Invasion of Martinique (1759)

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For other attempts to capture the island, see Battle of Martinique.
Invasion of Martinique
Part of the Seven Years' War
Date 16–19 January 1759
Location Martinique, West Indies
Result French victory
 Great Britain  France
Commanders and leaders
Peregrine Hopson
John Barrington
John Moore
Francis V of Beauharnais
4,500-5000 regulars
10 ships of the line
250 regulars
several thousand militia
1 damaged ship of the line

A British invasion of Martinique took place in January 1759 when a large amphibious force under Peregrine Hopson landed on the French-held island of Martinique and unsuccessfully tried to capture it during the Seven Years' War.[1] Cannon fire from the British fleet was ineffective against the fortress at Fort-Royal due to its location high on the cliffs, and there were no suitable landing places nearby. Unknown to the British commanders, French governor Francis de Beauharnais had not been resupplied for some months, and even a brief siege would have led to the fort's capitulation. However, Moore and Hopson decided instead to investigate the possibility of attacking Martinique's main commercial port, Saint-Pierre. After a desultory naval bombardment on 19 January that again had little effect on the port's defenses, they withdrew, and decided instead to attack Guadeloupe, home to a significant body of French privateers.[2]

The expedition was successful at Guadeloupe, which surrendered to them in May 1759.[3]

In 1762 a British force captured Martinique.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anderson p.312–313
  2. ^ Dull, pp. 138–139
  3. ^ Simms p.451