Samuel Story - Battle of Camperdown

Battle of Camperdown

The new fleet was first put to the test in the Battle of Camperdown of 1797. During this battle, Story commanded the Batavian frigate division as rear-admiral aboard the ship-of-the-line Staten-Generaal (74 guns). This ship caught fire, and while this was extinguished, it drifted to leeward, which made it impossible to rejoin the battle. This may have contributed to the loss of the battle by vice-admiral Jan Willem de Winter. In any case, the battle is remarkable because of the new tactics employed by admiral Adam Duncan, 1st Viscount Duncan of Camperdown, which amounted to breaching the Dutch line, instead of sailing parallel to it (as were the usual tactics up to then). The point where the line was breached was just before Story's ship.

However, Story distinguished himself in the sequel of the battle by rallying the Batavian frigate division and leading them safely into port.

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Battle Of Camperdown - Legacy
... makes the old cock young again." Anonymous sailor, October 1797 Although Camperdown was considered the greatest ever victory for a British fleet over an ... gave the Royal Navy superiority in the North Sea, a position enhanced by the disruption the battle caused to French negotiations for an alliance with what historian Edward Pelham ... The destruction of the Dutch fleet at Camperdown was also a serious blow to French ambitions to invade Ireland, and denied their Atlantic fleet of essential reinforcements it may even have ...

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