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 Oggetto del messaggio: Il Soleil Royal e le vicende storiche del suo tempo
MessaggioInviato: 05/12/2010, 19:22 
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Il Soleil Royal - La storia del famoso veliero francese di Tourville e delle vicende navali del suo tempo

E se cercassimo di ricostruire nei dettagli la storia di questo poderoso veliero ?

E delle vicende storiche del periodo in cui questo vascello prestò servizio nella marina del Re Sole ?

Direi che potrebbe essere un argomento interessante, ovviamente affrontato solo da un punto di vista storico, anche se qualche aneddoto potrebbe comunque starci . .

Cordialmente. Jack.Aubrey


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 Oggetto del messaggio: Re: Il Soleil Royal e le vicende storiche del suo tempo
MessaggioInviato: 05/12/2010, 19:26 
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Il Soleil Royal (Sole Reale) francese era una vascello di linea di 104 cannoni, nave ammiraglia dell'Ammiraglio Tourville. Fu costruita nell'arsenale di Brest tra il 1669 ed il 1670 dall'ingegner Laurent Hubac, fu varata ed allestita durante il 1670, ma rimase non utilizzata nel porto di Brest per alcuni anni. Fu riarmata con 112 cannoni e 1200 uomini di equipaggio, quando la Guerra della Grande Alleanza scoppiò nel 1688, come nave ammiraglia dell'escadre du Ponant (squadrone del Ponant).

Fu riconosciuta essere una buona nave a vela e le sue decorazioni erano fra le più belle ed elaborate di tutte le navi ammiraglie barocche. L'emblema del "sole" era stato scelto da Luigi XIV come il suo simbolo personale.

La battaglia di Bévezier (o Beachy Head)

Cose si è detto la Soleil Royal fu risistemata con 112 cannoni e 1200 uomini di equipaggio quando scoppiò la Guerra della Grande Alleanza. La nave partì da Brest il 22 giugno 1690 come nave ammiraglia di Anne d'Hilarion Tourville. Passò tre giorni in Camaret-sur-Mer aspettando il vento favorevole prima di navigare alla volta dell'Isola di Wight dove si presumeva che la flotta inglese fosse ancorata. Due navi furono spedite in ricognizione e localizzarono gli inglesi ancorati presso Beachy Head.

Beachy Head era ed è un promontorio calcareo sulla costa Sud dell'Inghilterra, più precisamente nel distretto di Eastbourne della contea di East Sussex. Si trova nelle vicinanze della città di Eastbourne ed immediatamente ad est della scogliera conosciuta come Seven Sisters. L'area al di sopra della scogliera fa parte del Downland Country Park amministrato dal Consiglio del distretto di Eastbourne. La falesia è soggetta a frane dovute all'erosione della roccia calcarea, che comportano il continuo arretramento della scogliera. Sul promontorio ai giorni nostri si trovano due fari: quello di Belle Tout e quello di Beachy Head. Il faro di Belle Tout, ora fuori servizio, fu costruito nel 1834 (ma sembra che un faro provvisorio in legno esistesse già dal 1828). Per problemi di visibilità, fu sostituito dall'attuale faro di Beachy Head costruito ai piedi della scogliera circa due chilometri ad Est. Il nuovo faro entrò in servizio nel 1902 ed è tuttora funzionante.

La Battaglia di Beachy Head (nota in francese come la "Bataille de Béveziers") cominciò la mattina dei 10 luglio 1690 quando Tourville sorprese le navi inglese ancorate. La Soleil Royal condusse il centro della formazione francese.

Immagine

La battaglia di Barfleur

Il 12 maggio del 1692, la nave lasciò Brest, mentre stava conducendo una flotta di 45 vascelli; il 29° squadrone si scontrò con 97 navi della flotta inglese e della flotta olandese nella Battaglia di Barfleur. Nonostante l'inferiorità numerica francese, Tourville attaccò, costringendo il nemico a fuggire con perdite significative.

Dopo questa vittoria tattica, il Soleil Royal era però stato danneggiato severamente tanto da dover ritornare a Brest, impossibilitato ad arrivarci, fu arenato in Cherbourg per riparazioni, insieme all'Admirable e al Triomphant.

La battaglia di La Hougue e la fine del Soleil Royal

Durante la notte del 2 e 3 giugno, al Pointe du Hommet, la nave fu attaccata da 17 navi che riuscì a respingere con il proprio fuoco di artiglieria. Ma un brulotto (nave incendiaria) diede presto fuoco alla sua poppa ed il fuoco raggiunse presto la santabarbara della nave. Sebbene la popolazione di Cherbourg accorse per soccorrere l'equipaggio, ci fu purtroppo un solo superstite fra i 883 (o 950 per altre fonti) uomini dell'equipaggio.

I resti della Soleil Royal sono ora seppelliti sotto un parcheggio vicino all'Arsenale di Cherborug.


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 Oggetto del messaggio: Re: Il Soleil Royal e le vicende storiche del suo tempo
MessaggioInviato: 06/12/2010, 16:18 
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Mi scuso per l'inglese ma la traduzione in italiano di un testo così lungo sarebbe troppo onerosa in termini di tempo. Jack. (Fonte Wikipedia)

The Battle of Beachy Head

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The Battle of Beachy Head (in French. Battle of Bévéziers) was a naval engagement fought on 10 July 1690 during the Nine Years' War. The battle was the greatest French tactical naval victory over their English and Dutch opponents during the war. The English and Dutch lost some 11 ships in total (sources vary), whereas the French did not lose a single vessel; but although control of the English Channel temporarily fell into French hands, Admiral Tourville failed to pursue the Allied fleet with sufficient ardour, allowing it to escape to the river Thames.

Tourville was heavily criticised for not following up his victory and was relieved of his command. English admiral Torrington – who had advised against engaging the superior French fleet but had been overruled by Queen Mary and her ministers – was court-martialled for his performance during the battle. Although he was acquitted, King William dismissed him from the service.

Background

King James II was campaigning in Ireland as a first step to regaining his throne following his deposition after the 'Glorious Revolution'. In August 1689 Marshall Schomberg had been sent from England to bolster the forces loyal to King William, but his army had stalled through the winter of 1689–90, suffering from sickness and desertion. As early as January 1690 it was clear to William that he would have to sail personally to Ireland, with substantial reinforcements, in order to salvage the situation.

The main Allied fleet under Admiral Torrington was stationed in the English Channel; a substantial part of the fleet was in the Mediterranean under Vice Admiral Henry Killigrew, which the Earl of Nottingham, William's Secretary of State and chosen naval advisor, hoped would neutralize the French Toulon squadron. Sir Cloudesley Shovell remained in the Irish Sea, but his squadron was much too small to stop the French controlling these waters if they chose to do so. However, the French decided not to use their fleet as a subsidiary to the Irish campaign; King Louis XIV instead directed his navy against Torrington in the Channel. Although 6,000 French troops under the command of the Comte de Lauzun were successfully ferried across to Ireland to aid James on 17 March, the French fleet under the Comte de Tourville returned to Brest on 1 May and there remained inactive during May and June whilst the grand fleet was assembling.

