Thomas Cochrane: Craziest Sea Captain in History

Sometimes, the life of a single man can be utterly extraordinary. Such is the case of a certain 19th century Scottish madman, whose daring exploits played a crucial role in defeating Napoleon, but also made him a revolutionary war hero in Chile, Peru, and Brazil. Yet also, a man whose utter stubbornness made him an enemy of every superior officer he ever served under. Welcome to our documentary on Lord Thomas Cochrane. The single most insane sea captain of the age of sail The sponsor of today’s video is Sleep Theory – a free to download Android and iOS app that can help you develop regular sleep habits and sleep better. Having a regular sleeping schedule is crucial for every aspect of our lives, as our energy levels and mood often depends on that, and if you are suffering from staying up late, insomnia, anxiety, and irregular life schedule, if you really want to change and have a healthy sleep schedule, Sleep Theory is your choice! We have been using Sleep Theory ever since its developer Nox Limited approached us and the results are eye-opening and helpful All that is because of the app’s main functions, such as Professional Sleep-aid Music and Peaceful Sounds, Sleep Tracker & Daily Sleep Report, Free Bluelight Filter, 4-7-8 Breathing technique training and the US Navy technique to fall asleep in 3 minutes. The Free Bluelight Filter is especially useful for those of us who have to use our mobile devices to work late, as it provides warmlight night screen in order to ensure eye care against light blue wavelength from screen light. We highly recommend the Sleep Theory to our viewers and that is how you install it Support our channel and improve your sleep habits by pressing the link in the description or the pinned comment. Sweet Dreams! Thomas Cochrane was born in 1775 in Annsfield in Scotland to Anna Cochrane and the 9th Earl of Dundonald Archibald Cochrane. The Cochranes are the direct descendants of a Lowland Scottish clan, whose origins are traced to a Viking warrior from around the 9th century and the name itself is derived from an old Gaelic portmanteau meaning “The Roar of Battle” The Cochranes had a long history of military service to the British Empire, members of the clan had fought and died in the war of Spanish Succession, served as loyalists during the Jacobite Rebellion, and even partook in the French and Indian wars in the New World and the family was affectionately nicknamed “The Fighting Cochranes” From a young age, Thomas wished to add to the Cochrane’s fighting legacy by joining the Navy, but against his wishes, his father had him enlisted in the 104th regiment of the King’s army The young Scot hated army life, particularly the rigid dress-code. Stating this in his autobiography: “My hair, cherished with boyish pride, was plastered back with a vile composition of candle-grease and flour. My neck, from childhood open to the lowland breeze, was cased in an inflexible leathern collar.” Cochrane fled back to his father, begging him to send him to sea, rather than spend one more day in the army. This was the first time the Cochrane showed defiance in the face of authority and it would become a theme for the rest of his life On July 28th, 1793, Thomas Cochrane entered the Royal Navy as a midshipman It was a position that he earned largely due to his family’s influence At 17, he was a few years older than most other midshipmen Nevertheless, he made the most of his late start, eagerly learning every intricacy of naval life, impressing his superiors with his natural leadership abilities and voracious curiosity Cochrane had joined the Royal Navy when trouble was brewing on the continent The French King Louis XVI had recently lost during the revolution, and the newly established French Republic had declared war upon Monarchies of Europe that would seek to reimpose a King on them Thus, much of Cochrane’s naval career was defined by war with the French and their Spanish allies Cochrane spent much of his first two years of service on the 38-gun frigate HMS Thetis, where he was promoted to acting lieutenant Thetis was active in the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, seizing American merchant ships bound for French Harbours After four years in North America on various vessels, Cochrane returned to Britain in 1798 By then, the European war front had become more dire. A Corsican artillery officer by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte had risen through the smoke and blood of the Revolution to become a General devastating the British allies. Bonaparte had his eyes set upon an invasion of Britain itself, and the only thing standing in his way was the Royal Navy’s dominance at sea

Meanwhile, other big names among British seamen were making names for themselves, as Britain was still celebrating Horatio Nelson’s victory over French at the battle of the Nile. This only further invigorated the fighting Scot to seek out glory of his own Luckily, Cochrane’s connections in the Scottish aristocracy managed to get him appointed as an 8th Lieutenant aboard the HMS Barfleur, flagship of the British fleet in the Mediterranean, captained by the Acting Admiral, Lord Keith For around a year, Cochrane served as part of a fleet of fifteen ships operating off the coast of Southern Spain, managing to keep a fleet of twenty Spanish warships blockaded in Cadiz Meanwhile, many of Cochrane’s peers resented the relative speed at which he had advanced in the ranks, and this enmity would soon come to a boil The young Scot found himself butting heads with the Barfleur’s first Lieutenant, Philip Beaver Supposedly, Beaver had confronted Cochrane for reporting himself aboard the ship late after a period of shore leave. Cochrane’s prideful nature got the better of him, complaining that he had only been late because he had to change his muddied clothes For quarreling with his superior, he found himself court martialed He was offered an opportunity to apologize to Beaver, but refused. Nevertheless, he was still acquitted by Lord Keith, but the incident would cost him, he was now on his Admiral’s bad side In January of 1800, the Mediterranean fleet was dispatched to Italy, to join forces with Horatio Nelson. While ashore on Sicily, Cochrane had the opportunity to meet Britain’s most famous Admiral Nelson was a celebrity, and Cochrane looked up to him Cochrane’s autobiography mentions a particularly laconic piece of advice given to him by Nelson: “Never mind maneuvers, always go at them.” Cochrane would take this advice to his heart A month later, Nelson seized a squadron of French ships off Malta, and Cochrane was tasked to deliver one of the prize frigates into British hands at Fort Mahon through enemy infested waters. A storm nearly sunk his quarry, but he prevailed. For his success, he was promoted, and appointed Commander of the HMS Speedy Unfortunately, Speedy was a tiny sloop equipped with only a handful of four-pounder cannons, which Cochrane called “a species of gun little larger than a blunderbuss.” Cochrane even found his new living quarters impossibly cramped, with barely room to stand straight, sit properly, or even shave It is possible that this appointment was a form of punishment, by Lord Keith, who hoped to shackle the impudent Cochrane to a small, insignificant vessel dooming him into obscurity. If this truly was the intention, it would end up backfiring spectacularly The path of destruction that Thomas Cochrane would embark upon commanding this vessel would be the first of many adventures that would cement him into legend The journey of the HMS Speedy began on April 22nd of 1800 with an immediate success. Cochrane was a mere month into his first cruise when he captured a French Privateer vessel off the coast of Cagliari. Within the next three months three more small vessels were captureed, while dozens more were harried, which put Cochrane back in the good