Dirk Puehl‘s Today’s Memory
Thomas Cochrane captures Spanish frigate El Gamo
Originally shared by Dirk Puehl
6 May 1801, #onthisday 215 years ago, „el Diablo” Commander Thomas Cochrane’s commerce raiding cruise in the Western Mediterranean reached its climax off Barcelona when his brig sloop HMS “Speedy” met with the Spanish xebec frigate “El Gamo”, dispatched to put a stop to Cochrane’s game.
They didn’t call him “El Diablo” for nothing. But then, many of his brother officers and especially his superiors would have heartily agreed. The proud, outspoken, brilliant, daring, capricious and quite quixotic Scottish lord simply would not fit in. Even so, after war broke out in 1793 and Cochrane, aged 17, had joined the Royal Navy it took the maverick mariner five years anyhow to get court-martialled for insubordination and “flippancy” and earn the lasting enmity of many. He was given command of a man-of-war in 1800 none the less, or what passed for one, a cockleshell brig-sloop named HMS “Speedy” and Cochrane saw her as “little more than a burlesque of a vessel of war”. But he made the best of it, capturing more than 50 Spanish and French merchantmen over the following 13 months, playing nearly every trick from the book of commerce raiding and in fact writing a few new chapters. And then the Spanish had it and sent the powerful frigate “El Gamo”.
But read more on:
Depicted below is British marine painter Clarkson Frederick Stanfield’s (1793 – 1863): „The Action and Capture of the Spanish Xebeque Frigate El Gamo” (1845)
#ageofsail #europeanhistory #history #militaryhistory #napoleonicwars #navalhistory