On 12 April, De Grasse bore up with his fleet to protect a dismasted ship that was being chased by four British ships as he made for Guadaloupe. Rodney recalled his chasing ships and made the signal for line of battle. As the French line passed down the British line, a sudden shift of wind let Rodney’s flagship Formidable and several other ships, including the Duke and the Bedford, break through the French line, raking the ships as they did so. The resultant confusion in the French line and the severe damage to several of the French ships including De Grasse's flagship Ville de Paris, 104, led eventually to De Grasse’s surrender and the retreat of many of his ships in disorder. This action split the French battle line into two. A general chase ensued. In all, four French ships were captured and one, César, blew up after she was taken.
The British lost 243 killed and 816 wounded, and two captains out of 36 were killed. The French loss in killed and wounded has never been stated, but of captains alone, six were killed out of 30. It is estimated that the French loss may have been as much as 8,000. A total of over 5,000 French soldiers and sailors were captured. The large number shows what a considerable force the French were willing to put ashore with the invasion of Jamaica. Of the Ville de Paris' crew, over 400 had been killed and more than 700 were wounded.