Harman Patil

HMS Didon (1805)

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Name  Didon
Laid down  September 1796
Name  HMS Didon
Launched  1 August 1799
Builder  Saint-Malo
Namesake  Dido
Captured  on 10 August 1805
Construction started  September 1796
Displacement  1.27 million kg
In service  Captured on 10 August 1805

The Didon was a Virginie class 40-gun frigate of the French Navy. Captured by the British in 1805, she went on to serve briefly in the Royal Navy as the 38-gun fifth-rate HMS Didon until she was sold in 1810.


French service

Laid down in 1796 as Fâcheuse, she was renamed to Didon in 1799, the year of her launch.

On 13 October 1803, she captured a British brig. She later took part in the Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1805.


While attempting to rejoin the French fleet of Allemand's expedition of 1805, she encountered HMS Phoenix, Captain Thomas Baker, on 10 August 1805, off Cape Finisterre, and struck at 43°16′N 12°14′W.

Captain Milius, of Didon, maneuvered adroitly, and casualties on both sides were heavy. The 4-hour fight cost Didon 27 men killed and 44 wounded. Phoenix lost 12 men killed and 28 wounded. Lloyd's Patriotic Fund awarded Baker a sword worth 100 guineas. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp, "Phoenix 10 Augt. 1805".

Baker took Didon in tow and sailed towards Gibraltar. By good fortune and skilful sailing he avoided encountering the Franco-Spanish fleet that had just left Cadiz. Instead of continuing onward, Baker changed direction and sailed for England.

British service

Didon arrived at Plymouth on 4 September 1805. The Navy took her into British service as HMS Didon; she is the only ship of the Royal Navy to have borne this name.

The Royal Navy commissioned Didon under the command of Captain Thomas Baker in November. She was paid off in 1807 and placed into Ordinary the same year.


The Navy commenced major repairs on Didon in May, but then cancelled the work. Didon was broken up in August 1811.


HMS Didon (1805) Wikipedia

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