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Ned Loe

'Battle of the Chesapeake' (With Plans)

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Work in Progress. 

 

The Battle of the Chesapeake, also known as the Battle of the Virginia Capes or simply the Battle of the Capes, was a crucial naval battle in the American War of Independence that took place near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay on 5 September 1781, between a British fleet led by Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Graves and a French fleet led by Rear Admiral Francois Joseph Paul, the Comte de Grasse. Although tactically indecisive, the battle was strategically decisive, since it prevented the Royal Navy from reinforcing or evacuating the forces of Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. When the French were able to achieve control of the sea lanes against the British, the result was the reinforcement of the Franco-American army with siege artillery and French reinforcements—all of which proved decisive in the Siege of Yorktown, effectively securing independence for the Thirteen Colonies.

 

Presented in July 1781 with the options of attacking British forces in either New York or Virginia, Admiral de Grasse opted for the latter, arriving at the Chesapeake at the end of August. Upon learning that de Grasse had sailed from the West Indies for North America, and that French Admiral de Barras had also sailed from Newport, Rhode Island, Admiral Graves concluded that they were going to join forces at the Chesapeake. Sailing south from New York with 19 ships of the line, Graves arrived at the mouth of the Chesapeake early on 5 September to see de Grasse's fleet at anchor in the bay. De Grasse hastily prepared most of his fleet, 24 ships of the line, for battle and sailed out to meet Graves. In a two-hour engagement that took place after hours of maneuvering, the lines of the two fleets did not completely meet, with only the forward and center sections of the lines fully engaging. The battle was consequently fairly evenly matched, although the British suffered more casualties and ship damage. The battle broke off when the sun set. British tactics in the battle have been a subject of contemporary and historical debate ever since.

 

OIQhQ8r.jpg

 

For several days the two fleets sailed within view of each other, with de Grasse preferring to lure the British away from the bay, where Barras was expected to arrive carrying vital siege equipment. On 13 September de Grasse broke away from the British and returned to the Chesapeake, where Barras had arrived. Graves returned to New York to organize a larger relief effort; this did not sail until 19 October, two days after Cornwallis surrendered.

 

kunp163.png

 

Updating Links

British Fleet in Formation:

 

Alfred (1778)

DbBa1nZ.jpg



Belliqueux (1780) 

OecHUtp.jpg


Invincible (1765)

V4Wswef.jpg


Barfleur (1768) 

IYye5je.jpg


Monarch (1765) 

JBoqog6.jpg



Centaur 

u35pz40.jpg


America (1777)

OCafvA5.jpg


Bedford (1775) 

yX4EFLE.jpg


Resolution (1770) 

59qaxm4.jpg


London (1766) 

1nMSTyb.jpg


Royal Oak (1769) 

C9CecqN.jpg


Montague (1779) 

lJQDnBm.jpg


Europe (1765) 

5tMST9v.jpg


Terrible (1762)

jfsjK1z.jpg


Ajax (1767) 

0c1FS5v.jpg



Princessa (1780)

Zzb3p94.jpg



Alcide (1779) 

DtbYZpY.jpg


Intrepid (1770) 

1ymXmlh.jpg



Shrewsbury (1758)

2hb5oJh.jpg


 

French Fleet in Formation: (Help Me Find Blueprints)

 

Pluton

Marseillois

2VhV9LW.jpg


Bourgogne (1766)

u674Eg8.jpg


Diadème

Réfléchi

Auguste

Saint-Esprit


FPA9CeQ.jpg


Caton

gA3SiQh.jpg


Centre

César

1YNaDUT.jpg


hq6Phr6.jpg



Destin

Ville de Paris

Victoire


xe54nML.jpg


Sceptre

8E0CXxW.jpg



Z9n1LkX.jpg


Northumberland (1780)

