Action of 18 February 1770

Action of 18 February 1770
Part of the War of the Velaran Succession
Francis Sartorius - Four frigates capturing Spanish treasure ships, 5 October 1804.jpg
Date18 February 1770
Location
Result Velaran strategic victory
Belligerents
 Trellin  Isles of Velar
Commanders and leaders
Trellin Admiral Pei Tisarol Isles of Velar Commodore Azinto Súkiret
Strength
1 ship of the line
3 frigates
4 ships of the line
12 transports
Casualties and losses
1 frigate destroyed
31 killed, 25 wounded
16 killed, 44 wounded

The Battle off Vrinon Pelna was a minor, but significant, naval engagement in the War of the Velaran Succession, fought on 18 February 1770. A Trellinese squadron under Admiral Pei Tisarol had been shadowing the Velaran army of generals Heruyel and Laidakon in their retreat from Zarthalin when it was attacked by a Velaran relief fleet out of Parthenope under Commodore Azinto Súkiret.

The battle was little more than a brief skirmish, as Tisarol attempted to outrun the larger and more heavily-armed Velaran ships. After losing one of his frigates to a volley from the Fosz, Tisarol brought his flagship about to protect his rearguard and Súkiret's warships fell back and moved away. Having dispersed the Trellinese naval presence, Súkiret was free to rescue the beleaguered Velaran army fighting on the coast.

Background

After two failed attempts to recapture the city of Zarthalin, which had fallen early in the war to Ja'ekhan armies, the Velaran forces in Pelna and Retikh found themselves without any defensible fortresses. As the Trellinese army moved into the region, the Velarans were forced to retreat along the coast and await rescue from the sea. They were shadowed by Admiral Pei Tisarol, whose squadron intended to intercept any Velaran transport ships.

On 27 January, a Velaran squadron of transports and ships of the line under Commodore Azinto Súkiret ran the blockade of Parthenope to deliver supplies to the beleaguered garrison. There they were urged to continue on and rescue the army on the mainland, and so on 29 January the convoy once more broke through the Trellinese cordon in the Battle of the Bay of Parthenope. Of the eighteen transports they arrived with, twelve remained after the battle and, after hugging the coastline of Napocis for two weeks, were brought to the Pelnan coast. The two squadrons sighted each other off Vrinon Pelna, a cape west of the Plain of Marúna where a battle had been raging between Velaran and Ja'ekhan-Trellinese forces.

The battle

The battle itself was brief. Recognising that he was outgunned, Tisarol ordered his vessels to keep their distance from the Velaran warships. The larger vessels bore down on the Trellinese frigates, and the Fosz, the fastest of the Velaran ships, fired at range on the SCS Rohakseta, igniting its magazine. Most of the crew safely abandoned ship, though 19 sailors died when the ship subsequently exploded. In response, Tisarol brought the Cantral about to come between the two ships. He exchanged fire with the Fosz and the arriving Lahakon, taking out the former's foremast. The Fosz fell behind and the Lahakon, unsupported, withdrew outside cannon range. Battle was not resumed by either side and the two fleets moved away.

Aftermath

Though he escaped with minimal casualties, Tisarol's retreat from battle meant Súkiret was able to rescue much of the surviving Velaran army unhindered. As Parthenope fell before the army could arrive to relieve the siege, it was instead transported to Semeria in time to participate in the defense of Txir and subsequent battles. The loss of the Rohakseta meant Tisarol could not adequately engage any Velaran squadrons in battle. He instead withdrew to regroup with the main fleet under Admiral Tizarek Er'hani, and later participated in the last naval engagement of the war at Styrús.

Order of battle

Trellin

  • SCS Cantral (70 guns), Flagship, commanded by Admiral Pei Tisarol
  • SCS Suva'iq (30)
  • SCS Kaië Jajexa (28)
  • SCS Rohakseta (28)

Velar

  • Ésimiukam (70), Commodore Azinto Súkiret
  • Lahakon (66)
  • Fosz (67)
  • Txiorisú (68)
  • 12 transport ships