Fort de la Conchée
St Malo - France - XVII Century
For the little story ...
November 26, 1693 A fleet of 25 Anglo-Dutch ships comes to anchor near La Conchée. The 30 workers working at the foundations are taken prisoner. Work already done is damaged. A Brulot (ship loaded with explosives) is sent to Saint-Malo. Its cargo of 200 barrels of powder (25 tons), 5000 bombs, and a thousand projectiles, has enough to destroy the city. Fortunately, a sudden leap of wind makes it fail on reefs. The explosion is impressive but causes little damage. The proof is made of the importance of a fortification on the Conche to close the access to Saint-Malo. Vauban had 21 guns, provisions, and soldiers placed on the island.
1694 The Anglo-Dutch attack of 1693 brings very useful lessons for the evolution of the Fort. In May, Vauban judges the first implementation project "unsustainable by its smallness". He plans a new project with an extension to the west and an advanced guardhouse to the south in the shape of a circular tower detached and protected by a pit and a drawbridge. The project also provides for two "sentry boxes" (watchtowers).
1695 After a year and a half of work, the terrace is not finished; but a part of the underground is completed and the Fort is armed. Vauban is enthusiastic: "The Conche will be hereinafter the best fortress of the kingdom, the smallest and the best heard, as it will have been the most difficult to build, because no work was so much".
July 14, 1695 An enemy fleet arrives on Saint-Malo: 30 ships armed with 80 guns, 25 guns with bombs (warship carrying one or more mortars and intended for the bombing), and 2 fire-ships. The Fort de la Conchée is cannoned from 11am to dusk. The next day, the burials are sent to the fort. One touch the fortress and causes a start of fire controlled quickly. The guns of the fort then come into action and thunder for two days. The English are weighing anchor after suffering heavy damage and the loss of about 500 men, It was the first and only fight of the Fort de la Conchée.
End of year 1695 Having received from the King a notice inviting him to a reduction of the expenses, Vauban draws up new plans which establish definitively the form and the setting up of the rooms of the Fort.
1710 Fort de la Conchée is finished. The total cost of construction was estimated at a fabulous 400,000 pounds, of which 15% was financed by the Malouins.
The East and North faces are provided with 16 battlements, which will be refilled later during the raising of the parapet made necessary by the evolution of the artillery.
The Fort is under the command of a captain, and 3 lieutenants. There is also a surgeon and a chaplain permanently. In case of an attack announced, the regular troop is reinforced by fifty men of the bourgeois militia of Saint-Malo and Saint-Servan.
1758 On Sunday, June 4, 1758, a squadron of about a hundred ships is reported off Saint-Malo. The imposing silhouette of Fort Conche forces the English to get round the obstacle. They decide to take Saint-Malo by land by landing further, in Cancale. Several battles will follow until September: 3000 English were killed or drowned and more than 2800 prisoners were made.
I propose to relive the assault of the Fort as it was at the time, You are part of a crew that has managed to approach sandbanks to storm the fort. I allowed myself to take a few liberties on the historical plans and around the Fort for the gameplay. Enjoy !