Product images of The Battle of the Saints, 12 April 1782
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The Battle of the Saints, 12 April 1782
By 1782 and towards the end of the War of American Independence the chief aspiration of the French in the West Indies was the capture of Jamaica. Sailing from Fort Royal, Martinique under the Comte de Grasse, their fleet was first engaged by the British West Indies Fleet under Admiral Sir George Brydges Rodney off Dominica on 9 April, and more conclusively off the group of islets to the north called the Saints on the 12 April. Rodney's victory proved a counterbalance to the loss of the British colonies in America, allowing Britain to secure superiority over the French in the Caribbean at the ensuing Treaty of Versailles which ended the war in 1783. As the opposing battle lines engaged on parallel courses, a slight change of wind enabled Rodney to sail through the French line and throw it into disorder. A general chase ensued and the French flagship, 'Ville de Paris', 104 guns, surrendered to Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Hood in 'Barfleur'.
- Image reference: BHC0444
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London