1807 - Second British Invasion of Buenos Aires (June-July 1807)

This time the British fleet is commanded by Lieutenant General John Whitelocke. On this occasion Don Santiago de Liniers, already as Captain and Spanish viceroy in Buenos Aires. The invasion began on June 28 without resistance in its path. Forces by Liniers are grouped and are defeated in pens Miserere (Plaza Miserere),Liniers retracts to Chacarita, reorganized its force comprised 1,000 men and took to the reconquest of the city on July 5 at half past six. The fight lasts two days. Lt. General Whitelocke English, besieged by the Creoles, gives up with all of his men and weapons.


Naval Force:

Commander: Vice Admiral George Murray

Five Line ships of 64 guns each,

Five frigates with a total of 150 guns.

Twelve smaller vessels totaling 175 guns.

Artillery: 650 guns.

Fifty transport vessels.

Crew: 6000 sailors.

Landing Force:

Lieutenant General John Whitelocke

Troops: 9,000 Infantry men English army.

Artillery: 116 guns.

Casualties (killed and wounded): 3870 soldiers.


Commander: Spanish Captain Sq. Santiago de Liniers.

A light corvette.

A brigantine.

Three schooners.

Two Smack.

Twenty-five gunboats.

Troops: 8,000 militiamen.

Artillery: 49 guns of various calibres.

Casualties (killed and wounded): 2800 soldiers.

Background and actions:

Waged the naval Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805, England acquired full control of the seas, being greatly diminished its rivals, France and Spain. England dominated the seas and the "Napoleonic France," the continent. Since 1804 Spain had entered the war alongside his former ally, France.

In Trafalgar, France and Spain lost 19 ships between them, but this fact was not decisive, although the culmination of a series of defeats and demoralization that produced the sense that  superiority of the material crews and tactics demonstrated by the British. Spain had lost Many more ships in their arsenals, where rotted for lack of funds for repairs.

After Trafalgar the British had more than 130 ships in service, while Spain and France totaled less than 90 and only 60 of them were capable of activity. English superiority was absolute and mastery of the seas kept it for more than a century.

Such superiority allowed the particular attempt by Commodore Sir Home Popham, "tam Marte quam Mercurio" extraordinary character who believed at the end of 1805, which had given the conditions for a coup on Buenos Aires. Departing from Cape Town, according to the last  British plan he knew, it was decided to make the attempt, with the secure support they would get, if it achieved its purpose.

The two British invasions of 1806 and 1807, had been caused by the British politics of the time, which were consistent with permanently sustained by the empire:
"Get a large colony of great naval strategic value and a market with  great promise that also could absorb their industrial surplus".

There were two major amphibious operations, especially the second, which only supports comparison with that of Sq. Pedro de Cevallos in 1776 to retake the Colonia del Sacramento and Rio Grande.

These two amphibious operations were developed with absolute confidence in its naval face of, by the absolute command of the sea recently acquired.

The second British invasion of Buenos Aires was performed with far superior troops gathered in various partial expedition.

The fleet commanded by Vice Admiral George Murray consisted of five ships of 64 guns each, five frigates with a total of 150 guns, 12 smaller ships totaling 175 guns. All this made a total power of 23 or 24 warships with over 650 guns.

Transport, many of them armed, were over 50

The troops gathered Oscillated 15,000 men, although spread across the Banda Oriental part of them.

Taken Maldonado Montevideo and then in the Banda Oriental, the British Disembark took place on June 27th 1807 and just over 9,000 Infantry men with 160 artillery pieces went ashore in Ensenada, in vicinity of the Actual city of La Plata, commanded by Lieutenant General John Whitelocke.

We know that the Spanish side commanding a militiaman force composed of 8,000 men Liniers was ready to defend with 49 guns of various calibers.

After the false maneuver across the RiachueloLiniers and his defeat in Miserere, the English final attack took place at dawn on a cold July 5, 1807

From 5,021 to 5787 British were mustered and 8,000 attacked the Spaniards and Creoles. The invaders were hardened troops and veterans, however the Spaniards and Creoles, were inexperienced and some armed only with swords and knifes.

After taking the Plaza de Toros with superior forces and after a heroic resistance, the rest of the British troops were defeated by the Creoles with the help of the entire population, which harassed and caused casualties on the invaders on their way through the city .

El Retiro and Plaza de Toros were the bloodiest places of resistance, for there the total casualties of the defenders (killed, wounded and missing) reached 27% and the British conquerors reached 20%. In the rest of the line,

The Cassualties of the defenders were on the order of 8% and among English reached 23%.

It is a matter of fact that in the battle of El Retiro the Argentinean Marine Corps has its first accounted casualty, the Lieutenant Candido de Lasala, who was in command of a company of the Royal Spanish Navy men and other of the Pardos, Morenos and Patricios; He was in command of the artillery group which he directed with great efficiency and courage, His position, under heavy fire from the redcoats resisted and was ultimately victoriuous, but the Lieutenant was injured during the combat and died soon after  under the gravity of the injuries. He was one of the Heroes that paved the way as anexampleto thosewhohad fall in the Malvinas war.

Huge was the British effort in the second invasion. A third, was prepared. more powerful, which did not took place when Spain turn into an ally of England when its territory was occupied by Napoleon's forces

Commercial expectation is indicated by the ships crowded with English goods, especially fabrics, that entered Montevideo, during the few months of occupation.

1807 - Ships entries at Montevideo. February: 78 ships, March 27 ships, April 18 Ships, May: 5 ships, June 4 ships; combined total of 132 ships in only 5 months. This was a parallel commercial invasion and much of the merchandise was mis-sold, after the new defeat.

Buenos Aires knew its finest hour and took awareness of the value of their children. The two great victories over the English invader, presaging the actions of the May Revolution.