Firedrake (12)

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Navies >> British Navy >> Firedrake (12)

Origin and History

The bomb ketch was built at Blackwall by Philip Perry and launched in 1741.

During the Seven Years' War, the bomb ketch was under the command of:

  • from October 1758 to at least July 1759: commander James Orrok

The bomb ketch was sold on March 31 1763.

Service during the War

In August 1757, the bomb ketch joined the fleet assembling at Spithead under the command of sir Edward Hawke. On September 8, this fleet sailed. It escorted 45 transports carrying more then 7,000 foot for an expedition against an undisclosed French port of the Atlantic coast. The raid was finally intended against Rochefort. On September 23, the bomb ketch was part of the squadron who bombarded the works on the little island of Aix at the mouth of the river leading up to Rochefort. In half an hour the position surrendered. Despite this success the raid on Rochefort failed lamentably. On October 6, the expeditionary force, returned home with no tangible results.

In October 1758, the fireship was part of commodore Augustus Keppel's squadron assigned to the expedition against Gorée in Sénégal. On October 26, the fleet embarked some troops at Kinsale in Ireland and sailed off on November 11. On December 29, the squadron bombarded Gorée, soon silencing the French batteries and forcing the town to surrender. The squadron then escorted the British troops to Sénégal where they would take station and returned to Great Britain.

On July 2 1759, the bomb was part of the squadron of rear-admiral George Brydges Rodney who sailed from St. Helen's to destroy the flat-bottomed boats and the supplies which had been collected at Le Havre for the projected invasion of England. On July 4 at sunrise, Rodney, with his 6 bomb ketches stationed in the channel leading to Harfleur, began the bombardment of Le Havre and of the flat-bottomed boats. The bombardment lasted for 52 hours until July 6 at 8:00 AM and 1,900 shells and 1,150 carcasses were fired on the town. Le Havre burnt furiously for 6 hours despite the continual efforts of several hundred men to extinguish the fire. This attack totally destroyed any French preparations in this town for the invasion of England. Rodney, with some of his frigates, remained off the port of Le Havre for the rest of the year, and captured numerous prizes.

To do: campaigns from 1760 to 1763

Characteristics

Technical specifications
Guns 12
Main deck ???
Crew ???
Length ???
Width ???
Depth ???
Displacement ???

References

Anonymous, A Complete History of the Present War, from its Commencement in 1756, to the End of the Campaign, 1760, London, 1761, pp. 227-232

Blasco, Manuel, British 2nd Rates, 3 Decks Wiki

Clowes, Wm. Laird, The Royal Navy – A History from the Earliest Time to the Present, Vol. III, Sampson Low, Marston and Company, London: 1898, p. 171-172

Phillip, Michael, Ships of the Old Navy

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.