Sidelights on Commodore Johnstone’s Expedition to the Cape Part II
In 1781 Commodore Johnstone was sent with a small naval force and a mixed convoy to capture The Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch. The French had also sent reinforcements to the Cape under the command of Admiral Suffren. Suffren carried out an unsuccessful attack on Johnstone who was at anchor at Porto Praya in the Cape Verde Islands. Despite suffering greater damage in the encounter, Suffren was first to the Cape throwing Johnstone’s plans into confusion. Hesitation and indecision meant Johnstone achieved very little before his force dispersed to carry out other pre-planned tasks.