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Blas de Lezo y la invencible inglesa en Cartagena de Indias

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Uploaded on Sep 16, 2008

La flota inglesa, la agrupación de buques de guerra más grande que hasta entonces había surcado los mares (2.000 cañones dispuestos en 186 barcos, entre navíos de guerra, fragatas, brulotes y buques de transporte, y 23.600 combatientes entre marinos, soldados y esclavos negros macheteros de Jamaica, más 4.000 reclutas de Virginia bajo las órdenes de Lawrence Washington, medio hermano del futuro libertador George Washington), superaba en más de 60 navíos a la Gran Armada de Felipe II. Esta flota ha sido la segunda más grande de todos los siglos, después de la armada que atacó las costas de Normandía en la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Para hacerse idea del mérito estratégico de la victoria, baste decir que las defensas de Cartagena no pasaban de 3.000 hombres entre tropa regular, milicianos, 600 indios flecheros traídos del interior, más la marinería y tropa de desembarco de los seis únicos navíos de guerra de los que disponía la ciudad: el Galicia que era la nave Capitana, el San Felipe, el San Carlos, el África el Dragón y el Conquistador. Blas de Lezo, sin embargo, contaba con la experiencia de 22 batallas. Fue una gran victoria con una enorme desproporción entre los dos bandos.

The British invasion fleet was one of the largest in history, numbering 186 vessels (the Spanish Armada, in 1588 had 126 vessels), including ships of the line , frigates, fireships, and transports, with a total complement of 23,600 combatants and some 2,000 cannons. To counter this Blas de Lezo had at his disposal just 3,000 regular soldiers, 600 Indian archers, and the crews and troops of six ships of the line: the flagship Galicia and the ships San Felipe, San Carlos, Africa Dragón and Conquistador. Vernon was pretty sure of the victory, and news were sent to London that Cartagena had been conquered even before the battle had started. Yet Blas de Lezo's tactics took Vernon by surprise. Blas de Lezo ordered all his vessels be sunk, thus blocking the port. A pit was dug around the city walls, in order to prevent a direct assault. Trenches were displayed in zig-zag, in order to avoid the effect of cannon fire. Two soldiers were sent to the English camp, feinting surrender, providing the assailants with false information about the Spanish positions. At night, the Spanish army charged by surprise, using bayonnets, forcing the English army to retreat, despite the fact that they were heavily outnumbered

When the news that Cartagena hadn't been conquered reached London, and that the invading fleet had been humiliated by a much inferior force, king George II tried to avoid the truth from being printed

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