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"Fortune favours the Brave the merchantman Fortune..." Topic


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147 hits since 18 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2019 9:19 p.m. PST

…. against a French privateer, 1811

"Dramatic encounters between warships, whether in "single ship" frigate actions, or in the less common major fleet actions such as the Nile in 1798 and Trafalgar in 1805, are the images that first come to mind when visualising war at sea in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars period. A much more numerous class of action, though on a smaller individual scale, was represented by the lonely battles fought by armed trading vessels against privateers. As the name indicates these were privately-owned vessels which were licensed by their government to wage war on enemy trade and to share in the captured spoils. A recent blog, "Besting a French Privateer in 1807" (Click here if you have not already read it) gives a taste of just how vicious such conflicts could be. Another example was the battle fought by the British-owned merchantman Fortune against another French privateer in 1811. It is her story that follows.

The Fortune, commanded by a Captain Hodgson, carried eight small long-guns and two swivels. Though described in a near contemporary account as "ship" (i.e. a square-rigged vessel with three masts) the fact that her crew totalled nineteen men indicated that she was much smaller, perhaps a brig or even a schooner…."
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