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The Battle of the Saintes Part 2: The French Account

Posted by Robert Bellamy, on September 17th, 2013

Abstract

A hitherto-unpublished document from the Massachusetts Historical Society (Boston, Massachusetts, U. S. A.) is reproduced in this article.  This is a British translation of a Frenchman, M. P. F. – perhaps a naval officer – writing an eyewitness account to his uncle of the actions of 9 and 12 April, 1782.  He was aware of the French-Spanish goal of invading Jamaica, and attributes the battle on 12 April to the French attempt to prevent British capture of a damaged French ship.  He recounts several exact timings of signals made by the French fleet on the day of the battle, and starts to describe specific damage to the British fleet when the incomplete letter ends.

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