Campaign report: One thousand Irish 19th March 1689

The game is underway... Akkerman hugs the coast and O'Brien has to reposition to block the channel at Duncriege.

Dave O'Brien's nautical Jacobites are once again, all at sea!................

Late in the action - Indomitable pounds Komeetster from an advantageous angle.

King James, newly arrived in Ireland is mustering his forces to take possession of the entire island and reinforce his loyal troops assembling in Scotland under Viscount Dundee. A plan to reinforce the Highland army with regular Irish infantry has been boosted by the arrival of Daniel O’Brien’s squadron at Dublin. 

Akkerman's veteran frigate squadron deploys for battle.

Swift repair work to the captured Oxford has enabled O’Brien’s ships to be ready for sea. Five transports have been assembled to carry 1,000 infantry, staff, equipment, powder and ball to Scotland. A landing point at Dúncreige on the Ardnamurchan peninsula has been found. In the heart of loyal Macdonald territory, this remote spot has been deemed ideal to set down the Irish force.

Having left Dublin on the 16th the troop ships arrived by a circuitous route and immediately began disembarkation on the 19th. With the operation well underway and O’Brien’s ships shielding the transports from the seaward side, sail is unexpectedly sighted inshore and hugging the coast to the south of Dúncreige. 

T2 Closing on each other.

A mixed coastal patrol squadron has been alerted by men loyal to the new King.This force is determined to deny Dundee his reinforcements.

Turns 1 to 4

Although O’Brien’s ships stood to windward of the enemy squadron each ship faced northward and had to come about as quickly as was possible. Negotiating passage through the narrow channels between the chain of islands shielding the coast from the open sea would be difficult. Current pushing between the steep sided rocky outcrops were particularly strong and even with the wind, small ships were known to struggle to reach inshore.

T2 The action is fully underway and the Irish infntry continue to lnd at Duncriege Point.

Akkerman, the Dutch admiral in charge of the inshore squadron of King William’s ships, was still some way distant and out of sight aboard the 66 gun Komeetster. His swifter frigates were all the while, closing on Dúncreige Point where the channel narrowed to less than 400 yards and the landing grounds teemed with soldiers, labourers and pack animals.

T4 O'Brien's ships re in the neck of the channel and attempting to inderdict the Williamite ships.

O’Brien’s ships split with Sligo, Limerick and Loyal Oxford heading straight for Dúncreige point whilst the yacht Kinsale and the French ship Indomitable struck out for the same narrow channel between two islands. The current was too strong for Kinsale which could make no headway and was held at the neck of the channel even with the wind at her back. The much larger French ship loomed over her and rammed her stern nudging her into the channel by accident. Both vessels sustained some damage during this incident.

Kinsale is frozen by the strong west flowing current pushing through the channel. Indomitable changes course.

Turns 5

The landing continued unabated as Sligo, Limerick and Loyal Oxford squeezed between the transports to block the narrow channel mouth at Dúncreige Point.  The oncoming Williamite frigates and the southbound Irish ships scraped past each other firing as their guns came to bear. 

The moment Indomitable rammed the stern of Kinsale as the yacht found itself locked by the currents.

Sligo was heavily damaged at close range by the 38-gun Nonsuch. Her forward magazine promptly exploded ripping away her foc’sle and slowing her to a crawl as the crew attempted to keep her afloat and fighting. 

Sligo and Nonsuch fire as their guns bear! A vicious exchange!

Nonsuch in turn suffered almost identically from the guns of Limerick with the damage so extensive that her experienced captain immediately struck his colours and a pinnace from Limerick claimed her for King James. Akkerman’s arrival to windward of Indomitable caused the French 66 gunner to abandon attempts to get inshore of the islands and face about to meet the new threat.

Sligo explodes and Limerick wreaks revenge on Nonsuch.

Turn 6-7

Two Dutch ships followed Nonsuch up the narrow channel. The 36-gun Brielle and the 50-gun Agatha. Both shot the wounded Sligo which was forced to strike to the larger Dutch ship. Pushing further north into the narrowing channel Agatha collided head on with Loyal Oxford scraping down the entire length of her larboard side and causing damage to both ships. The Dutch ship poured fire into Loyal Oxford as she passed causing extensive lower deck damage and casualties. By now most of the Irish troops were safely ashore and the transport fleet was making ready to reach the open sea.

Agatha launches a pinnace to take possession of the wrecked Sligo.

Turn 8

Just as the five transports weighed anchor the damaged but still operational Brielle supported by Agatha, broke through and into the homeward bound transports. Brielle quickly boarded and captured Dublin Merchant without a fight and this allowed the remainder to make their escape.

The transport fleet weighs anchor and head for the safety of the open sea.
Turns 9-12

Indomitable out sailed Komeetster pounding her from the starboard quarter whilst Kinsale, Loyal Oxford and Limerick made good their escape down the same inshore route by which their enemies had arrived. The captured but badly damaged Nonsuch was abandoned being too difficult to get under tow in the middle of a running battle.

The Jacobites make good their escape.

 The Jacobite ships were thus able to make good their escape with four warships heading south and inshore whilst four transports headed north and out to sea. The Williamite squadron was too disorganized to pursue.

The troops are safely assembled on Scottish soil although a single merchantman has been captured by Brielle.

The mission to land troops ad escape was this a total success although the loss of Sligo and the abandonment of a prize was to be regretted. O’Brien’s other ships had sustained some damage but in relative terms they fared well and it was a successful mission and honourable victory.