PORTO FARINA 1655
Porto Farina, on the Tunisian coast of Africa, was the scene of this battle in 1655. An English fleet of twenty-four ships under the command of General-at-Sea Robert Blake wearing his flag in the George was dispatched to the Mediterranean to conduct reprisals against Barbary pirates for their attacks on English shipping.
The Bey of Tunis rejected Blake's demands for redress. Blake replied by bombarding the Bey's forts before locating nine Algerian ships in nearby Porto Farina. He led a force of fifteen ships, forced the entrance to the harbour, silenced more batteries and destroyed all nine Algerian ships before withdrawing.
Amity Andrew Bridgewater Foresight George
Kent Merlin Mermaid Newcastle Pearl
Success Unicorn Worcester
SANTA CRUZ 1657
War With Spain 1655-60
Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands was Robert Blake's swan song. He was the General-at-Sea commanding a powerful squadron of ships which was blockading the port of Cadiz when he received intelligence of the Spanish treasure fleet from the West Indies having arrived at Santa Cruz. His ships weighed anchor and twenty-three men-of-war set sail for the Canaries. On 20 April the fleet arrived off Santa Cruz, a strongly fortified harbour where sixteen galleons carrying Spanish treasure could be counted
Blake forced an entry into the harbour, under the well-positioned guns of the fortress and the galleons, in a finely executed operation. He then destroyed the Spanish fleet in a fierce battle, before extricating his own fleet in a fine display of seamanship. Sixty men had been killed, and the 64-gun Speaker was severely damaged and had to be towed home. Five Spanish ships had been taken and eleven more burnt or blown up. Rear-Admiral Richard Stayner who had led the offensive into the harbour received a knighthood.
Bridgewater Bristol Centurion Colchester
Convert Fairfax Foresight George
Hampshire Jersey Langport Lyme
Maidstone Nantwich Newbury Newcastle
Plymouth Speaker Swiftsure Unicorn.
Second Dutch War 1665-67
Lowestoft was one of the classic battles of sail, fought on an enormous scale between an English fleet of 109 ships commanded by James, Duke of York (the King's brother) and 103 ships of a Dutch fleet commanded by Admiral Opdam (or Obdam) Jacob vail Wassenaer, off the Suffolk coast about 40 miles south-east of Lowestoft.
The Dutch fleet was marauding near the Dogger Bank at the end of May, capturing a convoy of twenty English merchant ships, when James, Duke of York received intelligence of the enemy activity. James, in his flagship the Royal Charles (80), led the English fleet in weighing anchor from the Gunfleet and proceeding to Southwold Bay. James had with him, commanding two of the enormous squadrons, the Earl of Sandwich (Montagu) and Prince Rupert, two of the famous generals-at-sea.
Two days of manoeuvring these vast fleets preceded the battle, which was joined at 4 am on 3 June, each fleet passing the other on opposite tacks, each ship engaging as the enemy ships came into range. Soon the battle had degenerated into a melee on a grand scale.
In the centre the two flagships Royal Charles and Eendracht (76), fought a bitter battle, the latter just failing in an attempt to board James's ship
At one stage a chain shot killed many officers and men alongside James, who was spattered with their blood. A chronicler (probably James's flag captain Sir William Penn) wrote: "At 12 came A shot from Opdam yt killed ye Earl of Falmouth [Charles Berkeley] Lord Musgrave [Muskerry] and Mr Boyle [younger son of the Earl of Burlington]."
Eendracht then received a shot in her powder room and exploded with devastating force. Only five of her complement of many hundreds were rescued. With the death of Wassenaer, Vice-Admiral Jan Evertsen took command. Another demoralizing blow to the Dutch was the death of Vice-Admiral Kortenaer aboard the Groot Hollandia.
The English gradually gained the upper hand and the Dutch began to give way. Ships fouled each other, and no fewer than seven Dutch ships were lost by fire in this way.
With great skill Evertsen and Cornelis Tromp marshalled the Dutch fleet into a controlled withdrawal towards the Texel and Maas estuary ,which was reached by the late evening. They had lost thirty-two ships, only nine of which were taken as prizes; their casualties amounted to about 4,000 killed and 2,000 taken prisoner.
The English losses were amazingly light by comparison. The Charity, captured early in the battle, was the only ship lost. In terms of seamen, 283 were killed and 440 wounded.
