January 16, 1780Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
The naval Battle of Cape St Vincent, took place off the coast of Portugal on 16 January 1780 during the American War of Independence. A British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney defeated a Spanish squadron under Don Juan de Lángara. The battle is sometimes referred to as the Moonlight Battle, because it was unusual for naval battles in the Age of Sail to take place at night. It was also the first major naval victory for the British over its European enemies in the war, and proved the value of copper sheathing the hulls of warships.