A Far-Flung Gamble - Havana 1762 by David Greentree

By David Greentree

Osprey Raid sequence #15

At the peak of the Seven Years' warfare, nice Britain made an audacious strike on the middle of Spanish colonial energy within the Caribbean. amassing troops from bases in Britain and Canada and crusing around the Atlantic in secrecy was once an immense feat. The raid on Havana took Spanish colonial forces thoroughly all of sudden and following vicious battling, the town defences at El Moro collapsed. Havana, the jewel within the Spanish colonial crown, now belonged to Britain. The good fortune of the raid motivated British army coverage for hundreds of years because the real strength of amphibious conflict used to be discovered. writer David Greentree tracks each element of the raid from its origins to the seige and attack of El Morro. each one part is followed by means of complete colour illustrations from Donato Spedaliere and Giuseppe Rava in addition to maps, pictures, and interval artwork.

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The miners had to take their chance crossing this feature and surprisingly 'it cost only three or four men during the whole time'. Additional work to dig a shaft for sinking explosives into the counterscarp was started but delayed by large stones. On 2 0 July six coehorns (small portable mortars set in wooden blocks) were brought up from the Stone Redoubt to the site of the small battery in front of the covered way; one 12-pdr and one 24-pdr were also dragged there. The following day 12 more coehorns were brought up.

Although he knew Martinique had fallen, not enough effort was made to collect intelligence on the future destination of the British expedition. There is some debate amongst Spanish historians about the strength of the Spanish armed forces at Havana. In the 1850s, Guiteras estimated 3,000 regulars were present and Pezuela put the figure at around 2,000. The regiments of Havana, Spain, and Aragon certainly comprised the regular units of the garrison. There were also nine squadrons of cavalry from the Havana, Aragon, and Edinburgh dragoon regiments, and three companies of artillery.

A larger force of regular infantry and cavalry with a militia contingent was sent to Guanabacoa to stop any troops landing on the east side moving around the harbour to attack the city from the west. In order to protect the fully laden merchant ships in the harbour, he ordered the sinking of three ships of the line in the entrance, which occurred on 8, 9 and 10 June, and the construction of a boom, which was put in place on the 9th. To inform other garrisons that Havana was under attack, messengers were quickly dispatched to all parts of Cuba.

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