LXi1Grt.jpg



sDulfXj.jpg


Palmier

Solitaire

Citoyen

Rear

Scipion

9Whjzpi.jpg


Magnanime

Hercule

iV15EdD.jpg


Languedoc


JPmiPz1.jpg


Zélé

Mg32Y7Y.jpg


Hector

ZBT70hT.jpg


Souverain

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I really like this idea, to list and post the plans of the ships which participated in a major battle. I'll have to keep an eye on this thread as you include more plans and info. :)

Edited by Arvenski

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Le César (and sister-ships Le Zélé and L'Hector)

 

hq6Phr6.jpg

 

Built by J.-M.-B. Coulomb at Toulon in 1768. Armament 28 36-pounders, 30 18-pounders, 16 8-pounders. Participated in the Battle of St. Lucia, Battle of Fort Royal, Battle Chesapeake, Battle of St. Kitts, Battle of the Saints (burnt there).

 

 

Le Caton

 

gA3SiQh.jpg

 

Built by J.-M.-B. Coulomb at Toulon in 1770. Armament 26 24-pounders, 28 12-pounders, 10 6-pounders. Participated in the Battle of St. Lucia, Battle of Fort Royal, Battle Chesapeake and Battle of St. Kitts).

 

 

Sceptre (plan of sistership Le Monarche)

 

8E0CXxW.jpg

 

Built by B. Ollivier at Brest in 1747. Armament 28 36-pounders, 30 18-pounders, 16 8-pounders.

 

Nice idea, by the way. Though frigate lovers like me may have preferred the Battle of Grand Port or the Action of 8 September 1796 :P

 

By the way, the spoiler for Bourgogne shows L'Aigle, a Tigre-Class 74 by Sané.

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Northumberland 1780 http://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=2113

 

large.jpg

large.jpg

 

Diademe, Pluton(Scipion class),Reflechi ,Auguste , Saint Esprit, Ville de Paris, etc(pretty much all of them)  are here:http://www.servicehistorique.sga.defense.gouv.fr/sites/default/files/MV_PLANS-BATIMENTS-A-VOILES.compressed.pdf(list of plans in French museums)

 

You will have to ask Surcouf on how to obtain them, as i said in another thread. If you make any progress on acquiring them please let me know :D

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Don´t expect to much, though. French draughts usually show much less details than british or danish ones. Here´s the one for La Ville de Paris

 

iHSs6ib.jpg

 

In combination with a devis more than enough information for the constructor in charge, but for us who want to build a model....not really. At least not without extensive research.

 

 

And the plans for L'Hercule and Le Scipion show the Téméraire-class 74s of the same name, not the ones which took part in the Battle of the Chesapeake ;)

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French ships data:

Original name: le Pluton

Laid down in 1778

Struck of lists in 1805

Built by C. Deslauriers

Place of building: Rochefort

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

165'6" x 43'6" x 21'6"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Marseillais

Laid down in 1766

Struck of lists in 1794

Built by J.V.C. Chapelle

Place of building: Toulon

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

167' x 45'6" x 21'

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Bourgogne

Laid down in 1766

Struck of lists in 1783

Built by N. Pomet

Place of building: Toulon

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

168' x 43'6" x 21'6"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Diadème

Laid down in 1755

Struck of lists in 1793

Built by J.L. Coulomb

Place of building: Brest

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

168' x 43'6" x 20'6"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Réfléchi

Laid down in 1772

Struck of lists in 1793

Built by A. Groignard

Place of building: Rochefort

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

???

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

??? = 64-gun

---

Original name: l'Auguste (Jacobin 1783, 9 Thermidor 1794)

Laid down in 1777

Struck of lists in 1795

Built by L.M. Guignace

Place of building: Brest

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

186' x 46' x 23'

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

30x36-pdr - 32x24-pdr - 22x8-pdr = 84-gun

---

Original name: le Saint Esprit (Scipion 1794)

Laid down in 1762

Struck of lists in 1795

Built by J. Ollivier

Place of building: Brest

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

184'4" x 48'6" x 23'3"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 32x24-pdr - 18x8-pdr = 80-gun

---

Original name: le Caton

Laid down in 1770

Struck of lists in 1782

Built by J. Coulomb

Place of building: Toulon

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

???

