| 1632 series |
POD: May, 1631
|Appearance(s):||1634: The Baltic War|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
Jean-Marie Grosclaud was the French captain of His Most Christian Majesty's thirty-two-gun ship Railleuse. Grosclaud was among the commanders who participated in the blockade of Lübeck Bay from the fall of 1633 through the spring of 1634. However, Grosclaud and his crew suffered a harsh Baltic winter weather as well as poor diet, inadequate clothing, poor sanitation, nonexistent hygiene, miserable, wet, unheated living quarters, and treacherous conditions aloft, which left many men killed by attrition. Grosclaud finally decided he'd had enough and piloted the Railleuse for France.
The Railleuse traveled to the Bay of Kiel where a Danish fishing trawler attempted to warn Grosclaud and his crew of an approaching United States Navy ironclad fleet. Unfortunately, the impatient Grosclaud did not understand what the fisherman was saying. Grosclaud ordered his sailing master to warn the pilot of the trawler to stay away or be shot by cannon fire. The trawler obeyed, but Grosclaud finally realized what was happending when he saw the ironclads.
Grosclaud was dumbstruck by what he was seeing. He'd heared reports about the ironclads, but had dissmissed them. Grosclaud took the Railleuse into combat against the ironclad Constitution. Admiral John Chandler Simpson, who was aboard the Constitution, ordered Grosclaud to surrender and be spared. Grosclaud refused. In response, the Constitution fired a warning shot to demonstrate the fire power of its carronades. Briefly surprised, Grousclaud recovered and ordered his ship to fire its eighteen pound cannons on the ironclad. The Constitution wasn't even dented. As forewarned by Admiral Simpson, the Constitution made short work of the Railleuse. Fire broke out on the French ship's deck, forcing Grosclaud and a few dozen surviving men to surrender. Simpson ordered that Constitution's firehoses be used on on the Railleuse.