On April 18, 1756 (Easter day) 12,000 French soldiers landed in Ciutadella under the command of the Duke of Richelieu. That same day the 300 English soldiers from the Ciutadella garrison had withdrawn towards Maó, and the juries of the old capital offered no resistance to occupy the city. The French troops, crossing the island, went to besiege the castle of San Felipe. On May 20, naval combat began between a French squadron led by Admiral La Galissonnière and Admiral Byng’s English, off the entrance to the port of Mahón. After an arduous fight that lasted all afternoon, the victory favored the French.
The British besieged in the castle of San Felipe were only 2,500 men, commanded by the governor Sir William Blakeney. They defended themselves heroically, but could not resist against the vastly superior number of the French. The capitulation of the British was signed on June 29.
During the short French occupation, it is worth highlighting the founding of the town of Sant Lluís. By the peace of Paris in 1763 France returned to England the possession of Menorca.