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A Far-Flung Gamble - Havana 1762 (Raid #15) Greentree, David ( Author ) Oct-19-2010 Paperback Paperback – 19 Oct 2010

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  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (UK) (19 Oct. 2010)
  • ASIN: B00AADCL54
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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I read this book with a real pleasure and I learned A LOT from it about the Seven Years War and XVIII century warfare in general. This is a recommended reading!

1. The battle of Havana (6 June - 13 August 1762)

In the end of 1761, with Seven Years War approaching its critical phase, Spain made preparations to join France in its fight against United Kingdom, which would place a great strain on British resources (especially financial), already stretched very thinly. Anticipating this development British government declared war preemptively on 4 January 1762 and immediately put in place a large military expedition destined to knock Spain out of war with one fast, decisive strike. This operation was the capture of main Spanish stronghold in the New World - the city-fortress of Havana.

British force was large, with almost 30 000 soldiers, sailors and marines and a grand total 23 ships of line, 11 frigates, 4 sloops, 4 other small war vessels and no less than 160 transports being engaged. For the needs of this expedition British commanders, Vice-Admiral George Pocock (1706-1792) in command of the naval forces and Earl of Albemarle (1724-1772) in charge of land operations, managed to assemble quickly and efficiently forces from Europe, Caribbean and North America (those arrived later, in the middle of the campaign) and completely suprised Spanish defenders.

Spanish commander in chief, Field-Marshal Don Juan de Prado, really believed that Havana was impregnable (the quote which is the title of this review is authentic) and even if he knew that war was declared, he neglected to make necessary preparations or even patrol neigbouring waters.
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