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The Battles of Barfleur and La Hougue took place during the Nine Years' War, between 29 May and 14 June 1692. The first was fought near Barfleur on 29 May with later actions occurring between 30 May and 14 June at Cherbourg and Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue in Normandy, France.
The French attempt to restore James II to the English throne—the Williamite War in Ireland—ended in defeat in October 1691. Instead, a fleet of 44 ships of the line under Admiral de Tourville was to transport an invasion force commanded by Bernardin Gigault de Bellefonds. The Anglo-Dutch ships wintered in separate ports, and Tourville was ordered to put to sea as early as possible, hoping to intercept them before they could combine. However, when he finally did so in late May, the two fleets under Admiral Edward Russell had already met up and were 82 strong when they encountered the French off Cape Barfleur.
Following his instructions, Tourville attacked and inflicted numerous casualties to the Anglo-Dutch crews, but, after a clash that left many ships on both sides damaged, he ultimately disengaged. The Anglo-Dutch fleet pursued the outnumbered French into the harbours of Cherbourg and La Hougue, destroying a total of fifteen ships and ending the threat to England.
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The Battle of La Hogue | Benjamin West | 1778
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