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

??? = 64-gun

---

Original name: le César

Laid down in 1768

Struck of lists in 1782

Built by J.M.B. Coulomb

Place of building: Toulon

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

168' x 43'6" x 21'

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Destin

Laid down in 1770

Struck of lists in 1793

Built by J.M.B. Coulomb

Place of building: Toulon

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

170' x 43'6" x 21'5"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: l'Impétueux (Ville de Paris 1762)

Laid down in 1757

Struck of lists in 1782

Built by C. Deslaurier

Place of building: Rochefort

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

178' x 48'6" x 22'11"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

30x36-pdr - 32x24-pdr - 28x12-pdr = 90-gun

---

Original name: la Victoire

Laid down in 1768

Struck of lists in 1793

Built by A. Groignard

Place of building: Lorient

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

170' x 43'6" x 21'

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Sceptre (Convention 1792)

Laid down in 1780

Struck of lists in 1796

Built by p. Lamothe

Place of building: Brest

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

169' x 44" x 22'

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Northumberland

Laid down in 1779

Struck of lists in 1794

Built by J.N. Sané

Place of building: Berst

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

169' x 44' x 22'

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Palmier

Laid down in 1766

Struck of lists in 1782

Built by J. Ollivier

Place of building: Brest

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

163'8" x 43' x 20'6"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Solitaire

Laid down in 1772

Struck of lists in 1782

Built by a. Groignard

Place of building: Brest

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

???

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

??? = 64-gun

---

Original name: le Citoyen (ex Cimeterre 1762)

Laid down in 1764

Struck of lists in 1792

Built by a. Groignard

Place of building: Brest

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

169'6" x 43'6" x 20'9"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Scipion

Laid down in 1778

Struck of lists in 1782

Built by C. Deslaurier

Place of building: Rochefort

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

165'6" x 43'6" x 21'6"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Magnanime

Laid down in 1779

Struck of lists in 1790

Built by J. Chevillard

Place of building: Rochefort

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

???

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: l'Hercule

Laid down in 1778

Struck of lists in 1794

Built by C. Deslaurier

Place of building: Rochefort

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

165'6" x 43'6" x 21'6"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Languedoc (Anti Fédération 1794, Victoire 1795)

Laid down in 1762

Struck of lists in 1799

Built by J.M.B. Coulomb

Place of building: Toulon

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

188' x 48'4" x 23'2"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

30x36-pdr - 32x24-pdr - 18x12-pdr = 80-gun

---

Original name: le Zélé

Laid down in 1762

Struck of lists in 1804

Built by J.M.B. Coulomb

Place of building: Toulon

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

168' x 43'6" x 20'9"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: l'Hector

Laid down in 1755

Struck of lists in 1782

Built by P.B. Coulomb

Place of building: Toulon

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

164' x 43' x 20'6"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

---

Original name: le Souverain

Laid down in 1757

Struck of lists in 1798

Built by N. Pomet

Place of building: Toulon

Data:

Length x breadth x depht in hold

164' x 43'6" x 21'6"

Artillery of origin:

1st deck - 2nd deck - 3rd deck - F'c'sl/Q'deck

28x36-pdr - 30x18-pdr - 16x8-pdr = 74-gun

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In the order of names:

