Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Battle of Camperdown
Throughout 1797 Duncan had been blockading the Dutch fleet in Den Helder and Texel. The Dutch fleet were intended to cover a landing of French troops in Ireland to support a rebellion, so when Duncan took his squadron to Yarmouth to refit, the Dutch took the opportunity to come out into the North Sea. The British, alerted by the cutter Black Joke, gave chase.
The two fleets met 18 miles from the Dutch coast, the British with 24 ships and the Dutch with 25. The British attacked in a two-column assault presaging the Battle of Trafalgar eight years later, with Vice Admiral Onslow leading one division in Monarch , and Duncan leading the other in Venerable . Venerable broke through the Dutch line and engaged de Winter's flagship, Vrijheid, from the lee side.
The British captured eleven ships including Jupiter and Vrijheid (both of 74 guns), but were too damaged to pursue the remainder. British casualties were 220 killed and 812 wounded; Dutch casualties were 540 killed and 620 wounded.
As a result of the battle the French expedition to Ireland was postponed to August 1798, when it was cancelled due to bad weather.
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