I have been wondering to know, in English spoken forums and English history websites, if it is true that the War of Jenkins' Ear was hidden from English historians through time.

I was not surprised I read nothing more than "began with an ear cut off" and end with the beginning of the war of the Austrian succession, at every english spoken website. Of course, in that war ocurred the biggest and worse humilliation and defeat made to British navy at war.

We already know the war began with an historic ear but in fact it was an excuse. The real motive been the ambition of English businessmen for controlling the Spanish empire due to their weakened power in America after the war of the Spanish succession

The most important episode on this war was the battle of Cartagena de Indias (Colombia). For those who want to know this episode of history, it is necesary to introduce the figures of the Spanish admiral Blas de Lezo, the English admiral Edward Vernon, and the place: Cartagena de Indias, the main port for Spaniards in America.

After the Jenkin's ear episode at the British parliament, the English king George II sent a huge armada, the biggest amphibious invassion to the Battle of Normandy of 1944, composed of 186 ships, 26400 men and 3000 artillery pieces.

The king of Spain, Felipe V ordered Blas de Lezo to defend the city of Cartagena de indias from the English attack, counting for that task with only 3000 infantry soldiers and recruits and 600 indians archers.

Blas de Lezo's legend started during a long period of continuous victories over the English and Dutch navys during "the war of the Spanish succession". In those combats Lezo lost one of his legs, his left eye and a shot in the shoulder leave him a useless arm as well. For all that, he was called half-man or woodleg.

Lezo prepared de port's defence for one year. British arrived at Cartagena on may 5 1741 and on march 13, the English vessels started firing with their canons to the San Luis de Bocachica castle at a rate of 62 canon shots/hour.

After a month of continous bombing, the English disembark and took Bocachica and Bocagrande castles.

Lawrence Washington, half-brother of George Washington, in charge of the 4000 Virginian colonists, spread their troops at La Popa hill. This was the time Vernon commited the mistake of sending a ship with the message of victory to Jamaica. This news were sent to Great Britain where it took an enormous relevance, and George II ordered to fabricate coins and medals conmemorating the victory at Cartagena.

So overconfident was the English admiral about the victory over the outnumbered Spaniards that on April 19 1741 Vernon decided to send their soldiers to the final assault to San Felipe fortress helped for their warships batteries. Meanwhile the Spanish sunk their remaining ships at the ports entrance to divide English troops and hinder their attack.

When they arrived to the fortress walls they realized these beeing bigger as they thought because the Spanish dag up a hole around the fortress and british ladders were too short and useless to take the Fortress.

With that advantage and the British surprised and ensnared, Spaniards opened fire over them, and abandoning their positions, charged against the British, slaughtering them and forcing the reminders to scape back to their ships.

Finally, on may 9th 1741, after 57 battle days, with no food, half of his troops and sailors dead or sick by tropical plagues, Vernon decided to sail back to Jamaica, abandoned many vessels in the way out, due to the lack of people to steer them.

The result:

In the British side:

6000 British died

only 300 of the 4000 Virginian colonist survived.

7500 were wounded or sick and most of them died later on.

50 ships were taken or sunk for the Spanish defences or the British who had not enough men to steer them.

1500 destroyed or captured canons.

At the end, about 16000 British died.

In the Spanish side:

800 died

1200 wounded or sick

6 ships sunk

350 canons temporarily taken by the enemy.


In that battle each Spanish soldier and vessel fought and defeated ten English and American colonists.

The English historians hid the battle by order of the king George II with great succes to the present day as far as we can see.

The defeated admiral Vernon was given a hero's burial with the fallacious legend: "He subdued Chagre and at Cartagena conquered as far as naval forces could carry victory."...Neither victory nor conquest, but he became a hero.

Blas de Lezo died months later, undefeated, for the plagues at Cartagena city and was forgotten in history until now. Nobody knows his burial site.

And I can now make sure that if English speakers want to know about this crucial battle for Spanish colonies must go to Spanish history books or websites, although it is quite unknown for common Spaniards.

Some links in english: