Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Monday, 29 January 2007


It is 1794. The French people are suffering much distress from the bad harvest of the previous year, and a great convoy of 117 merchant ships laden with corn is expected from America. This convoy is critical as the new Republican government faces unrest if it doesn't arrive.
On the 2nd May, the British force designed to intercept the convoy, under Admiral Lord Howe, then in command of the channel fleet, sailed from Spithead. The force under Lord Howe's immediate command was 26 sail of the line and 5 frigates.
On 5th May Lord Howe was off Ushant and sent frigates to reconnoitre the harbour of Brest. They reported that the main French fleet, under the command of Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, 26 sail of the line, was lying at anchor in the roads. Howe then sailed to the latitude on which the convoy was likely to be met with, knowing that if the French admiral came out it would be to meet the convoy and cover them from attack. To seek the convoy was therefore the most sure way of forcing Villaret-Joyeuse to action.
On 16th May Villaret-Joyeuse sailed with his whole force. On 17th May Villaret-Joyeuse's force passed close to the British fleet, unseen in a fog. Lord Howe returned to Ushant and again reconnoitred Brest, revealing Villaret-Joyeuse's departure.
On 21st May Lord Howe learnt the position and course of the French fleet as of the 19th. He decided to pursue it. It was not till the 28th of May at 6.30 am that the British fleet caught sight of the enemy. The battle is about to begin.

This is the next large Napoleonic naval battle to be fought as a Sunday all day game. It is to be fought on February 25th. Note that this is the same date as Cavalier.Please let Jim know asap if you want to join in.
Jim Cornish

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