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The Battle of Quiberon Bay On the 14th of November Sir Edward Hawke hoisted his flag on board the Royal George in Torbay and went out to sea with 23 ships In the afternoon Hawke ran into English transports returning from Quiberon who said that they had seen the French fleet consisting of 24 ships the day before Admiral Saunders who was returning to England from Quebec decided to turn south to support Hawke after hearing the same news On November 20th in the morning the frigate Maidstone let her topgallant sails fly which was a signal for discovering a fleet They soon discovered that the French squadron consisted of twenty-one ships of the line and three smaller ships They were chasing Captain Duffs frigates and bombs thinking them to be alone Then still twenty miles west of Belle Isle the masts of Hawkes twenty-three ships appeared on the horizon When they saw the ships the French gave over the chase and appeared to be forming a line to receive Hawkes fleet turned to fight De Conflans took refuge in Quiberon Bay thinking that Hawke would not dare follow through the narrow dangerous passage De Conflans got most of his ships through but the rear ships lagged and were clustered together at the bay entrance Hawke had no intention of loosing his pray He approached rapidly De Conflans hauled his ships round the Cardinals leaving Rear Admiral du Verger to take the blunt of the attack At this time Hawke directed his ships to make the best of their way towards the enemy At around one or two the Warspite and Dorsetshire began to fire The Revenge Resolution Torbay Magnanime Swiftsure Montagu and Defiance came into action The firing now became very heavy on both sides Nine vessels the Magnanime Torbay Dorsetshire Resolution Warspite Swiftsure Revenge Montague and the Defiance in a body were swept by the Formidable Thse Hros and
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