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A Military prelude to the taking of Havana by the English
However, that fact can not be considered as something isolated or casual, it was inserted within the fight process between different European metropolises for the control of the American market, as well as the preservation or securing of these markets in favour of the European bourgeoisies.

For that reason the sea conflicts in the Caribbean region stopped being the domain of corsairs and pirates in order to become a matter of direct competence of the navy and army of the Old Continent.

To all that has already been mentioned we would have to add that for the specific case of Cuba, its strategic position as an anteroom for continental domain, turned it into the center of interest for European powers and a reason for struggles with Spain.

So, since the start of January 1762 England became to organize a great expedition that would allow it to charge against Havana and conquer it.

The British navy was made up by more than thirty line ships and vessels of different type and weight, under the direction of Admiral George Pockock and the second in command was Commoder Keppel.

More than ten thousand troops and eight thousand men from the crew came from Great Britain; to this were added reinforcement from New England and two thousand black pawns from Jamaica. The total number was calculated in about twenty thousand men. As Chief of the Army was named Count Albemarle and the Second in Command was Lord George Elliot.

The English attack plan was based on a detailed report of Havana topography and the state of its defences.

This document, among other things, stated that it was practically impossible to force the entrance of the Havana harbour, and that it was easier to disembark in the Cojimar area, from which there were two roads, one of which lead directly to the Morro and the other to the Cabaña, sites that were indispensable to take in order to dominate the city.

The squadron came in view of the Cuban city at dawn of June 6 and at first it was mistaken by the Spanish General Prado with an English merchant squad. Once they realized of their mistake the alarm was immediately sounded in order to prepare conditions in the face of the imminent disembarkation.

That took place on the next morning. As a preamble, English vessels began to batter Cojimar and a short while later they had destroyed the peninsular defensive positions.

Immediately afterwards and similarly to what was taking place in Bacuranao, English infantry forces invaded Cojimar in numbers greater to four thousand men.

The speed and efficiency of the British deployment, as well as the superiority in their numbers over the Spanish, guaranteed the success of the operation, which ended at about two in the afternoon.

The Spanish infantry forcer ran to take refuge in the Morro, while the cavalry went to Guanabacoa, a site from which its Major Pepe Antonio articulated a tenacious defence of the city, but he could not prevent Spanish capitulation.

The taking of Havana caused many victims. To this adds the enormous material and monetary loses, a part of which went to the English hands.


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