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March 29, 2007
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The Battle of Flamborough Head by CdreJohnPaulJones The Battle of Flamborough Head by CdreJohnPaulJones
In 1779, Commodore John Paul Jones took command of USS Bonhomme Richard, a merchant ship rebuilt and given to America by the French shipping magnate, Jacques-Donatien Le Ray. On September 23, 1779, the five ship squadron included the 44 gun Bonhomme Richard, 32 gun Pallas, 32 gun Alliance, 12 gun Vengeance and Le Cerf engaged a merchant convoy off the coast of Flamborough Head, east Yorkshire. The 44 gun British frigate HMS Serapis and the 22 gun Countess of Scarborough counter-engaged, scattering the attacking squadron and allowing the merchants to disengage and attempt escape. Vengeance and Le Cerf unsuccessfully pursued the convoy.

Bonhomme Richard, Pallas, and Alliance engaged the British warships. The 44 gun Serapis engaged the older 44 gun Bonhomme Richard while the Alliance stood off and took no action. The 32 gun Alliance finally counter-engaged Serapis, firing a broadside into both ships, disregarding their nationality. (The Alliance's captain was a Frenchman, who was jealous of Jones' military genius and often went off on his own agenda against the Commodore's orders.) Serapis twice raked Bonhomme Richard with broadsides which cut her mainmast and holed her below the waterline, taking individual hits in return.

With Bonhomme Richard burning and sinking, it is believed her ensign was shot away. The British commander asked if she had struck her colors. Jones replied, saying, “I have not yet begun to fight!” He then rammed Serapis and tied up to her, an attempt by the Americans to board Serapis was repulsed, as was an attempt by the British to board Bonhomme Richard. Finally, an American party under command of Nathaniel Fanning seized control of the enemy tops and used this position to clear the deck below with grenades, mortars and gunfire. Meanwhile the 22 gun Countess of Scarborough engaged the 32 gun Pallas and was eventually captured, both ships taking extensive damage.

The Bonhomme Richard, shattered, on fire, and leaking badly defied all efforts to save her and sank at 11:00 on September 25, 1779. John Paul Jones sailed the captured Serapis to the United Provinces for repairs.

Upon arrival in port, the Alliance's captain was promptly detained and sentenced to court-marshal and Jones eventually hoisted his penant over the Alliance, making it his new flagship.

Though Bonhomme Richard sank subsequent to the battle, the outcome of the battle convinced the French crown of the wisdom of backing the colonies in their fight to separate from British authority. The defeat of Serapis, no less in home waters, stung the British admiralty.
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:iconbruiser235:
Bruiser235 Featured By Owner May 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Excellent tribute.
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:iconeliza-aacher:
Eliza-Aacher Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2008
Wow... that's amazing. Reminds me of the prints from the late 1700's!
:)
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thankee! That was an angle I was hoping for, an original feel. :D Glad you like it!
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:iconeliza-aacher:
Eliza-Aacher Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2008
Your welcome!
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:iconjaguaro:
Jaguaro Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome fight! One of my favorite stories. Can't believe Hollywood hasn't done this. Maybe it is better that they didn't.

Jaguaro
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Indeed. But if they ever decide to make a movie... I'd do everything possible to get in on it, whether as an advisor or JPJ himself. :)

(We do look alike. Same physical build, height, weight, eyes, face, hair...)
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:iconjaguaro:
Jaguaro Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow! You have Hollywood connections!

I remember reading that the British called him "the Yankee Pirate." JPJ hated that moniker!

Jag
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aye... and they scared their children to sleep with stories of his raids on the English coast... :D
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:iconjaguaro:
Jaguaro Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I always thought scaring kids to sleep was a silly idea. Long lectures would put the kids out like lights. You DON'T want them wired.

Jag
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:iconcdrejohnpauljones:
CdreJohnPaulJones Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:lol: Indeed.
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