Next Page

Previous Page

10 Pages >>

10 Pages <<
1816 Battle of Algiers 403

heaviest ships of the fleet took their stations ; the Queen-Charlotte, Superb, Minden, Albion, and Impregnable, from the molehead in a north-easterly direction, and the Leander, Severn, and Glasgow, from the fish-market battery in a curved direction to the south-west.

The station assigned to the Dutch squadron was against the batteries to the southward of the city, and it appears to have been the intention of the Dutch admiral to place the Melampus in the centre of his five frigates; but the Diana's captain, not understanding exactly the orders given to him, did not go far enough to the northward. Seeing this, the baron gallantly pushed the Melampus past the Diana, and at about 3 p.m. anchored his frigate with her jib-boom over the taffrail of the Glasgow. The Diana and Dageraad anchored successively astern of their admiral. The two remaining Dutch frigates anchored further out ; and the corvette Eendragt, as she had been directed, kept under way.

The Granicus and Hebrus frigates and the smaller vessels (except the bombs) being considered in the light of a corps de reserve, had not had any particular stations assigned to them, but were to bring up abreast of any openings they could find in the line of battle. Impelled onward by the ardent desire of filling the first of these openings, the Hebrus got becalmed by the heavy cannonade, and was obliged to anchor a little without the line, on the Queen-Charlotte's larboard quarter. The Granicus, finding herself shooting fast ahead, hove to, with the intention of waiting until her companions had taken their stations. As, owing to the dense smoke which prevailed, nothing beyond the distance of a cable's length could be seen, except the Queen-Charlotte's masthead flag, Captain Wise allowed 10 minutes to elapse for the ships to anchor. The Granicus then filled, let fall her foresail, set topgallantsails, and, soon gaining fresh way, steered straight for a beacon that, phnix-like, seemed to live in the hottest of the fire. With a display of intrepidity and of seamanship alike unsurpassed, Captain Wise anchored his frigate in a space scarcely exceeding her own length between the Queen-Charlotte and Superb ; a station of which a three-decked line-of-battle ship might justly have been proud.

The different sloops attached to the squadron also took their posts ; the Heron, Britomart, Promotheus, and Cordelia remaining under way, and the Mutine anchoring on the larboard bow of the Impregnable. The four bomb-vessels were soon in their stations, at the distance of about 2000 yards from the enemy's works, and began their destructive discharges ; as did also the, battering flotilla, commanded by Captain Frederick Thomas Michell, consisting of gun-boats, mortar-boats, launches with carronades, rocket-boats, barges, and yawls, in number 55.

Such was the precision and destructive effect of the Queen-

^ back to top ^