Battle of Pondicherry

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Battle of Pondicherry
Part of the Seven Years' War
Карта-схема к статье «Порто-Ново». Военная энциклопедия Сытина (Санкт-Петербург, 1911-1915).jpg
Battle of Pondicherry
Date10 September 1759
Location
Off Pondicherry (Puducherry), Indian Ocean
Result Indecisive
Belligerents
 Great Britain  France
Commanders and leaders
George Pocock Comte d'Aché
Strength
9 ships of the line
1 frigate
11 ships of the line
2 frigates
Casualties and losses
184 killed
385 wounded
1,500 killed or wounded

The Battle of Pondicherry was a naval battle between a British squadron under Vice-Admiral George Pocock and French squadron under Comte d'Aché on 10 September 1759 off the Carnatic coast of India near Pondicherry during the Seven Years' War. [1] Pocock attempted to intercept d'Aché, whose squadron was carrying reinforcements and money for the French forces in Pondicherry. The battle was indecisive, but d'Aché successfully completed his mission when his fleet arrived in Pondicherry on 15 September. However, these forces were insufficient to reverse the declining French situation in the Carnatic.[2]

Aftermath[edit]

Although the battle was indecisive, d'Aché's squadron survived the engagement without losing any ships and continued on to Pondicherry, reaching the city on 15 September. The battle could therefore be considered a tactical French victory, as the French squadron managed to achieve its objective of resupplying the French successfully. However, although the convoy had delivered a large amount of money to fund the French war effort, the number of troops that the squadron brought were not enough to effectively challenge Britain's growing pre-eminence on the subcontinent. This was compounded by the French governor-general Comte de Lally's strong antipathy towards the Indian people, and his refusal to use sepoys to augment his forces as the British had.

By 1759, the war in India had shifted in Britain's favour but the outcome of the war was by no means decided. However, as the war continued, Britain's strength on the subcontinent grew thanks to the arrival of significant numbers of reinforcements coupled with the recruitment of local sepoys. From 1760 onwards, Britain would begin to reconquer territories that had been lost in the Carnatic earlier in the war, and laid siege to Pondicherry by March. Despite a lengthy and brave defence, the city fell on 15 January 1761 and remained under British control until the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763, when the city was returned to France.

Order of battle[edit]

British[edit]

Ship Guns Commander Notes Ref.
HMS Elizabeth 64 Captain Richard Tiddeman [3]
HMS Newcastle 50 Captain Colin Michie 
HMS Tiger 60 Captain William Brereton
HMS Grafton 68 Rear-Admiral Charles Steevens
Captain Richard Kempenfelt
HMS Yarmouth 66 Vice-Admiral George Pocock
Captain John Harrison
HMS Cumberland 58 Captain John Stukley Somerset Reduced from 66 guns to ease her
HMS Salisbury 50 Captain Digby Dent
HMS Sunderland 60 Captain James Colville
HMS Weymouth 60 Captain Sir William Baird
HMS Queenborough 24 Captain Robert Kirk Not in line of battle

French[edit]

Ship Guns Commander Notes Ref.
Actif 64 Captain Michel-Joseph Froger de l'Éguille [fr] [3]
Minotaure 74 Captain Anne Marie Charles de la Bourdonnaye
Duc d'Orlèans 60 Captain Jean-François de Surville
Saint Louis 60
Vengeur 64 Captain Jean Baptiste Christy de La Pallière
Zodiaque 74 Lieutenant-General Anne Antoine, Comte d'Aché
Captain Jacques-Antoine de Gotho 
Comte de Provence 74 Captain Jean-Jacques de La Chaise
Duc de Bourgogne 60 Captain René Joseph Bouvet de Précourt
Illustre 64 Captain Jacques de Ruis-Embito
Fortune 64
Centaure 70 Captain Robert René Louis de Surville 
Sylphide 36 Captain François-Aymar de Monteil Not in line of battle
Diligente 24 Captain Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Heritage History - List of Battles Archived July 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved 30 September 2008
  2. ^ Kronoskaf.com - Battle of Pondichéry, retrieved 21 May 2011
  3. ^ a b Clowes (1898), p. 198.

References[edit]

  • Clowes, William Laird (1898). The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present. Vol. 3. London: Sampson Low, Marston and company.

Coordinates: 11°56′N 79°50′E / 11.933°N 79.833°E / 11.933; 79.833