Battle of Flamborough Head 23 September 1779


Map Code: Ax00576

The Battle of Flamborough Head was a naval battle between Continental (French-American) warships and the British in the Atlantic, Irish and North Seas between 21– 23 September 1779. The French, under the Treaty of Alliance, were fighting on behalf of the Americans in their War of Independence. The Franco-Spanish fleet were under French command and were there to divert British military assets away from their war theatres. Admiral Hardy, commander of the British Fleet, had received intelligence of the location of the American allied forces and withdrew his ships to the English Channel, becoming engaged in the Battle of Ushant. The American fleet included four vessels under Captain Paul Jones. Jones’s capture of HMS Serapis, which was leading a Baltic convoy of 41 ships, caused the British to surrender. One of Jones’s fleet, Bonhomme Richard caught fire and sunk. Despite heavy losses on both sides, it was a Franco-American victory.

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