HMS Achille (1798)
|Ordered:||10 June 1795|
|Laid down:||October 1795|
|Launched:||16 April 1798|
|General characteristics |
|Class & type:||Pompée-class ship of the line|
|Length:||182 ft 2 in (55.52 m) (gundeck)|
|Beam:||49 ft (15 m)|
|Depth of hold:||21 ft (6.4 m)|
|Sail plan:||Full-rigged ship|
HMS Achille[Note 1] was a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was built by Cleverley Bros., a private shipyard at Gravesend, and launched on 16 April 1798. Her design was based on the lines of the captured French ship Pompée. She was the fourth Royal Navy ship to be named after the Greek hero Achilles in the French style.
Achille at Trafalgar
On 21 October 1805, under the command of Captain Richard King, Achille was in Admiral Collingwood's column at the Battle of Trafalgar, seventh in the line, between Colossus and Revenge. Achille opened fire on the rear of the French and Spanish fleet at 12.15, engaging the Montanes of 74 guns, for fifteen minutes, before sailing on to meet the Argonauta of 80 guns, which had already been battling with other British ships. After hours of fierce fighting, Argonauta fell silent and closed her gunports, but before Achille could accept her surrender, her French namesake Achille of 74 guns, moved in to engage the British ship. After exchanging broadsides, the French ship sailed on and was replaced on the starboard side by the 74-gun French ship Berwick, and for the next hour and a quarter she lay close alongside Achille, receiving a pounding that eventually forced her to surrender with over 250 casualties - almost half her crew. Achille took possession, and transferred some of her crew back on board as prisoners. Achille suffered 13 killed and 59 wounded in the battle, in stark comparison to the heavy losses she inflicted on her French and Spanish adversaries.[Note 2]
- Lavery, Ships of the Line vol.1, p.185.
- Adkin, The Trafalgar Companion, p.333
- Adkin, The Trafalgar Companion, pp.522-523
- The London Gazette: . 3 October 1812.
- Mark Adkin; Clive Farmer (2005). The Trafalgar companion: a guide to history's most famous sea battle and the life of Admiral Lord Nelson. Aurum. ISBN 978-1-84513-018-3. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Lavery, Brian (2003) The Ship of the Line - Volume 1: The development of the battlefleet 1650-1850. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-252-8.