This French inaction had provided William with the opportunity he desired. On 21 June William embarked his forces at Chester on board 280 transports, escorted by only six men-of-war commanded by Shovell. On 24 June, unmolested by the French fleet, William landed in Carrickfergus with 15,000 men for his Irish campaign, much to the consternation of James' chief lieutenant in Ireland the Earl of Tyrconnel, who later wrote "The want of a squadron of French men-of-war in St George's Channel has been our ruin ... "

Prelude

Battle of Beachy Head, 10 July 1690. Tourville had won a clear victory but failed to capitalise on his success. After evading Killigrew off Cadiz, Château-Renault's Toulon squadron joined Tourville's fleet on 21 June. Tourville, now commanding the combined Brest and Mediterranean fleets totalling 75 ships of the line and 23 fireships, sailed on 23 June into the Channel; by 30 June, the French were off the Lizard. Torrington sailed from the Nore already convinced the French would be stronger – much of the Royal Navy had been diverted to protect their maritime commerce from privateers, and the Allied fleet now only had 56 English and Dutch ships of the line, totalling 4,153 guns, to Tourville's fleet of 4,600 guns.

Immagine

Torrington's fleet reached the Isle of Wight and was joined by a Dutch squadron under the command of Cornelis Evertsen. On 5 July, Torrington sighted the French fleet, calculating their strength at almost 80 ships of the line. Unable to proceed to the westward to link up with Shovell and Killigrew (who was on his way home), Torrington announced his intention of retreating before the superior French fleet to the Straits of Dover, believing the loss of the 'fleet in being' would strategically be too great.

In William's absence, Queen Mary and her advisors – the 'Council of Nine' – hastened to take measures for the defence of the country. Carmarthen thought that it was advisable to fight; as did Nottingham and Admiral Russell, who were unconvinced that the French were as strong as Torrington reported, and considered that only the admiral's pessimism, defeatism or treachery could account for his reports. As the two fleets moved slowly up the channel (with Torrington keeping carefully out of range), Russell drafted the order to fight. Countersigned by Nottingham, the orders reached the admiral on 9 July whilst he was off Beachy Head. Torrington realised that not to give battle was to be guilty of direct disobedience; to give battle was, in his judgment, to incur serious risk of defeat. Torrington called a council of war with his flag-officers, who concluded that they had no option but to obey.

The battle

The following day, 10 July, off Beachy Head near Eastbourne Torrington advanced towards the French in line of battle. He placed the Dutch white squadron with 21 ships – commanded by Cornelis Evertsen – in the van. Torrington himself was in the centre red squadron; the rear blue squadron, commanded by Vice-Admiral Ralph Delaval, comprised both English and Dutch ships.

Immagine

The French Admiral divided his force into the customary three squadrons, with white and blue, white, and blue pennants respectively. Tourville, aboard the Soleil Royal, commanded the centre, white squadron. The blue squadron in the French van was commanded by Château-Renault; Victor-Marie d'Estrées commanded the rear white and blue squadron. In each fleet the squadron commanders were in the centre of their respective squadrons, and the division flag officers in the centre of their divisions.

The French fleet bearing NNW towards the English coast. The French centre sagged exactly where the Comte de Tourville was stationed.At about 08:00 the Allies, being to windward, ran down together in line abreast, elongated in order to cover the whole French fleet and prevent doubling at either end. The Dutch squadron bore down on the leading French squadron to engage on a parallel course, but left the leading division of Château-Renault's squadron unmarked – "a notable blunder," wrote the French admiral. This division cut across Evertsen's path and, doubling on the Dutch squadron, was able to inflict heavy losses.

Vice Admiral Ashby of the red squadron tried to help the Dutch, but the Marquis de Villette succeeded in tacking ahead, placing Ashby between two fires. When Torrington brought the remainder of the red squadron into action, he found difficulty in getting close enough because of the sag in the French line, and came no closer than twice gunshot range. Admiral Tourville, finding himself with few adversaries in the centre, pushed forward his own leading ships which Torrington's dispositions had left without opponents, further strengthening the French attack in the van. The Dutch were now opposed by the whole of Château-Renault's squadron, and the van and centre divisions of Tourville's squadron.

Delaval's greatly outnumbered blue squadron fought a desperate battle with d'Estrées in the rear. Evertsen in the van, however, having lost his second-in-command and many other officers, was forced to withdraw. The Dutch had maintained the unequal contest with very little assistance from the rest of the Allied fleet; he left two Dutch ships sunk, one shattered and dismasted vessel captured, and many badly damaged. Outmatched, Torrington ended the battle late in the afternoon, taking advantage of the tide and the drop in wind; while his ships dropped anchor, the French – who were not sufficiently alert – were carried off by the current and out of cannon range.

The eight-hour battle was a complete victory for the French, but was far from decisive. When the tide changed at 21:00, the Allies weighed anchor. Tourville pursued, but instead of ordering a general chase, he maintained the strict line-of-battle, reducing the speed of the fleet to that of the slower ships. Nevertheless, Torrington burnt seven more badly-damaged Dutch ships and one English ship to avoid capture before gaining the refuge of the Thames; as soon as he was in the safety of the river, he ordered all the navigation buoys removed, making any attempt to follow him too dangerous.

Aftermath

The defeat of Beachy Head caused panic in England. Tourville had temporary command of the English Channel; it seemed that the French could at the same time prevent William from returning from Ireland across the Irish Sea and land an invading army in England. Diarist John Evelyn wrote – "The whole nation now exceedingly alarmed by the French fleet braving our coast even to the very Thames mouth;" a fear compounded by news from the Continent of French victory at the Battle of Fleurus on 1 July. To oppose the threatened invasion, 6,000 regular troops, together with the hastily organised militia, were prepared by the Earl of Marlborough for the country's defence.

In the prevailing atmosphere of paranoia, no-one attributed the defeat to overwhelming odds. Nottingham accused Torrington of treachery, informing William on 13 July "In plain terms ... Torrington deserted the Dutch so shamefully that the whole squadron had been lost if some of our ships had not rescued them." Nottingham was anxious to shift blame, but no one disputed his interpretation. "I cannot express to you," wrote William to the Grand Pensionary Anthonie Heinsius in the Dutch Republic, "how distressed I am at the disasters of the fleet; I am so much the more deeply affected as I have been informed that my ships did not properly support those of the Estates, and left them in the lurch.

