Military Wiki

Captain Robert Mann

Action of 25 February 1781
Part of the American Revolutionary War
Date25 February 1781
Locationoff Cape Finisterre, Spain
Result British victory
 Kingdom of Great Britain Spain Spain
Commanders and leaders
Robert Mann Don Nicolás de Medina
1 Fifth-rate frigate HMS Cerburus 1 Sixth-rate Frigate Graña
Casualties and losses
Two wounded 1 frigate captured,
6 killed, 17 wounded & 135 captured[1]

The Action of 25 February 1781 was a small naval engagement which was fought off Cape Finisterre between a Spanish naval frigate sixth rate Graña of thirty guns and a Royal Naval fifth rate frigate HMS Cerberus of thirty two guns. The British were victorious when Graña surrendered after a hard fight.[2]

On 25 February 1781, whilst cruising twenty leagues off Cape Finisterre, the Royal Naval frigate HMS Cerberus of thirty two guns under Captain Robert Mann sighted the Spanish twenty gun frigate Graña, under Don Nicolás de Medina.[3]

Graña was a month out of Ferrol but had not had a successful cruise - capturing very little. Cerberus closed on the Spanish and soon an action began. Within fifteen minutes the British got the better of the Graña as Cerberus's broadsides took effect. The Spanish officers fought as long as they could, but their men deserted them. Further action for the Spanish seemed pointless so De Medina struck her colors and Graña was taken possession of.[1]

In the action with Cerberus, Graña lost her first lieutenant and six men killed, and seventeen wounded, out of her crew of 166 men of whom the rest were taken prisoner. Captain Mann in contrast was highly pleased with the behaviour of the officers and men of the Cerberus, in which only two were wounded.[2] The captured ship was purchased into the Royal Navy under the same name, and rated as a twenty eight gunner and sold on in 1806. Mann as a result of the victory was rewarded a captaincy of the sixty-four gunner HMS Scipio.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Clowes, pg 62
  2. 2.0 2.1 Allen pg 310
  3. "No. 12168". 6 March 1781. 


  • Allen, Joseph (1852). Battles of the British Navy, Volume 1. Bohn's illustrated library. ASIN B009ZMMQ56. 
  • Clowes, William Laird (2003). The Royal Navy: v. 4: A History - From the Earliest Times to 1900. Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1861760128. 

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