|Naval history of Great Britain
||Sir Robert Calder's Action
come round on the starboard tack. Precisely as the Hero tacked to starboard, the Windsor-Castle, the sixth British ship from the van (the majority of the ships now with royals and courses set), tacked to port. We have chosen this moment for representing in a diagram the position of the two fleets; or rather, of the van and rear of the combined, and of the ten leading ships of the British fleet.
At 5 h. 45 m. P.M. the Ajax tacked astern of the Hero; but, unfortunately for the success of Captain Gardner's gallant manoeuvre the Ajax put her helm up, and bore away to speak the admiral. On passing within hail of the Prince-of-Wales, Captain Brown informed Sir Robert Calder of the change of position in the two vans. The Ajax then wore, and fell into the line astern of the Glory ; thus making herself, instead of the second, the twelfth
ship from the van. At 5 h. 50 m. P.M., by which time the five ships in line between the Ajax and Prince-of-Wales had successively tacked, the latter, as she probably would have done had the Ajax followed her gallant leader into the thick of the enemy's fire, hoisting the signal to tack in succession, tacked also, and, in a quarter of an hour or 20 minutes, joined in the cannonade now becoming general and furious. By 6 P.M. all the ships in the British line, except the Dragon, which was still to leeward working up, had got round on the starboard
tack, and the greater part had found opponents in the
^ back to top ^