Grand Alliance, fought in Italy on October 4, 1693 between the... Combatants France Spain Commanders Duc de Noailles Marquis of Villena-Escalona Strength 24,000 16,000 - 24,000 Casualties 500 dead or wounded 3,000 - 9,000 dead, wounded, or captured Battle of Torroella : battle in the War of the Grand Alliance, fought on the 27th of May 1694 along... May 27 is the 147th day (148th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 218 days remaining. ... June 3 is the 154th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (155th in leap years), with 211 days remaining. ... Events February 13 - Massacre of Glencoe March 1 - The Salem witch trials begin in Salem Village, Massachusetts Bay Colony with the charging of three women with witchcraft. ... (Redirected from 17 May) May 17 is the 137th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (138th in leap years). ... May 23 is the 143rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (144th in leap years). ... The Julian calendar was introduced in 46 BC by Julius Caesar and took force in 45 BC (709 ab urbe condita). ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification    - by Athelstan AD927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi   - Water (%) Population... Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue is a commune of Normandy, north-west France. ... Barfleur is a small picturesque fishing-port and commune in north-western France, in the Manche département in the Basse-Normandie région. ... The Cotentin Peninsula juts out into the English Channel from Normandy towards England, forming part of the north-west coast of France. ... Mont Saint Michel, one of the famous symbols of Normandy. ... The War of the Grand Alliance (also known as the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the English Succession, and the Nine Years War) was a major war fought in Europe and America from 1688 to 1697, between France and the League of Augsburg (which, by 1689...

In May 1692 the French fleet of 44 ships of the line under the command of the Comte Anne Hilarion de Tourville was preparing to transport an invading army of Franco-Irish troops to restore James II to the English throne. The French victory at the Battle of Beachy Head two years earlier, in June 1690, had opened up the possibility of destroying the allied fleet and landing an invading army. Tourville boldly engaged the 98 strong Anglo-Dutch fleet at Barfleur. He won the engagement against great odds, sinking two enemy ships without losing a single vessel, but coming under increasing pressure with his flagship badly damaged, he slipped off into light fog and for several days tried to escape the superior forces. Fifteen ships were lost trying to find shelter, the majority being burnt on the beach at la Hougue. The threat of invasion of England was lifted. Image File history File links Barfleur. ... Image File history File links Barfleur. ... Ships of the line were 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-rated ships in the rating system of the Royal Navy. ... Anne Hilarion de Contentin, comte de Tourville Anne Hilarion de Contentin, comte de Tourville Anne Hilarion de Contentin, comte de Tourville (1642–1701) was a French naval commander who served under King Louis XIV. Aged 17, a Knight of Malta, he fought his first naval fight on a frigate of... James II of England and VII of Scotland (14 October 1633–16 September 1701) became King of England, King of Scots, and King of Ireland on 6 February 1685. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification    - by Athelstan AD927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi   - Water (%) Population... Combatants France England United Provinces Commanders Anne Hilarion de Tourville Earl of Torrington Strength 75 ships 56 ships Casualties None 7 Dutch ships lost The naval Battle of Beachy Head or Bataille de Béveziers took place on 30 June 1690 near Beachy Head, a promontory near Eastbourne, on the... Events Giovanni Domenico Cassini observes differential rotation within Jupiters atmosphere. ...

