Cochrane in the Pacific: Fortune and Freedom in Spanish America
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.
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The Andes and the Sea
The Making of the Chilean Navy
The Coming of Lord Cochrane
The Callao Campaign
The Capture of Valdivia
Heartfelt Gratitude at that Signal Achievement
Plots and Paranoia
Invasion and Blockade
The Row with San Martin
Guayaquil and the Spanish Main
The Final Curtain
Independence at Last
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Alvarez appointed Araucano Archivo Argentine arrived attack August began Bernardo O'Higgins Blanco Encalada blockade Brazil Brazilian brig Callao campaign Captain capture of Valdivia Chacabuco Chile Chile and Peru Chilean Government Chilean Navy Chilean squadron coast Cochrane to O'Higgins Cochrane's Colonel command commander-in-chief Commodore court martial crew enemy Esmeralda February Forster frigate Galvarino Gazeta Ministerial Guayaquil Hoseason ibid independence January Jose Kitty Lautaro letter liberation Lieutenant Lima London Lord Cochrane Lordship March Maria Graham Martin Guise Miers military Miller Narrative of Services naval Navy and South November October officers orders Pacific Paroissien patriot Peruvian Pezuela port printed in Orrego prize money Prueba Pueyrredon refused River Plate Robert Forster Royal Navy royalists sailed San Martin Santiago schooner seized sent September ships Shirreff South America Spain Spanish frigate Spry Stevenson supplies Supreme Director Thomas troops Valparaiso Venganza vessels Vice Admiral Viceroy victory warships William wrote Zenteno