cover image

Battle of Cape Finisterre (1805)

1805 Battle during the War of the Third Coalition / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the Battle of Cape Finisterre (22 July 1805) off Galicia, Spain, the British fleet under Admiral Robert Calder fought an indecisive naval battle against the combined Franco-Spanish fleet which was returning from the West Indies. Failing to prevent the joining of French Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve's fleet to the squadron of Ferrol and to strike the shattering blow that would have freed Great Britain from the danger[3] of an invasion, Calder was later court-martialled and severely reprimanded for his failure and for avoiding the renewal of the engagement on 23 and 24 July. At the same time, in the aftermath Villeneuve elected not to continue on to Brest, where his fleet could have joined with other French ships to clear the English Channel for an invasion of Great Britain.

Battle of Cape Finisterre
Part of the Trafalgar campaign of the War of the Third Coalition

Admiral Sir Robert Calder's action off Cape Finisterre, 23 July 1805, William Anderson
Date22 July 1805
Location42.8941°N 9.2711°W / 42.8941; -9.2711
Result See aftermath
United Kingdom France
Commanders and leaders
Robert Calder Pierre de Villeneuve
Federico Gravina
15 ships of the line
2 frigates
1 lugger
1 cutter
20 ships of the line
7 frigates
Casualties and losses
198 killed and wounded[1] 647 killed and wounded[1]
1,200 captured
2 ships of the line captured[2]
Location within Europe