graces of his superiors Cochrane regarded his early conquests as modest, as he had larger ambitions Following winter Cochrane really began to employ his legendary cunning. His sloop had been patrolling the eastern Spanish Coast for the better part of December, and on the 21st of that month, came upon a vessel they perceived to be a well-laden Spanish merchant. Speedy drew closer to investigate, only for the target to raise its gunports, revealing itself as a frigate of war Cochrane had no intention to risk battle with a vessel far superior in firepower to his, nor was his tiny brig able to outsail the foe. Luckily, he had space and time to spare. He ordered his ship be painted to resemble a Danish Brig, and brought a Danish speaking Quartermaster on deck He instructed the Quartermaster to tell the Spaniards the Speedy was plague-ridden and that spooked the Frigate away. It wouldn’t be the last time that the cunning commander would employ false colours, as Cochrane kept a collection of various flags aboard his ships for much of his career The next few months saw Cochrane’s successes continue to pile Capturing an armed warship is very difficult, yet Cochrane achieved that regularly. His deceptive cunning and clever use of false flags was the key to his success. HMS Speedy travelled at night, and attacked at dawn, her small size allowed her to strike fast, and slip away undetected One notable engagement saw Cochrane once more fly a Danish flag to approach a French and a

Spanish brig off the coast of Catalonia. His prey never suspected a thing, and Speedy closed in for the catch, hoisting British colours and capturing both vessels and all 54 men aboard Cochrane was now known both by his countrymen and the enemies, as his autobiography notes that Speedy’s success had made him a “marked object of the Spanish Naval Authorities.” His reputation as a maverick would only grow, most notably within the gilded halls of high society In February of 1801, the young Commander purchased a ticket for a fancy ball in Malta, hosted by some aristocratic French Royalists-in-exile Cochrane dressed himself for the occasion in a British Sailor’s garb he described as “as honourable a character as Greek, Turkish and other oriental disguises in vogue.” Nevertheless, he was barred entry at the gates, his outfit considered too rustic A heated argument ensued with a French officer ensued, followed by a challenge to a duel The following morning, the pair met with pistols in hand. Cochrane shot the Frenchman through the waist, while he himself passed unscathed Cochrane put back to sea later that month. It was business as usual once more aboard HMS Speedy, as it returned to harrying the vessels of Napoleon and Spain on the coasts of the Meditteranean By the morning of May 6th of 1801, Speedy had already captured or sunk seventeen vessels off the Spanish coast, and was now cruising the coasts of Barcelona. There, she came across a peculiar vessel on the horizon, and tacked on the breeze to investigate. As it turned out, it was the El Gamo, a Xebec-Class Spanish Frigate, which likely had been deployed specifically to eliminate the menace that was Speedy. Cochrane knew his situation was dire, as Gamo was a heavy warship, baring 32 cannon and 319 crewmen. Speedy, on the other hand, had only 54 hands on deck, and 14 cannons, which lacked the power and range Admiral Nelson’s words rang true in the daring Scotman’s mind: “Never Mind maneuvers, always go at them.” Cochrane ordered his crew to hoist an American flag, and make directly for Gamo The Spaniards hesitated, unwilling to risk a diplomatic incident by firing on what could be a neutral vessel. This allowed Cochrane to approach so close to Gamo that he could see the whites of her crew’s eyes Speedy’s yardarm locked with Gamo’s rigging, and from there, the gig was up, and Cochrane gave the order to let fly. The union jack was hoisted, and Speedy unleashed a deadly broadside cannonade at point-blank range. Her guns had been elevated, and unleashed destruction upon the Spanish deck, killing Gamo’s captain in the first blast Speedy’s proximity made it so her foe’s cannon fired harmlessly over her short deck Musket fire proved an ineffective tool as well in picking off a battle-hardened British crew Twice, the Spaniards attempted a boarding party, and twice Speedy veered out of range, and fired another broadside Cochrane soon realized it was time for the coup de grace, stating “Our rigging being cut up and the Speedy’s sails riddled with shot, I told the men that they must either take the frigate or be themselves taken.” And so, Speedy once more latched onto Gamo, and Cochrane had his crew blacken their faces with soot so to appear more terrifying. From there, the British boarded the frigate from the bow and stern, a fierce melee of pistols, axes and cutlasses ensuing with Cochrane at the center of it all Always a quick thinker, the daring commander ordered his men to haul down the Spanish flag flapping over the mainmast. This was a brutal strike to Spanish moral, for they now believed their officers had given up the ship, and laid down their arms to surrender Gamo was taken as a prize and sailed to Fort Mahon, following that, Speedy continued upon its cruise of destruction. By July of 1801, she had captured, sank or ran aground a mind-boggling 53 enemy ships becoming the scourge of the Mediterranean And yet, all things must come to an end. In the end, it took three massive French Ships of the Line baring over 70 guns each to capture the tiny sloop, cornering her off the coast of Alicante Cochrane was taken aboard one of the warships, Dessaix, and presented his sword to the Captain The Frenchman declined out of respect for his foe, saying he “would not take the sword of an officer who he had for so many hours struggled against impossibly.” Cochrane’s captors treated him with kindness, and the Scotsman particular notes the French Admiral Charles-Alexandre Linois, who held him in high regard and often asked him for nautical advice Cochrane witnessed the British defeat at the battle of Algeciras from the deck of Dessaix,

before he was eventually released in a prisoner exchange, and sent to Gibraltar On July 18th, 1801, Thomas Cochrane stood aboard the deck of the 80-gun HMS Pompee to face a military court for the capture of HMS Speedy. However, he knew that the slew of unlikely victories he had won upon his little sloop outweighed the cost of its eventual loss Sure enough, Cochrane was honourably acquitted With that out of the way, he had expected three things: a swift promotion to post-captain, a shiny new frigate to command, and a return to the bountiful fame of Napoleonic warfare Unfortunately, none of this would come to pass The Royal Navy brass dragged their feet, and for three months, he watched rival officers get promoted ahead of him. Although he was finally appointed Post-Captain on August 8th, he had become resentful towards the British Admiralty, publicly berating the Lord Admiral St. Vincent, an act which would earn him ire from the aristocratic oligarchy that was British Naval command On May 18th 1803, Britain declared war on Napoleonic France once more. Cochrane, who had been unemployed during a year long truce, was delighted to finally be deployed. Unfortunately, his ill-advised aggressions had come back to haunt him, as the vengeful Lord St. Vincent saw to it that the new Post-Captain was stiffed again Cochrane was appointed to command the HMS Arab, a destitute sixth-rate frigate, which he equated to a flat-bottomed cargo hauler rather than a Royal Navy warship, lamenting that “she would sail like a haystack.” For the next year, Cochrane was relegated to patrolling Northern Europe, remarking that “It was literally naval exile in a tub.” However, in May 1804, St. Vincent was replaced by Lord Melville, who had more appreciation for Cochrane’s achievements, and in Autumn gave Cochrane command of a vessel