Battle of Havana, 1748

Contemporary painting of the Battle of Havana by Samuel Scott, in the collections of the Royal Museums Greenwich.

Location Havana, Cuba

The Battle of Havana, 12 October, 1748, was a small naval engagement between the English Jamaica Squadron, and the Spanish Havana Squadron, each consisting of seven ships. The Spanish approached, expecting a friendly convoy, but realizing their mistake, formed a battle line. However this let the English gain the wind advantage. Neither squadron was terribly well organized during the battle, and some of the English captains showed a surprising lack of discipline, opening fire at extreme ranges. The fighting drew out for over six hours, during which each side suffered heavy damage, though human loses were light, considering the duration of fighting. The British captured the 60-gun Conquistador, and finished off the Africa two days later, to no losses of their own, granting them a tactical victory. The Battle did let a Spanish treasure fleet through, but it did not change the oceanic stalemate in the War of Jenkins' Ear/Austrian Succession. Both commanders were court-martialed afterwards, for what was considered a poor performance.