There was, however, some good news for the Allies. The day after Beachy Head, 11 July 1690 (N.S), William decisively defeated Louis' ally, King James, at the land Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. James fled to France, but appeals to Louis for an invasion of England were not heeded. The Marquis de Seignelay, who had succeeded his father Colbert as naval minister, had not planned for an invasion and had thought no further than Beachy Head, writing to Tourville before the engagement – " ... I shall be content if you will let me know as soon as possible after the battle your thoughts on the employment of the fleet for the rest of the campaign." Tourville anchored off Le Havre to refit and land his sick. The French had failed to exploit their success. To the fury of Louis and Seignelay, the sum of Tourville's victory was the symbolic and futile burning of the English coastal town of Teignmouth in July, and he was relieved of command.

The English squadrons now rallied to the main fleet. By the end of August the Allies had 90 vessels cruising the Channel – temporary French control had come to and end. Torrington, however, had been sent to the Tower of London to await a court martial at Chatham. The substance of the charge was that he had withdrawn and kept back, and had not done his utmost to damage the enemy and to assist his own and the Dutch ships. Torrington blamed the defeat on the lack of naval preparations and intelligence – he had not been informed that the Brest fleet had been reinforced with the Toulon squadron. He also contended that the Dutch had engaged too early, before they had reached the head of the French line. To the outrage and astonishment of William and his ministers – and the delight of the English seamen who regarded him as a political sacrifice to the Dutch – the court acquitted him. Torrington took up his seat in the House of Lords, but William refused to see him and dismissed him from the service on 12 December (O.S). Torrington was temporarily replaced by a triumvirate of Sir Henry Killigrew, John Ashby and Sir Richard Haddock; these were in turn replaced by Admiral Russell as sole commander of the English fleet.

Consequences

England's crushing defeat by France, the dominant naval power, in naval engagements culminating in the 1690 Battle of Beachy Head, became the catalyst to Britain rebuilding itself as a global power. England had no choice but to build a powerful navy; as there were no funds available, in 1694 a private institution, the Bank of England, was set up to supply money to the King. £1.2m was raised in twelve days; half of this was used to rebuild the Navy.

As a side-effect, the huge industrial effort needed started to transform the economy, from iron works making nails to agriculture feeding the quadrupled strength of the Royal Navy. This helped the new United Kingdom – England and Scotland were united in 1707 – to become prosperous and powerful. Together with the power of the navy, this made Britain the dominant world power in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Sul sito qui di seguito c'è l'elenco completo delle navi che parteciparono a questa battaglia:
http://3decks.pbworks.com/w/page/913050 ... eachy-Head


Ultima modifica di jack.aubrey su 07/12/2010, 20:37, modificato 1 volte in totale.

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 Oggetto del messaggio: Re: Il Soleil Royal e le vicende storiche del suo tempo
MessaggioInviato: 07/12/2010, 13:08 
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The Battle of Barfleur

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The related naval battles of Barfleur and La Hogue took place between 29 May and 4 June New Style (NS), 1692 (19–24 May in the Old Style (OS) Julian calendar then in use in England).

The first action took place near Barfleur; later actions were at Cherbourg and Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue in the Cotentin peninsula, Normandy, France. It was the decisive naval battle of the Nine Years' War, known to the British as the War of the English Succession.

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 82 strong Anglo-Dutch fleet at Barfleur. After a fierce but indecisive clash, which left many ships on both sides damaged, Tourville was able to disengage. He slipped off into light fog and for several days tried to escape the superior forces. The French fleet was scattered, and 15 were lost, 3 at Cherbourg and a further 12 at La Hougue. The threat of invasion of England was lifted.

Prelude

King Louis XIV and his naval minister, Count 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 cavalry 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.

However, the French fleet was unable to concentrate in time; D’Estrees and the Toulon fleet were beaten back at the Straits of Gibraltar, losing two ships in a storm, and Villette Mursay with the Rochefort squadron was delayed. Tourville's Brest fleet was undermanned, and when he sailed, on 29 April(OS), he was forced to leave 20 ships under Chateau-Renault behind. His fleet was further delayed by adverse winds and did not clear Berteaume Roads until 2 May(OS).

Tourville entered the Channel with 37 ships of the line, accompanied by 7 fireships, plus frigates, scouts, and transports. He was joined on 15 May(OS) by Villette and the Rochefort squadron, 7 ships of the line and attendant vessels, giving Tourville a combined fleet of 44 ships, plus attendant vessels 70 or 80 sail altogether.

Meanwhile the allied fleet was assembling at St Helens on the Isle of Wight; Delaval arrived off St Helens on 8 May(OS); next day he was joined by Carter, who had been in the western channel guarding a convoy, and delivering troops to Guernsey. The Dutch had despatched a fleet, under Almonde, from Texel in April, which was making its way south. Ashby sailed from the Nore on 27 April(OS). Russell was delayed until 29 April, but gained time by making a risky passage through the Gull channel. He met Almonde at the Downs and a further Dutch squadron at Dungeness, arriving at St Helens in the second week of May. More detachments joined over the next few days, until 14 May(OS), when Russell had a force of over 80 ships of the line, plus auxiliaries. Thus by 14 May, when the allied fleet was fully assembled, the French strategic aim of acting with a concentrated force while the allies were scattered was already lost.

However, Louis XIV had furnished Tourville with strict orders to seek battle, strong or weak (fort au faible), and this he proceeded to do.

Battle of Barfleur

The fleets sighted each other at first light on 29 May (NS) (19 May OS) 1692, off Cap Barfleur. On sighting the allied fleet Tourville held a conference with his officers. Their advice, and his own opinion, was against action; however Tourville felt bound by strict orders from the king to engage. He may also have expected some defections by English captains with Jacobite sympathies, though in this he was to be disappointed. In the light southwesterly breeze the fleets slowly closed, Russell from the northeast, Tourville, with the weathergage, from the south, on a starboard tack to bring his line of battle into contact with Russell's. Both fleets were in three squadrons, each split into three divisions and commanded by a flag officer.

Because of the calm conditions it was not until after 11 am, five hours after first sighting each other, that the two fleets engaged. Tourville had reinforced his centre, the White squadron under his own command, in order to engage Russell's Red squadron with close to equal numbers. Elsewhere, he sought to minimize damage by extending and refusing the van, to avoid them being turned and overwhelmed, while the rear was held back to keep the weathergage. Russell countered by holding fire as long as possible, to allow the French to come closer; Almonde, in the van extended to try and overlap the French line, while Ashby, with the rear and some way off, sought to close and bring his Blue squadron into action. From around 11 am, and for the next few hours, both fleets bombarded each other, causing considerable damage.

The battle continued for the rest of the day and into the night and was full of incident. At 1 pm a change in the wind allowed Shovell to break the French line and the Dutch to start enveloping the French van. At 4 pm a flat calm descended, leaving both fleets in a fog. A 6 pm Tourville was able to use the tide to gain a respite, and at 8 pm Shovell used the same tide for a fireship attack.