Adventure Amity Anne Antelope
Assistance Assurance Bear Bendish
Blackamore Merchant Bonaventure Breda
Briar Bristol CastleFrigate Colchester
Constant Katherin Convertine Diamond
Dolphin Dover Dragon Drake
Dreadnought Dunkirk Eagle Fame
Forester Fountain Garland George
Gloucester GoldenLion Guernsey Guinea
Hambro'Merchant Hampshire HappyReturn
Henrietta Henry Horseman Hound
Jersey John and Abigail John and Katherine
John and Thomas Katherine Kent King
King Ferdinando Leopard Lion London
Loyal George Loyal Merchant Maderas Marmaduke
Martin Mary Maryland Merchant
Mary Rose Milford Monck Montagu
Newcastle Nightingale (?) Old James Oxford
Pembroke Plymouth Portland Portsmouth
Providence Princess Prudent Mary Rainbow
Reserve Resolution Return Revenge
Royal Charles Royal Exchange Royal James Royal Katherine
Royal Prince St Andrew St George Sapphire
Satisfaction Society Success Swallow
Swiftsure Tiger Triumph Uniform
Vanguard Yarmouth York Young Lion
ORFORDNESS 1666 (North Foreland)
Second Dutch War 1665-67
This battle was fought between an English fleet of eighty-nine ships and seventeen fireships jointly commanded by Prince Rupert and the Duke of Albemarle, and a smaller Dutch fleet of eighty-five ships, twenty fireships and ten smaller vessels, all under the command of Admiral De Ruyter -the Dutch Nelson. The result was a brilliant victory for the English, particularly important because it came so soon after the defeat in the Four Days' Battle.
The long-drawn-out battle began at about lOam on St James's Day, 26 July, in the North Sea about 40 miles south-east of Orfordness in Suffolk. After two hours' battling Admiral Cornelis Tromp's rear squadron sailed out of line, broke through the English line and became locked in combat with the English Blue Squadron, the rear squadron, under Admiral Sir Jeremy Smythe in Resolution(74).
Smythe gained the upper hand and this battle-within-a-battle became a pursuit of De Ruyter, progressing westward in a confused melee, while the main battle between the opposing vans and centres headed nearly due east. The Dutch van was in full flight by 3 pm and an hour later the center gave way too, three flag officers, including Jan Evertsen, being killed. But by then the English were too exhausted to take advantage.
Although retreating, De Ruyter handled the situation in a disciplined and masterly fashion, even after his own flagship had been severely damaged.
Sporadic skirmishing occurred throughout the night and action flared up briskly in the early daylight hours, but the Dutch continued their retreat to the shoals of their coastline. The battle and pursuit were over.
The Dutch losses were considerable: twenty ships were lost, with 4,000 men killed or drowned and 3,000 wounded. The only English ship lost was Smythe's Resolution, and the casualties in men killed and wounded were considerably lighter than the enemy's.
Abigail Adventure Advice Aleppine Amity
Anne Antelope Assistance Assurance *Baltimore
Blessing Bonaventure Breda Briar Bristol
Cambridge *Castle Centurion Charles
Charles Merchant Coronation Crown Defiance
Delph Diamond Dover Dragon Dreadnought
Dunkirk Eagle *East IndiaLondon
*East India Merchant Elizabeth Expedition Fairfax
Fanfan Foresight Fortune Fox *George
Gloucester Golden Phoenix Great Gift Greenwich
Guilder de Ruyter Guinea Hampshire
Happy Return Helverson Henrietta Henry
House of Sweeds Jersey *John and Thomas
*Katherine Kent Land of Promise Leopard
Lion Lizard *London Merchant
Loyal London *Loyal Merchant Marmaduke Mary
Mary Rose Mathius Monck Montagu Newcastle
Old James Paul Plymouth Portland Portsmouth
Princess Providence Rainbow Resolution Revenge
Richard Richard and Martha Royal Charles Royal James
Royal Katherine Royal Oak (Royal) Sovereign
Ruby Rupert St Andrew St George St Jacob
Samuel SanctaMaria Slothany Swallow Tiger
Triumph Turkey *Turkey Merchant Unicorn
Unity Vanguard Victory Virgin Warspite
Welcome Yarmouth York Zealand
Third Dutch War 1672-74
The Schooneveld is (or was) a long basin guarding the entrance to the ScheIdt estuary.
