Battle of Martinique, 25 June 1667

The battle of Martinique (25 June 1667) was a British victory over a French fleet that came towards the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch War and secured their position in the West Indies.

After an ambiguous battle at Nevis in May the French, under Admiral Joseph de la Barre, moved to Martinique. The French had around twenty-two or twenty-three ships, protected by three forts.

In early June a new British fleet, under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir John Harman, reached the West Indies. Harman brought seven men-of-war and two fireships with him, transforming the balance of power in the area.

On 23 June Harman reached Martinique. De La Barre decided not to risk a battle, so on 24 June the British bombarded and silenced the fort, in preparation for an attack on the ships.

On 25 June the British attacked the anchored French fleet. With the forts silenced the French were very vulnerable, and Harmon won an easy victory. At the cost of eighty casualties the British burnt at least eight of the French ships, sank several more, and presumably captured most of the remaining ships, for only two or three French ships are recorded as having escaped.

This victory came too late to have any significant impact on the result of the war. On 31 July (N.S.) the British and Dutch signed the Treaty of Breda, ending the war.

Subject Index: Anglo-Dutch Wars

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (22 August 2009), Battle of Martinique, 25 June 1667 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_martinique_1667.html

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