1845 - THE SECOND BRITISH INVASION TO THE “PARANA RIVER” - THE FIRST BATTLE OF "VUELTA DE OBLIGADO"
The United Kingdom, far from leaving their trade desires in South America, resolved in 1840 to demand the free navigation of the Argentine interior rivers for their merchant ships. This was to reach ports such as Asunción or Rosario.
Rosas was then in power, who consistently denied the request, before the French position and other circumstances, the British and declared the blockade the port of Buenos Aires.
Their objectives were to get the free navigation of the Paraná, Uruguay and Paraguay rivers, and to contact in a more comfortable way, with people of Corrientes, as they were engaged in a war against Rosas.
Aware of this, Rosas, ordered to fortify the area known as Vuelta de Obligado, north of the province of Buenos Aires. Several boats bound with chains, cut off their passage to the Anglo-French fleet, while four batteries of guns, defend the position.
On November 20 1845 the combat took place. It was not a victory, but they showed the gringos it would not be easy to make what they intended. Finally on July 15, 1847, England lifted the blockade River Plate and France ordered similar measure a year later
Background and Actions:
This British invasion was part of the Anglo-French blockades that occur from 1838-1840 by France and from 1845 to 1847 with British cooperation. France continued alone until 1848.
The Argentines were still in civil war and Juan Manuel de Rosas exercised power. Its procedures for the French and then British subjects, who wanted to incorporate their armies, gave the pretext for the French and then English intervention. Both powers were waiting for the opportunity to occupy advantageous areas or execute trading enterprises in the country.
The Anglo French at River Plate blockades lasted 2000 days (almost 5 ½ years) and Buenos Aires was closed to business during that time. Nothing we could do with such a powerful force in modern ships, frigates, corvettes and brigantines an efficient and new artillery. However, the national honor was held.
The most important events were the Argentina boarding small naval force commanded by the old Almirante Brown On August 2, 1846, raids by rivers, especially by Garibaldi, and the Battle of Obligado, forever honorable history for Argentina. Brown had been in command of the Argentina fleet from 1812 to 1846, just 34 years of permanent combat with fleets of Portugal, Brazil, Spain, England and France.
Obligado was fought in Paraná on November 20, 1845. The Anglo-French troops consisted of three powerful steam motorboats (the first at the Plata) and eight sailboats with a hundred modern artillery pieces, some of them threw Paixhans grenades with fuse.
The action was bloody and Creole troops, who defended their land, behaved heroically, but only had old guns of small caliber.
The chain that blocked the river was defended by some ships and barges that were soon attacked and eliminated. The action began at 9 am and four federal batteries, three of them commanded by naval officers, Alvaro de Alzogaray, Juan B. Thorne and Eduardo Brown, son of the Admiral, they fought until exhausting ammunition, suffering a terrible fire that caused them heavy casualties.
The chain was eventually cut by the invaders and at 17 hours the last battery Thorne's still answering fire finished ammunition.
Almost at 6, the invading Allied troops landed, and the General Mansilla charged with the bayonet, but fell wounded and the other charges including native cavalry achieved some success but was ultimately rejected.
The invaders had a several hundred casualties and damage to their ships. Argentine casualties totaled 240 men.
Rosas was the Argentine ruler in whose charge the Argentine Provinces had delegated its external relations, but in Obligado fought the usual Argentina and the defense not of a scheme or a person as ordinarily occurs.
A large convoy of invading ships escorted by a larger boat and other warships, carried out a bumpy ride along the Parana in 1846. But new land and naval battles of The Tonelero, San Lorenzo and the Angostura of the “Quebracho”, showed the allied invaders that Argentina would not yield.
The peace that was signed was honorable to our country, but did not compensate the sacrifices or losses.
First Combat of the Vuelta de Obligado:
The English Fleet:
Composed of nine sail vessels and three steamships of war with 136 last model and rifled barrels breechloaders "Peysar".
