Puneet Varma (Editor)

Invasion of Cuba (1741)

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Dates  21 Jul 1741 – 9 Dec 1741
Result  Spanish Victory
Invasion of Cuba (1741) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
3445 killed, wounded or missing  400 killed or wounded, 3 warships captured
Combatants  Kingdom of Great Britain, Spanish Empire
Similar  Action of 8 April 1740, Battle of La Guaira, Battle of Havana, Battle of Santiago de Cuba, War of Jenkins' Ear

Invasion of cuba 1741

The invasion of Cuba took place between 4–5 August and 9 December 1741 during the War of Jenkins' Ear. A combined army and naval force under the command of Admiral Edward Vernon and Major-General Thomas Wentworth arrived off Cuba and fortified positions around their landing site at Cumberland Bay. Despite facing no serious opposition, neither commander felt prepared to advance on the Spanish settlement at Santiago de Cuba. Harassed by guerrilla raids and with a mounting sick list, the British finally evacuated the island after several months of inactivity.


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Vernon had made an unsuccessful attempt to capture Cartagena in 1741, and after his repulse he directed the fragments of his sickly and dispirited followers against the island of Cuba. The south and east of Cuba were so little populated, and so far from the capital, Havana, that they might have made a permanent establishment there.

Vernon's expedition

The land forces consisted of the remnants of the troops from Cartagena, some 3,000 British and North American colonial troops augmented by 1,000 Jamaican blacks. Vernon left Port Royal to capture Santiago de Cuba with the following ships:

HMS Boyne 80 (Flagship)
HMS Cumberland 80
HMS Grafton 70
HMS Kent 70
HMS Montague 60
HMS Tilbury 60
HMS Worcester 60
HMS Chester 50
HMS Tiger 50
HMS Experiment 20
HMS Sheerness 20
HMS Shoreham 20
HMS Alderney (Bomb vessel)
HMS Phaeton (Fireship)
HMS Strombolo (Fireship)
HMS Vesuvius (Fireship)
HMS Bonetta (Sloop)
HMS Tryton (Sloop)
HMS Princess Royal (Hospital ship)
HMS Scarborough (Hospital ship)
HMS Pompey (Tender)
40 Transports carrying 4,000 troops under Major-General Thomas Wentworth

The battle

On the night of 4–5 August, the British Redcoats and a thousand black troops from Jamaica landed in three different beaches of the Guantanamo Bay. Without opposition, they marched against the village of La Catalina. However, the invaders, 65 miles short of their objective, slowed down three days later because of the growing concerns of their commander, Major-General Thomas Wentworth.

Santiago's Governor Francisco Caxigal de la Vega, garrison commander Carlos Riva Agüero, and local militia Captain Pedro Guerrero had only 350 regulars and 600 militia to hand and so retreated from the British. Nevertheless, Wentworth's army became paralyzed by fatigue and disease, spending the next four months encamped, being sporadically raided by Spanish guerrillas. Vernon, disgusted at his colleague's inactivity, but unwilling to risk any part of the fleet against the town, sent warships to cruise independently until Wentworth's sick list grew so long—2,260 soldiers being struck with fever by 5 December—that the expedition was re-embarked, setting sail at dawn on 9 December and returning to Port Royal ten days later.


Admiral Vernon's enterprise accomplished nothing but the loss of many of his soldiers and his own disgrace. Vernon was forced to return to Britain in 1742.


Invasion of Cuba (1741) Wikipedia