Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
HMS Theseus (1786)
HMS Theseus was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was launched at Blackwall, London in 1786. In 1798, Theseus took part in the decisive Battle of the Nile, under the command of Captain R. W. Miller. The Royal Navy was outnumbered, at least in firepower, by the French Fleet, which boasted a 120-gun ship-of-the-line, L'Orient , three 80-gun warships and nine of the popular 74-gun ships. The Royal Navy Fleet in comparison had just thirteen 74-gun ship and one 50-gun fourth-rate.
During the battle, Theseus, along with Goliath, assisted Alexander and Majestic, who were being attacked by a number of French warships. The French ship Artemise surrendered to the British, with the crew setting fire to their ship to prevent it falling into the hands of the British. The other French ships Heureux and Mercure ran aground and soon surrendered after a brief encounter with three British warships, one of which was Theseus.
The battle was a complete success for the Royal Navy, as well as an important success for the career of Admiral Nelson. It was an utter rout for the French Navy that had been supporting a French land invasion of Egypt, which had the wider objective of threatening British India and so no further supplies were available to the French army in Egypt. The casualties were heavy. The French suffered over 1,700 killed, over 600 wounded and 3,000 captured. The British suffered 218 dead and 677 wounded. Nine French warships were captured and two destroyed. Two other French warships managed to escape. Theseus had five sailors killed and thirty wounded, included one officer and five Royal Marines.
She took part in the Battle of the Basque Roads in 1809. The intrepid and feared Lord Cochrane initiated a daring attack, led by fire ships and other explosive vessels, in an attempt to cause chaos among their target, an anchored French squadron. Many of the French ships were subsequently run aground due to the havoc that this attack caused. The enemy squadron would probably have been completely wiped out if not for the Commander-in-Chief of the whole operations Admiral Lord Gambier , who hesitated over the necessary decisions, such as deploying the main fleet which lay in wait for their orders. Thus the remnants of the French escaped destruction.
See HMS Theseus for other ships of the name.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details