's account of the movements of Louis Urbain du Bouexic, Comte de Guichen, and Adm.
Sir George Rodney is approximately correct. Guichen's force of 17 ships of the line
and numerous frigates sailed from Brest in early February, escorting a large convoy
carrying supplies and troops for the reinforcement of Martinique. The leading vessels
of the fleet arrived off the French island on 22 March. Rodney, following his successful
relief of Gibraltar in January, sailed for the West Indies with four ships of the
line, arriving off St. Lucia on 27 March.
's conviction that France intended to establish naval supremacy in the West Indies
was correct, but at the indecisive battle off Martinique on 17 April the two fleets
were approximately equal, Guichen having 22 and Rodney 20 ships of the line (Dull, French Navy and Amer. Independence
, p. 187–188; Mackesy, War for America
, p. 323–331; see also
to James Warren, 23 Feb.