L'Hector 74

Le Marseillais 74

Le Zélé 74

Le Bourgogne 74

Le César 74

La Victoire 74

Le Sceptre 74

Le Northumberland 74

Le Languedoc 80

Le Saint Esprit 80

Sorry for the quality..... :(

post-5241-0-49167700-1463254634_thumb.jpg

post-5241-0-40594400-1463254645_thumb.jpg

post-5241-0-96520400-1463254656_thumb.jpg

post-5241-0-89269100-1463254670_thumb.jpg

post-5241-0-27162300-1463254684_thumb.jpg

post-5241-0-50414700-1463254700_thumb.jpg

post-5241-0-75488700-1463254714_thumb.jpg

post-5241-0-40641000-1463254730_thumb.jpg

post-5241-0-89924000-1463254753_thumb.jpg

post-5241-0-50805900-1463254768_thumb.jpg

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Nice selection of plans, particularly HMS Princessa.  It's interesting to note that both ships named HMS Princessa were originally Spanish built, captured by the British.  She's not the earlier one of particular fame due to the circumstances of her capture, but she survived over 50 years before being broken up.  Wouldn't mind seeing her in the game.

 

HMS Ajax was also apparently the only ship built to its measurements, it was not a "class" vessel.

 

Diadème apparently was razeed in May 1794 into a 42 gun frigate.  If plans of her class could be obtained, she might be an interesting addition to the game.

Edited by Haratik

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Le Reflèchi (64 guns 3rd rate):

 

 

Lower Gun Deck

26 French 24-Pounder Upper Gun Deck 28 French 12-Pounder Quarterdeck/Forecastle 10 French 6-Pounder

 

source : threedecks.org

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On 5/14/2016 at 9:42 AM, Malachi said:

Don´t expect to much, though. French draughts usually show much less details than british or danish ones. Here´s the one for La Ville de Paris

iHSs6ib.jpg

 

In combination with a devis more than enough information for the constructor in charge, but for us who want to build a model....not really. At least not without extensive research.

In the catalogue of the plans of the French Archives, it reads about the Ville de Paris :

69EW18P.png

xVJUnSW.png

Does your scanned picture represent n° 286 and 287 or only n° 286 ? Would n° 287 add some info to make a 3d model ?

Do you know of the ornaments of prow  and stern of n° 285 ?

Edited by LeBoiteux

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No, sorry, never seen the deco concept for the VdP :/

 

286 and 287 are body plan only (just the right side of the plan I posted)

plan vertical is the body plan, plan d'élévation is the sheer, plan horizontal is the half breadth, so a plan like this would be described as 'Éch. Pl. vertical, d’élévation et horizontal.' in the Catalougue des plans de bâtiments à voiles.

Untitled.thumb.jpg.93a2ba38a642cf3ab19461154cbbb046.jpg

 

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On 10/9/2018 at 5:18 PM, LeBoiteux said:

Do you know of the ornaments of prow  and stern of n° 285 ?

There is an illustration of the original quarter galleries and galion figure of the Ville de Paris in: Patrick Villiers, La Marine de Louis XVI. I. de Choiseul à Sartine, Grenoble 1985, p.162 (presumably from n°. 285; no view of the stern, unfortunately).

La Ville de Paris, 1764, Poupe (Bouteille), Proue - 1er état.jpeg

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However, there is a well known anonymous print which shows the ship's early stern and galion quite clearly (compare with the drawings in Villiers; a single stern gallery).

Vaisseau_le_Ville_de_Paris_en_1764_a_Roc

But, of course, at the Chesapeake it looked like this (two stern galleries):

la-ville-de-paris.jpg

Edited by Wagram
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@Wagram Thank you so much !!! 🙂

Also happy to have you here posting and sharing your knowledge !

I really like the figurehead of La Ville de Paris from Villiers's book. One can see it doesn't look different on the two other paintings.

If I ain't mistaken, I reminds me of the Hellenistic mythologic representation of some cities, such as Antioch (a lady with a crown seated on a rock or a throne Tychè representing fortune and prosperity for the City) :

Tyche_Antioch_Vatican_st.jpg

She might wear the same kind of crown as that of the coat of arms of Paris (a mural crown with 5 towers) :

Grandes_Armes_de_Paris.svg

I can see 3 towers (?) from the side view :

PMUIfJG.jpg

 

Edited by LeBoiteux
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Closer views of the early ship's stern and galion. Oddly enough, the artist has omitted the quarter galleries. At any rate, he obviously was unable to clearly represent how stern and quarter galleries merged into each other...?

