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A Collection of four defences made by Spanish military and naval officers of their conduct during the siege of Havana and its capture by the British in 1762
[1764] 1764 - [Madrid] In 1762 the British government decided to act against the Spanish who had entered on the side of the French in the Seven Years War, and sent a large naval and military force - ships of the line, transports, over ten thousand troops, including a detachment of American troops - to Cuba under the command of Admiral Sir George Pocock and the inexperienced Earl of Albemarle (land forces). The aim was to attack Havana and capture it. The city was protected by two strong forts, one of which, El Morro, commanded the harbour. Attempts to reduce it by fire from naval guns proved ineffective but it was eventually mined, and on 30 July 1762, the breach was stormed. The attack was then turned on the city which surrendered on 13 August. The loss of Havana was a huge shock to Spain and to Spanish imperial prestige. Havana was in fact returned to the Spanish after only a short period of British rule, but the cost was the loss of Florida and essentially all real power in the Caribbean. Shipped back to Spain on British ships were Field-Marshal Prado, the admiral Marqués del Reale Transporte, the Viceroy of Peru, don José Antonio Manso de Velasco y Sánchez de Samaniego, Field Marshal Diego Tabares, who had been governor of Cartagena in the Indies, and more than nine hundred others, including military, naval and civilian officials, who were put on trial under a Council of War of which the president was the conde de Aranda, the prosecution brought for the Crown by a Fiscal. The documents here offered print the charges (in italic) which are quite short, followed by the much longer satisfacciones. Details are given of the fortifications and military organisation of the Spanish, together with, as has been mentioned above, quite precise accounts of individual engagements and skirmishes. They are therefore an important source for this episode in colonial & Caribbean history The British library has four items connected with this affair. One (RB. 23.b.3769) is the Satisfaccion of Colonel Alexandro Arroyo de Royas, and the volume with pressmark 1324.i.9 contains three items, only one of which is also offered here (nos.37-39 in the volume) : the Satisfacciones of Field Marshal Juan de Prado (104pp.; with the same border as used in the Carlos Caro item offered here), of the Marqués de Real Transporte (ff. 74), dated at the end 30 April 1764, and of José Antonio Manso de Velasco, Conde de Superunda. The Bodleian also has a copy of that of the Real Transporte item. CARO, Carlos, Colonel. Manifiesto dela verdad en vindicacion del honor del coronel D. Carlos Caro, y demostracion de su acreditada buena conducta, en el campo de la Habana, con la tropa de dragones del regimiento de Edimburg, e demas que le estuvo agregada durante el sitio de aquella plaza. Contra la sindicacion de continuada inaccion ofensiva de que se ha sido accusado por el señor Fiscal de la junta de generales formada en virtud de real orden de 23 de febrero de [1]763 para el examen de lo acaecido en en sitio, y rendicion de dicha plaza. [Madrid 1764] [2], 134pp. Palau 44812 Caro sailed for Havana in November 1761 and arrived in Cuba in February 1762. His dragoons arrived at Havana in May 1762 and encountered the English on June 6. The document is full of very precise military details, numbers of men, horses, types of arms, use of peasant forces etc. There are a number of references to military writers : Folard's commentary on Polybius, Onosander, Vizconde del Puerto's Reflexiones militares, and others. The latest date is that of 21 October 1763 on p. 114 [HEVIA Y BUSTAMENTE, Gutierre Guido de], Marqueés del Real Transporte. Defensa y satisfaccion que por lade su obligacion, y honor proprio exponde el marques. sobre la conducta que tuvieron en la defensa, capitulacion, pérdida y rendicion de la plaza de Habana, y esquadra que se hallaba en su puerto loes gefes, y officiales comprehendidos en ella, y en la Junta de Guerra [etc.] [Madrid, 1764] ff. 74 Palau 251847 This work also contains
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