Manila Ransomed: The British Assault on Manila in the Seven Years War
Manila Ransomed is the tenth volume to be published in the now well-established series Exeter Maritime Studies. The series aims to investigate and interpret not only the British maritime past but also European and international topics from the earliest times to the contemporary world.
In the Seven Years War British forces developed a proficiency in combined operations which made possible the expansion of the British commercial empire around the world. In 1762 a small but technically proficient force of British Army regulars and East India Company soldiers supported by the ships and men of the East Indies Squadron of the Royal Navy, sailed from Madras to capture Manila. Commanded by General William Draper and Vice-Admiral Samuel Cornish, they captured the greatest Spanish fortress in the western Pacific and attempted to establish a trade with China.
The story of the Manila episode in all its facets highlights the state of British military technique in the mid-eighteenth century. It also depicts the corruption and difficulties of the unreformed East India Company, and illuminates the development of British imperial interest in the Pacific. The Spaniards' defeat was not really surprising considering the isolation of their outpost and the fact that the garrison was commanded by the Archbishop. Early success, however, was to be followed by near disaster, and the British eventually departed because the Peace of Paris was concluded before the news of the conquest of Manila reached Europe.
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The Siege of Manila
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