How did Spain help U.S en el Mar?
The help of Spain to the Independence of the 13 English colonies, was not only on land. Her performance at sea was also decisive, and England came to fear the invasion of Great Britain.
+ Spain and Independence U.S
Spain’s victories at sea
George Washington’s words already reflected reality – The need for Spain to interpose itself before England-
And so it happened, it changed the course of the war and the defeat of England in North America
The prosperous city of Havana on the island of Cuba. A rich and modern city with nothing to envy to the most modern cities in Europe at that time. It had a trade, theater, shipyards, etc.
In its important port, a large number of ships arrived. Some to trade, others to carry out repairs, in their famous shipyards. At that time it had a population 5 times that of New York
The Spanish naval fleet finishes off
Spain also supported the independence of the United States with her naval fleet. After seizing by land and sea, the entire coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Spain captures the Bahamas, stripping an important British naval base, capturing many merchant ships and privateers. Forcing the English garrison to surrender. She soon prepares the invasion of Jamaica and the island of Great Britain itself.
English defeats at sea
The entry of Spain in support of the rebellion of the 13 colonies was a disaster for England, it made her lose the war and the North American territory. Hispanics not only helped with weapons, supplies, and even uniforms. They also defeated the English in naval battles.
Victories at Sea
Spain not only controlled the Caribbean Sea and the Bahamas Islands. She also prepared the invasion of Jamaica and the island of Great Britain itself, the heart of England.
The Spanish naval fleet was also fundamental in the independence of the USA. It was a global war on all continents. After the Declaration of War on England, the Spanish fleet allied with the French threatened England.
After seizing the entire Gulf of Mexico Coast, Spain determined to permanently eliminate the English bases. For this reason, Bernardo de Gálvez was preparing the invasion of the Island of Jamaica.
George Washington said:
“I hope that this formidable Spain does not fail to establish the Independence of North America in a short time”
General Washington did not feel safe until Spain entered the war against England.
General George Washington explained:
“Today, the English are enormously superior to the French maritime in America, and will continue to be in all respects, unless Spain intervenes”
England already had a large and modern navy, perhaps the best of its time. She could only keep up with her and compete with the Spanish navy.
However, the collaboration of the still powerful Spanish and French navies represented a very important brake on its expansion.
Santísima Trinidad built in Cuba, it was the most gigantic ship of the line of the time, it had 4 bridges
The largest warship of the time
An impressive ship that caused admiration and fear among all the navies of the world.
Ship of the Santísima Trinidad line
This Spanish ship of the line was the first ship in the world with 4 bridges that came to be armed with up to 140 guns
A feared warship, officially named Nuestra Señora de la Santísima Trinidad, a ship of the line built in the naval shipyards of Havana on the island of Cuba. Flagship and pride of the Spanish Navy, with 60 meters of it, 140 guns and 1,100 crew members.
The enormous size of her and enormous pulling power of her, made it the largest sailing ship. Well, she could be seen from far away but at the same time it was difficult to run away from him, because she could follow the trail.
The size of it was used effectively for the capture of the 52 English ships in Cape Santa María in the south of Portugal (August 9, 1780). Having located the English squad from a great distance at dusk, it was feared that she would escape during the night.
The Spanish Admiral Luis de Córdova ordered that a lighted lantern be placed at the top of the enormous mainmast of the ship Santísima Trinidad. There she was burning and illuminating, all night long. The English captains interpreted this as an indication from their commander to sail through the night alongside him and not disperse.
The English surprise was shocking when they found themselves in front of the Spanish squad. They had sailed all night to the ships of the Spanish.
North American Corsair Refuge
Carolina’s small fleet was protected, repaired, armed and supplied mainly in Havana and in Spanish ports.
The North Americans were able to use the Spanish ports both in the colonies of America, as some in Spain such as La Coruña or Cádiz. In New Orleans they could unload their catches. In Havana, ships from the 13 colonies were arranged, armed and provisioned.
Alexander Gillon and John Barry
These Commodores commanded a flotilla from South Carolina
Alexander Gillón was in command of a fleet of small ships, he went to Havana to repair, artillery and supply his ships due to the lack of resources. He participated in the taking of the Bahamas with the Spanish fleet.
John Barry in his time as a privateer in 1777 had to take refuge in New Orleans fleeing from the pursuit of British ships. Despite the fact that Spain was not at war with England (1779) he was already protected by the Spanish authorities who even allowed the loot he brought to be auctioned.
John Paul the American Corsair
Spain supported and protected American privateers like John Paul
He was protected by Spain
Considered one of the Fathers of the North American Navy
Not only was she allowed to stock up at ports in New Spain and land his booty as a North American privateer,
he also in ports of the Iberian Peninsula. From La Coruña he carried out attacks as a privateer against the English ships that passed through the area for more than 1 year.
