The respective losses in men were: British, 30 killed, 73 wounded; French, 72 killed, 112 wounded. In this encounter, both sides had eight ships in line, besides smaller craft. The advantage in force was distinctly with the British, who had one three-decked ship, three 74's, three 64's, and a 50; while the French had one 84, two 74's, four 64's, and the late British Romulus, 44.
Towards it the French admiral pressed, aiming to cut off the three rear vessels; but Cornwallis threw everything aback and closed down upon his consort, a stirring deed in which he was imitated by the Resolution and Bedford, 74's, immediately ahead of him.
On the 20th of December he left Acheen for the Coromandel coast, having shortened his stay to the eastward for reasons of policy. On the 8th of January, 1783, he was off Ganjam, on the Orissa coast, and thence reached Trincomalee again on the 23d of February. There he was joined on the 10th of March by three ships of the line from Europe: two 74's and one 64.
These, with four others refitted during that month, not improbably from stores brought in Hood's convoy of over a hundred sail, raised the disposable force to twenty-one ships of the line: two 90's, one 80, fifteen 74's, and three 64's.
These three new-comers were the Ruby, 64, and two frigates, the Pomona, 28, and Niger, 32. The comparison of forces, therefore, would be: French, two 74's, one 64, one 50, and one frigate, opposed to, British, two 64's, one 50, and three frigates. La Motte-Picquet evidently did not wait to ascertain the size of the approaching ships.
Three months later, Cornwallis was sent by Parker to accompany a body of merchant ships for England as far as the neighborhood of Bermuda. The strangers were a body of French transports, carrying the six thousand troops destined for Rhode Island, and convoyed by a division of seven ships of the line one 80, two 74's, and four 64's under the command of Commodore de Ternay.
"Why, there are men in the fleet who never had any schooling at all who could tell you that we had seven 74's, seven 64's, and two 50- gun ships in the action. There's a picture on the wall of the chase of the Ca Ira. Which were the ships that laid her aboard?" Again I had to confess that he had beaten me.
Besides these there were the four in Fort Royal, one 74 and three 64's, a junction of which with the approaching enemy it was one of Hood's objects to prevent. The force of the British was one 90, one 80, twelve 74's, one 70, and two 64's: total, 17.
On the 9th of February, 1782, Comte d'Orves died, and Suffren found himself at the head of twelve ships of the line: three 74's, seven 64's and two 50's. On the 15th Hughes's fleet was sighted, under the guns of Madras. It numbered nine of the line: two 74's, one 68, five 64's, and one 50. Suffren stood south towards Pondicherry, which had passed into the power of Hyder Ali.
Though he had only 14 ships to 20, his four three-deckers, according to the estimates of the time, were each worth two of the enemy 74's, and on the other hand, the 6 Spanish ships with Villeneuve could hardly be counted for more than three. In the ensuing action, fought in foggy weather, two of the Spanish were captured and one of Calder's three-deckers was so injured that it had to be detached.