By 10 pm the battle was almost over. Surprisingly, though most ships on both sides were damaged, and some severely, no ships from either battle line were lost. At the turn of the tide, Tourville again took advantage of this to cut cables and be carried down channel on the ebb, away from the scene of battle. Russell also cut when he realized what had happened, to give chase into the night.

Aftermath

On the 30 May(NS)(20 May OS) the French withdrawal was hampered by wind and tide and by the fact that, due to cost concerns 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, the flagship of Villette Mursay.

First light on the 30 May(20 May OS) saw the French fleet scattered into groups across a wide area. To the north of the battle scene, and heading northward, were Gabaret and Langeron, with four ships between them. Later that day they skirted the English coast and headed out into the Atlantic. Later they would arrive safely at Brest. To the South, Nesmond, with six ships, was heading south-east towards the Normandy coast. Two of these would be beached at St Vaast la Hougue, while another two would later put into Le Havre, where L’Entendu was wrecked at the harbour entrance. Nesmond, with the remaining two ships Monarque and Aimable, passed through the Straits of Dover, went north around Britain and finally arrived safely at Brest. Heading West was the main body in three groups: Villette leading with 15, followed by d’Amfreville with 12, and Tourville bringing up the rear with seven. During the day the French were able to close up, but Tourville was hampered by his efforts to save his flagship, Soleil Royal, which was in a pitiable condition. Later that day Tourville recognized this and transferred his flag to L’Ambiteux.

In pursuit was Almonde and the Dutch fleet, with the various English divisions scattered behind. Many of these, particularly those of the English Red, were hampered by damage and lagged behind, leaving Almonde and Ashby closed up to the French by the end of the day. Russell was forced to detach three ships to return to port for repairs. Later these sighted Gabaret's group, but neither engaged. Shovell had to move his flag to Kent due to the damage to his flagship Royal William, while the damage to Britannia, Russells flagship, caused his division serious delay.

On 31 May (21 May OS) the French fleet was anchored against the tide off Cap de la Hague. The leading contingent, 21 under Pannetier, had rounded the cape and was in the Alderney Race, while the remainder, 13 with Tourville and the other flag officers, were to the east. As the weather deteriorated, these ships began to drag their anchors and were forced to cut and run before the wind and tide. Three of the most badly damaged were forced to beach at Cherbourg; the rest, 10 ships, reached St Vaast la Hougue where they too were beached, joining the two of Nesmond’s division that were already there. Russell’s and the ships with him, together with some of Ashby’s Blue squadron, also cut to pursue him, while Ashby himself, with Almonde continuing to shadow Pannetier's group.

Pannetier, in order to escape the pursuing allied fleet, sought to make the hazardous passage through the Alderney Race; in this he was helped by finding in his crew a local man, Hervé Riel, to act as pilot when his navigators demurred. Almonde and Ashby did not try to follow him and were criticized later by Russell for not doing so, although the only flag officer who knew the waters, Carter, had died of his wounds.

Almonde attempted pursuit by taking his squadron west of Alderney, but the delay allowed Pannetier to pull too far ahead, and Almonde abandoned the chase. Pannetier later reached St Malo in safety, while Almonde and Ashby turned east to rejoin Russell at la Hogue.

While Almonde and Ashby pursued Pannetier, Russell was chasing Tourville eastward along the Cotentin coast. Without anchors Tourville was unable to do more than beach his ships, which he was able to do, leaving three at Cherbourg and taking the remaining twelve to St Vaast la Hougue.

Fonte: Wikipekia

Sul sito qui di seguito c'è l'elenco completo delle navi che parteciparono a questa battaglia:
http://3decks.pbworks.com/w/page/913049 ... f-Barfleur


Ultima modifica di jack.aubrey su 07/12/2010, 20:39, modificato 1 volte in totale.

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 Oggetto del messaggio: Re: Il Soleil Royal e le vicende storiche del suo tempo
MessaggioInviato: 07/12/2010, 13:12 
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The Soleil Royal, Admirable, and Triomphant were in such bad shape they had to be beached at Cherbourg.

There they were destroyed on 3 June(NS)(23 May OS) by Delaval, attacking from long boats and with fire ships.

Actions at Cherbourg

The action at Cherbourg was fought on 21 and 22 May Old Style(1st and 2 June (New Style) 1692 as part of the aftermath of the Battle of Barfleur (19 May (OS)1692)

During the pursuit of the French fleet after the battle of Barfleur, three of the most badly damaged French ships, the Soleil Royal (104 guns ), Admirable 90, and Triomphant 76, accompanied by two frigates, of 24 and 20 guns, and a fireship, sought a safe haven at Cherbourg. They were beached outside the town, as there was no suitable harbour for them. Russell detailed Delaval, his vice-admiral, to attack and destroy them. Delaval took station off Cherbourg, and so many of the English fleet joined him that his command became unwieldy. Retaining 11 of the ships with him, mostly the smaller 3rd and 4th Rates, he dispatched the rest, a further 16, to join Russell in pursuit of Tourville and the main body of the French fleet.

Transferring from his flagship, Royal Sovereign 100 to the handier St Albans 50, Delaval mounted his first attack on the morning of 21 May. The French had made serious efforts to protect the ships; they were beached with their masts seaward, to create an obstacle for the attackers, their guns were manned, and they were overlooked by shore batteries, Soleil Royal under the battery at Fosse du Galet, the other two further east under the guns of two coastal towers

The first attack

Sending ships ahead to take soundings Delaval moved in on the morning of the 21st with St Albans and Ruby 50 to bombard the ships and the fort, but the French return fire was so fierce that after an hour and a half he was forced to retreat.

The second attack

On the morning of the 22nd Delaval tried again, sending St Albans and Advice50 to bombard the Admirable, while he himself, (now in Grafton, 70), attacked the others, supported by Monk60 and a group of 3rd and 4th Rates. However, Monk and her consorts had insufficient depth in the low tide to get in close, and were forced to retire.

The third and final attack

At one o'clock that afternoon, at high water, Delaval made a third attempt, this time using his fireships with boarding parties in boats. Soleil Royal was hit by fireship Blaze, her captain (Thomas Heath ) bringing her within pistol-shot before firing and abandoning her, while Triomphant was burned by fireship Wolf, whose captain ( James Greenway) laid her alongside before igniting her. However, the third fireship, Hound, was set alight by gunfire and burned before she reached Admirable, so Delaval led his boats in and boarded her. Beaujeu, her captain, and her crew were forced to abandon her, but about 40 of her crew, mostly wounded, were taken prisoner; the ship was burned, together with the two frigates and the fireship that were with her.

Conclusion

Delaval had achieved a clear success with few casualties, and at later that afternoon set off to rejoin the fleet at La Hogue.

