PLAN DU COMBAT DU GRAND PORT, ISLE DE FRANCE 1810 [manuscript title]
1860·[N.p., but possibly Port Louis
[N.p., but possibly Port Louis, 1860. Manuscript map, 17 3/4 x 13 1/2 on drafting linen. Handcolored. Old folds. Minor wear and soiling. Near fine. Manuscript plan of the Battle of Grand Port on Mauritius Island during the Napoleonic Wars. The battle took place August 20-27, 1810 between French and British forces, and the French were victorious, maintaining their hold on Mauritius until December that year. The plan shows the harbor at Grand Port, on the southeastern shore of the island, with the French and British ships color coded to a key on the right side of the map. The four British ships are individually labeled, as are those of the French, and dotted lines show the movement of the vessels throughout the battle. The town of Mahebourg is shown in the lower right corner, and at the bottom of the map a legend indicates that many corpses were washed up along the beach in that area. This battle was a significant defeat for the British, arguably the worst defeat they suffered in the war, leaving the trade routes in the Indian Ocean open to French attack, although they returned to rout the French later in the year. During the long war between France and England at the beginning of the 19th century, Mauritius proved to be an important strategic naval base, and as a result the British took charge of the island in 1810, and the Treaty of Paris confirmed official British possession in 1814. It remained an important sugar producing colony, and in the 20th century agricultural production was expanded to include tea, rice, and other produce. (Inventory #: WRCAM48620)
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