Two battles were fought here: the first between an Anglo-French fleet commanded by Prince Rupert, with Admiral Sir Edward Spragge as second-in-command, and a Dutch fleet commanded by the redoubtable Dutch Admiral De Ruyter.The composition of these two fleets was as set out:
Ships of the line 54 British 52
Frigates 11 12
Fireships 35 25
Flags Prince Rupert (van) Tromp (van)
d'Estrees (centre) De Ruyter (centre)
Spragge (rear) Banckerts (rear)
After days of reconnoitering and manoeuvring Prince Rupert determined to attack De Ruyter's fleet on 28 May, but the Dutchman emerged from the shoals with a favourable wind to meet the Allied combined fleet approaching in line abreast. For nine hours a fierce battle ensued, in the course of which De Ruyter broke the French line but had to fall back to help the hard-pressed Banckerts. Tromp (junior) also got into difficulties with the English van and was obliged to transfer his flag three times during the day.
The fleets disengaged during the evening and anchored within sight of each other. It was largely an inconclusive battle. The French lost two ships during the day, while the Dutch Deventer (70) was so badly damaged that she foundered during the night. But strategically few would argue with the Dutch who claimed it as a victory.
Advice Anne Assurance Bonaventure Cambridge
Charles Constant Warwick Crown Diamond
Dreadnought Dunkirk Edgar Falcon Foresight
French Ruby Gloucester Greenwich Hampshire
Happy Return Henrietta Henry Lion London
Mary Mary Rose Monck Newcastle Old Hames
Prince Princess Providence Rachel Rainbow
Resolution Revenge Royal Charles Royal Katherine Ruby
Rupert St Andrew St George St Michael
Samuel and Anne Sovereign Stavoreen Sweepstakes
Swiftshore Triumph Truelove Unicorn Victory
Warspite Welcome York
Third Dutch War 1672-74
The Texel was the scene of the last battle of the Third Dutch War with the same adversaries: Prince Rupert, Admiral De Ruyter, the Frenchman D'Estrees, Banckerts, Sir Edward Spragge, Tromp - they had all fought each other a couple of times earlier that summer of 1673. Once again the brilliant De Ruyter thwarted an AngloFrench invasion of the Netherlands.
The Allied fleet was commanded by Prince Rupert. It numbered ninety-two ships (the numbers are difficult to establish with certainty), plus thirty fireships. De Ruyter marshalled a fleet of about seventy-five ships of the line and frigates, plus about thirty fireships.
On the Allied side Prince Rupert commanded the centre, D'Estreesthe van and Spragge the rear division.
On the Dutch side, De Ruyter commanded the centre, Banckerts the van and Tromp the rear
Action was joined on 11 August when De Ruyter, having the weather gage, attacked the superior Allied force. The whole of D'Estrees's van division was separated from the main fleet by Banckerts' van and thrown into confusion, so that it gave no support to the English
Thus the brunt of De Ruyter's attack fell upon the English centre and rear divisions; both suffered hours of fierce fighting and dreadful damage.
Spragge and Tromp had a desperate duel. Each shifted his flag three times during the day. Sadly, Spragge was drowned when the boat in which he was transferring took a shot and sank
Eventually the two exhausted fleets drew apart, the English abandoning the attempt to land troops, and licking serious wounds. No ships had been lost but the damage suffered was enormous and the loss in men about 2,000..
De Ruyter's fleet also suffered serious damage, but no ships were lost and his casualties were about half the English.
Prince Rupert was quick to give as the reason for defeat the lack, 1) of French participation, but the real reason was the brilliance of De Ruyter's tactics and his skilful handling of huge fleets in action.
Advice Anne Assurance Blessing
Bonaventure Bristol Cambridge Charles
Crown Diamond Dolphin Dreadnought
Dunkirk Edgar Fairfax Falcon
Foresight FrenchRuby Friendship Gloucester
Guernsey Hampshire Happy Return Hard Bargain
Henrietta Henry Katherine Leopard
Lion Lizard London Mary
Mary Anne Monck Monmouth Newcastle
Nonsuch (?) Old James Pearl Plymouth
Portland Portsmouth Prince Princess
Prudent Mary Rainbow Resolution Roe
Rose Royal Charles Royal Katherine Ruby
Rupert St Andrew St George St Michael
Society Sovereign Stavoreen Success
Supply Swallow Sweepstakes Swiftsure
Triumph Truelove Unicorn Victory
Warspite Yarmouth York
(ACTION OFF CABRITA, CABARETA POINT, LEAKE'S SECOND RELIEF OF GIBRALTAR)
War of the Spanish Succession 1702-13
This action resulted from a French attempt to land troops for the recapture of Gibraltar. It was fought between a squadron of French ships of the line under the command of Commodore Baron de Pointis, and a similar squadron commanded by Vice-Admiral Sir John Leake.
The French squadron arrived in Gibraltar Bay, but a rising gale drove the French force to leeward towards Marbella.
