His adventures in command of the Pallas made Cochrane rich. Those in the Imperieuse made him famous. Newspapers sung his praises and a special biography was printed in the Naval Chronicle. In these operations,Cochrane established himself as a master of amphibious warfare. His tactical flare and ingenuity were ideally suited tokeeping acoast in uproar by sudden and unexpected raids from the sea. They also confirmed that in battle Cochrane was a true leader of men. Fearless and cool under fire, he led from the front, personally leading the attack by fire ships and explosion vessels which successfully drove apanic stricken French fleet onto the mud at the Basque Roads and left it at the mercy of the British.
When José Antonio Alvarez arrived inLondon on his recruiting mission, one of themost brilliant and talked about naval commandersofthe Napoleonic Wars was Thomas, Lord Cochrane. Born to a noble but impoverished Scottish family in 1775, Cochrane entered the navy at the comparativelyadvanced age of 17 years through the agency ofhisuncle, Captain the Honourable Alexander Cochrane RN. He advanced rapidly in his profession, due partly to hisskilland interest intechnical matters, and partly tothe ‘interest’ heenjoyed asamember of the navy’s Scottish mafia. At an early age, through the patronage ofLord Keith, who was not only one ofthe navy’s most distinguished admirals but itsmost senior ‘Scotch’ officer, he secured the coveted promotion to the rank ofcommander. Cochrane immediately showed his daring and ability when, in charge of a diminutive brig called Speedy, he captured the greatly superior Spanish frigate El Gamo. Promoted topost-captain and given commandofa frigate called Pallas, on his firstcruise Cochrane seized enemy ships and property worth £300,000 – perhaps £5 million in modern money – more than enough to satisfy those members of his crew who had been encouraged tosign on bythe promise of Spanish silver contained inhis famous recruiting poster. ‘None should apply,’ it had said, ‘but SEAMEN and Stout Hands, able to rouse about the Field Pieces and carry an hundred weight of PEWTER without stopping at least three miles.
Blanco encountered contrary winds and lost touch with theChacabuco when tacking against them at night. But the two frigates and the brig managed to remain in company and reached thelatitude ofConcepción on 26 October.
There, the Araucano was ordered to reconnoitre the Bay of Talcahuana, while Blanco Encalada headed for one of the Spanish convoy’s known rendezvous points at the Island of Santa Maria. There he learnt from a British whaler that the Maria Isabel had been in the vicinity five days earlier but had then left for Talcahuana. Even better, theSan Martin, mistaken for one of the convoy, was boarded by members of the crew of the Maria Isabel who had been left behind to receive the transports asthey arrived and hand over instructions and signals.Now fully aware of Spanish intentions, Blanco Encalada sailed east with San Martin and Lautaro to the Bay of Talcahuana where, on the morning of 28 October, they found the Spanish frigate at anchor disembarking her sick. Flying British colours until they were within musket shot,Blanco’s ships made for the Maria Isabel, unleashed abroadside and boarded the enemy vessel in the smoke. In a brisk action in which Lieutenants Ramsey, Bell and Compton and Major Miller of the marines distinguished themselves, the frigate was taken.
Valdivia showing the principal forts troops landed and began to file up a steep goat track to the heights. When they reached the top it was night. With the defenders of Fort Ingles firing blindly into the darkness, Ensign Francisco Vidal of the marines managed to bridge the defensive ditch and the Chileans stormed it in a two pronged attack, driving the defenders out at bayonet point. Fleeing in panic the Spaniards collided with a column of reinforcements and threw them toointo disorder. And when the fort of San Carlos opened its gates to admit the refugees, a horde of pursuing Chileans followed them in and promptly captured that as well. The attack surged on, with Fort Amargos falling with equal ease.The Castle of Corral was the objective of the Chilean infantry under Major Beauchef, and the regulars of the Cantabria Regiment, who formed the garrison, could have been expected to put up serious resistance. But by this time, so great was the confusion and demoralisation among the Spanish forces that when Beauchef attacked, the defenders rushed for the boats and escaped, leaving Colonel Fausto de Hoyos, his officers and a handful of men to surrender.
