Mauritius Campaign

Mauritius Campaign
Mauritius Campaign
Mauritius Campaign

Mauritius campaign took place between 1809 and 1811 being a naval action series and amphibious actions with the goal of determining the possession of Ile Bonaparte and Ile de France French territories form the Indian Ocean, during Napoleonic Wars.

Mauritius Campaign

Mauritius Campaign

Mauritius campaign started in the 1809 Spring and ended two years later and sawing the French Navy and the Royal Navy involving important frigate squadrons aiming to protect or disrupt the trades from British India. In this war, the domination of the Royal Navy was on sea and the Mauritius campaign is important for the superiority the French Navy enjoyed from locals in the Fall of 1810, following the Grand Port disaster for the British, where the most important defeat of the Royal Navy took place.

The Royal Navy intended to have actions against Ile de France even since 1806, once with the Dutch East Indies capture.

Still, it had to take action earlier after the frigate squadron France dispatch, under the command of Jacques Hamelin in 1808.

As result, a number of East Indiamen was captured and the trade routes across Indian Ocean were disrupted, the convoys of merchants ships being raided.
Seeing that he has to confront such enemy, admiral Albemarle Bertie, being at Cape of Good Hope, sent order to commodore Josias Rowley to block French Islands to not be used as bases for raids. In the following two years, the French anchorages and ports were raided by British and France sent attacks on the wider ocean trade convoys.

The British eliminated the French bases and in this way, reduce their presence. The French bases were eliminated by invasions but, the British suffered an important setback in August 1810, at Grand Port, having to defence in autumn.

The defeating of Hamlin came after he was captured by Rowley, on the Venus flagship, at short time before the important reinforcements that came to seize Ile de France, under Bertie.


Hamelin was not able to secure the reinforcement during the Mauritius campaign, all his attempts of breaking through British blockade being futile. There was only one frigate that reached the Indian Ocean with success, before the Ile de France surrender. The final attempt took place on May 1811, but he only discovered that the British were on the island.

Campaign in Mauritius

Campaign in Mauritius

The British attacked the French forces on their way back, with squadron, defeating them and having the Indian Ocean complete control. The Mauritius campaign seen from the cultural point of view, won the imagination of the public from France and Britain. The Grand Port Battle is the singular naval battle appearing on Arc de Triomphe, Bertie and Rowley from Britain being both made baronets as rewarding of their services.

The Mauritius campaign is a study object for naval historians like William Laird Clowes and William James as well as for famous writers like Alexandre Dumas and Patrick O’Brain who wrote The Mauritius Command novel, in 1977, inspired by this Mauritius campaign, where Rowley is replaced by Jack Aubrey.

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