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Naval Battles: 1600-1800

From pirates roaming the Caribbean to the development of the line of battle and professional navies, the period 1600-1800 saw revolutionary changes in how war was conducted at sea. These resources will aid in better understanding this dynamic time.

Second Anglo-Dutch War: Raid on the Medway
The Raid on the Medway occurred in 1667, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Penetrating the Thames estuary, Dutch ships attacked up the River Medway as far as Chatham, capturing or destroying several English ships. One of the worst naval defeats ever inflicted on the British, the raid led to a quick peace in favor of the Dutch.

Seven Years' War: Battle of Quiberon Bay
The Battle of Quiberon Bay was fought November 20, 1759, during the Seven Years' War. Attacking the French fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay, Admiral Sir Edward Hawke captured or destroyed six enemy ships of the line and scattered the remainder. The Battle of Quiberon Bay was part of the Annus Mirabilis of 1759.

American Revolution: Battle of Machias
The Battle of Machias was fought June 11-12, 1775, during the American Revolution. The first naval battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Machias saw colonial forces attack HMS Margaretta. After a brief engagement, the Americans took the ship.

American Revolution: Battle of Valcour Island
The Battle of Valcour Island was fought October 11, 1776, during the American Revolution. Advancing down Lake Champlain, a British naval force encountered a small American fleet behind Valcour Island. Though the British beat the American fleet, the encounter at Valcour Island delayed their advance for a year.

Meeting at the Battle of Flamborough Head, England, Commodore John Paul...
Meeting off Flamborough Head, England, Commodore John Paul Jones, aboard Bonhomme Richard, and his squadron captured the British warships HMS Serapis and HMS Countess of Scarborough. The battle was a major embarrassment for the Royal Navy and was one of the most famous American naval triumphs of the war.

American Revolution: Battle of the Chesapeake
Fought on September 5, 1781, the Battle of the Chesapeake was fought between the British and French off the Virginia Capes. While tactically inconclusive, the Battle of the Chesapeake was a strategic victory for the French and their American colonial allies as it prevented the relief of Gen. Cornwallis' besieged army at Yorktown.

American Revolution: Battle of the Saintes
The Battle of the Saintes was fought April 9-12, 1782 during the American Revolution. The Battle of the Saintes saw a French fleet under Comte De Grasse clash with a British force led by Admiral Sir George Rodney. In the resulting battle, the British won a decisive victory.

Royal Navy: Mutiny on the Bounty
The Mutiny on the Bounty took place April 28, 1789, in the Pacific Ocean. Several members of HMS Bounty's crew, led by Fletcher Christian, mutinied against Lt. William Bligh after harsh treatment and desiring to remain in the South Seas. While Bligh ultimately returned home, Bounty and several of the mutineers settled on Pitcairn Island.

Russo-Swedish War: Battle of Svensksund
Fought in 1790, the Battle of Svensksund was one of the largest naval battles ever contested in the Baltic. Fought between Sweden and Russia, the Battle of Svensksund was one of the greatest victories in Swedish naval history and was the climax of the Russo-Swedish War.

The Quasi-War: America's First Conflict
The Quasi-War was an undeclared maritime conflict between the United States and France. Fought between 1798-1800, the Quasi-War was the result of disagreements regarding the United States' neutrality during the wars of the French Revolution.

Wars of the French Revolution: Glorious First of June
The Glorious First of June was a naval battle fought on June 1, 1794, during the Wars of the French Revolution. Seeking to attack a grain convoy, Adm. Lord Howe engaged the French fleet in a battle dubbed the Glorious First of June. In the fighting, Howe captured or destroyed seven French ships.

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