Contents


Barfleur

King Louis XIV and his naval minister, Pontchartrain, planned to land an army in England and restore James II to the throne. They first planned to launch the invasion in April 1692 before the English and Dutch fleets had got to sea and joined up. Troops were collected at Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue and the calvary and guns were to be loaded into transports at Le Havre. Tourville was to bring the French fleet up from Brest and collect the transports and the troops, then fight off the English fleet and land the army in England. Tourville was delayed a month because the transports were not ready, and then Villotte-Mursay was late bringing his ships from Rochefort. D'Estrées with the Toulon squadron had still not arrived, but Tourville could wait no longer, and set to sea to go and collect the army. Louis XIV (Louis-Dieudonné) (September 5, 1638 – September 1, 1715) ruled as King of France and of Navarre from May 14, 1643 until his death just prior to his seventy-seventh birthday. ... James II of England and VII of Scotland (14 October 1633–16 September 1701) became King of England, King of Scots, and King of Ireland on 6 February 1685. ... Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue is a commune of Normandy, north-west France. ... Location within France Abbey of Graville, Le Havre An old house in Le Havre Church of St. ... Location within France Brest, at the tip of Brittany Brest is a city in the Bretagne région, north-west France, sous-préfecture of the Finistère département. ...


On 28 May off Cape Barfleur, which is at the NE corner of the Cherbourg peninsula, Tourville perceived through the early morning mist a portion of the Anglo-Dutch Grand Fleet of 99 (or 98) ships, 20 yachts and 19 fire ships commanded by Admiral Edward Russell who were looking for the French Fleet. Russell had aleady the previous day given the signal to form line of battle with the 27 Dutch ships under Lieutenant-Admiral Philips van Almonde leading. At 5 a.m. on 28 May the log of the English ship Monmouth records that the French fleet was spotted to windward. Tourville was heavily outnumbered and offered battle only because Louis' strict orders compelled him to engage the enemy. In the SW breeze the French sailed down wind onto the 11 ships of the Red squadron and about 10 a.m. engaged them in battle, after some time all the French fleet was engaged. May 28 is the 148th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (149th in leap years). ... Barfleur is a small picturesque fishing-port and commune in north-western France, in the Manche département in the Basse-Normandie région. ... Location within France Cherbourg-Octeville is a city and commune in Normandy, north-west France. ... Categories: People stubs | 1653 births | 1727 deaths | Peers | Royal Navy admirals | Lords of the Admiralty ... Philips van Almonde (29 december 1646 in Briel –January 6, 1711) was a Dutch Lieutenant Admiral, who served in his nation’s maritime conflicts of the 17th and early 18th centuries. ...


The power of guns of the largest French ships, their manoeuverabilty, and Tourville's superior formation enabled the French to deliver a fierce cannonade on the allies. One English and one Dutch ship were sunk. Some of the allied ships were hampered by the direction of the wind and could not start to close and engage until at about 2 p.m. the wind shifted to the NW, a quarter less favourable to the French. Eventually the ships on the starboard wing of the allied line, under the command of Ashby, managed to get to windward of the French and envelop the centre of the French line. A calm fell and the early evening became foggy. When the fog lifted there was further engagement for a few hours. Tourville, who had suffered grevious damage to his flag ship and several other ships by then, recognised it was futile to continue longer, and gave the order to disperse. Captain Robinson of the Monmouth noted in his log that 4 French ships were burning that night.


Although the French fought with great bravery and their most powerful ships inflicted losses on the allies, the numerical advantage of the allies had proved decisive in forcing Tourville to break off. Tactically, Barfleur was an impressive French victory born of a very uneven struggle, but Tourville was unable to extricate his badly damaged fleet and return safely to port, resulting in disaster at La Hougue.


Aftermath and the action at La Hougue

On the 29 May the French withdrawal was hampered by wind and tide, and the fact that, due to economies by the French Naval Ministry, many of the ships had anchors inadequate to withstand the strong tidal races in the region. There was also the lack of a fortified haven at Cherbourg. Tourville probably tried for too long to save his magnificent flagship, the Soleil Royal, but eventually he realised it was hopeless and switched his command to the Ambitieux. At the end of the day on 29 May Tourville gave the general order to flee. The Soleil Royal (Royal Sun) was a French 104-gun ship of the line, flagship of Admiral Tourville. ...


