As 1794 opened, Revolutionary France stood on a knife's edge of failure. Its army and navy had been shaken by the revolution, with civil war and famine taking its toll on their resources. Seeking to bring a revitalizing supply of food from its Caribbean colonies and the United States, the French government decided to organize a massive convoy to bring the New World's bounty to France. However, in order to succeed in their mission, the French Navy would have to make a deadly crossing over the North Atlantic, an ocean patrolled by the Royal Navy, the most powerful navy force in the world, whose sailors were eager to inflict a damaging defeat on Revolutionary France and win their fortune in prize money.
Illustrated throughout with stunning full-colour artwork, this is the full story of the only fleet action during the Age of Fighting Sail fought in the open ocean, hundreds of miles from shore. Taking place over the course of a month, the inevitable battle was to be a close-run affair, with both sides claiming victory. To the French, it was le Bataille du 13 prairial, a notable day in their new, scientific Revolutionary calendar. For the British, it was the Glorious First of June.