Ships:

English : 11 ships of the line, plus auxiliaries
St Albans 50, Grafton 70, Burford 70, Advice 50, Monk 60,Ruby 50.

French : 3 ships of the line, plus auxiliaries
Soleil Royal 104, Admirable 90, Triomphant 76.


Fonte: Wikipedia


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 Oggetto del messaggio: Re: Il Soleil Royal e le vicende storiche del suo tempo
MessaggioInviato: 07/12/2010, 13:17 
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Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford

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Admiral of the Fleet Edward Russell, 1st Earl of Orford, PC (1653 – 26 November 1727) was the First Lord of the Admiralty under King William III.

Naval career

He was a son of the Hon. Edward Russell, a younger son of the 4th Earl of Bedford and a younger brother of the 5th Earl (later 1st Duke of Bedford). He married his cousin, Lady Margaret Russell, youngest daughter of the 5th Earl, but they had no children.

He was one of the first gentleman officers of the Royal Navy regularly bred to the sea. In 1671, he was named Lieutenant at the age of eighteen and was promoted to Captain in the following year. In the Third Anglo-Dutch War he saw active service in the North Sea in 1672 and 1673. Russell later served in the Mediterranean in the operations against the Barbary Pirates with Sir John Narborough and Arthur Herbert from 1676 to 1682. In 1683 he ceased to be employed, as all of the members of the Russell family had fallen into disfavour with the King after the discovery of Lord Russell's connection with the Rye House Plot.

In 1688, Russell was one of the Immortal Seven, a group of English nobleman who issued the Invitation to William, a document asking William of Orange to depose King James II. In the subsequent War of the Grand Alliance, Russell served at sea, commanding the fleet as Admiral of the Fleet after 1690. In 1692, Russell was Commander-in-Chief of the Anglo-Dutch force that fought the French fleet at Barfleur, and destroyed much of it at La Hougue, his victory there being the decisive naval battle of the war.

Russell became First Lord of the Admiralty in 1694, remaining in that post until 1699. He served in the Mediterranean from 1694 to 1695 and was created Baron Shingay, Viscount Barfleur, and Earl of Orford in 1697. These titles all became extinct on the childless Orford's death.

On the orders of King William III, he was the first English commander to over-winter at Cadiz (rather than sailing his squadron home in the autumn) and so inaugurated a policy that led to the acquisition of an English Mediterranean base at Gibraltar in 1704.

Admiral George Rooke

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Sir George Rooke (Canterbury, 1650 – Canterbury, 24 gennaio 1709) è stato un ammiraglio inglese che prestò servizio nella Royal Navy durante la guerra di successione spagnola ed è annoverato come il vincitore della battaglia della Baia di Vigo.

Nato a St. Lawrence, nei pressi di Canterbury, fu il secondogenito di Sir William Rooke (1624–1691), si arruolò come volontario nella marina inglese nel 1672 prestando servizio durante la terza guerra anglo-olandese, sotto il comando dell'ammiraglio Edward Spragge, partecipando alla battaglia di Solebay e guadagnando il grado di capitano nel 1673. Nel maggio 1689, al comando della HMS Deptford, prese parte alla battaglia di Bantry Bay contro la flotta francese, e incaricato di soccorrere la guarnigione inglese acquartierata a Londonderry ed assediata dalle forze fedeli a Giacomo II d'Inghilterra.

Il 6 maggio 1690 ottenne il grado di contrammiraglio e posto al comando del vascello HMS Duchess, con il quale combattè nella battaglia di Beachy Head durante la guerra dei sette anni. Nel 1692, agli ordini dell'ammiraglio Edward Russell, durante la battaglia di Barfleur, fu protagonista di un attacco notturno contro la flotta francese ormeggiata nella baia di Cherbourg, dove furono incendiate dodici navi nemiche.

Nel 1693 fu posto al comando di un convoglio navale diretto a Smyrna, che fu però sbaragliato e parzialmente conquistato dall'ammiraglio francese de Tourville nei pressi della baia di Lagos. Nel 1696 venne promosso al grado di ammiraglio, e prestò servizio nel canale della Manica e nel Mediterraneo fino al 1697 quando venne firmato il trattato di Ryswick.

Nel 1700 fu comandante della flota congiunta anglo-olandese che attaccò Copenaghen in concomitanza con la flotta svedese guidata dall'ammiraglio Hans Wachtmeister, e che appoggiò lo sbarco di Carlo XII e del suo esercito nella fase iniziale della grande guerra del Nord. Durante la guerra di successione spagnola fu al comando della disastrosa missione di Cadice, ma durante la navigazione riuscì a distruggere la flotta spagnola del tesoro durante la battaglia della Baia di Vigo, successo per il quale fu ringraziato formalmente dal Parlamento inglese. Nel luglio 1704 fu al comando della spedizione che riuscì nella conquista di Gibilterra, territorio di cui divenne governatore per un breve periodo (24 luglio - 4 agosto 1704).

Il 13 agosto 1704, dopo aver attaccato la flotta francese nella battaglia di Vélez-Málaga, fu costretto per le conseguenze riportate a ritirarsi dal servizio attivo nel febbraio 1705 e a fare ritorno nella sua dimora di St. Lawrence dove morì nel 1709 all'età di 59 anni. Fu sepolto nella cattedrale di Canterbury dove si trova eretto un monumento in suo onore.

In occasione del 300° anniversario della conquista britannica di Gibilterra, è stato inaugurato sull'isola nel 2004 un monumento in suo onore.

Fonte: wikipedia

Admiral Sir Ralph Delaval

Immagine
Admiral Sir Ralph Delaval (right), together with Thomas Phillips (left) and Admiral John Benbow (center).

Admiral Sir Ralph Delaval (also Delawal, c.1641–c.1707) was an English naval admiral.

He was a member of a junior branch of the Delaval family of Seaton Delaval, Northumberland. He was born at North Dissington, Ponteland, Northumberland which estate he ultimately inherited and sold to Edward Collingwood of Bykker in 1673.

He joined the navy at a young age and progressed under the patronage of the Duke of York, later James II, to become Captain of the third rate vessel H.M.S. York.

He was knighted and raised to Vice Admiral of the Blue on the accession of William III and led the Blue Squadron in the rear division in the Battle of Beachy Head against the French on 10 July 1690.

He was promoted to Vice Admiral of the Red in 1692. At the Battle of La Hogue on 9 May 1692, he personally commanded HMS Royal Sovereign and was responsible for the destruction of the French flagship and two others at Cherbourg. His Royal Sovereign log books (1691–1693) are preserved in the archives of the New York Public Library.

