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Thread: First battle of Tripoli. The aftermath.

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    Default First battle of Tripoli. The aftermath.

    Following the destruction of the warships in Tripoli harbour and with the so called English fort in flames, the squadron landed the ships marines and sailors at the small jetties by the Fort, and proceeded to sack the town taking off any Christian or Allied countries slaves that they could locate.
    When the Pasha’s army began to deploy from Tripoli proper, the landing force withdrew to their boats with the released hostages covered by the guns of the squadron.
    The squadron then set sail for Palermo to effect repairs and resupply, having been granted a treaty with King Ferdinand of Naples to utilise the ports of Syracuse, Messina and Palermo for this purpose.

    The least damaged Frigate; Thetis under Carl Gustaf Tornqvist who had held the flank during the battle remained on station to suggest a presence of more ships out to sea by parading herself just outside the long range of the fortifications and signalling to the nonexistent ships over the horizon. American reinforcements were expected during the next few days and they would then take over from the exhausted Swedish vessels on the blockade duty.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 09:01.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    During the next two days it was obvious to Captain Tornqvist that the shock of the attack had caused a sort of lethargy to descend over the town. No effort was made to remove or refloat the battered ships, or remount guns on the walls. The ruins of English Fort were left to smoulder and a pall of smoke still hung over the buildings two days after its reduction.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 09:00.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    None of the villagers appeared in the towns streets, and camels were seen roaming at will and eating the thorn bushes all along the bay. It was a scene of desolation wherever his telescope was pointed.



    On the third morning matters were destined to change dramatically.
    Rounding the point near the castle about 8 miles distant Tornqvist observed a large vessel under full sail heading towards Thetis.


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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 09:00.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Although not being able to make its colours, he reasoned that it could not be an American relief ship because it seemed larger than even their USS Constitution, which was not due on station for some weeks.
    Captain Tornqvist immediately ordered the crew to make the ship ready for action.
    This was just as well, for as the two ships closed he could see that it was a Two Decked Tripolitanian warship with all her guns run out. .
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 09:00.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    As the wind was holding steady from the West Thetis had the benefit of the wind gauge.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 09:00.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    This forced the Jirum to adjust its course and the captain attempted to seize the wind from the Thetis.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 09:00.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain Tornqvist ordered his helmsman to counter this move and the two ships continued to converge at a more acute angle. This now improved the Thetis’s speed as the wind no longer came from directly astern.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:59.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Jirum now tacked across the wind.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:59.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Following his instructions, Thetis’s helmsman turned the ship to Starboard to counter the move.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:59.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    This move by Thetis served to draw Jirum away from the covering fire of the castle, and also gave the Swedish more sea room in which to exercise its superior manoeuvrability.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:59.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Thetis drew even further away from the coast and the ruse seemed to have worked as the Jirum changed course even further and gave chase setting all the sails it could muster.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:58.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    The wind still held good and Captain Tornqvist secretly ordered the deployment of a drogue anchor on the side of the ship furthest from the Jirum. Without having to give the game away by shortening sail this drag anchor allowed the slower ship to gradually overhaul the Thetis.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:58.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Now totally out of sight of land Captain Tornqvist prepared his masterstroke.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:58.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    The ships master readied the sails, and as the two decker closed, the drogue was cut free allowing the Frigate to rapidly change course as the helmsman spun the wheel hard over.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:57.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain Tornqvist knew that the Jirum’s Captain had been shaping his course to intercept and board the Frigate, with the overwhelmingly superior numbers of crewmen at his disposal.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 09:04.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    As the Thetis crossed the bows of the Tripolitanian at very close range he opened fire with double shotted grape.



    The effect was devastating among the packed deck full of boarders and wiped out over half the crew in one broadside.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:57.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Thetis now came about to Starboard to avoid the Jirum crossing her stern and returning the honours.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:57.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    This move was, however, unsuccessful as Jirum’s captain was turning slightly away and this allowed him to just bring his double shotted first broadside to bear. The damage inflicted was severe to the fabric of the Thetis and a topmast tottered and then fell, slowing the ship whilst repairs were carried out.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:56.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Although Thetis on the turn managed to return fire it did little real damage to the Jirum, although what was significant was the loss of more of her crew.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:56.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    What now became apparent to both captains was that a battle of attrition was about to commence. Could Jirum with superior fire power sink the Thetis before the Swedish could disable her own rapidly dwindling crew?
    At this critical moment, the wind which had been steady from the West for days gradually shifted into the North East.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:56.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    As the ships turned to take advantage of this shift it brought them both broadside on and they again exchanged fire, both sustaining hull damage below the waterline which entailed crews being withdrawn from the guns to deal with the leaks.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:56.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Tornqvist now went on the offensive and came about in pursuit of the Jirum.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:55.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    As Thetis closed Jirum seemed to be running from the Frigate, but suddenly jibed directly into the wind.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:55.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    For a moment Thetis was caught on the wrong tack but her Master Gunner was not fazed and managed to get off a long shot sweeping the deck which reduced Jirum’s crew still further.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:55.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Thetis now tacked through the eye of the wind herself, and continued her pursuit although she had lost ground by the unexpected change in direction.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:55.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Very soon she was closing again as the Jirum’s captain tried yet another ploy.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:54.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    This time Captain Tornqvist was not taken in and forced Jirum to resume its original heading.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:54.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    It was at this point that the wind resumed its Easterly direction and also became much stronger heralding a forthcoming change in the weather.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:54.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    This caused Jirum to tack once more and closed the distance between the two ships even further.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:54.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    There was now no escape and as Thetis came alongside Jirum the two ships blazed away at each other at close range.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:53.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Despite the exchange being fairly even and the Thetis catching fire, her return broadside did for the last of the crew, and the survivors could be seen manning her one remaining ships boat or simply diving into the water in an attempt to save themselves.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:53.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  32. #32
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    Thus victory just went to a very badly mauled Thetis, and Captain Tornqvist ploy of opening the battle paid off, although, looking at the devastation all around his ship, he secretly felt that he would not venture that chance again.

    BUTCHER’S BILL.




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    Last edited by Bligh; 10-14-2021 at 08:53.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  33. #33
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    Thank you very much for your Rep for this AAR Gary.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  34. #34
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    Ah it’s finally open to comment.

    It was a riveting read and great pictures. What a close call. Another turn and the fire may have changed the outcome.

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    It's great to see the story continuing.

    What a close run thing, without that extremely effective grape at the commencement of the fight I think the Thetis would have been taken. What a disaster that would have been.
    A hero's welcome awaits Captain Carl Gustaf Tornqvist.

  36. #36
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    Glad you liked it gentlemen, and thanks for the Rep John.
    It was a close run thing indeed, and in retrospect I think that ordinary double shot to reduce the gunnery of the Jirum may have served Thetis better as that return first broadside was not reduced by the loss of crewmen, and in fact the Thetis was outgunned throughout the battle. A couple fewer crew hit at the end of the fight and she would indeed have been lost.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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