The Mauritius Command by Patrick O'Brian
The true history of the mauritius campaign.
Britain blockaded Mauritius in 1794 and used Rodrigues Island as a supply base for water, fuel etc.
In 1808 the British navy seriously set out to recapture Mauritius.
HMS Belliqueux under the command of Commodore Byng set up camp in Port Mathurin at Rodriques Island with 200 infantry and 200 sepoys.
The army forces were led by Lieutenant Colonel Keating.
In 1810 4,000 British soldiers left to capture Reunion on the 9th July.
The Battle of Vieux Grand Port delayed the invasion of Mauritius until the 3rd December and British forces remained in Rodrigues until April 1812.
The Mauritius Command by Patrick O'Brian starts off in Hampshire with Jack Aubrey esconsced in domestic wedded bliss to his darling Sophie.
He has two twin girls but one thing he does not have is a green thumb. His dream of an ordered garden has been eaten away by the caterpillars and bugs.
The action starts with 4 French frigates arriving in Mauritius and taking 2 east indiamen merchant ships. The deep water harbors of Mauritius are Port Louis,
Port South East and St. Paul's. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin's mission is to capture Reunion Island and Mauritius. The French frigates have 40 guns, each 24 pounders and they are the
Venus, Manche, Bellone, and the Caroline. The British have :
Nereide with 36 guns - 12 pounders, commanded by Captain Corbett.
Sirius with 18 pounders, and led by Captain Pym.
Boadecia , with the same guns and initially commanded by Lucky Jack Aubrey.
Otter is a sloop of 18 guns, with Captain Clonfert at the helm
The Flagsip is the Raisonable with 64 guns, a ship of the line.
The Mauritius Command. by Patrick O'Brian
The Mauritius Command
by: Patrick O'Brian
publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
, released: May, 1991
price: $11.16 (new), $4.55 (used)
They start the voyage at Portsmouth and pick up the governor-to-be Farquar who along with Stephen Maturin will deal with the political issues.
They pass the Dry Salvages and 2 leagues South South East of there they capture the Hebe, with 22 24 pounder guns, carronades and two long nines. They
pass 35d 30'N and north of the equator they get becalmed for 10 days in the doldrums. At 4d S they find the trade winds and reach False Bay at Cape Town
where Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin receive their orders from Admiral Bertie. Jack is given the nominal title of Commodore and is to lead from the flagship, the
Raisonable. Jack's orders are to destroy all French cruisers South of 10d S and West of 70d East.
When they reach Reunion, Stephen Maturin goes into Petite Anse in the Wasp to do some spy work and do some skullduggery with his agents on the island.
The Indiamen Europe and Streatham are captured and the Caroline heads in for St Pauls. Jack and Stephen head for Rodriguez Island and then back to Reunion.
They meet the Boadicia and the Sirius North East of Mauritius. They hear that the Bellone is in Port Louis. The Boadicia is sent to St Paul to blockade it.
The Raisonable is in St Paul Bay and Captain Corbett is to go in at Gallete and land the troops. The British troops capture St Paul guns and the shore
battery. The Boadicia, Raisonnable and the Nereide capture the Caroline in St Paul's harbor. Jack Aubrey sends Captain Corbett home in the Caroline and Lord
Clonfert is made Captain of the Nereide. They take Keating to Rodriguez Island, then head to Cape Town and leave the Raisonable there and head back in
the Boadecia. They are met by the Magicienne and the Windham and they are told that the Venus is in Grand Port. They sail to Port Louis and meet all the
other ships there. They are hit by a cyclone and have to limp back to Cape Town to refit. Then the frigates sail back to Mauritius and learn that the French frigate
Astree of 38 guns is at the Riviere Noire. They sail to Reunion and take St Denis in a pincer movement from Ste Marie.
Patrick O'Brian has written a very tidy piece of historical fiction in The Mauritius Commmand. It cracks along at a brisk pace and is a very tidy read, thank you very much.
Fortune Of War
Far Side of World
Reverse of Medal
Letter of Marque
13 Gun Salute
Nutmeg of Consolation