In 1693, Delaval, along with Henry Killigrew and Cloudesley Shovell replaced Edward Russell as commander-in-chief. However, in the summer the French isolated and inflicted severe damage on the Smyrna convoy in the Mediterranean at the Battle of Lagos, for which Delaval, Killigrew and Shovell were severely criticised. A censure motion was laid in the House of Commons alleging 'notorious and treacherous mismanagement'. William was forced to dismiss his naval advisor Secretary of State the Earl of Nottingham, and appoint Russell as the new commander-in-chief.

Shortly thereafter, Delaval was involved in intrigue at court where he was regarded as a possible Jacobite sympathiser and he lost his command. He retired to Northumberland. He died in 1707 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.


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 Oggetto del messaggio: Re: Il Soleil Royal e le vicende storiche del suo tempo
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Meanwhile, Russell had turned on the remaining ships. These had sought refuge at La Hougue where they would be under the protection of the assembled land forces and a battery. On 3 June and 4 June(NS)(23 and 24 May OS), Rooke and Danby attacked with long boats. By this time the French crews were exhausted and disheartened. The allies successfully deployed shore parties and fire ships which burnt all twelve French ships of the line which had sought shelter there. This last action became celebrated in England as the Battle of La Hogue.

Actions at La Hogue

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The action at La Hogue occurred during the pursuit of the French fleet after the battle of Barfleur on 19 May Old Style (29 May (New Style)), 1692. Tourville’s fleet of badly damaged ships was swept by wind and tide down the coast of the Cotentin peninsula, pursued by an English fleet under Russell. Three of the most badly damaged ships were beached at Cherbourg, where they were attacked and destroyed by an English squadron under Delaval. The remaining ten French ships, with Tourville and four of his flag officers, were swept down the coast, to be beached on the evening of 21 May (OS) outside the small port of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue.

Situation 21 May 1692

This was the place where the French had assembled an army, under the command of James II, and fleet of transports, for the invasion of England. Tourville’s force joined two of the ships that had retired from the battle with Nesmond, ( Bourbon 68 and Saint-Louis 64) which had been beached at la Hougue the day before. The ships were put ashore in two groups on the wide beaches on either side of the town. On the north beach, between the town and the small tidal island of Tatihou, lay Ambitieux 96 guns,( flagship of Villette Mursay and Tourville), Merveillieux 90 (d’Amfreville), Foudroyant 84 (Relingue), and Magnifique 86 (Coetlogon). With them was the smaller St Philippe 84, and, further out on the shore of Tatihou, the Terrible 80. These ships were covered by shore batteries at the Fort d’Islet, on Tatihou, (44 guns in total) and on platforms set up by the army on the north shore.

On the south beach, under the eyes of James and his army at Morsalines, were the Bourbon 68, and St Louis 64, from Nesmond’s division, and Fier 80, Tonnant 80, Gaillard 68, and Fort 60, which came in with Tourville. These were covered by the 68 guns of Fort St Vaast, and artillery on gun platforms along the shore. Also, in a small harbour known as the port of La Hougue, which was behind the town of St Vaast and under the guns of the fort, was the fleet of transports prepared for the invasion. The fleet was also protected by a fleet of 200 boats, and 3 oared galleys mounting 12 guns each, though an offer by James to station troops on the ships to guard against boarding was not taken up.

Preparations 22 May

The English fleet, under Russell, started to arrive on the evening of 21 May; the rest of the fleet joined during the night and over the next two days. Russell immediately organized an inshore squadron under Shovell to attack the French positions, but Shovell later collapsed from wounds received at Barfleur, and had to be replaced by Rooke, while the waters around St Vaast and La Hougue had to be sounded, which took up most of the 22nd, so the assault did not start until the following day. Russell also used the 22nd to organize the 3rd and 4th rates of his command to form a blockade line close inshore, while the bigger 1st and 2nd rates were set to organize boats and boarding crews. Danby was keen to take part in the action, and appealed first to Shovell, and later to Rooke, to do so. In the assault he was given command of the boat parties that went close inshore.

First Action 23 May

At 6am on the 23, the ships of the inshore squadron were ordered to attack the ships on the north beach. After a preliminary bombardment the boats were despatched, and about 8.30 am one of the fireships grappled the Terrible, which was in a more exposed position. Finding her deserted the fireship captain refrained from igniting his ship, but boarded Terrible and started fires with what material was to hand; for this he was much commended in saving his charge for a better occasion. Meanwhile the boats closed with the other ships. They were accompanied by another fireship, which drew the fire from the French batteries; the supporting ships countered, sweeping the French gun platforms, which were too exposed to continue. One boat, from the Eagle, grounded on the shore, and was attacked by French cavalry; in a highly unusual encounter, one of the troopers was pulled down by a sailor using a boathook, before the boat was re-floated. Resistance melted away as the attack was pressed, and the English sailors were able to board and fire the remaining great ships.

Second Action 24 May

The second action opened at 5am on the 24 when Rooke again sent in his boats, to attack the six great ships on the south beach. Supported by gunfire from Deptford and Crown, and with close support from Charles and Greyhound, both under oars, the English sailors were able to board and fire all six ships. The French seamen, and the troops ashore, were demoralized by this point, and had abandoned the ships with little resistance in the face of the determined English assault. This episode was seen by James II, who had been watching from his camp at Marsaline; he was moved to remark, with the lack of tact for which he was notorious, “Only my English tars could have done such a deed”.

Third Action 24 May

Rooke now saw an opportunity to follow up the success with an attack, at high water, on the transports in La Hougue harbour. The boats, led by Rooke, and with two fireships in tow, entered the harbour on the flooding tide, despite gunfire from both the fort and the ships. Both fireships grounded in the shallows below the fort, and had to be burned without result, but a number of ships in the harbour were boarded and set alight, mostly transports, but also a 4th or 5th rate warship and a hulk. Several other of the transports were captured, and carried away when the boats retreated on the ebb, but most of the transports were too far up the harbour to be boarded, and escaped serious damage.

Conclusion

This marked the end of the action, which had been a complete success for the allied fleet; 12 French ships of the line and a number of smaller ships had been destroyed, with minimal English casualties. The action also dashed any hope that James or Louis might have had to mount an invasion that year.

Ships

English: Perhaps 30 ships of the line, of which
The Inshore Squadron : 14 ships of the line plus auxiliaries

(from the Red Squadron) Eagle 70, Chester 50, Greenwich 54, Swiftsure70, Kent 70, Oxford 54, Cambridge 70,
(from the Blue Squadron) Deptford 50, Woolwich 54, Crown 50, Dreadnought 64, Stirling Castle 70, Warspite 70, Berwick 70, Resolution 70.

