A Panel of the 18th-19th century period showing the timeline on display at the Gare Maritime since 2017
From 1777 the first official traces of an American fleet anchored in Villefranche Harbor can be found as shown by the splendid old engravings exhibited at the Gare Maritime of Villefranche. It was to end once and for all the attacks on its merchant convoys between Europe and the United States that this fleet made up of powerful frigates plied the Mediterranean. A new generation of vessel, these frigates were designed using green oak wood, whose thick planks, once assembled, resisted with ease the impacts of enemy fleets cannonballs.
The Tripolitan War, also known as the First Barbary War or Barbary Coast War, was the first war which involved the United States of America. It was fought against the Barbary States (the independent sultanate of Morocco and the regencies of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, the independent provinces of the Ottoman Empire). This maritime conflict lasted from 14 May 1801 to 10 June 1805, and ended, more or less, acts of piracy in the Mediterranean.
The Byers Company supplied anchors to the naval powers of the five continents
To get back to the Villefranche anchor, which has been much written about, on display at the entrance to the Wilson car park, it was W.L. Byers & Co., based in Sunderland, England which cast this remarkable anchor whose maker’s marks, including the famous swastika, appeared once the marine accretions were unfortunately removed.