1807 - Sir John Duckworth at the Dardanells


 
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Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
by
William James
1807 British and Turkish Fleets 302

proceeding ; but the bombs were actually signalled by the commander-in-chief to open their fire. What effect that fire produced we cannot positively say ; but we believe it amounted to no more than the squadron suffered in passing these castles, and that was too slight to be noticed. At 9 h. 30 m. A.M. the leading ship of the British squadron arrived abreast of the inner pair of castles, which also opened a fire, within point-blank shot. This fire was returned by the ships of the squadron in succession as they passed, and doubtless with some effect.

The damage sustained by the British ships in passing the Dardanelles, for that object had now been attained, was comparatively trifling. Not a mast or yard had been shot away, and the only spars injured were the spritsail yard of the Royal-George, gaff of the Canopus, and maintopsail yard of the Standard. Nor was the loss of men by any means so great as might have been expected. The Canopus had three seamen killed, one petty-officer, eight seamen, and three marines wounded ; the Repulse, one petty-officer and two seamen wounded ; the Royal-George, two seamen and one marine killed, two petty officers, 22 seamen, and five marines wounded, total, three killed and 29 wounded ; rather out of the usual proportion. The Windsor-Castle had seven seamen wounded : the remaining ships, namely, the Standard, Meteor (who had the misfortune to burst her 13-inch mortar), Pompée, Thunderer, Lucifer, Endymion, and Active, no one hurt ; total, six killed and 51 wounded.

A little above the castle of Abydos, and stretching on towards Point Pesquies, or Nagara Burun, on the Asiatic side, lay the Turkish squadron, of which we have before spoken, consisting of one 64-gun ship, with a rear-admiral's flag, one 40-gun frigate, with the flag of the captain pasha, two frigates of 36, and one of 32 guns, four corvettes, one of 22, one of 18, and two of 10 guns, two armed brigs, and two gun-boats. One of the brigs, on observing the approach of the British, cut her cables, and made sail for Constantinople with the intelligence ; and yet no ship, as it appears, was detached in pursuit of her. With more gallantry than discretion, the Turkish ships fired at the British van, as soon as it arrived abreast of them. Having returned this fire, the Canopus, Repulse, Royal-George, and Windsor-Castle, stood on to an anchorage about three miles above the point ; while Sir Sidney, with the Pompée, Thunderer, Standard, and frigates, ran in and anchored within musket-shot of the Turkish squadron, as well as of a redoubt on the point, mounting 31 heavy guns.

At about 10 A.M., the firing commenced, and in half an hour the Turkish 64 ran on shore on the Asiatic side of the stream. In a few minutes afterwards the pasha's frigate, and all the other vessels, except one frigate, one corvette, and one gun-boat, did the same. The two latter were captured. The frigate cut her cables to escape from the heavy fire of the Pompée and

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