Occupation of the Bahamas islands
Capture 77 English ships in 1782
Although this action was planned by Bernardo de Gálvez, it was not carried out with his authorization, at that time he was preparing the occupation of the Island of Jamaica,
The conquest of Nassau in New Providence (Bahamas Islands) was of great value since it weakened England. 65 merchant ships and 12 privateer ships were captured. With this victory Spain had deprived England of one of the bases closest to the territories of the 13 colonies. England would have more supply problems for its land and sea troops.
The Bahamian Islands
The Invasion of Jamaica was preparing
Map of the Caribbean Islands and the Bahamian Islands
Gálvez’s project that he failed to carry out, from Hispaniola
Gálvez traveled with his army to the Guarico base, a point on the coast of the island of Hispaniola closest to Jamaica. From there, when he was preparing the invasion of Jamaica, the Peace Treaty surprised him. England to be cornered in the Caribbean. He feared losing his most important base in the area.
He feared losing his most important base in the area.
Naval blockade, the British fleet and captures
More than 50 English ships are captured
The Battle of Cabo Santa Maria (August 9, 1780) and the decisive capture of the great convoy of supplies for the colonies
A combined Spanish-French fleet made up of 33 Spanish and 10 French ships captured an English convoy with reinforcements for the colonies. It was really two convoys, which had not yet separated. Fear of an invasion of the island of England made part of the convoy escort have to quickly return to the island, leaving it partially unprotected.
A huge loss for England as she lost, 52 ships and all supplies were captured.
3,000 English prisoners among sailors and soldiers were captured. In addition to uniforms and equipment for 12 regiments, they carried 80,000 muskets, 300 cannons, 3,000 barrels of gunpowder.
English merchants transported goods and objects worth more than 2,000,000 pounds.
A veritable treasure trove of gold was also captured. The English ships carried gold bars and coins worth 1,000,000 pounds. A huge treasure to pay your troops and mercenaries, to supply your ships etc.
Major English logistical disaster
The capture of the convoys was its biggest logistical disaster in the naval history of England, due to the enormous losses in ships and material.
The London Stock Exchange collapsed causing huge losses even to the King of England. Many people lost money to the insurer’s collapse amid declining values. This caused a financial crisis, and insurers were in loss for quite some time. The magnates launched themselves against the Royal Navy accusing it of its mismanagement.
Lipothymia of King George III
Among those who had invested was the King of England himself, advised by his Secretary. Upon receiving the news of the collapse and crash of the London Stock Exchange, the King suffered a dizziness, all a lipothym upon receiving the news.
A plan for the Invasion of the Isle of England
English Channel Fleet
The Spanish-French pressure (1779) was so great that they had to retreat
The English of the coast flee to the interior of the island of Great Britain
A Hispano-French fleet puts the English fleet to flight from the English Channel. In the Isle of England the danger of a possible Franco-Spanish invasion is seen. Its coasts were little protected since its best and veteran soldiers were stationed in the colonies.
The London Stock Exchange stops working and the inhabitants of the coast flee inland.
A historic opportunity was lost. The Spanish Admiral Luis de Córdova decides to land in England but this option is postponed by the French command, losing the surprise factor.
From that moment on he had to return to the island part of his fleet before the danger of an invasion of the Spanish-French fleet supported from the nearby French ports.
Spain enters the War (1779). Fear of a Franco-Spanish invasion on the English coast
The entry of Spain into the war radically changed the situation. England lived in fear of invasion since its English Channel fleet in (1779) had to flee under Allied pressure. .
The invasion plans were not carried out due to the French doubts and a set of problems that appeared. However, this plan forced England to divert part of its units from the Atlantic, in order to defend its own coasts from it.
Hispano-French naval pressure
The combined Spanish-French fleets were an effective resource to face the English navy
The English fleet was no longer unbeatable and had to be divided before the danger of invasion first from Jamaica, then before the threat of invasion of the Island of Great Britain
Spain also helped at sea
George Washington was counting on Spain to provide help as he knew that the French Navy was not enough to face the English. He needed the Spanish Navy, which still had large ships, including the Santísima Trinidad, the largest warship of the time (with four bridges and 140 guns).
Spain provided Ports to the North American Corsairs where they were provisioned and protected Alexander Gillon and John Barry John Paul, the corsair was later one of the fathers of the U.S. Navy.
Spain carried out the invasion of the Bahamas Islands and was about to invade Jamaica when the war ended. This Plan of the invasion of the Island of Jamaica accelerated the end of the war.
Together with the French, he caused the Flight of the English fleet in the English Channel and threatened England. It was very important that 60 English ships were captured that were heading towards the 13 colonies, with soldiers and supplies. War made the English fear the invasion of England.
The Hispano-French naval pressure was fundamental since the English navy had to be divided among several fronts, dividing its force.