Battle of Lagos Bay, 18 August 1759 (Portugal)
Naval battle during Seven Years War that helped prevent a planned French invasion of Britain. The French Mediterranean fleet under Admiral de la Clue had broken out of Toulon in an attempt to join the main fleet at Toulon. The British blockade fleet, under Vice Admiral Boscowen, was in Gibraltar taking on water and food when the French sailed, but their attempt to sneak past Gibraltar failed, and the British fleet was soon on their tail. On 17 August, the two fleets came into sight of each other, and an engagement was fought against the rearmost French ship, the Centaur, who surrendered after suffering heavy losses. At Dawn on 18 August, Boscowen found the French fleet close inshore in Lagos Bay on the Portuguese coast, hoping to benefit from Portuguese neutrality. When de la Clue saw the British fleet, he ran his own ship onto the shore, while others attempted to shelter under Portuguese guns. The British ignored the threat, and sailed into the attack, sinking two ships and capturing another two. Of the French Mediterranean fleet, only two reached Brest, while the British were able to add Boscowen's ships to the Channel fleet, preparing for battle with the main French fleet.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (10 November 2000), Battle of Lagos Bay, 18 August 1759, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_lagosbay.html