A few words on: The Naval Battle in Sagone

Two brothers, Robert and Daniel Havell (who were known as talented landscapers), evoke with such accuracy the Gulf of Sagone, that one would have thought they were working with eye witnesses. Immobilised by lack of wind, three English ships leave to attack with audacity: two heavy frigates are towed by rowboats, and sailors activate the long oars through the portholes. At the end of the bay, two French frigates – the Giraffe and the Nanny, are mooring along with an armed merchant ship.

Now, just what protection can they expect from guns installed from the beach’s old defences, and troops upon the heights deprived of the benefits of their dominant position with insufficient artillery ? Don’t they know that Captain Barrie controls Pomona ?
Near the shore, do the French fear less being made prisoners ? The English pontoons have a threatening reputation. Barrie has measured the firepower of a few guns kept by the ships; Giraffe 26, Nanny 28 – and batteries on the coast.

Naval Battle

We can distinguish the French side, and the artillery entering into action (upper platform of the tower). At 6.30, Barrie engages in fire. Less than two and a half hours later after heavy artillery, the French resistance is pulverised. According to British sources, as soon as the French ships are on fire the British withdraw, avoiding consequences after the Giraffe’s explosion, and fires from the ships.
From the French side, the bulletin from the police on May 25th, 1811 indicates that the crew was attacked at noon, and towards the evening set the fire themselves, and then withdrew under continual fire, without being able to respond. Relief however was experienced: the English did not land, and were unable to seize the shipment !
Article proposed by Patrick Battini
Source: Augustin Chiodetti Corse images et histoire ©

2 comments to A few words on: The Naval Battle in Sagone

  • David Tomalin  says:

    Thank you for putting this excellent picture of the Sagone Bay battle on line. In foreground, the picture shows HMS Pomone commanded by Captain Robert Barrie. Shortly after the battle, Barrie brought his damage ship back to England but due to bad navigation it was wrecked on the Needles of the Isle of Wight. The Vectis Archaeological Trust (registered charity no 1174499) is now producing a report on 18 years of underwater investigation of the wreck of the Pomone. Her timbers were peppered with enemy lead shot.
    Your picture offers a vital view of the ship’s conflict. We would love to have your permission to to use your picture in our publication. Ca you help us?

    Thank you once again for such an informative website.

    with kind regards

    Dr David Tomalin

    • Pamela  says:

      Many thanks for your kind comment, and for taking interest in the article. I will try to inquire for your request although I am not sure if I can really be of help right now. If I do acquire positive information for you, I will certainly let you know.

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