The Soleil Royal, Admirable, and Triomphant where in such bad shape they had to be beached at Cherbourg. There they were soon destroyed under attack from long boats and with fire ships. 22 French ships fled west and were pursued through the Alderney Straits and made the safety of St Malo, 3 went NW to the English coast and then doubled back to Brest. Six ships under Nesmond went easterly, two making Le Havre, 2 drifted into the La Hougue Bay, and 2 sailed all the way up the Channel and around Britain to safety. Russell despatched Ashby and the Dutch after those that had fled to Saint-Malo. He and deLaval turned on the remaining ships which had sought refuge at La Hougue where they would be under the protection of the assembled land forces and a battery. On 2 June, Russell and deLaval attacked with long boats. By this time the French crews were exhausted and disheartened and were no match. The allies successfully deployed fire ships which burnt all twelve French ships of the line which had sought shelter there. This last mopping up action became celebrated in England as the Battle of La Hougue. Seven ships of the French Navy have bourne the name Triomphant (triumphal): a ship of the line (1667-1689). ... This article is not about the fireboats that fight fire Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 1588-08-08 by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, painted 1796, depicts Drakes fire ship attack on the Spanish Armada. ... Categories: France geography stubs | Communes of Ille-et-Vilaine ... Categories: France geography stubs | Communes of Ille-et-Vilaine ... June 2 is the 153rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (154th in leap years), with 212 days remaining. ...


The dispersal of the French fleet put paid to the invasion plans, and the English victory was commemorated by a Fleet Review. British tradition, where the monarch reviews the massed Royal Navy. ...


Ships involved

  • Britain:
  • Netherlands:
  • Total allied: 98 ships with 7154 guns
  • France: 44 ships with 3132 guns
English ships Guns Fate French ships (Tourville) Guns Fate
Monmouth Bourbon 68 Burnt La Hougue
Ossary 90 Monarque 90
? Sunk Aimable 70
Britannia 100 Saint-Louis 64 Burnt La Hougue
St Andrew 96 Diamant 60
London 96 Gaillard 68 Burnt La Hougue
Kent 70 Terrible 80 Burnt La Hougue
Royal Sovereign Merveilleux 90 Burnt La Hougue
Duke 90 Tonnant 80 Burnt La Hougue
Duchess 90 Saint-Michel 60
Victory 50 Sans Pareil (Vermandois?) 62
Oxford Sérieux 64
Royal William Foudroyant 84 Burnt La Hougue
St Albans Brillant 62
Cornwall Modéré 52
Northumberland Illustre 70
Devonshire Souverain 80
Content 68
Admirable 90 Burnt Cherbourg
Dutch ships Guns Fate Saint-Philippe 84 Burnt La Hougue
? Sunk Soleil Royal 104 Burnt Cherbourg
Prins Willem 92 Conquérant 84
Admiraal-Generaal 86 Glorieux 64
Leyden 64 Perle 52
Courageux 58
Maure 52
Couronne 76
Ambitieux 96 Burnt La Hougue
Henri 64
Fort 60 Burnt La Hougue
Excellent 60
Prince 56
Magnifique 86 Burnt La Hougue
Laurier 64
Brave 58
Entendu 60
Triomphant 76 Burnt Cherbourg
Orgueilleux 94
Fier 80 Burnt La Hougue
Fleuron 56
Courtisan 64
Grand 84
Saint-Esprit 74
Sirène 64

HMS Ossory the name of several Royal Navy ships, named after the Kingdom of Ossory, in Ireland, or possible Thomas Butler, Earl of Ossory. ... The Soleil Royal (Royal Sun) was a French 104-gun ship of the line, flagship of Admiral Tourville. ...

Sources

  • Jenkins, E.H.: A History of the French Navy (1973)
  • Log of capt. Robt. Robinson, Cmdr of ye Ship Monmouth, The National Archives ADM 51/4264, (1692)
  • Rodger, N.A.M.: The Command of The Ocean, ISBN 0-713-99411-8 (2004)

 
 

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