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1827 The Battle of Navarin 480

frigate on the left hand entering the harbour; and the Cambrian, Glasgow, and Talbot, next to her, and abreast of, the Asia, Genoa, and Albion; the Dartmouth, and the Mosquito, the Rose, the Brisk, and the Philomel, were to look after six fire-vessels at the entrance of the harbour. " * The Turco-Egyptian fleet did not witness this anchorage of the allied fleet without alarm; they were at quarters, their tompions out, and the guns nearly loaded to the muzzles, with shot, broken bars, rusty iron, and other materials.

On the fleet entering the bay, a boat was sent from a fort with a message from the commandant, " That as Ibrahim Pacha had not given any orders or permission for the allied fleet to enter, it was requested that they would again put to sea." Sir Edward Codrington in reply, said " that he was not come to receive orders, but to give them ; that if any shot were fired at the allied fleet, the Turkish fleet would be destroyed. "

The ships of the allied fleet had now anchored, the sails of many of the ships were furled, and on board the Asia, the band was desired to be sent on deck, every thing appearing to wear a peaceful aspect, when a firing of musketry was heard in the direction of the Dartmouth. This occasioned the action, and arose from the boats under the direction of Lieutenant Smyth being sent to one of the fire-ships, from the Dartmouth, to request that the fire-ships would move a little further from the allied fleet ; and if we, as historians, are inclined to make any observations as to the commencement of the action, we should say, that if a fleet of a strange nation came to anchor in a bay where another fleet was at anchor, they should have selected (that is if no ulterior measures were premeditated) such berths as would not in any manner have interfered with the vessels previously at anchor; and the only reason which can be given for the allied fleet anchoring to leeward of the Turco-Egyptian fleet (for the wind blew into the bay) is, that had they anchored to windward, they must have been placed in a position to receive the whole fire of the Turco-Egyptian fleet, in consequence of the crescent form in which Mons. Letellier had moored the fleet with their broadsides all directed towards the centre. Besides, it appears that boats were sent, and the Turkish commander might be justified in believing that his vessel was to be taken possession of; for if a request is to be made, it would occur to a Turk or Christian, that one boat was as efficient as a dozen. The Turks, apprehensive that force was meditated, fired and killed Lieutenant G. W. H. Fitzroy and several of the crew. The Dartmouth immediately opened a defensive fire to cover her boats; the Sirène, Admiral de Rigny's ship, joined in the affray, with musketry " only ; one of the Egyptian ships fired a shot, which was the first round shot discharged, and struck the Sirène, " which, of course," as the

* Sir Edward Codrington's official despatch.

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