Capture of San Pietro and Sant'Antioco

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Assault on Sardinia
Part of the French Revolutionary Wars
Date May 25, 1793
Location Sardinia
Result Spanish victory
Belligerents
Spain Spain France France
Commanders and leaders
Francisco de Borja y Poyo unknown  (POW)
Strength
24 ships of the line
4 frigates
2 frigates
Casualties and losses
unknown about 1400 prisoners captured
1 frigate captured
1 frigate burnt

Early in 1793, during the War of the First Coalition, the French Navy made a concerted assault on the island of Sardinia, then a possession of the House of Savoy.

A French fleet bombarded the chief city on the island, Cagliari, but was repelled by the locals and withdrew.[1] On quitting Cagliari, the French entered the gulf of Palmas and took the islands of San Pietro and Sant'Antioco, where they established garrisons. As a diversion, a second fleet, carrying a division from Corsica, anchored at Le Tigge off the island of La Maddalena on Sardinia's northern coast on 22 February. The French attempted to take the Maddalena archipelago, but though it obtained partial success, the spirited resistance of the locals drove them off with the loss of 200 men, their artillery and stores. The incident, though trifling in itself, is remarkable from this having been the scene of the first actual service of Napoleon Bonaparte. Without endeavouring more, the fleet stationed at San Pietro, claiming the uncertain situation at home, then sailed for Toulon.

The two islets remained in the possession of the French until the arrival of a Spanish fleet of twenty-four ships of the line on 25 May, at the sight of which the French garrison, consisting of about 800 men, surrendered.[1] The two frigates the French had left behind to protect the garrison were both lost: the Helène, carrying thirty-six cannons, was taken whilst endeavouring to make her escape, and the other, the Richmond, was set fire and scuttled by her crew as part of the terms of surrender.[1] The total number of French prisoners grew to 1,300.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Smyth, 57.

Bibliography[edit]

Coordinates: 39°08′44″N 8°18′21″E / 39.14556°N 8.30583°E / 39.14556; 8.30583