The Wreck Of The “Medusa”: Ineptitude, Bad Leadership, And Tragedy

As part of the 1815 Peace of Paris settlement that ended the Napoleonic Wars, England agreed to cede to France some West African possessions near Gambia and Senegal.  To implement this turnover, the French maritime authorities sent the vessel Medusa and three smaller ships to the Senegalese coast:  these were named the Echo, the La Loire, and the Argus.  The Medusa itself was captained by one Viscount Hugues Duroy de Chaumereys, a man who had had very little navigational experience.  The Medusa sailed from the island of Aix on June 17, 1816.

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