Battle of Guadeloupe (1779)

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Battle of Guadeloupe
Part of the Anglo-French War
Date 21–22 December 1779
Location Off Guadeloupe, West Indies
Result British victory[1]
 Great Britain  France
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Great Britain Joshua Rowley Kingdom of France unknown
4 Ships of the line 3 Frigates
Casualties and losses
Light 3 frigates captured[2]

The Battle of Guadeloupe or the Action of 21–22 December 1779 was a naval engagement that took place off the French island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean during the Anglo-French War between three Royal Navy ships and three French Navy frigates.[3] The Royal Navy under Joshua Rowley sighted and promptly chased the French frigates, all of which were captured after a brief fight.[4]


On 21 December 1779, HMS Magnificent along with the 74-gun ships of the line HMS Suffolk, HMS Vengeance, and the 64-gun HMS Stirling Castle under Rear-Admiral Joshua Rowley, sighted the 32-gun French frigates Fortunée and Blanche and the 28-gun Elise, off the French island of Guadeloupe.[2] The French ships had been part of the Comte d Estaing's fleet.[5]

The engagement that followed was one sided - the French ships were in disorder; their crews were weak; and they could not escape the vastly superior British force.[3] The Blanche was defeated and captured on the evening of 21 December. The Fortunée attempted to escape by throwing her quarter-deck guns overboard, but was captured on the early morning of 22 December, an hour before the Elise had struck.[5]

The Blanche and Fortunée were thus added to the British navy.[5]

Rowley then led his squadron to capture a large French convoy, from Marseilles, off Martinique.[2]


  1. Marley p. 325
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Clarke, James Stanier & McArthur, John, Naval Chronicle Vol. 4 p.186
  3. 3.0 3.1 Clowes p 47
  4. Naval Chronicle Vol. 21 p.179
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Allen, Joseph (1852). Battles of the British Navy, Volume 1. H.G. Bohn. p. 296.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


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