Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chronology of Royal Navy Conflict 1792 - 1815

Chronology of Royal Navy Conflict 1792 - 1815

20 April 1792                      The French Revolutionary Wars begin with the French declaration of war on Austria; Prussia joined soon thereafter, creating the War of the First Coalition

I February 1793                   France declares war on Britain, Holland and Spain, who join Austria and Prussia; Britain begins blockade of Brest and Toulon with the intention of halting the importation of food and other commodities; the Royal Navy, working in concert with the Army, begins defense of Britain's West Indian possessions and the seizure of enemy colonies

21 May 1794                        Captain Horatio Nelson, with a body of sailors and marines, captures Bastia, Corsica, marking his first action in a long and distinguished career

I June 1794                          British victory over the French off Ushant, known as the 'Glorious First of June'; although 2S ships of the line commanded by Admiral Earl Howe defeat 26 French ships under Rear-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, a vital grain convoy from America nevertheless reaches port

January I795                        French invade and conquer the United Provinces (Holland), converting it into a satellite state known as the Batavian Republic

16 May 1795                        Treaty of Basel; Prussia and Spain abandon the First Coalition and conclude peace with France

19 August 1796                   Treaty of San IIdefonso; Spain allies herself with France, so imperiling the position of the British Mediterranean Fleet, which is obliged to evacuate Corsica and withdraw from the Mediterranean, apart from Gibraltar

8 October 1796                    Spain declares war on Britain

14 February I797                Admiral Sir John Jervis, despite being outnumbered by 15 to 27 ships, defeats the Spanish at the battle of St Vincent; Nelson executes a remarkable maneuver by engaging seven enemy ships, two of which he boards and captures in succession

I I October I797                   The British Channel Fleet, under Admiral Adam Duncan, defeats the Dutch fleet under Vice-Admiral Jan de Winter, off the north-west coast of Holland at Camper down; Duncan captures I I enemy ships and the Dutch commander

17 October 1797                 Treaty of Campo Formio; Austria formally recognizes French annexation of the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium)

I July 1798                           General Napoleon Bonaparte lands in Egypt with an expeditionary force intended to capture Suez and threaten British control of India

1-2 August 1798                 Decisive British victory over the French at the battle of the Nile in Abukir Bay; Nelson commands a fleet for the first time, utterly overwhelming Admiral Fran├žois de Brueys by doubling the French line; nine French ships are captured and two others are destroyed

29 December 1798              Russia, by allying herself with Britain, establishes the Second Coalition, to which Turkey, Naples and Portugal adhere; Austria joins in June 1799

August-October I799         An Anglo-Russian expeditionary force fails to occupy the Batavian Republic, though the enemy fleet is captured; Russia leaves the Second Coalition as a result of failures here and in Switzerland

16 December 1800              Russia, Prussia, Denmark and Sweden form the League of Armed Neutrality as a protest against the British practice of maritime search and seizure; the existence of the League threatens Britain's access to naval supplies from the Baltic, especially timber and hemp

9 February 180 I                  Treaty of Luneville; Austria concludes peace with France, which receives further territorial concessions in northern Italy

8 March 1801                      A British expeditionary force lands in Abukir Bay, beginning a campaign that will force the French to surrender Egypt five months later

2April 1801                          British naval victory at the battle of Copenhagen, where Nelson, second in command to Admiral Hyde Parker, destroys the Danish fleet while it sits anchored under the guns of the city's fortifications; in response, Russia abandons the League of Armed Neutrality

27 March 1802                    Treaty of Amiens between Britain and France concludes the French Revolutionary Wars; the former restores all French and French allied colonial possessions apart from Ceylon and Trinidad; Britain pledges to evacuate Malta but refuses to do so as a result of French territorial acquisitions on the Continent

18 May 1803                        Britain declares war on France; start of the Napoleonic Wars

19 October 1803                 Under coercion, Spain agrees to pay a substantial subsidy to France

12 December 1804              Spain declares war on Britain

I I April 1805                       Britain and Russia conclude an offensive alliance, forming the Third Coalition, to which Austria and Sweden adhere in August and November, respectively

21 October 1805                 Nelson decisively defeats the Franco-Spanish fleet under Villeneuve at the battle of Trafalgar, the most decisive naval action of modern times

2 December 1805                Napoleon defeats the combined Austro-Russian army at Austerlitz in Moravia, obliging Austria to leave the Third Coalition and forcing the Russians to withdraw far to the east

6 October I 806                    War of the Fourth Coalition formed, with Prussia the principal adversary against France, distantly supported by Britain and Russia; most of the latter's troops will not confront the French until February 1807

14 October 1806                 Prussian forces decisively defeated by the French at the twin battles of Jena and Auerstadt; in the course of the ensuing weeks the French relentlessly pursue the remaining Prussian forces and occupy all of the principal fortresses