worthy of his talents: the HMS Pallas. She was brand new a top of the line fifth rate Thames-class frigate, armed with 36 cannons. Her deck was nearly twice as long as HMS Speedy, and had crew capacity thrice as large Pallas was a sleek weapon of destruction By the turn of 1806, HMS Pallas had become an infamous menace to both France and Spain In one cruise along the Azore Islands she had captured four Spanish Treasure Galleons heavily laden with new world Silver, depriving the Spanish treasury of millions of dollars’ worth of capital Cochrane was then deployed to the coasts around the Bay of Biscay, where he harried a dozen more French vessels Pallas’ most noteworthy action came on the 5th of April, 1806. Cochrane heard word of a squadron of French Corvettes anchored down the estuary of the Garonne River. The waters and coastline did not make open battle favourable, thus Cochrane waited patiently for nightfall, and anchored his frigate at the mouth of the river estuary. From there, he appointed his lieutenant John Haswell to take 180 of his crewmen and embark upon the boarding boats, rowing upriver along the shoreline under cover of darkness. Sure enough, this boarding party came upon a ship at anchor, Tapageuse , a 14-gun Corvette serving as a guardship for the rest of the French vessels upstream At 3AM, the crew of the Pallas launched themselves upon Tapageuse, catching the Frenchmen by surprise. After a brief but fierce skirmish, the British sailors prevailed, inducing the enemy’s surrender. Yet things were soon to go sideways, for the shouts and musket fire from the melee had alerted the vessels up-river Before Lieutenant Haswell was able to weigh Tapageuse’s anchor and return to the Pallas, his men were intercepted by another French Gun-Brig. A broadside gunfight ensued, in which Haswell managed to use the captured vessel’s cannon to subdue the foe. Despite this, the prize ship suffered damage to her rigging, stranding the majority of British seamen upriver At sunrise, the crew remaining aboard the Pallas itself spotted three French Corvettes bearing down upon them from the coastline. Cochrane was now vulnerable, as the majority of his men were still with Haswell far upstream. At full capacity, Pallas could potentially outgun three corvettes, but with only a paltry 40 men on her deck, it was a hopeless fight Thinking quickly, Cochrane ordered his skeleton crew to fasten rope yarns to the furled sails Then, in one motion all the yarns were cut at once, losing all sail in one go,

giving off the illusion that Pallas was manned by a full crew. In Cochrane’s own words: “The manoeuvre succeeded to a marvel. No sooner was our cloud of canvas thus suddenly let fall than the approaching vessels hauled the wind, and ran off along shore.” Pallas engaged in pursuit, blasting her bowguns into the stern of the first fleeing corvette These were the only guns they had the ability to man, unbeknownst to the French Captain who deliberately ran his vessel aground upon the shore in a panic, the shock of the impact collapsing the vessel’s mainmast. With one ship subdued, the vicious Cochrane relentlessly pursued the remaining two Corvettes. Both ran themselves aground and wrecked their vessels, rather than risk battle with Pallas. Overall, with only one Frigate and a handful of boarding boats, Cochrane and his men had decommissioned four French warships, and captured one It was a stunningly unlikely victory, won through iron will and quick wit In the Summer of 1806, Cochrane returned to Britain as a triumphant war hero, his fearless raids off the Bay of Biscay having earned him no small amount of fame Napoleon himself, the newly crowned Emperor of France, had taken an interest in this particularly prolific Captain’s trail of destruction, and personally ordered his capture, bestowing upon him a new title:“le loup de mers”- the Sea Wolf Never one to rest on his laurels, Cochrane was far from finished with his seaborne marauding. In August of 1806 he was appointed to the HMS Imperieuse, a sturdy 38-cannon frigate that was significantly more powerful than Pallas Imperieuse soon became an icon of glory for the British Navy, and a consistent scourge to France It would be in 1808 when Cochrane hit his stride once more off the coasts of Spain. This was a year when the British Army was embroiled in a desperate land-struggle across the Iberian Peninsula against their Napoleonic foe, and Cochrane’s naval contributions to the war effort were invaluable The writings of contemporary novelist Sir Walter Scott emphasize as much, claiming the Captain had, with his single ship, “kept the whole coast of Languedoc in alarm”, “destroyed Telegraphs of utmost importance to the French, preventing troops being sent from that province into Spain” and “excited such dismay that 2000 men were drawn from Figeras to oppose him. Men who otherwise would have been marching further into the Peninsula.” Despite his success, Cochrane continued to lament upon the lack of recognition he received from the British Admiralty, often claiming in his autobiography that they not only failed to give him any praise, but in fact cheated him and his crew out of their rightfully earned prize money In June, the Imperieuse sailed for Montgat, a Catalonian fortress under the occupation of French troops under General Duscheme With the help of Catalan Guerillas, he launched a two-pronged assault on the coastal battery, capturing it soundly. He would later go on to seize and decipher French code-books, and occupy Fort Trinidad, causing invaluable losses in French manpower, intelligence, resources and time To many among friend and foe, the Sea Wolf had become larger than life, more vengeful spirit than man. It was this reputation that would see him conscripted into the largest fleet engagement of his life, a contest that would serve as the climax to his naval boldness and the peak of his hubris: the Battle of Basque Roads In Spring of 1809, a Royal Navy Fleet was being hastily assembled by one Admiral Gambier, in order to confront a French flotilla that had escaped a British Blockade in Brest, and now lay anchored in the well protected mouth of the river Charente, a region known as Basque Roads. The French intention was to escape into the open Atlantic and harry British interests in the West Indies, which the British under no circumstances could allow To this end, the Admiralty directly sought out its most dauntless Post-Captain Cochrane’s reputation as a maverick made using him a risky gamble, but his daring nature and unquestionable naval genius were exactly what the Royal Navy needed to complete the total destruction of the French Atlantic Fleet. At the Palace of Whitehall, Cochrane met with First Admiral Lord Mulgrave, who asked for the Scotsman’s personal advice The idea of using fireships was put on the table, and Cochrane insisted that the plan would only work if supplemented by ships laden with explosives and rockets to further eliminate the

