Action - 1721 - January 28 - Blockade Breaker Calamity
Ships in Action:
Allies - Roger Berett - Valiant 3rd rate ship of the line C. S. Moradir - Valiant 3rd rate ship of the line Cpt. Peter - Valiant 3rd rate ship of the line William Sherrin - Dauntless 5th rate heavy frigate 2 Heavy frigates more
Spanish Squadron -
6 heavy to light frigates Hercules Heavy Hercules Sleek Capri MC Arrow
After tacking for weeks against the unrelenting wind blowing from dead east the heavy group around three valiants could be successfully gathered at the northern edge of the sea-blockade the spanish were had successfully established at Bridge Town. The plan was simple. Assemble an over-heavy group, run the blockade and then dominate the coast line around the island. As naval intelligence suggested the spaniards would have assembled a big force of up to three or more full squadrons but no heavy ships to enable them to attack a fully fledged battle line.
The Action Itself:
As soon as the squadron made it's way into the disputed seas the danger of the operation got apparent as there were lots of spanish sails clearly visible at the horizon. On course to the harbor we were engage by a skirmish group of two frigates. As the squadron tried to force the opponent to meet them broadside to broadside the main spanish fleet was able to assemble into an organized group. Ultimatively the skirmishers slipped beyond our grasp and we were immediately attacked by what seemed to be a massively out-gunned frigate pack.
So in the beginning spirits were high and the result quite positively envisioned. One could hear the gunners cheer 'round the fleet as the barrels ran out for the first time. Unfortunately there it was where glory ended. Lord Barett collided early on with a support frigate which caused the line to loose its cohesion a bit. Maybe it was the bad omen we should have taken to heart. As we lines crossed we could score critical hits on an enemy frigate 3rd in line, yet she was protected by the leading and tailing ship before our guns were able to bear once more. As our line tried to turn to lay broadside the enemy a privateer disrupted our maneuver, letting the following valiant collide with mine, entangling our spars, basically stopping us dead midturn. Meanwhile the frigate protection had run far ahead and was then put to a cold wet grave in a matter of seconds. That left the valiants sterns unprotected which made lord barett the first of three collosal victims in the battle. All the while we were still firing into the enemies but were unable to communicate targets as chaos, inexperience and a rush of panic made the signals cede. As the last victim in the battle i was demasted while attempting to flee before the wind. Unable to fend of the unending waves of boarders i was finally marched in imprisonment.
The british relieve fleet wiped ou totally without being able to inflict the smallest damage to the enemy shipment. The human losses on the british side counted over 2500 able seamen while the spanish losses were minimal. A bitter even shameful defeat showing us the lack of cooperation and lack of ability that is still not overcome in our ranks. As I recall the events there can nothing good be said about anyone having sailed in that expedition, we all were at our worst, forgetting every oh so basic rule, when facing the enemy. I take myself as example as i tried to outrun the speed rigged small frigates instead of tying to fight down at least one of the spanish with the other last remaining valiant. Also as an example peter's valiant always fired on a random target, whether that was due to lacking communication about which target to fire upon or another reason i cannot tell. Really we all did not shine out there but we might have learned a valuable lesson in humility and as to show us that we MUST train our pvp skills at the first opportunity.