14 June 1807                       Battle of Friedland; having already fought them to a bloody standstill at Eylau on 7 February, Napoleon decisively defeats the Russians

7-9 July 1807                       Treaties of Titlist; peace concluded between France on the one hand and Russia and Prussia on the other; Napoleon imposes a heavy indemnity on Prussia and occupies the country; Russia allies herself to France and agrees to shut her ports to British shipping; Russia declares war on Britain on 3 I October

27 September 1807             Fearing that Napoleon will use Danish naval resources to re-establish the fleet lost at Trafalgar, Britain dispatches a naval and military expedition to bombard Copenhagen and seize the fleet; the Danes quickly capitulate

27 October 1807                 Treaty of Fontainebleau; France and Spain conclude an alliance against Portugal

Nov-Dec I 807                       French Army proceeds through Spain and occupies Portugal in an effort to close her ports to British trade
19 March 1808                    King Charles IV of Spain abdicates, followed in May by his son, Ferdinand; both are imprisoned by the French, who place Joseph Bonaparte on the Spanish throne

2 May 1808                           Uprising against the French in Madrid; beginning of the Peninsular War; Spain establishes a Junta and concludes peace with Britain on 4 July

I August 1808                      British expeditionary force under Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) lands in Portugal

9 April 1809                         Alliance concluded between Austria and Britain; formation of the Fifth Coalition

5-6 July 1809                       Battle of Wagram; Austrians defeated in the decisive action of the campaign

I 4 October I 809                 Treaty of Schonbrunn; Austria concludes peace with France, ceding territory in Italy and along the Adriatic

28 July 1809                        Major British expeditionary force embarks for the Scheidt estuary; troops land on Walcheren Island, intending to capture Antwerp, but the outbreak of disease leads to the army's withdrawal by late December

18 June 1812                       The United States, annoyed at the Admiralty's policy of naval impressments and partly motivated by territorial designs on Canada, declares war on Britain

22 June 1812                       Napoleon and his Grande Armee of 600,000 men crosses the river Niemen to invade Russia

19 August 1812                   USS Constitution (44 guns) cripples HMS Guerriere (38) in a half-hour engagement off Nova Scotia

10 September 1812             American naval squadron on Lake Erie crushes its British counterpart

25 October 181 2                The heavy frigate USS United States, under the hero of the Tripoli tan War, Commodore Stephen Decatur, drubs HMS Macedonian in a 90-minute encounter off Madeira

December 1812                   Last remnants of the Grande Armee re cross the Niemen after having suffered catastrophic losses during the campaign, mostly during the winter retreat

29 December 1812              USS Constitution wrecks the 38-gun HMS Java off the coast of Brazil

27 February 1813               Prussia joins Russia in forming the Sixth Coalition, together with Britain, Spain and Portugal; Sweden and Austria subsequently join the latter on 12 August

I 0 September 181 3            Battle of Lake Erie; Oliver Hazard Perry, commander of the American squadron, breaks the British line and annihilates Barclay's naval force

16-19 October 1813           Austrian, Russian, Prussian and Swedish forces decisively defeat Napoleon at the battle of Leipzig in Saxony; French forces, all their German allies having abandoned them, retreat to the Rhine

Feb-Mar 1814                      Campaign in France; despite a number of stunning, though minor, victories Napoleon fails to stem the Allied advance on his capital

3 I March 1814                    Allied forces occupy Paris

6 April 1814                         Napoleon abdicates and agrees to exile on the tiny Mediterranean island of Elba

I9 August I8I4                      Admiral Sir John Cockburn's squadron disembarks British troops in Chesapeake Bay; Washington is briefly occupied and the White House burned, 24-25 August

II Sep I814                            Battle of Lake Champlain; Lieutenant Thomas Macdonough, commanding the American squadron, decisively defeats his British counterpart, Captain George Downie

13 Dec 1814                         British expeditionary force lands along the Gulf Coast near New Orleans

24 Dec 1814                         Treaty of Ghent; peace concluded between Britain and the United States based on the status quo ante bellum; with the war over in Europe, impressments is a dead issue and does not feature in the treaty terms

I March 1815                       Sailing in secret from Elba, Napoleon lands in southern France with a small force and reaches Paris on the 20th, gathering thousands of adherents along the way; Louis XVIII abandons the capital and flees to Brussels

13 March 1815                    Formation of the Seventh Coalition by Russia, Prussia, Austria and Britain

18 June 1815                       The Duke of Wellington and the Prussian commander, Marshal Blucher, decisively defeat Napoleon at Waterloo, in Belgium; Napoleon abdicates on the 21 st, surrenders to the British on 16 July, and is exiled to the remote south Atlantic island of St Helena, where he dies on 5 May 1821