enemy’s ability to resist amidst fire and chaos Satisfied with this plan, Lord Mulgrave ordered Cochrane to join Admiral Gambier’s fleet at Basque Roads and personally lead the Fireship’s charge This dismayed the Scotsman, who personally despised Admiral Gambier, believing him to be the exact breed of corrupt aristocrat who had so often hampered his career Despite his insistence, Mulgrave would not rescind the order, and Cochrane begrudgingly sailed Imperieuse to join the British war fleet Cochrane arrived at Basque Roads on April 3rd, and found his suspicions of Admiral Gambier had proven to hold warrant Gambier was a vacillating commander, an evangelical Christian who insisted on distributing religious tracts to his men, and making them study them, rather than actively planning an attack The arrival and appointment of Lord Cochrane as head of the coming assault did not help matters One Admiral Sir Eliab Harvey was enraged that he had been snubbed of the role in place of a junior officer, and fiercely denounced Gambier, calling him a ‘Psalm-slinger’, as well as claiming: “I never saw a man so unfit for the command of the fleet. If Admiral Nelson were here he would not have anchored in Basque Roads at all, but would have dashed at the enemy at once.” Harvey had been the Captain of HMS Temeraire. He was a hero of the Battle of Trafalgar, yet he was sent to London and court martialed all the same. His departure was an ill-omen for the British fleet The two Fleets stood nine miles apart from one another in an indefinite standoff The French column, commanded by Admiral Zacharie Allemand, was comprised of eleven Ships of the Line and Four Frigates, organized into two rows, wedged between the tiny Ile d’Aix and the perilous shallow Boyart Shoal. Furthermore, a fortified garrison, complete with operational gun batteries, sat firmly on the Island’s northern edge. With both sides inaccessible to British vessels, the French had secured their flanks and were firmly wedged in Realizing there was no time to waste, Cochrane asked for permission to convert the transport ships in Gambiers fleet into fireships and explosive vessels, which was granted Three explosion vessels were prepared, their holds packed with 1,500 barrels of gunpowder stuffed into casks and tied together, supplemented by 3,000 hand grenades, all tied to a long fuse lit from the ships’ stern, giving its brave crew around fifteen minutes to scuttle off in a lifeboat before the big detonation Eight more prepared fire-vessels arrived on April 10th, sent by Lord Melville Having prepared his deadly squadron of suicidal vehicles, Cochrane asked Gambier for permission to begin the attack posthaste and charge straight for the French line. Gambier refused, denouncing the Scotsman’s head-on tactics as sheer foolhardiness This infuriated Cochrane, who countered that further delay would lead to the French Admiral doubtlessly catching on to the Fireship plan and putting safeguards in place, inevitably leading to the loss of more British lives Sure enough, the next morning’s sun revealed the existence of a massive boom that barricaded the narrow channel between the Fortress at d’Aix and the Boyart Shoal. Furthermore, Admiral Allemand had in fact been made aware of the British fireships, and had ordered the front row of his Ships of the Line to point forward to present a smaller target Seventy canoes were deployed to wait by the boom, equipped with towing lines so as to tug any approaching fire ships out of harm’s way, while the French Frigates too sailed ahead of the fleet, to guard the harbour chain against British incursions As day turned to dusk on April 11th, the winds began to churn, turning the coastal seas into a choppy tempest. It was at this time that Gambier finally approved the Fireship’s assault, perhaps taking advantage of the poor conditions to discourage Cochrane. Nevertheless, the Sea Wolf was undeterred, and pressed forward with his plan His crew was made up purely of volunteers, as fireships fell outside the conventional boundaries of warfare, and sailors captured by the enemy while operating them would not be taken prisoner, but instead executed First, the British Frigates Imperieuse, Pallas, Aigle and Unicorn were anchored at the seaward end of the Boyart Shoal, standing by to pull the crewmen of the kamikaze vessels out of the sea once they’d abandoned ship. When night fell, the contest commenced. The sloops HMS Redpole and HMS Lyra anchored on either end of the narrow straight, lighting their lanterns so as to mark the channel for the attackers. At around 8PM, three explosive ships barreled down towards the French Boom, taking advantage of the flood-tide One was captained by Frederick Marryat, one of Cochrane’s most trustworthy officers, while the

Sea Wolf captained one himself, taking the lead At around half past eight, Cochrane determined that his floating bomb was around ten minutes away from the boom. He commanded his crew immediately proceed to the lifeboats to evacuate, and personally lit the fuse, creating a countdown for his vessels’ imminent explosion. Together they boarded the dinghy and rowed vigorously against the currents to get out of range of the incoming blast, only to discover about 100 yards out that they had left their mascot dog on board Refusing to let his pooch get blown up, Cochrane rowed back for the floating timebomb, climbed aboard, grabbed the dog, and jumped back into the dinghy, once more rowing away with extra vigour Soon, the floating bomb hit the boom, and a massive explosion illuminated the night sky, a veritable fireworks display of destruction The explosive vessel was torn apart, and in turn shredded the massive chain that stood between the Royal Navy and its foe Ten minutes later, Marryat’s vessel collided with what remained, creating a second eruption, which scattered the French canoes that had been waiting to tow away the attackers. This annihilation completely dumbfounded Admiral Allemand, for fire ships were one thing, but in no world could he imagine his opponent creating explosive vessels, a monstrosity that disregarded every convention of civilized warfare The third explosion vessel had run aground and been put out of commission, but the way was now cleared, and it was time for the inferno At 9:30 PM, twenty British fire ships began their way down the channel. The French Frigate vanguard quickly cut their anchor lines and fled hastily back towards the main fleet Yet, the Fire Ships soon encountered trouble. The choppy currents made their navigation perilous, causing many captains to panic, then light and abandon their ships too early, causing the burning husks to drift harmlessly into the shoals on either side of the channel However, the stormy sea worked too in the British favour, rendering the waters too perilous for their French foes to maneuver Of twenty fireships, four managed to make it into the French anchorage, and from there, chaos was the order of the night. A flaming vessel latched on to the 74-gun Regulus, causing the Ship of the Line to crash into its fellow French Tourville Several more ships were set alight as rockets flared chaotically across wooden decks Men drowned diving overboard to escape the flames, creating a scene of panic incarnate By daybreak, it was revealed that of fourteen French ships, all but two had been damaged and run aground on the nearby mudflats in an attempt to evade the fires, rendered completely immobile. Cochrane had since made it back to the Imperieuse, and knew that the time to strike was now, when the enemy was trapped and helpless. Yet, Admiral Gambier refused to give the order. Cochrane was floored with disbelief, unable to comprehend how a man with eleven battleships and 7 frigates at his disposal refused to engage an enemy who at current had only two operational vessels By noon, the Océan and four other French ships had been put back afloat, and were retreating deep into the mouth of the River Charente Knowing that total victory was slipping out between his fingers, Cochrane committed an act of blatant insubordination, launching HMS Imperieuse deep into the gulf alone, to take on the entire French Fleet single-handedly, saying later in his own words: “It was better to risk the frigate, or even my commission, than suffer a disgraceful termination to the expectations of the Admiralty.” Imperieuse engaged the beached vessel Calcutta, with the two warships exchanging deadly broadsides, with the British Frigate at an immense advantage Simultaneously, Cochrane ordered his bow and stern cannons fired into the Aquilon and Ville de Varsovie respectively Beached they may have been, but a single Frigate was still engaged in a duel with three Ships of the Line twice its size Soon, the Calcutta surrendered, and was captured by Cochrane’s crew It was at this point that Gambier finally sent some backup into the channel, unable to let one impetuous captain take on the entire French navy. Five frigates and two ships of the line entered Basque Roads. Calcutta was abandoned and set flame, while the Aquilon and Ville de Varsovie quickly surrendered. A fourth ship, Tonnerre, was scuttled by its own crew The battle of Basque Roads was undoubtedly a victory for the Royal Navy, who had sunk

