On This Day – Royal Navy Seizes Guadeloupe


On this day in 1810, the British Navy invaded Guadeloupe during the Napoleonic Wars. The island was the final remaining French colony in the Americas, following the systematic invasion and capture of the others during 1809 by British forces. A British expeditionary force landed on 28 January 1810, discovering that much of the island’s militia garrison had deserted. Advancing from two landing beaches on opposite sides of the island, they were able to rapidly push inland. It was not until they reached Beaupère–St. Louis Ridge outside the capital, Basse-Terre, that the expeditionary force faced strong opposition, but in a battle lasting for most of 3 February, the French were defeated and driven back.

British casualties stood at 52 killed and 250 wounded, with seven men missing while the French statistics stood in the region of 500–600 casualties throughout the campaign, with 3,500 men captured with their officers.

Guadeloupe was taken over as a British colony for the remainder of the war, only restored to France after Napoleon’s abdication in 1814.