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The Saints

Battle Name : The Saints

Date(s) : 09 April 1782 - 12 April 1782

Part of : American War of Independence ,

Outcome : A victory for British Navy over French Navy

Type of battle : Land


Admiral Rodney, in command of the British West Indies fleet, 36 ships of the line, intercepted a French fleet, 33 ships of the line, escorting 150 merchant ships going to pick up troops from Haiti to attack Jamaica. The morning of the first day was one of exceptionally light winds. After a skirmish in which neither side got the better of the other the French withdrew. There then followed a chase and by 0740 hrs on the twelfth the fleets were again engaged. The battle is significant because whether by order or as a neccessary response to a wind shift the British fleet cut through the French line in two columns just as Nelson would order some thirteen years later at Trafalgar. The battle ended about 4pm when de Grasse order his ships to disengage. Shortly after the signal his flagship was taken and he was made prisoner, four other French ships were captured. Rodney won a significant victory and prevented the invasion of Jamaica but Rodney was later criticised for not following the battle up energetically.