Cochrane in the Pacific: Fortune and Freedom in Spanish America

Front Cover
I.B.Tauris, 2008 - History - 238 pages
0 Reviews
In 1818, the revolutionary government of Chile was poised to attack Peru, the last bastion of Spanish power on the continent. The new ruler, the half-Irish Bernardo O'Higgins, threw his energies into creating a navy. Short of local naval manpower, the Chileans looked to Britain and the United States for the sailors needed to man and command their squadrons, many of them unemployed veterans of the Royal Navy. And, to be the new navy's commander-in-chief, they recruited one of the most fearless and controversial officers of the age: Thomas, Lord Cochrane.
The story of the naval war in the Pacific is an exciting one. Under Cochrane's audacious leadership, coasts were blockaded, fortresses stormed and ships seized in bloody hand-to-hand fighting. The result was that Chile and Peru gained their freedom from Spain, while Cochrane enhanced his reputation and made a fortune in pay and prize money.
For one hundred and fifty years, the accepted story of the war has been based on Cochrane's own version of events. But how accurate is Cochrane's account? To find out, Brian Vale goes back to the original documents, despatches, diaries and newspapers. The result is a new and vivid account of the war in the Pacific and a reassessment of one of Britain's legendary naval heroes seen at the peak of his career.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Andes and the Sea
1
The Making of the Chilean Navy
14
The Coming of Lord Cochrane
26
The Callao Campaign
46
The Capture of Valdivia
65
Heartfelt Gratitude at that Signal Achievement
74
Plots and Paranoia
85
Invasion and Blockade
98
The Row with San Martin
141
Guayaquil and the Spanish Main
153
The Final Curtain
163
Independence at Last
181
Settling Accounts
191
Epilogue
204
Notes
209
Bibliography
227

The Capture of the Esmeralda
111
The Valdivia Court Martial
117
The Liberation of Peru
132

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Brian Vale is a naval historian. He was a British Council officer in Brazil, the Middle East and Spain and from 1987-1991 he served as Assistant Director General in London. He was a contributor to the official history of the Brazilian Navy and is the author of Independence or Death, A War Betwixt Englishmen, and A Frigate of King George (all I.B.Tauris).

Bibliographic information