three French Ships of the Line, a fourth rate, and a frigate, all while losing only 30 men and no ships of their own. However, had Gambier shown any initiative, the entire French Atlantic Fleet could have been destroyed in the space of the morning, whereas now the majority of it would live to fight another day Cochrane remained infuriated by Admiral Gambier’s incompetence, and upon returning to England, publicly shamed him for his conduct Defiance in the face of authority was nothing new to Cochrane, but never before had he been so enraged, or so viciously ripped into the personal character of such a powerful, well connected man Gambier demanded a court martial to determine his innocence. Naturally, the tribunal was stacked with aristocrats sympathetic to him, and the Admiral was exonerated from all wrongdoing, while Cochrane, known for his impudence, had suffered a dire blow to his reputation This incident compelled Cochrane to refuse further naval appointments, and from 1809 onwards, the Wolf of the Sea focused on his career as a Member of the British Parliament Indeed, Cochrane had pursued political ambitions since 1806, when he’d first been elected as a representative of the riding of Honiton, and later Westminster, acting as MP concurrently with his naval service. He used his position to campaign for hard naval reforms, becoming an outspoken critic of the corruption in the Royal Navy The following years saw Cochrane’s popularity increased with the common people, as he continued to relentlessly campaign against the aristocrats Yet, he had few friends in parliament, and near none among the Lordship and Admiralty In 1814, Cochrane was implicated in a great stock exchange fraud, accused of deliberately misleading the public about Napoleon’s death to increase the value of his government securities shares Naturally, the young Lord protested his innocence, but his words fell deaf upon the courts- who had likely been bought out by his many shadowy enemies, acting vindictively upon him for his attempts to disrupt their status quo As punishment for his alleged fraud, Cochrane was dishonourably expelled from Parliament, and formally discharged from the Royal Navy- an institution he had won countless victories for His honours were revoked, and he was sentenced to twelve months in jail. It was there, in the dour walls of King’s Bench Prison, that this chapter of the Sea Wolf’s story came to an end In 1815, Napoleon was finally defeated at Waterloo and his demise brought an end to the war that had defined the entirety of Cochrane’s naval career, but the disgraced Scotsman was unable to bask in this glory, having been left to rot in prison. Never one to accept his fate, Cochrane escaped from King’s Bench in March of 1815, scaling down the prison walls from a three story window using contraband rope. Instead of fleeing, he went to Westminster and demanded his seat in the House of Commons, where he had served before his unceremonious conviction in the Stock Exchange Fraud. Unsurprisingly, he was promptly arrested and thrown back into jail. Cochrane was released in June, upon finishing his sentence, and rejoined his family. In the years since his resignation from the Royal Navy, he had taken a wife, Kitty, and by her had a son, Thomas Junior In 1818, Cochrane was approached by the representative of Chile in London Don Jose Alvarez. At this time, Chile was a rebel nation fighting for its freedom against Spain The aftermath of Napoleon’s demise saw much of South America rise in open rebellion against the Spanish Empire, fighting in wars made iconic by the likes of Simon Bolivar, who at present was engaged in a struggle to establish republics in Colombia and Bolivia. Chile had enjoyed much success in this regard. Under the leadership of the General Jose de San Martin, and the Irish-descended Commander Bernardo O’Higgins, much of inland Chile had been liberated However, at sea, the Spanish were still strong Held up in highly fortified coastal fortresses from Peru to Patagonia, they threatened the new Republic with a counter-revolutionary strike Ambassador Alvarez had specifically sought out Cochrane and implored him on behalf of commander-in-chief of the Chilean Republic O’Higgins to assume command of the Chilean navy, and drive the Spanish from their coasts. On August 15th, 1818, Cochrane departed for Chile with his family On November 29th, Cochrane came upon the docks of Valparaiso, the provisional capital of the

republic. Soon he was introduced to the Chilean navy. It was not much, consisting merely of three frigates, three brigs, and a sloop. The largest ship was a 50-gunner, O’Higgins, named after Chile’s commander-in-chief Cochrane made this vessel into his flagship On January 16th, 1819, Cochrane set sail upon his first South American campaign. To his great irritation, he found out that his five-year-old son had enthusiastically stowed himself aboard his flagship. By the time the child had been discovered, it was too late to turn back. He begrudgingly allowed his son to stay aboard, where the sailors outfitted the boy as a midshipman One of the Spanish fortresses in the region was the harbour-town of Callao, where Spanish ships could resupply their soldiers under the protection of a massive beachfront fortress Cochrane made Callao his target, for he had received intel that the two most powerful frigates in the Spanish Fleet, Esmeralda and Venganza, were anchored there. In February they arrived at the town, which conveniently was celebrating a carnival Cochrane plan was to cut into the harbour with two of his warships while the town was distracted by the festivities, board the two Spanish frigates, and make off with them as a prize Yet, as the O’Higgins and Lautaro made forth, a thick fog blanketed the rocky anchorage, making it far too dangerous to approach, and costing them valuable time The fog soon lifted, revealing the Chilean advance to the 350 guns stationed on the nearby Fortress Fully manned and ready to unleash hell, it turned out that Callao had not been as taken by merriment as they had hoped Lautaro quickly listed off to safety, leaving Cochrane aboard the O’Higgins the bear the brunt of the oncoming cannonade The Scotsman immediately made maneuvers to veer out of range. But, to his horror, he saw his toddler son run on deck, enthusiastic to join in the action. A Spanish cannonball whizzed over the deck, blowing off the head of a nearby Marine, and splattering tiny Tom in blood Cochrane stood paralyzed in terror, until the child shouted: “I am not hurt papa, the ball did not touch me.” Cochrane quickly tacked his vessel out of cannon range, all the while ordering his son to be carried back below Not wanting to miss the action, Tom struggled and screamed until he was allowed to stay. The O’Higgins managed to escape with little damage Unphased, Cochrane engaged in an exchange of prisoners with the fortress, trading captives he had taken from a royalist gunboat for indentured Chileans. During these talks, the Spanish Viceroy demanded to know why a British officer would serve a nation of continental rebels. Cochrane replied: “A British nobleman is a free man, capable of judging between right and wrong, and at liberty to adopt a country and a cause which aim at restoring the rights of oppressed human nature.” The Spaniards remembered all too well the terror that Cochrane had caused them aboard HMS Speedy twenty years earlier Cochrane was pleased to hear that Spanish sailors had a nickname for him: El Diablo Having exhausted all his avenues into Callao, Cochrane turned to the south, and