ADMIRAL ELPHINSTONE AND THE CONQUEST AND DEFENCE OF THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE, 1795-96

Thean Potgieter, Albert Grundlingh

Abstract


Vice Admiral of the Blue the Honourable Sir George Keith Elphinstone
(1746-1823) was appointed as commander of the British force dispatched to capture
the Cape of Good Hope in 1795. As an experienced naval officer and a capable
commander acquainted with the Cape and the Far East, he was the correct choice to
command the expedition. Due to the strategic location of the Cape of Good Hope –
literally halfway on the sea route to the East – it was vital for maritime
communications, and Britain had to ensure that the Cape did not fall into French
hands. To secure a safe base on the sea route to the East, a British expeditionary force
was sent to the Cape. The British task force arrived in False Bay on 11 June 1795 and
when negotiations with the Dutch authorities at the Cape failed, a military campaign
commenced that resulted in the capitulation of the Cape on 16 September 1795. In
August 1796, when a Dutch squadron under the command of Rear Admiral E. Lucas
anchored in Saldanha Bay, Elphinstone speedily neutralised the threat, forcing Lucas
to surrender. After a very successful service period at the Cape, Elphinstone returned
to Britain on 7 October 1796. He conducted the defence of the Cape with vigour and
actively sought out his enemy, confirming British control of the Cape and the virtual
impossibility of taking back the Cape with force of arms.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/35-2-37

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2018 Thean Potgieter, Albert Grundlingh


ISSN 2224-0020 (online); ISSN 1022-8136 (print)

Creative Commons License -CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2011.


Disclaimer:

This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help