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Saturday, February 04, 2006

The attack on the Smyrna Fleet in June 1693

A large fleet of merchant ships from England, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden sailed for the Mediterranean Sea, convoyed by a force commanded by Sir George Rooke. The fleet was commonly called the "Smyrna Fleet". The convoying force was a mixed fleet of English and Dutch warships:
Ship                 Guns Commander

Royal Oak              64 Gerard Elwes, flagship of
                          Vice-Admiral Sir George Rooke
Breda                  62 flagship of Rear-Admiral Thomas Hopsonn
Monmouth               58 Peter Pickard
Lumley Castle (M)      56 George Meester
Monck                  52 Stafford Fairborne
Lion                   52 Thomas Gardner
Loyal Merchant (M)     50 Philip Harris
Princess Anne (M)      48 William Wakelin
Tiger Prize            48 Robert Sincock
Woolwich               46 Christopher Myngs
Newcastle              46 John Baker
Chatham                44 John Leader
Smyrna Factor (M)      40 Edward Littleton
Sheerness              28 John Norris
Lark                   16 Peter Wotton
Admiraal Generaal      84 Rear-Admiral P. van der Goes
Gelderland             72 Andries Stilte
Zeeland                64 Philip Schrijver
Wapen van Medemblik    64 Juriaan van der Poel
Oost-Stellingwerf      52 ?
Nijmegen               50 ?
Schiedam               50 W. van Rechteren
Wapen van den Schermer 44 ?
Salamander, bomb vessel   ?
Suzanna, bomb vessel      ?
Dispatch, brigantine    2 Thomas Peacok
Speedwell, fireship     8 Thomas Simonds
Vulture, fireship       8 William Lindsey
Muscovia Merchant, storeship
                        Daniel Parsons
two Dutch fireships
The battle went badly for the Allies, as two Dutch ships were lost, the Wapen van Medemblik and the Zeeland, as well as 92 merchantships "taken, burnt, or sunk". The result could have been worse, if the French captains had followed Tourville's orders. The battle was fought near Lagos, Portugal and Cape St. Vincent. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700: Part I English Ships 1649-1702, 1966.
  2. William Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Vol.II, 1898.
  3. A. Vreugdenhil, Ships of the United Netherlands 1648-1702, 1938.

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