England in the Mediterranean: A Study of the Rise and Influence of British Power within the Straits 1603-1713 - Vol. 2

By Julian S. Corbett | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVII
THE MAIN FLEET IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

A FEW days after Russell had left London to hoist his flag, Tourville had received orders to move out of Toulon and take up a position in Hyères Roads. In his eyes the move was strategically unsound, but after pointing out to Louis the disadvantages of the position, in case he should be attacked, he obeyed. The order was followed by a request from Noailles that he would join him at Rosas, which was to be the base of his operations against Palamos and Barcelona. Thither he accordingly moved about the middle of May, and Noailles at once took the field. Advancing to the banks of the Ter, where a miserable Spanish army was in position to bar his road to the southward, he completely defeated it on May 17. The very day of the victory, Château-Rénault with the Brest and Rochefort squadrons joined Tourville's flag. Palamos was forthwith invested by sea and land, and taken by storm before the end of the month. Gerona, the district capital, situated at the point where the great inland road to Barcelona crossed the Ter, was then attacked and reduced in less than a week with barely a show of resistance. There was now practically nothing between the victorious marshal and his objective except the insignificant fortress of Hostalrich, and Tourville's fleet had already moved down to blockade Barcelona pending the advance of the army.1

____________________
1
Memories of the Duc de Noailles, i. 360 et seq. ( Petitot, vol. lxxi.); Stanhope, Spain under Charles II.

-161-

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