By René Chartrand

The ‘Spanish Main' – the Spanish possessions within the West Indies and the primary American and Mexican coast – used to be the envy of Englishmen, Frenchmen and Dutchmen from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. To counter their attacks in addition to these of pirates, the Spanish outfitted a superb procedure of fortifications – a lot of which nonetheless stands this day. This name will disguise the 3 major classes of improvement together with the 1st ‘castles' in Americas in accordance with medieval types outfitted to guard opposed to marauding adventurers together with Sir Francis Drake. Later those forts have been tailored to mirror the enhanced strength of artillery. Following the autumn of Havana to the British in 1762, the defences of the Spanish major have been published as superseded and an entire reconstruction of them was once ordered within the ultimate level of improvement as super Vauban-style fortifications have been created.

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Additional resources for The Spanish Main 1492- 1800 (Fortress, Volume 49)

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Author’s photo) Page 48 R s of the labour force consisted of soldiers of the garrison and local Indians, all of whom were paid for their work on the new fort. In 1675, after a hurricane destroyed the old wooden fort, the priority was given to finish the San Carlos bastion, which became the interim fort. By 1684–85, the curtain walls and other bastions were up and the interior rooms being finished. After some interruptions work continued on the outworks of Castillo San Marcos, which was finished in 1695.

Text) (WIN) Plan of El Morro, the citadel of San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1742. This extensive work guarding the entrance of San Juan’s harbour was a unique example of fortification in the West Indies in the 18th century. The batteries at sea level were considered too vulnerable, so during the second part of the 18th century, the citadel underwent a massive improvement programme that made it even more formidable, as the British discovered when they attacked in 1797. Access by the narrow Boccagrande channel south of the city was not usually possible as it was often silted up.

As a result, the city’s walls were not greatly upgraded thereafter. On the other hand, the Spanish authorities soon felt that more improvements were needed at the citadel of San Juan de Ulua and additional work went on there until 1712. In 1762, the entry of Spain into war with Britain, combined with the fall of Havana, caused further alarm for Veracruz’s safety. Thousands of militiamen were mustered to bolster the garrison’s few hundred regulars and put the fortifications in a state of readiness, notably with the reconstruction of the San José platform in the citadel of San Juan de Ulua.

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