The British squadron layoff Cabrita Point 9 miles south-west of Marbella. Leake had with him five ships of the line. At daybreak on 10 March Leake surprised de Pointis.
The British Admiral had every advantage and he pressed home his attack with speed and vigour. In a swift and skilful action the British took the 66-gun Ardent, the Marquis (66) and Arrogant (60). Two more of the line, the flagship Magnanime (74) and Lys (66), were driven ashore and burnt by their crews to avoid capture.
Leake had not only scored a remarkable victory but had saved Gibraltar from attack and had enhanced his already high reputation.
Antelope Bedford Canterbury Expedition
Greenwich(?) Hampton Court Lark Leopard
Newcastle Nottingham Pembroke Revenge
Swallow Tiger Warspite (List incomplete.)
Seven Years' War 1756-63
This was hardly a battle, more like a scrappy indecisive encounter, with some damage to both sides.
The French had a naval base at Pondicherry on the Coromandel coast of SE India, and the British had one at nearby Cuddalore, south of Madras fronting on to the Bay of Bengal. The French Admiral Comte D'Ache in his flagship Zodiaque (74) and Vice Admiral Pocock in his flagship Yarmouth (64) commanded the respective light squadrons Each sighted.the other at about 9 am as Pocock was preparing to leave Port St David Roads. It was afternoon when contact was made and each squadron of ships were in line. Seven British and nine French (one was a 36 gun frigate) opposed each other. Away to leeward the French had another 74 and a frigate.
Pocock opened fire at a range of "half a musket shot" of the flagship. The British rear failed to give good support and later three captains were court-martialled. The French line gave way but Pocock's ships were unable to catch the fleeing ships.
The inconclusive nature of this encounter was attributed to the strict adherence to the Fighting Instructions.
Cumberland Elizabeth Newcastle
Protector Queensborough Salisbury
Tiger Weymouth Yarmouth
Seven Years' War 1756-63
Three months after the indecisive encounter off Cuddalore in SE India (see SADRAS 1758), another inconclusive action occurred between a British squadron commanded by Vice-Admiral George Pocock and a French squadron commanded by Admiral Comte D' Ache off nearby Negapatam. It could well have been named Pocock's Pursuit.
Pocock, in his flagship Yarmouth (64), and with another six of the line, chased the Comte's nine of the line for several days before the Frenchmen were finally brought to action at noon on 3 August.
A shot from Yarmouth carried away Zodiaque's (74) wheel which caused the French flagship to collide with the Duc d'Orleans. Both survived the experience. D' Ache managed to disentangle, and later to disengage his ships. Under cover of darkness he thereupon retired to the north.
No ships had been sunk, but casualties on both sides were heavy.
Cumberland Elizabeth Newcastle Protector
Queensborough Salisbury Tiger Yarmouth
PORTO NOVO 1759
Seven Years' War 1756-63
The scene of this battle was 25 miles south-east of Porto Novo on the Coromandel coast of India near Cuddalore in a position 110 03' N 79° 45' E. It was fought between a squadron of ten British ships commanded by Vice-Admiral George Pocock with his flag in Yarmouth and the French Commodore D'Ache in Zodiaque with eleven ships.
This was the third battle in these waters and was in itself inconclusive, but the final outcome was to Britain's advantage. The nine ships of the line and Queenborough, the single frigate, were awarded the battle honour.
Cumberland Elizabeth Grafton Newcastle
Queenborough Salisbury Sunderland Tiger
World WarII 1939-45
Admiral Sir James Somerville, commanding Force H in the Mediterranean, was entrusted with the passage of a convoy of three.important merchant ships carrying tanks and other mechanical transport to the Middle East. With his flag in Renown (32,000 tons, 6 x 15") he had in company Ark Royal (22,000 tons, 36 aircraft), two cruisers and nine destroyers. Four corvettes gave close escort to the merchantmen.
Off Cape Spartivento an Italian squadron commanded by Admiral Campioni was encountered. It comprised the two battleships Vittorio Veneto (35,000 tons, 9 x 15") and Guilio Cesar (23,622 tons, lOx 12.6"), seven heavy cruisers and sixteen destroyers.
An hour's engagement in which the heavy cruiser Berwick (9,750 tons, 8 x 8") and the Italian destroyer Lanciere (1,620 tons, 4 x ., 4.7") were damaged proved inconclusive on both sides and Campioni broke away.
Because Somerville failed to pursue, a Board ", of Enquiry arrived in Gibraltar even before Somerville had returned to port to question the correctness of putting the safety of the convoy as the prime consideration. Cunningham, C-in-C of the Mediterranean Fleet, objected at this iniquitous action by the' Admiralty. The Board's finding was totally in favour of Somerville.