French : 12 ships of the line, plus auxiliaries.
Bourbon 68, St Louis 64, Gaillard 68, Terrible 80, Merveilleux 90, Tonnant 80, Foudroyant 84, Fort 60, Ambiteiux 96, St Philippe 84, Magnifique 86, Fier 80,


Fonte: Wikipedia


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 Oggetto del messaggio: Re: Il Soleil Royal e le vicende storiche del suo tempo
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Campaign conclusion

The dispersal of the French fleet put an end to the invasion plans, and the Allied victory was commemorated in England by a Fleet Review. Following the battle the French abandoned the idea of seeking naval superiority for its own sake, adopting instead a continental strategy on land and pursuing a war against trade (guerre de course) at sea.

The battle is seen differently on either side of the Channel. The English have seen the action as a single action over six days; it has often been referred to as the battle of La Hogue, or simply Hogue. The French on the other hand have seen the various actions as separate battles, of Barfleur, Cherbourg and La Hougue. However, more neutral observers, such as Mahan, have also seen the action as a whole, as does Pemsel, and naval actions over a period of days were not unusual for the time. The term "Battle of Barfleur and La Hogue" is a compromise description for the whole event.

Both sides also regard the outcome differently. The English claim this as an outright victory. The French, while acknowledging La Hougue and Cherbourg as defeats, prefer to claim Barfleur as a victory.

The English view of this as an out and out victory, while plausible, is flawed. In earlier times it was widely celebrated, though by Mahan's time it was seen as less important. The French invasion plan was foiled, but La Hogue was not the devastating blow to the French Navy it was once thought. French losses were quickly made good, and by the following year Tourville was able to inflict a defeat on the Allies at Lagos. Although the French dropped their invasion plans for the rest of the conflict and switched to a guerre de course, this was a matter of policy rather than necessity.

However, the French view of the action at Barfleur as a victory is similarly flawed. The actions at Cherbourg and La Hogue can only be seen as defeats, but the view of the action at Barfleur as a victory is not tenable. The strategic aim, to concentrate the fleet and seize control of the channel before the Allied fleet had assembled, had already failed by 14 May (OS), and the chance for invasion was lost even if the battle had never taken place. Tactically Tourville made the best he could of a difficult situation. He made skilled use of the tides, first to disengage his fleet and, later, to escape, but with no ships lost on either side and the action ending with Russell in hot pursuit it can be seen at best as inconclusive.

Nevertheless, historians have generally acknowledged the skill, bravery, courage and ferocity fighting ability of the French in this action.. Barfleur remains a battle of which the French are most proud.

Naval developments

In 1688 the most powerful navies were the French, English, and Dutch; Spanish and Portuguese navies had suffered a serious decline in the 17th century. The largest French ships of the period were the Soleil Royal and the Royal Louis, both rated at 120 guns but which never carried their full complement of cannon. Yet these ships were too large for practical purposes: the former only sailed on one campaign and was destroyed at La Hogue; the latter languished in port until its sale in 1694.

By the 1680s French ship design was at least equal to their English and Dutch counterparts, and by the time of the Nine Years' War they had surpassed ships of the Royal Navy whose designs had stagnated in the 1690s. Innovation in the Royal Navy, however, did not cease. At some stage in the 1690s for example, English ships began to employ the steering wheel, greatly improving their performance particularly in heavy weather. The French navy did not adopt the wheel for another thirty years.

Combat between naval fleets was decided by cannon duels delivered by ships in line of battle; fireships were also used but were mainly successful against anchored and stationary targets while the new bomb vessels were best used as shore bombardment. Yet sea battles were rarely decisive and it was almost impossible to inflict enough damage on ships and men to win a clear victory: ultimate success depended not on tactical brilliance but on sheer weight of numbers.

Here, Louis XIV was at a disadvantage: without as large a maritime commerce as benefited the Allies, the French were unable to supply as many experienced sailors for their navy. Most importantly, though, Louis XIV had to concentrate his resources on the army at the expense of the fleet, enabling the Dutch, and the English in particular, to outdo the French in ship construction. However, naval actions were comparatively uncommon and, just like battles on land, the goal was generally to outlast rather than destroy one's opponent. To Louis XIV, his navy was an extension of his army whose most important role was to protect the French coast from enemy invasion. He used his fleet to support land and amphibious operations or the bombardment of coastal targets, designed to draw enemy resources from elsewhere and thus aid his land campaigns on the continent.

Once the Allies had secured a clear superiority in numbers the French found it prudent not to contest them in fleet action. At the start of the Nine Years' War the French fleet had 118 rated vessels and a total of 295 ships of all types. By the end of the war the French had 137 rated ships. In contrast the English fleet started the war with 173 vessels of all types, and ended it with 323. Between 1694 and 1697 the French built 19 first to fifth rated ships; the English built 58 such vessels, and the Dutch constructed 22. Thus, the Maritime Powers were outbuilding the French at a rate of four to one.

Cita:
At some stage in the 1690s for example, English ships began to employ the steering wheel, greatly improving their performance particularly in heavy weather. The French navy did not adopt the wheel for another thirty years.

Fonte: Wikipedia

Interessante questo passo. Significa che il nostro Soleyl Royal non aveva la ruota del timone ? Saluti. Jack.


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 Oggetto del messaggio: Re: Il Soleil Royal e le vicende storiche del suo tempo
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Inizio qui a ripetere la storia del Soleil Royal e dei fatti navali del suo tempo con un approccio diverso da quello fin qui intrapreso.

Quanto riportato fin d'ora è scritto in lingua inglese e, volenti o nolenti, rappresenta la spiegazione del punto di vista inglese delle vicende fin qui descritte.

Ora mi appresto invece a presentare, in nome della par condicio, il punto di vista francese sulle medesime vicende.

Ovviamente non può che essere scritto in francese, lingua che personalmente ho studiato a scuola gli stessi anni dell'inglese ma che non ho mai avuto necessità durante la vita di sviluppare come l'inglese. Per fortuna l'operazione di leggere, tra le quattro cose che si fanno di solito con una lingua straniera (le altre sono scrivere, parlare e ascoltare), è la più semplice e quindi sono stato in grado di seguire anche se a fatica quanto qui scritto. Esso riporta la storia del nostro vascello con un paio di spunti anche sugli altri due che hanno portato lo stesso nome.

Buona lettura e non me ne vogliate se non conoscete la lingua francese, qualcun'altro magari ora sarà contento perchè ho smesso di inserire messaggi in inglese.

Saluti. Jack.


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 Oggetto del messaggio: Re: Il Soleil Royal e le vicende storiche del suo tempo
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Le Soleil Royal

1er modèle des 3 vaisseaux de ligne du même nom dans la Marine Royale Française. Il s'illustra notamment sous le commandement de Tourville lors de la bataille de Béveziers le 10/07/1690 et la bataille de Barfleur le 29/05/1692.

