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Topic: 31) The Serapis

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31) The Serapis

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The Serapis

Serapis.jpg

H. M. S. Serapis versus Bon Homme Richard by Robert Dodd

The Serapis So, back to that little **** Johnny Newcombe Jones and the Apple Dumpling Gang. He managed to get the Crown's attention by kicking em in the tea cups so, they got on the bullhorn to their buddy Arnie and started bitching him out so he went to see George at Valley Forge and started bitching him out so he starts bitching out Lafayette and told him to go see his mommy and daddy in France and take care of the problem for em. He goes and sicks the Captain of the Alliance (supposedly our Ally) on our hero John Paul Jones with orders to send him to meet his cousin Davy Jones all of which, no doubt, is why Lee had said that George was "prodigal" (generous) with other people's blood but a great economist of his own (Johnson, pg. 160) and had "devoted to destruction" (Fereling, pg. 307) several of his Officers - to wit : Montgomery, Morgan, Allen, Gates, Lee and, here, John Paul Jones.

Course, there again, if he hadn't of been so busy stumbling over a Venerable Monosyllable (like Marie Antoinette who, according to Schiff, "melted" in his hands - What? And not in his mouth?) our Intrepid Knight in Shining Amour might have actually seen this one coming.

Be that as it may, the Brits finally cornered him in the Channel (Sept 79 - "you've got me right where I want you") so he took the fight to them where they commenced pounding the **** out of each other for a couple of hours. He had got off to a bad start cause someone (no doubt) had spiked two of his biggest guns which exploded at the first volley and things went down hill rapidly from there ending with Land******* of the Alliance coming up and shooting the Bonne Homo Richard in the back and then sailing away to watch it sink, having punched a hole below the waterline.

As the Richard starts floundering and the Serapis breaks away and starts coming around for the kill shot with the Captain demanding Jones Strike the Flag (surrender) he was heard, instead, ordering one of his sailors to stop cursing (can you believe it?!?) cause he might, "be stepping into Eternity at any moment" (Bennett, pg. 96).

But then a funny thing happened on the way to Eternity!

Flamborough.jpg

USS Bonhomme Richard engages HMS Serapis off Flamborough Head  by Charles R. Patterson 

In what is, probably, the most fortuitous event of the war (when you consider their location in the stormy English Channel off of Flamborough Head at the start of hurricane season and the very narrow window of opportunity involved at less than, about, 15 minutes), "the wind miraculously died" (Fereling, pg. 378), becalming the Serapis.

Our hero,  characteristically, seized the moment, steered the drifting (with the current since it was riding lower in the water) Richard into the path of the Serapis and thus avoided its guns (making it look like the Serapis had rammed the Richard as some reported at the time) and commenced clearing the deck with muzzle fire until he (personally) could lob a couple of grenades down the hatch onto a powder keg which blew the fight right outta the Captain who promptly surrendered the Serapis to Jones.

Kicking the Brits ass at their own game right in front of Continental Europe probably did more to get France and Spain to join our side than anything else thus causing England to fight a war on three fronts, as it were, which,  then, caused them to focus on Europe, not America, and, probably, cost em the war. It would take the ungrateful *******s in this country a full 100 years to recognize the genius of this, almost singular, American Hero.



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