The Manning of the Chilean Navy in the War of Independence1818-1823

By David J. Cubitt, published May 1977


Although it is well-known that Chile’s infant navy under Lord Cochrane made a major contribution to its independence, little previous attention has been paid to the manning of its ships.  Chilean volunteers were numerous but generally inexperienced; foreign seamen were engaged under contract and, later, transferred from unsuccessful privateers; soldiers came from the Chilean and Argentine armies.  In the early years, ships’ complements were amply filled, but the lack of pay hindered the retention of foreign seamen after 1820.  Extra men had to be impressed, including criminals and former slaves, and the proportion of Chileans became greater than previously assumed.

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Pacific
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Navies

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