The Battle of The Saintes, 12 April 1782

The Saintes was the last major action of the American Revolutionary War, fought near the islets called the Iles des Saintes, just north of Dominica in the West Indies. Admiral Sir George Rodney's victory over the French fleet of the Comte de Grasse foiled the latter's attempt to invade Jamaica and enabled Britain to secure her position in the West Indies by the treaty that ended the war in 1783, even though she lost her American colonies. The battle is also famous as the point of origin of the tactic of 'breaking the line', which was achieved with great, albeit accidental, effect by Rodney in seizing an advantage created by a shift of wind as the fleets began the action. The principal subject here is the clash of flagships of the two commanders-in-chief.

Image courtesy of Royal Museums Greenwich

Jamaica | Caribbean


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by Stephen Luscombe