Battle of Toulon, 11 February 1744

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Naval battle during the War of the Austrian Succession. A combined Franco-Spanish fleet that had been blockaded in Toulon for two years left port heading south. The blockading British fleet under Admiral Thomas Matthews was roughly the same size as the Franco-Spanish fleet, led by Admiral de la Bruyere de Court. Fearing that the enemy fleet movement was designed to force him out of position, and allow a troop convoy to reach Italy, Matthews ordered his fleet to attack immediately, before forming up into line as was the official practice. Admiral Richard Lestock, Matthews second in command, appears to have deliberatly misunderstood his orders, and the resulting battle was indecisive, with the British taking more damage than they inflicted. Lestock survived the aftermath because of his political connections (although died soon after), while Matthews was dismissed from the Navy for failing to obey the offical instructions for battle.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (17 November 2000), Battle of Toulon, 11 February 1744, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_toulon.html

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