Battle of Cape Ortegal

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Alphascript Publishing Battle of Cape Ortegal
Alphascript Publishing - Battle of Cape Ortegal

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The Battle of Cape Ortegal was the final action of the Trafalgar Campaign, and was fought between a squadron of the Royal Navy and a remnant of the fleet that had been destroyed several weeks earlier at the Battle of Trafalgar. It took place on 4 November 1805 off Cape Ortegal, in north-west Spain and saw Captain Sir Richard Strachan defeat and capture a French squadron under Rear-Admiral Pierre Dumanoir le Pelley. Dumanoir had commanded the van of the line at Trafalgar, and had managed to escape the battle having suffered relatively little damage. He initially attempted to continue the fleet's mission and enter the Mediterranean, but fearful of encountering strong British forces, changed his mind and headed north to skirt round Spain and reach the French Atlantic ports. On his journey he encountered two British frigates but drove them off, but shortly afterwards came across a single British frigate and chased it. The frigate led Dumanoir within range of a British squadron under Strachan, who was patrolling the area in search of a different French squadron. Strachan immediately gave chase, while Dumanoir fled from the superior force he had been lured towards.

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