A cette époque le roi avait fait passer une ordonnance pour que tous les navires soient de construction homogène: "Les navires du 1er rang, qui portent 70 pièces et au dessus jusqu'à six vingt, auront 3 ponts entiers et non coupés, et dans leur château de poupe chambres l'une sur l'autre; savoir, celle des Volontaires et celle du Capitaine, outre la sainte barbe et la dunette, laquelle suivra le coutonnement et tonture dudit navire", "il sera observé que les navires soient régulièrement percés dans les chambres, pour y tenir autant de canons qu'il convient, afin que la hanche et le derrière soient bien armés.", "les sabords seront grands et ouverts, et taillés en embrasures, particulièrement à la hanche et à l'épaule des vaisseaux, et la distance de l'un à l'autre sera de 7 pieds.", "Les seuls vaisseaux le ROYAL LOUIS et le SOLEIL ROYAL, auront un château sur l'avant de leur troisième pont, et à l'égard de tous les autres vaisseaux, Sa Majesté défend d'y en faire aucun. Les corps de garde de tous les vaisseaux pourront être prolongés jusqu'à l'emplacement du cabestan." Textes issus de la traduction par Lars Bruzelius du Règlement

"Que le roi veut et ordonne être observé dans la construction des vaisseaux de Sa Majesté."

En 1688, Jacques II Stuart, Catholique régnant sur l'Angleterre, l'Ecosse et l'Irlande, vient d'être dépossédé de son trône par Guillaume d'Orange, protestant et est proclamé roi d'Angleterre avec son épouse Marie par le parlement. Il se réfugie donc en France accompagné de quelques partisans avides de le voir reconquérir son trône pour en profiter. Son cousin, le roi Louis XIV prend parti pour lui et subvient à ses moyens. Guillaume monte contre la France une coalition plus connue sous le nom de ligue d'Augsbourg réunissant les états d'Allemagne, la Maison d'Autriche, les Provinces-unies, l'Angleterre, la Savoie et l'Espagne.

A cette déclaration de guerre, le SOLEIL ROYAL est alors réarmé, 1 équipage d'environ 1200 hommes et armé de 112 canons en bronze (seuls les navires amiraux en étaient équipés, les autres n'ayant que des canons en fer) de 36, 24, 18, 12, 8, 6 et 4 livres (poids du projectile) pesant entre 1 et 4 tonnes et nécessitant de 5 à 14 personnes pour les manipuler, ces canons sont répartis dans 3 batteries couvertes, sur la dunette et sur le gaillard. Au printemps 1689, le roi s'engage dans une opération maritime contre l'Angleterre ayant pour but de permettre le débarquement de Jacques II en Irlande, ses partisans y étant les plus nombreux et d'où il pourrait reconquérir son trône par le débarquement de ses troupes vers Londres. L'armée navale se compose alors de 75 vaisseaux dont le SOLEIL ROYAL est le plus beau et le plus puissant.

La Bataille de Béveziers

Il quitte la rade de Brest le 22/06/1690 comme navire amiral sous le commandement du Comte de Tourville, à cause de vents contraires, il est contraint de rester 3 jours devant Camaret, où il apprend que 58 vaisseaux de guerre ennemis sont au mouillage de Sainte Hélène (Ile de Wight). Profitant d'un vent favorable, Tourville met le cap sur l'Ile de Wight, le mouillage est vide. Mais le JEAN BART et l'ALCYON envoyés en reconnaissance trouvent 60 vaisseaux ennemis (39 anglais, 21 hollandais) mouillés au cap de Beachy Head (le Béveziers).

Le 10 juillet 1690 au matin l'amiral anglais Herbert, surpris par cet assaut donne l'ordre d'appareiller. Tourville et sa flotte sont prêts, avec le SOLEIL ROYAL au centre des 3 divisions d'escadre. La bataille commence et ce fut un très beau succès pour la flotte française: 1 navire capturé, 11 navires démâtés, 2 coulés ainsi que 4 brûlots coulés. 2 des navires hollandais coulèrent durant la nuit, les autres étant harcelés dans leur retraite, l'un d'entre eux dut se jeter à la côte et fut sabordé par son équipage. Au total coté ennemi 17 navires manquent à l'appel. Herbert est traduit en cours martiale le 10/11/1690, pourtant acquitté il ne recevra plus aucun commandement. Jacques II débarque en Irlande, les partisans catholiques y étant plus nombreux, où il provoque un soulèvement, Guillaume III prend le commandement de l'armée qui parviendra à le chasser et à nouveau le roi détrôné se réfugie en France.

Au début 1692, le roi Louis XIV envisage toujours de rétablir Jacques II sur le trône d'Angleterre. On prévoit de faire débarquer à Torbay un corps expéditionnaire de 20000 français et Irlandais qui marcheraient sur Londres. 4000 chevaux et leurs cavaliers (en 12 escadrons) regroupés au Havre de Grâce et 16000 fantassins (12 bataillons irlandais à Quinéville et 9 français à St Vaast la Hougue) rejoints le 8 avril par Jacques II et le Marquis de Bellefonds, que la Flotte de Tourville avait pour mission d'assurer le libre passage des partisans de Jacques II à travers la Manche pour le débarquement en Irlande.

La flotte royale est composée au début de 1692 de: 22 vaisseaux de 1er rang (80 à 100 canons et plus), 27 vaisseaux de 2è rang (60 à 80 canons), 46 vaisseaux de 3è rang (50 à 60 canons), 16 navires de 4è rang (40 à 50 canons) et 21 vaisseaux de 5è rang (20 à 36 canons), s'y ajoutent des frégates, galères, galiotes à mortiers, 192 brûlots etc… L'escadre d'Estrée de 15 bâtiment basée à Toulon reçoit l'ordre de regagner Brest. Il appareille le 21/03/1692, mais se trouve bloqué à Hyères 18 jours à cause de vents défavorable. Le 18/04/1692, il subit les assauts du temps lui causant de nombreux dégâts et la perte de 2 navires. Il doit donc faire escale à Lisbonne pour y effectuer des réparations. Il ne gagnera Brest que le 30, mai, le lendemain de la bataille.

L'escadre de Rochefort met à la mer 28 bâtiments mais la pénurie d'équipage ne permet au Marquis de Villette Murçay d'appareiller le 27/04/1692, qu' avec seulement 7 vaisseaux et 3 galères, dont les équipages ont été pris de navires d'une autre escadre contrainte elle, de rester à quai, il lui faut 3 semaines pour arriver à Brest d'où il repart avec seulement 5 vaisseaux et 3 brûlots. Il rejoindra Tourville 3 jours avant la bataille soit le 26 mai. L'escadre de Chateaurenault à Brest de 20 navires sera rendue inutilisable par manque d'équipages. Afin de compléter les équipage de l'escadre de Tourville, le personnel navigant se faisant rare, ils avaient dû être complétés par des mariniers de rivière, des douaniers, et des soldats soit des hommes qui n'ont jamais navigué.

Fonte: Wikipedia

continua . .


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