La Ville de Paris, 1764, 1er état, poupe ....jpg

La Ville de Paris, 1764, 1er état, proue ....jpg

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btw, given the blue-white-red flags on this drawing, can't we also say that it was certainly made after La Ville de Paris' British capture and her shipwreck (at least almost a decade later, say from 1790-91 on) ?

Vaisseau_le_Ville_de_Paris_en_1764_a_Rochefort.jpg 

Edited by LeBoiteux

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The print is in the Bibliothèque Nationale. No exact date is given but, interestingly, there is a faint anonymous inscription in German (!?) of unknown date at the lower right, below the words "...Viarme, Conseillier d'Etat, Prevôt des...". I can't read the first word (which may be an abbreviation with a dot) but the rest reads "alle Flaggen ganz weiss" (all flags completely white)...

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b55002458j/f1.item.zoom

Edited by Wagram

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On 10/13/2018 at 9:39 AM, LeBoiteux said:

btw, given the blue-white-red flags on this drawing, can't we also say that it was certainly made after La Ville de Paris' British capture and her shipwreck (at least almost a decade later, say from 1790-91 on) ?

Vaisseau_le_Ville_de_Paris_en_1764_a_Rochefort.jpg 

Many prints dating from and showing ships of the Ancien Régime were reused in the Revolutionary era and provided with tricolour flags, if those ships were still in use during the revolutionary period, or were of some fame in favour of the French navy . So, not really surprising to see the Ville de Paris among these (as it was de Grasse's flag ship at the Chesapeake...).

I think this is a print dating from the later 1760s or 1770s (before the ship's alteration in 1778/79), reissued with tricolour instead of white flags during the early years of the Revolution or , if it was an original print of the 1760s/1770s, with the blue and red stripes simply painted on.

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It'd be interesting to compare Villiers's drawing, the drawing n° 285 of the French Archives and those paintings made during, say, the last quarter of the 18th cent./early 19th century and to know the source of Villiers's drawing (if it is not a reproduction of n° 285). Obviously, it'd be nice if the deco concept n° 285 and the paintings shared strong similarities (in front a seated woman with a crown on top of winged angels playing the trumpet... ; at the back, tritons, putti, busts of naked woman...). The drawing n° 285 is the missing part here.

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Villiers' intention had been to write a four volume work but volumes 2-4 were never published. According to the preface to volume 1, the bibliography and all references concerning the iconographic sources would have been included in volume 4. So, no references at all in volume 1. We'll probably never know for sure the origin of those drawings in Villiers but he also states that he made massive use of the "archives et bibliothèques de la Marine". I cannot imagine that the drawing in Villiers (which looks highly official) is not the same as n° 285 of the CATALOGUE DES PLANS  DE BÂTIMENTS À VOILES  CONSERVÉS DANS  LES ARCHIVES DE LA MARINE which, as the title implies, includes references to all extant plans (including drawings of the ornaments) of French sailing ships that can be found in French naval archives... Someone who lives in Paris should make a pilgrimage to Vincennes..😁

Edited by Wagram

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1 hour ago, Wagram said:

I cannot imagine that the drawing in Villiers (which looks highly official) is not the same as n° 285 

Indeed. It looks very similar to drawings that can be found in the Archives, e.g that one (without the handwriting, marks and signatures though).

1 hour ago, Wagram said:

Someone who lives in Paris should make a pilgrimage to Vincennes..😁

I know of a certain French privateer/NA poster who 'often' visits the Archives (while no living in Paris) and may be kind enough to tell us some day if Villiers' drawing = n° 285... 😀 And he could also be interested in that knowledge.

Edited by LeBoiteux
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