The Glorious First of June
Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.--Psalm 135:6, KJV
The Glorious First of June was a victory for the Royal Navy and a defeat for the French. Admiral Howe was ordered to intercept a valuable grain convoy bound for Paris, while French Admiral Villeret was tasked with defending it. Both sides were searching for the convoy, when the Royal Navy found Villeret’s squadron. With the weather on his side, Lord Howe ordered his fleet straight into the French line. He hoped to break the formation into a confused mass of ships and batter each singly. Unfortunately, a few captains disregarded his orders, throwing the entire plan into jeopardy. Howe nevertheless took the remainder of the fleet and smashed the French line to pieces. His ship alone, the Queen Charlotte, fiercely attacked and badly damaged the French flagship, Montagne, after firing on two other French men-o’-war. The British captains, though taking losses, were successful. Admiral Villeret at last retreated and the British captured several badly-damaged French vessels. The battle was another British naval triumph, but the grain convoy and much of Villeret’s squadron escaped. While God defeated the French, he also showed them mercy by allowing the grain convoy to reach the starving people of Paris.