A former Royal Fort, the National Fort was built in 1689 by the engineer Siméon Garengeau according to Vauban's plans and on the orders of King Louis XIV, at the same time as the ramparts of Saint Malo, for which he was responsible.
An advanced bastion of the corsair city, it is part of all the fortifications that went as far as Fort La Latte.▼▼▼
On 26 November 1693, a fleet of 30 Anglo-Dutch ships appeared off Cap Fréhel. After bombarding Fort La Latte and the Isle of the Ebihians, this fleet was heading for Saint Malo, taking with it an infernal machine designed to blow up the corsair city. For nearly two years, workers who never went out had been working in the Tower of London to design a mysterious nave under the command of Prince William of Orange.
This ship was 84 feet long, had 3 decks, 300 tons and carried 23 guns. To get closer to the coast, he only wedged 7 feet. Its sails were black and its flanks full of powder, bombs and machine guns.
On November 29, 1693, the Fort de la Conchée and the Island of Cézembre fell into the hands of the enemy,
whose objective was now to take Fort Royal. While the Fort Royal supported the enemy fleet's bombardments, the infernal ship broke away from the squadron and sailed for Saint Malo.
But as it ran along the rock line from Fort Royal to Fort de la Reine, a strong westerly gale hit the ship and threw it over the reefs.
The occupants only had time to set the powders on fire. But the ship immediately exploded, shredding them and throwing scrap iron and scrap metal at the city. The ship had exploded before reaching the ramparts. Prince William of Orange had calculated everything correctly. Its objective was to reach the Bidouane Tower,
which was then used as a powder magazine in Saint Malo. A storm broke out and protected Saint-Malo from certain destruction. The cannon and cannonballs in the Fort come from this machine.
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