Their position had been revealed when one ofthe 11 transports that remained had mutinied and put into the River Plate, bringing news that the convoy had been severely weakened by sickness, and handing over orders, signals and rendezvous points. Commodore Blanco Encalada mobilised the Chilean squadron and on 19 October sailed south with the frigates San Martin (Captain William Wilkinson) and Lautaro (Captain Charles Worster) the corvette Chacabuco (Commander Francisco Dias) and the 18-gun brig Araucano (Lieutenant Raymond Morris). His orders were to intercept the Spanish but also to keep an eye open for the ship carrying Lord Cochrane.
It is said that O’Higgins watched them leave the bay with the words ‘three littleships gave the King of Spain possession ofthe New World. These four are going to deprive him of it.’ The story may be apocryphal, but it is a good one. Other observers were less sure. Indeed local opinion was divided as to whether the squadron with its brand new ships and hastily assembled polyglot crews was sailing to victory or disaster.
Zenteno redoubled hisefforts. InAugust, a spate of decrees changed the titles of the original ranks given in the Reglamento Provisional delaMarina tothe more familiar naval ones ofcommodore, captain, lieutenant and midshipman, and added – in anticipation of the arrival of Lord Cochrane who had been recruited by Alvarez to be the new navy’s commander-in-chief – the two senior posts of Vice Admiral and Rear Admiral.They also laid down food and ration scales for the men, and established uniforms for the officers. Following the style of the British Navy, Chilean officers were to wear bluecut-away tailcoats lined in white, blue stand up collars with anchor insignia, and gilt
buttons stamped with anchors and stars on the cuffs and back pockets. In September, privateersmen were ordered to enrol on State ships; and, toencourage the recruitment of foreigners, pay scales were adjusted so thatthey would receive one-third more than their Chilean counterparts.
English admiral. Born in 1648, Arthur Herbert was the third son of Sir Edward Herbert, attorney general to King Charles I. He joined the navy in 1663 and served with Sir Robert Holmes. He was at the Battle of Lowestoft on 3 June 1665, the Four Days’ Battle on 1–4 June 1666, and the St. James’s Day Fight on 25 July 1666.
Promoted to captain in 1666, Herbert served under Sir Thomas Allin in the Mediterranean. When Sir Edward Spragge replaced Allin in 1670, Herbert stayed with Spragge. Herbert took part in the attack at Bugia Bay on 8 May 1671, when he was wounded in the face by a pistol ball during a fight with an Algerine corsair. читать полностью…
British admiral of the Restoration period. Born c. 1629, Edward Spragge was a son of the royalist governor of Roscommon Castle, Ireland. Prior to the Restoration, he had spent time as a slave in Algiers, may have served in Prince Rupert’s squadron in 1648–1653, and had captained a Dunkerque privateer. He entered the navy as captain of the Portland in 1661.
Spragge commanded the Lion at the 3 June 1665 Battle of Lowestoft and was knighted for his bravery. In May 1666 he was widely blamed for providing information, which turned out to be false, that a French fleet was about to enter the English Channel to combine with the Dutch and for the near disastrous division of the English fleet that followed.
Nevertheless, Spragge was captain of the Dreadnought in the resulting Four Days’ Battle and became vice admiral of the blue shortly afterward, serving as such in the St. James’s Day fight. He commanded a squadron of frigates and fireships as part of the desperate defense against the Dutch attack on the Medway in June 1667. He was identified as a potential scapegoat for the disaster—his Irish background led to unjustified charges of Catholicism—but he managed to deflect this criticism.
In 1669 Spragge became vice admiral of the fleet in the Mediterranean, rising to command it when Sir Thomas Allin went home in 1670. On 8 May 1671, he mounted a daring attack on Bugia Bay that led to the destruction of several Algerine vessels. As he was returning to England, he encountered in the English Channel a squadron commanded by his archrival, Sir Robert Holmes, and it was long believed that their jealousy led to a failure to combine forces for an attack on the Dutch Smyrna convoy. In fact, the two forces never communicated with each other at all. читать полностью…
He was born in the village of Burnakovo in the Yaroslavl gubernia, to a modest family of the minor nobility. On February 15, 1761, he signed up for the Russian Navy in Saint Petersburg. After training, he served on a galley in the Baltic Fleet. In 1768 he was transferred to the Don Flotilla (Azov Sea Navy) in Taganrog and served in the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774. He commanded Catherine II’s own yacht, and later defended Russian trade ships in the Mediterranean from the British pirate attacks.
After Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire, Ushakov personally supervised the construction of a naval base in Sevastopol and the building of docks in Kherson. During the Second Russo-Turkish War he brilliantly defeated the Turks at Fidonisi, Kerch Strait, Tendra, and Cape Kaliakra. In these battles, he demonstrated the excellence of his innovative doctrines on art of naval fighting.
In 1798, Ushakov was promoted to full admiral and sent to the Mediterranean to support Suvorov’s Italian campaign in command of a joint Russian-Turkish fleet. This expedition started with the conquest of the French departments in the Ionian islands, only acquired the year before from the demised Republic of Venice in the Treaty of Campo Formio, culminating in the siege of Corfu (1798-1799) (ru) and leading to the subsequent creation of the Republic of Seven Islands. Ushakov’s squadron then blocked the French bases in Italy, notably Genoa and Ancona, and successfully assaulted Naples and Rome.
Emperor Paul, in his capacity of the Grand Master of the Order of St John, ordered Ushakov to proceed to Malta, which had been besieged by the British to no effect. Admiral Nelson could not bear the idea that he would have to follow Ushakov’s orders (the Russian commander being his senior in naval rank) and suggested that the Russian squadron should be dispatched to Egypt instead. Grave of Ushakov in Sanaksar Abbey
Brewing conflict between the commanders was prevented by Ushakov’s being recalled to Russia in 1800, where the new Emperor, Alexander I, failed to appreciate his victories. Ushakov resigned command in 1807 and withdrew into the Sanaksar Abbey in modern-day Mordovia. He was asked to command the local militia during the Patriotic War of 1812 but declined.
In the course of 43 naval battles under his command he did not lose a single ship.
Distinguishing features of Ushakov’s tactics were the using of unified marching and fighting orders, resolute rapprochement with the enemy forces on a short distance without evolution of a fighting order, a concentration of the basic efforts against flagships of the enemy, reserve allocation («Kaiser-flag squadrons»), a combination of aim artillery fire and maneuver, chasing the enemy up to its full destruction or capture. Giving great value to sea and fire training of staff, Ushakov was the supporter of generalissimo Suvorov’s principles of training of sailors and officers. Ushakov’s innovations were the one of the first successful development of naval tactics from its «line» to manoeuvring concept.
British admiral. Born at Rotherhithe in 1656, the son of a naval officer, John Leake served with his father as a boy on board Royal Prince in 1673 and then in merchant ships before returning to the navy. In 1688 he commanded Firedrake in Earl of Dartmouth Admiral George Legge’s fleet and was with Admiral Arthur Herbert in the 1 May 1689 Battle of Bantry Bay, setting fire to the French ship Diamant (54).
Promoted immediately in consequence, Leake commanded Dartmouth (40) and joined Admiral Sir George Rooke to cut the boom in the 28 July 1689 siege of Londonderry. In the 19 May 1692 Battle of Barfleur, Leake commanded Eagle (70), and in the 22–24 May Battle of La Hogue, Rooke flew his flag in her. Leake served in the Mediterranean under Admiral Edward Russell, Earl of Orford, in 1694 and 1695–1697. In July 1702 he was appointed governor and commander in chief, Newfoundland, where he successfully attacked the French fishery.
Promoted to rear admiral in December 1702, Leake rose to vice admiral in 1703 and accompanied Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell to the Mediterranean. Knighted in February 1704, he next served under Rooke at Gibraltar and in the 13 August 1704 Battle of Vélez-Málaga. On the fleet’s departure, Shovell left Leake in command.
Provisioning at Lisbon when the French under de Pontis attacked Gibraltar, Leake returned, surprised them, and took 3 frigates and 5 smaller ships on 25 October. Again the French returned, and on 10 March 1705, Leake, reinforced by Sir Thomas Dilkes and with 35 ships of the line, forced their withdrawal, capturing or destroying 5. In 1706 he served under Shovell and Charles Mourdant, third earl of Peterborough, in operations leading to the capture of Barcelona. On Shovell’s departure in January 1706, Leake was left in command. читать полностью…