set his sights upon Valdivia While O’Higgins respected Cochrane, he refused to lend him funds and manpower for an assault on that city, as it was widely considered to be the most impregnable redoubt in all South America. Chile would never be secure while Valdivia remained Spanish, but attacking it was considered suicide But Cochrane never cared about the odds. So, in December of 1819, the Sea Wolf sailed southwards with only his flagship, fully intending to take on Latin America’s most fortified stronghold alone. On January 17th of 1820, the O’Higgins arrived at Corral Bay, an estuary upon which seven heavily garrisoned Fortresses stood firm These land batteries formed the main obstacle between Cochrane and the city of Valdivia proper, which lay 16 miles upriver. Success was paramount, both to maintain the Sea Wolf’s near mythic reputation, and to stay in good graces with the Chilean Government Luckily, the campaign got off to a good start Cochrane had employed his classic false flag technique, flying Spanish colours in the bay When the Royalist Brig Potrillo listed towards the shore, she was promptly deceived and captured Aboard Potrillo was $20,000 and a highly detailed sea chart of the harbour of Valdivia Having performed a satisfactory reconnaissance, the O’Higgins sailed up the coast and travelled

to Talcahuano bay, where the local Chilean governor levied 250 men for the Sea Wolf’s cause Cochrane also managed to recruit the services of two schooners, the Montezuma and Intrepido Together, they sailed southwards once more, knowing that 350 sailors in three wooden ships were about to face down 2,000 soldiers stationed across seven fortresses of stone After being briefly run aground by a rogue wind on the island of Quiriquina, the O’Higgins managed to get back afloat through some vigorous bilge-pumping and Cochrane’s personal carpentry skills. However, the ship remained damaged, and the water that had flooded the hull had ruined the powder magazine and most of the ammunition aboard. Undeterred, Cochrane simply convinced his crew they would find victory through use of their bayonets alone The frigate rendezvoused back with the two Schooners. The crew of the leaking O’Higgins was transferred to the Montezuma and Intrepido, both of whom docked just off the Fort Ingles at the mouth of the river Valdivia, flying Spanish colours so not to alert the defenders inside Cochrane had realized that most of the enemy fortresses were designed to repel a seaward assault and a land attack might have the element of surprise. As he explained to his crew: “operations unexpected by the enemy are, when well executed, almost certain to succeed, whatever may be the odds.” On the afternoon of February 3rd, the Spaniards demanded the two vessels to identify themselves Cochrane sent an officer ashore to parley with the Spaniards in Fort Ingles, claiming they had been blown off course from a Spanish squadron rounding Cape Horn. The Spaniards didn’t buy this story, and at precisely 4:00 PM opened fire on Intrepido, breaching its hull and killing two soldiers Cochrane was forced to order the immediate commencement of his assault To that aim, a vanguard was formed, 44 marines led by English-born Major William Miller were boarded upon a canoe, and began a perilous approach upon the beach of Fort Ingles. The Spaniards sent out an advance contingent of 75 soldiers, launching volley after volley of musket fire upon the Chilean boat. A handful of marines were killed, but the rowers pressed on bravely under fire Eventually reaching shore, Major Miller led a fierce bayonet charge upon the enemy, routing the Spanish force back into their fort A tentative beach-head had been established Soon, night had fallen, and the second phase of Cochrane’s plan fell into motion. Under the cover of darkness, 250 Chilean soldiers were quickly ferried onto the beach Guided by a captured Spaniard, they climbed the rocky bluffs onto the grassy heights upon which the fort stood. From there, the assault team split into two commands The first approached the seaward wall of Fort Ingles, making as much noise as possible, whooping, hollering and firing their muskets into the air while remaining out of gunfire range They had precious little ammunition, but Cochrane knew that this bluff was crucial to his success, for the second contingent had begun circling around to the Fortress’s inland face They stalked silently through the darkness, whatever sound they made drowned out by the cacophony of their comrades in front of the fort They concealed themselves within a grove of trees, trained their sights upon the distracted Spanish soldiers on the seaward wall, and unleashed a devastating musket volley with the last of their remaining dry powder. In the ensuing chaos, the Chilean soldiers raised their bayonets and charged their enemy, screaming horrible war cries to appear all the more monstrous. The Spaniards, gripped by darkness, confusion and death, succumbed to terror, and evacuated Fort Ingles, fleeing towards the neighbouring Fort Carlos They were pursued relentlessly by Cochrane’s men, who impaled the panicked Royalists as they ran As the Spanish garrison of Ingles fled towards the neighbouring Fort San Carlos, the commander of the battery frantically ordered its gates open to receive the refugees. In the shroud of night and amidst the chaos of terrorized men, the Sea Wolf’s warriors slipped right in through the open doors, and began hacking away at the Spaniards inside. Once more, the combined garrisons of Ingles and San Carlos abandoned the second battery, and fled towards Fort Amargos The contest continued as an almost comical game of dominoes, as Fort Amargos suffered the very same fate that San Carlos had before it. Chilean soldiers slipped through the open gates meant to bring sanctuary to their fleeing victims, and began ruthlessly hacking away at the souls within Despite outnumbering the Chileans six to one, the Spaniards had been wholly routed by a foe who in their eyes could be no less than the devil itself

By the time Fort Amargos had been subdued, Cochrane’s men had killed a hundred Spaniards, and taken captive a hundred more. They moved on to the Fort Chorocomayo, which was situated inland on a hill. Unlike the three forts before it, Chorocomayo offered a token resistance but was eventually overcome by the ferocity of the Sea Wolf’s marines When the sun rose on the morning of February the 4th, four out of the seven fortresses were in Chilean hands. Absolutely stunned by this humiliating defeat, Spanish morale was at an all time low. The Fortresses on the eastern half of the harbour put up an unconvincing fight, opening fire upon the Montezuma and Intrepido as they sailed into the bay However, when the O’Higgins reared its imposing hull within sight of Fort Niebla, the last of the Spanish resolve broke, for they believed that Cochrane would shell them with the captured artillery from Fort Chorocomayo. this, compounded with the firepower and inevitable reinforcements aboard the 50-gun Frigate, made further resistance futile. In reality, this was yet another bluff, for the O’Higgins had no reinforcements aboard, nor was it in any state to fight. Nevertheless, the Spaniards abandoned the eastern forts, and all of Corral bay was now in Cochrane’s hands. In total, he had lost only 26 men Cochrane now advanced down the river to launch his assault upon the city itself, only to find that the Spanish Governor had looted everything of value in his township and fled with his garrison. The city of Valdivia was now officially in Chilean hands. Despite the sacking, there was plenty of booty to be had Bountiful amounts of arms, munitions, and currency were seized from the fortresses, amounting to loot of the most promising proportions More importantly, the last Spanish stronghold in Chile had been eliminated, eliminating the final holdout of Colonial power in the south of the continent. This