Action of 23 April 1794

The Action of 23 April 1794 took place between a British squadron of five frigates under the command of Sir John Borlase Warren and three frigates and a corvette under the command of Chef d'escadre F. Desgarceaux during the French Revolutionary Wars. Three of the French ships were captured.

Action of 23 April 1794
Part of the French Revolutionary Wars

Capture of Pomone, Engageante and Babet
by Thomas Whitcombe
Date23 April 1794
South-west of Guernsey
Result British victory
 France  Great Britain
Commanders and leaders
F. Desgareaux [1] Sir John Borlase Warren
3 frigates
1 corvette
5 frigates
Casualties and losses
2 frigates and the corvette captured.
80 and 100 killed and wounded
30 and 40 killed and wounded
30 to 40 men killed and wounded[2]
1 killed, 3 wounded
3 killed, 5 wounded
Melampus :
5 killed, 5 wounded[3]
1 killed, 12 wounded[2]

The battle

On 21 April the frigate Minerva sighted four distant ships in the English Channel. The next morning Minerva met Warren's squadron, and passed this information on.[3] Warren promptly set off in pursuit, and at dawn the next day, around 4 a.m., sighted three frigates and a corvette about seven or eight leagues (24.528 nautical miles) south-west of Guernsey. The French formed a line of battle, and Warren signalled his squadron to engage, with his own flagship Flora in the lead, supported by Arethusa. Taking advantage of the weather gage the British were able to force the French into a close action which lasted for nearly three hours, before the Pomone and Babet surrendered at around 11 a.m.[4]

The Engageante and Résolue attempted to escape, and Warren ordered Concorde, Melampus and Nymphe to pursue, as Flora was in no condition to do so. After an hour Concorde caught up with Engageante and attempted to disable her, intending to then attack the Résolue, leaving Engageante to Melampus and Nymphe, which were following.[4]

However, while Concorde was engaged with Engageante, the Résolue dropped back and laid herself across Concorde's bows, badly damaging her sails and rigging to the point where she was disabled. Having made hasty repairs Concorde came up again to re-engage the Engageante, which eventually surrendered at about 1.45 p.m. Résolue fired a few shots and then made off, pursued by Melampus and Nymphe, who chased her into Morlaix, before returning to assist Concorde which was towing the crippled Engageante to port.[4]




See also

Media related to Action of 23 April 1794 at Wikimedia Commons


  1. Rouvier
  2. "The late Sir Richard Strachan". The Naval and Military Magazine. 3: 256. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  3. Parkinson, C. Northcote (2008). "The Life of Edward Pellew, Viscount Exmouth". Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  4. "No. 13646". The London Gazette. 28 April 1794. pp. 377–379.

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