:Ark Royal Berwick Coventry Defender Despatch
Diamond Duncan Encounter Faulknor Firedrake
Forester Fury Gallant Gloxinia Greyhound
Hereward Hotspur Hyacinth Jaguar Kelvin
Manchester Newcastle Peony Ramillies Renown
Salvia Sheffield Southampton Vidette Wishart
FAA SQuadrons: 700,800,808,810,818,820
BURMA 1944-45 October
May -August 1945
World WarII 1939-45
This Campaign Honour dates from 1944, more than two years after the initial Japanese assault on the country. The occupation had been effected with the speed and brutality associated with Japan's entry into the war. British troops were driven back to the Indian border and the Japanese rested on the Chindwin.
December 1943 saw a second Allied campaign launched on the Arakan, and the Japanese launched an assault on India, investing Kohima and Imphal and suffering horrendous casualties, estimated at 65,000.
The Arakan campaign down the coast was decisive. Ramree Island was assaulted in January 1945. The Royal Navy and Royal Indian Navy gave full support. Guns sited in caves overlooking the landing beaches were silenced by Queen Elizabeth (32,700 tons, 8 x 15") supported by the cruiser Phoebe (5,450 tons, 10 x 5.25") and the carrier Ameer (11,420 tons, 24 aircraft): the bombardment was the heaviest of the campaign. The battleship fired 69 15" rounds.
Ramree became a springboard for the advance on Rangoon which was captured in early May 1945, within days of peace being declared in Europe. As if to mark the occasion the monsoon rains flooded the country. In three months the Japanese in Burma were totally destroyed.
Campaign Honours: 1944-5:
Ameer Barpeta Barracuda
Cauvery Eskimo Flamingo Haitan
Jumna Kathiawar Kedah Kenyo
Kistna Konkan Llanstephan Castle
Napier Narbada Nepal Newcastle
Nguva Nigeria Norman Nubian
Paladin Pathfinder Phoebe Queen Elizabeth
Raider Rapid Redpole Rocket
Roebuck Shoreham Spey Teviot
FAA SQuadron: 815 ~
KOREA 1950 –51
Korean War 1950-53
The area covered by this campaign award is the whole of the Korean coast.
North Korean forces launched an assault on South Korean positions at the end of June 1950, precipitating a frustrating three-year war. The attack was condemned by the United Nations, and fifteen member states, led by the USA and including units of the Royal Navy, went to South Korea's aid. The Commonwealth Task Force included RAN, RNZN and Canadian units as well as RN: four store ships, twelve fleet oilers and the hospital ship Maine were included. In a near-perfect amphibious operation at Inchon an invasion force was thrown ashore covered by four carriers, two escort carriers, seven cruisers, thirty-four destroyers and a great number of frigates and minesweepers. North Korea had no navy and was thus vulnerable to sea-borne attacks. These landings and subsequently the Inchon evacuation were the two main features of the naval war. The objective of the landings was to capture the capital, Seoul, and cut lines of supply. In 1950 70,000 men of the US 10th Corps were landed from 550 landing craft. British naval support was given by the cruisers Jamaica and Kenya (both 8,000 tons, 12 x 6"). During the operation Jamaica fired 1,290 rounds of 6" and 393 rounds of 4": Kenya fired 1,242 rounds of 6" and 205 rounds of 4". Jamaica also has the distinction of being the first UN ship to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Red China's involvement in the Korea War took place on 31 December 1950 and the war dragged on till an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. British ships took part in the evacuation -Kenya and Ceylon and the two Australian destroyers Bataan and Warramunga.
Alacrity Alert Amethyst Anzac
Athabaskan Bataan Belfast Birmingham
Black Swan Cardigan Bay Cayuga Ceylon
Charity Cockade Comus Concord
Condamine Consort Constance Cossack
Crane Crusader Culgoa Glory
Haida Hart Hawea Huron
Iroquois Jamaica Kaniere Kenya
Modeste Morecambe Bay Mounts Bay Murchison
Newcastle Nootka Ocean Opossum
Putaki St Bride's Bay Shoalhaven Sioux
Sparrow Sydney Taupo Telemachus
Theseus Tobruk Triumph Tutira
Tyne Unicorn Warramunga Whitesand Bay
Royal Fleet Auxiliaries: Wave Premier Wave Prince
FAA Squadrons: 800,801,802, 804,805,807,808,810,812,817, 821, 825, 827, 898.