victory effectively secured the long-term future of Chilean independence, and won them their autonomy over their coast and southern frontier. It was the greatest victory that Lord Thomas Cochrane would win on South American soil Cochrane then returned to Valparaiso. The Chilean government had assumed he would fail in his Valdivian campaign, and had preemptively prepared to court martial him for insubordination. Learning that he had succeeded, they quickly backpedaled and publicly honoured the Scotsman’s victory To follow up his triumph at Valdivia, Cochrane turned his attention back northwards to Peru. More specifically, the harbour of Callao, a stronghold which thus far had managed to defy him. On August 21st, 1820, the Sea Wolf departed Valparaiso at the head of the entire Chilean naval squadron, aboard with him was the esteemed General Jose de San Martin, alongside 4200 of his troops, which made up the bulk of the Chilean army. Ultimately, their goal was the conquest of Lima, the Peruvian capital city that sat adjacent to Callao Cochrane soon developed friction with San Martin The Chilean general refused to commit his men to an all-out assault upon their main objective Instead, he disembarked his men at various ports hundreds of miles from both Lima and Callao, stalling for weeks at a time, and accomplishing very little Believing San Martin to be of feeble military mind, Cochrane cut off from the main Chilean force, and made directly for Callao with only three vessels, O’Higgins, Lautaro and Independencia. He told San Martin that he intended to blockade the port thereby isolate Lima by sea, but this was not the truth, as Cochrane was planning something much bolder He had suspected that the Spanish Frigate Esmeralda was still anchored at Callao, and upon reaching the port, his suspicions were confirmed To launch a frontal assault upon the coastal fortresses in the bay would be suicide, and Cochrane’s previous attempts to do such had taught him as much. However, the Esmeralda was the most powerful Spanish Warship in South America’s Pacific Coast. If he could launch a stealth assault upon the Frigate and snatch her out from under the cannons of Callao, it would be a mortal blow to Royalist naval power in Peru The plan was simple in execution. Under cover of darkness, a quiet boarding party would row into the harbour aboard small launch craft, board and subdue the crew of the Esmeralda as they slept, and make off with the prize frigate while the harbour fortress remained none the wiser At midnight, the attack commenced, the Sea Wolf’s crew embarked aboard fourteen canoes, they rowed harmlessly past two neutral vessels, the American Macedonia and the British Hyperion

Soon enough, the boarding skiffs reached Esmeralda, and began scaling its hull via the Frigate’s main-chains. Cochrane was put in a perilous situation when the deck watchmen heard the clanking of chains and raised the alarm. Esmeralda had now been alerted, and the attackers had no time to waste. Cochrane heaved himself onto the deck, onto to be struck upon the forehead by the butt of a sentry’s musket. He fell unceremoniously back onto the skiff below, but flung himself right back upon the chains, climbing the Frigate’s hull once more This time, he shot the sentry with his pistol, and launched himself onto the gangway, bellowing loudly: “Up, my lads! She’s ours!” Chileans swarmed upon the Esmeralda, routing the Spanish crew to the forecastle bow, where they rallied and unleashed a volley of musket fire upon the boarding party. Cochrane was shot in the thigh, but pressed on. The remaining Spaniards were soon routed- diving overboard or submitting to capture. The Esmeralda was in Cochrane’s hands By now, the fortress had been well alerted, and began opening fire upon the captured Frigate The Sea Wolf’s crew set to work, unfurling the sail and hastily sailing their prize out of the harbour. In yet another stroke of cunning, Cochrane ordered Esmeralda’s tail lights to be raised in an identical pattern to the neutral Hyperion and Macedonia, making it indistinguishable from the two. Unable to risk firing upon neutral vessels, the Spaniards could do nothing but helplessly watch their strongest warship slip out between their fingers The capture of the Esmeralda functionally crippled the Spanish navy west of Cape Horn. Cochrane was now the master of the coasts, and proceeded to blockade Callao. The Spaniards within, now cut off entirely by both land and sea, realized that their options were to surrender or starve. After only a month, the defenders within the fortress deserted, and joined the Chilean Republic General San Martin, meanwhile, had gained little with his ground force that besieged Lima He devoted his efforts into inciting the local Native populations to rebel against the Spaniards, but that failed. Cochrane became wary of San Martin believing that the General was deliberately keeping his army intact to seize control of the nation when it was time Frustrated, Cochrane offered to lead the assault on Lima himself, but was denied. He then requested that the General at least lend him 600 men, which was reluctantly granted. Cochrane took to his ships, and proceeded to harass the nearby Spanish coast The Royalists in Lima had their supply lines all but shredded by the Wolf’s prowl, and after three months, the Spaniard’s resolve finally broke, and they surrendered the city. On the 28th of July, 1821, General San Martin marched into Lima, and declared the independence of the nation of Peru On July 17th, Cochrane himself entered the newly liberated metropolis and was given a hero’s welcome by the local citizenry. The Scotsman had come a long way since his fall from grace, once more reclaiming his status as a military legend. Yet, with this triumph loomed the shadow of future conflict, for just as Cochrane had suspected, Jose de San Martin had been appointed the Supreme Protector of Peru, but following their victory, the rifts between them had begun to grow San Martin had essentially established himself as a dictator, which he saw as a pragmatic necessity The war had left Peru in chaos, and a heavy hand was needed to prevent widespread looting, food shortages, and general anarchy. Cochrane, however, saw San Martin as a traitor who had betrayed his oath to establish a liberal democracy in lands freed from Spain. In his eyes, Peru had simply traded one absolute tyrant for another It didn’t help that Cochrane and his crew had not been properly paid by San Martin, who argued that it was Chilean responsibility to do so, not Peru’s. The Scotsman resolved this in typical Cochrane fashion, by tracking, boarding, and looting a schooner transporting the state treasury of Peru, and using the funds to pay himself and his sailors exactly what they were owed. Naturally this caused a public outcry, and Cochrane quickly went from war hero to dangerous wildcard in the eyes of the Peruvian people. His uncompromising idealism, stubbornness, and complete lack of discretion had alienated him from the very government he had literally just helped create Cochrane returned to Valparaiso, where the local Chileans still held him in high regard It was there, in November of 1822, that the Sea Wolf received a letter from one Antonio Correa da

