Battle Of Cuddalore

The Battle of Cuddalore was a battle between a British fleet under Admiral Sir Edward Hughes and a slightly smaller French fleet under the Bailli de Suffren off the coast of India near Cuddalore during the American Revolutionary War, which in 1780 had sparked the Second Mysore War in India. The battle took place on 20 June 1783, after peace had been signed in Europe but before the news had reached India. It was the final battle of the American Revolutionary War.

On the death of French ally Hyder Ali, the British decided to retake Cuddalore, and marched some troops from Madras to begin the siege. The French fleet under Suffren appeared off the port on 13 June. A week of fickle winds prevented either side from engaging, but on 20 June Suffren attacked. No ships were seriously damaged, though casualties were high with both sides losing about 100 men dead and 400 wounded. The British fleet retreated to Madras after the action, preventing the landing of transports carrying additional troops to reinforce the siege. A sortie from the town weakened the British forces, which were likely to have raised the siege if word had not arrived on 29 June that a preliminary peace had been agreed between France and Britain.

Both fleets were at first frustrated by light and changeable winds. When a consistent west wind appeared on 20 June, Hughes lined up for battle on a northward-trending port tack and awaited Suffren's action. Lining up in a similar formation, Suffren gave to the order to attack, and battle was engaged shortly after 4 pm. The action lasted until about 7 pm, and there was no major damage done to ships in either fleet, even though all ships were engaged.