The Royal Louis was a three deck vessel with 120 guns. Her captain was a
Squadron Admiral. She was the most powerful first-rank vessels belonging
to the French Royal Navy at that time. In 1779 she was the Admiral-ship of
the blue and white squadron, being part of the American Squadron, also
called the Earl d’Estaing’s and saw service in the West Indies. At that time
there were few vessels over 104 guns. The Spanish had just built the ship La
Santisima Trinidad of 120 guns and the Royal Louis was commisioned by
King Louis XVI as a direct rival.