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53a Sir John Pope Hennessy St,
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Soleil Royal (French - 1970)

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The exact launched date of the French Fleet, Soleil Royal with its 104 cannons, is a matter of dispute. Many historians say 1690 while of the opinion that she was engaged in combat in the Mediterranean Sea as early as the 1670's. In May 1692, Anne Hilarion de Cotentin, count of Tourville and Marshal of France, who was captain of Soleil Royal at that time, achieved his hour of glory. On the 12 of May she sailed from Brest with 45 ships and on May 29 approximately 21 nautical miles north east of the Headland of Barfleur, he was confronted by the English and Dutch fleets with combine strength of 97 vessels.

After a bloody battle lasting twelve hours it was the British and Dutch who took were hauled after suffering heavy losses. There they provided a defenceless target for the Dutch and British when the latter attacked on the 2nd and 3rd of June 1692 and set fire to the ship. The loss of 18 war ships, especially Soleil Royal was a serious set back.


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