The Mars and the L’Hercule. April 21st. 1798

Tags: Recent items.
The Mars and the L’Hercule. April 21st. 1798
Hover your mouse over to magnify
Anon
The Mars and the L’Hercule. April 21st. 1798
London, ca. 1798
Aquatint
180 x 210 mm
Trimmed to image and round title
£55
In the early part of the French Revolutionary Wars The Mars was assigned to the Channel Fleet. In 1797 under Captain Alexander Hood she was prominent in the Spithead mutiny. In 1798 she fought a famous single-ship duel with the French seventy-four Hercule, in the dusk near the Pointe du Raz on the coast of Brittany. Hercule attempted to escape through the Passage du Raz but the tide was running in the wrong direction and she was forced to anchor, giving Captain Hood the chance to attack at close quarters. The two ships were of equal strength, but Hercule was newly commissioned; after more than an hour and a half of bloody fighting at close quarters she struck her flag, having lost over three hundred men. On Mars 31 men were killed and 60 wounded. Among the dead was Captain Hood.