Commander: Admiral J. J. Inglefield
Vapor HMS "Gorgon" Commander Ch Hotham-Artillery 6/64 and 4/32-Tn.1.100
Vapor HMS "Firebrand": Commander: J. Hope-Artillery 6/64 and 4/32-Tn.1.190
Corvette HMS "Comus": Commander:-P Inglefield 16/32-Tn Artillery. 490
Brigantine HMS "Philomel": Commander: Artillery J.Sullivan-10/32-Tn. 428
Brigantine HMS "Dolphin": Commander: R. Larynx-Artillery 3/32-Tn.318
Brigantine HMS "Fanny": Commander: Key-Artillery 1/24- F. Tn. 295
The French Fleet:
It consisted of 3 large frigates, five corvettes and brigantines sail and two steamships of war with 282 fluted shells and cannon-breechloaders "Paixhans" firing bullets 80 pounds with fuse.
Commander: Admiral P.Lainé.
Brigantine "San Martín" Commander Tréhouart, artillery 2/24 and 16/16, Tn.200
Steamship "Fulton" Commander Mazieres, artillery 2/80, Tn.650
Corvette "expeditive" Commander Itn. Miniac, artilleria16 / 8, Tn.590
Brigantine "Pandour" Commander Du Paie, artillery Paixhans 10 30 lbs
Brigantine Schooner "Procide" Commander De la Rivere, artillery 3/18.
The overall total was 3,000 crew, while the marines onboard totaled 800. This combined fleet did not have an unified command. The insignia were hoisted in the "Gorgon" and the "San Martin", being the Senior Commander Hotham.
It was composed of four batteries (clustering of guns), whose construction was directed by the Engineer Hilario López Culle actively collaborating with the Sampedrino José Rufino Nunez, 21 pieces and 6 mobiles were served directly by 220 gunners, protected by weak fortifications / parapets of earth and wood, being commanded respectively by naval officers Alvaro Alzogaray, Eduardo Brown, Felipe Palacio and Juan Bautista Thorne.
Battery "Restaurador Rosas":
Commander: Marine Colonel Álvaro José de Alzogaray.
The 2nd Commander: Colonel Ramón Rodríguez.
Officers: Lieutenants Juan Gainza and José Cereso.
Troops: 500 soldiers from the 1st Infantry Regiment "Patricios" + 100 militiamen.
Battery Height: 20 m.
Fixed Guns: Six regular diameter: 2 to 24 and 4 to 16
Mobile Guns 4 flyers pieces a16.
Battery "General Brown":
Commander: Lieutenant Eduardo Brown (son of the Admiral Guillermo Brown).
Troop 150 Mariners national squad + 30 militants.
Battery Height: 7 m.
Guns: Five regular diameter: 2 to 24 and 3 to 12.
Battery "General Mansilla"
Commander: Lieutenant Commander Felipe Palacio.
Troops: 75 Soldiers of 1st Infantry Regiment "Patricios" + 20 militants.
Battery Height: Curled (height of the water) ..
Guns: Three small caliber: 1 to 12 and 2 to 8.
Commander: Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista Navy Thorne.
The 2nd Commander: Lieutenant Colonel Luis Anzoategui.
Officers: Lieutenants Maurice Santiago.
Troops: Juan Barreda with 200 militiamen from San Nicolas.
Battery Height: 19 m.
Guns Fixed: Seven regular diameter: 2 to 14 and 5 to 10.
Mobile Guns 2 Mobile pieces of 4.
Casualties in Vuelta de Obligado:
The invading Allies had over a hundred casualties.
Argentine casualties totaled 240 men.
A few days later, upon learning of Combat Obligado, General Dn. José de San Martín wrote to Guido:
Sarratea gave me on my arrival at this one very appreciable January 12 thereof, upon receipt already knew the action of Obligado. What iniquity! Anyway interveners have seen this "hechantillón" that the Argentines patties that are eaten without more work than opening the mouth to such a course, there is another party that we not look at the future and meet with the duty of free men, whatever fate brings to us the destination for my deep conviction that not be a doubtful point in our favor, if you all Argentines persuadiesen of the dishonor fall upon our country, whether European nations triumph in this struggle, which in my opinion is of such importance as our emancipation from Spain. Convinced of this truth, make you my good friend, who has never been me as sensible, not so much my advanced age, as the precarious state of my health, which deprives me in these circumstances to offer my services to the homeland, not so they may be worth, but to show our countrymen, that that was an old server even when it comes to resisting the unjust aggression and the more wicked that has been an example ... "
José Francisco de San Martin.
Captain General of the Argentinean Army