- "Well, Hornblower, after that cruise, you may not find it so exciting commanding a ship of the line."
"A ship of the line?"
- ―Adm. McCartney and Horatio Hornblower[src]
HMS Sutherland, formerly known as the Eendracht, was a Dutch-built 74 gun ship of the line. As a reward for his exploits onboard the HMS Lydia, Captain Horatio Hornblower was given command of HMS Sutherland, which was, in Hornblower's estimation, the ugliest ship of the line in the Royal Navy.
- "I must congratulate you, Captain, on your appointmeant to the Sutherland."
- ―Barbara Wellesley to Horatio Hornblower[src]
Hornblower's first orders were to escort an East Indian convoy off the Spanish coast. He successfully defended them from simultaneous attack by two faster, more manoeuvrable privateers.
Since Hornblower had been forced to sail with an understrength crew, and had to make do with "lubbers, sheepstealers, and bigamists", he broke admiralty regulations and impressed twenty men from each vessel in the convoy just before they part ways. With his ship fully manned, Hornblower wreaked havoc on the French-controlled Spanish coast. He captured a French brig by surprise, stormed a French fort, took two more vessels as prizes, repeatedly fired upon several thousand French soldiers marching along a coastal road, and saved his Admiral's ship from certain ruin by towing it away from a French battery during a severe storm.
When the Sutherland encountered a squadron of four French ships of the line that have broken through the English blockade of Toulon, Hornblower attacked them against overwhelming odds, and managed to disable or heavily damage all of them. However, with many of his men killed or wounded and his ship dismasted, he was forced to strike his colours and surrender. The tactical loss of HMS Sutherland was a strategic victory of dismasting and blockading the French squadron in the Bay of Rosas, where the enemy ships were later destroyed by the squadron commanded by admiral Sir Percy Leighton, who himself was killed in action while attacking the French ships.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "We're giving you a 74. A Frenchman we captured, renamed the Sutherland."
- ―Adm. McCartney to Horatio Hornblower[src]
- In Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N., the Sutherland was a French ship of the line, not Dutch.