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Battle of La Hougue
The Battle of La Hougue, also known as the Battle of Barfleur, took place at Saint-Vaast La Hougue near Barfleur in the Cotentin peninsula, Normandy, France between 27 May and 3 June 1692 (in the Gregorian calendar, corresponding to 17 May–23 May in the Julian calendar then in use in England). It was the decisive naval battle of the War of the Grand Alliance.
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.
On 27 May the French set out from Bertheaume Bay and in the English Channel encountered the Anglo-Dutch fleet of 99 (or 98) ships commanded by Admiral Edward Russell. Despite being heavily outnumbered, the French attacked, and would have been destroyed, but poor visibility allowed them to escape after sinking one English and one Dutch ship.
Action was rejoined on 29 May and the allies gave chase westwards that day and the next. On 1 June the French ships Soleil Royal , Admirable and Triomphant ran aground near Cherbourg and the rest of the French fleet sought shelter in the Bay of La Hougue. On 2 June, Russell attacked with boats and destroyed the three ships at Cherbourg. On 3 June the allied fleet made its way into the bay and burnt another twelve French ships of the line.
The battle ended all threat of a French invasion of England for the remainder of the war.
- Total allied: 98 ships with 7154 guns
- France: 44 ships with 3132 guns
|English ships||Guns||Fate||French ships (Tourville)||Guns||Fate|
|?||Sunk||Bourbon||68||Burnt La Hougue|
|Saint-Louis||64||Burnt La Hougue|
|Gaillard||68||Burnt La Hougue|
|Terrible||80||Burnt La Hougue|
|Merveilleux||90||Burnt La Hougue|
|Tonnant||80||Burnt La Hougue|
|Sans Pareil (Vermandois?)||62|
|Foudroyant||84||Burnt La Hougue|
|Dutch ships||Guns||Fate||Saint-Philippe||84||Burnt La Hougue|
|Ambitieux||96||Burnt La Hougue|
|Fort||60||Burnt La Hougue|
|Magnifique||86||Burnt La Hougue|
|Fier||80||Burnt La Hougue|
"A History of the French Navy"
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