Camera, a Brazilian agent operating out of Buenos Aires. It was a tantalizing proposition; Cochrane was being offered command of the Brazilian navy At first, he didn’t intend to accept, but civil strife was brewing in Chile, and the Scotsman had no intention of getting involved. With his mind made up, he addressed the Chilean people with a fiery oration: “Chilenos! My fellow countrymen! You know that independence is purchased at the point of a bayonet. Know also that liberty is founded on good faith, and on the laws of honour, and that those who infringe upon these, are your only enemies.” With that, he sailed away from the country he had helped liberate, never to return Much like the Spanish side of South America, the nation of Brazil was currently embroiled in an independence struggle against its own colonial father, Portugal. Although as far as revolutionary wars go, this one was unique. In 1807, Napoleon’s armies had overrun the Portuguese Kingdom, forcing its royal family to flee to their wealthiest colony across the Atlantic During this period, Brazil had become the de-facto capital of the Portuguese Empire, and as such its people were afforded the highest status and privileges. In 1815, Napoleon had been defeated, and Portugal’s ruling family was called upon to return to their newly liberated mother country King Joao IV went home, leaving his son Pedro to rule Brazil on his behalf King Joao began soon rolling back the privileges the aristocracy of Brazil had been enjoying, reverting its status back to a subordinate colony But the Brazilians had had a taste of liberty, and now called for rebellion. It would be an unlikely man that would rise to lead the revolution: The Young Prince, Pedro. Despite being the heir to the throne of Portugal, he had spent most of his life in Brazil, and cared deeply for his adopted homeland So, Pedro made the slightly unorthodox move of seceding from his own royal line, declaring “Independence or Death!” for Brazil. Before long he was crowned as the new nation’s first Emperor In the Spring of 1823, Cochrane arrived in Rio de Janeiro. By then the young Emperor Pedro had more or less secured the independence of the southern half of his realm, but the Portuguese still remained in control of the northern regions of Bahia and Maranhao. Cochrane received a brief audience with the Emperor, who accompanied him to survey the ships that would be under his command It was a modest but functioning navy, consisting of three frigates, two corvettes, three brigs, and a handful of schooners. Cochrane’s flagship was the fleet’s only ship-of-the-line, a 64 gunner named Pedro Primiero In April, Cochrane was deployed northwards for the first time. His initial target was the Seaport of Salvador, capital of the province of Bahia, and the most powerful stronghold in Brazil which was still in Portuguese hands The city was currently besieged on the landward side by the forces of Emperor Pedro, so Cochrane blockaded the harbour with five of his ships, to prevent the city being resupplied by sea The Sea Wolf knew that the reliability of his crew was tenuous as best. During colonial times, Brazilians had been shunted from maritime jobs in favour of Portuguese-born sailors, so the new Empire faced a severe lack of reliable mariners. Cochrane’s ships were manned primarily by English and American mercenaries, African freedmen recently liberated from slavery, and Portuguese nationals, who were poorly paid and treated with suspicion Cochrane knew he could depend on the Anglophones, and the Africans were a wildcard, but the disgruntled Portuguese labourers were highly untrustworthy He didn’t have much time to address his misgivings, as on the 4th of May a squadron of thirteen Portuguese warships appeared on the horizon, intent to relieve the naval blockade of Salvador. As usual, Cochrane was outnumbered two to one. Equally as usual, the sea wolf’s answer to this dilemma was to abandon all caution and charge headlong into the enemy. As the Portuguese fleet hastily arranged themselves into a line of battle, the Pedro Primiero barreled in between their formation, isolating four Portuguese vessels from the main body of their fleet Immediately, Cochrane sent a flag signal to the rest of his ships to descend upon the isolated enemy vessels. But disaster struck- the disgruntled Portuguese aboard the Brazilian ships had decided that since their pay was so meagre, they may as well revert their loyalties back

to their mother country. They refused to engage in battle, and Pedro Primeiro was left to fight the entire enemy fleet alone To make a dire situation worse, Cochrane soon found that there were saboteurs aboard his own ship Two Portuguese labourers had imprisoned the Pedro Primiero’s powder monkeys below deck, preventing crucial gunpowder from being transported to the gun decks, and rendering his ship unable to effectively return fire at the enemy The conspirators were captured, but even Cochrane had to admit that there was no way he could earn any victory out of this humiliation. The Sea Wolf was forced to order a hasty retreat after what had been a humbling and unceremonious defeat Following this major setback, Cochrane drastically rearranged the personnel in his fleet. The Englishmen, Americans, loyal Brazilians and Black Marines were all concentrated aboard his flagship and two frigates. It would be with this greatly reduced, but overall more reliable fleet that Cochrane would proceed with in the war. On the night of June 12th, Cochrane disguised the Pedro Primeiro as an English Merchant ship, and sailed into Salvador harbour, performing reconnaissance in order to plan an attack using an old but reliable trick of his: fire ships Cochrane’s presence was soon discovered, but it worked in his favour. The citizens of Salvador were already exhausted from a year of being besieged, and when they found out it was the sea wolf himself at their seaward gate, they became gripped in terror, their minds taken by whatever crazy plan the infamous Scotsman had up his sleeve. The townsfolk had lost all desire to continue the fight, and pleaded with the Portuguese governor to finally abandon the coastal stronghold On July 2nd, 1823, the Portuguese garrison assembled into a convoy of ships and left Bahia for good, sailing back to their mother country aboard 17 warships and 75 transport vessels We can only imagine what sort of sinister grin might have creeped upon Cochrane’s lips as his prey exposed themselves on the open ocean. Before long he unfurled his flagship’s sails and descended upon the fleeing Portuguese like a wolf upon a flock of sheep Within months, Cochrane had all but eviscerated King Joao’s navy, relentlessly pursuing them across the Atlantic, isolating and picking off enemy warships one by one with only three vessels at his command. In total, the Scotsman and his subordinates had captured over thirty Portuguese ships, and taken over 2,000 enemy soldiers prisoner Following this utter devastation of Portuguese sea-power, Cochrane proceeded to Sao Luis, the capital of the province of Maranhao. With only his flagship, he boldly sailed within range of the town’s guns, and sent his captain ashore to treat with the local commandant Cochrane’s message was simple: Bahia had been liberated, the Portuguese fleet had been destroyed, and a massive Brazilian fleet was on its way, descending down upon Maranhao. This was a huge bluff, since no such Brazilian fleet existed. Nevertheless, the Portuguese garrison swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker. The next day, the local Junta and the town Bishop came aboard the Pedro Primeiro, forsaking Portugal and swearing allegiance to the Brazilian Emperor Cochrane’s men promptly took total control of the town, seized all its munitions and commandeered all the ships in its harbour Cochrane returned to Rio in 1824, where he once more received a hero’s welcome, and was granted the non-hereditary title of Marquess of Maranhao by Emperor Pedro. That same year, a new rebel movement emerged in the Province of Pernambuco, led by wealthy landowners who opposed the Brazilian Emperor’s liberal reforms Cochrane sailed north once more and helped to quickly crush the rebellion. At this point, The Sea Wolf had cemented himself as an eternal hero in the ethnogenesis of Brazilian nationhood, much like he had done in Chile and Peru Unfortunately, Cochrane had developed a nasty little habit of becoming a nation’s most celebrated war-hero, only to immediately alienate said nation’s government with his bullheadedness, and this Brazilian episode would end much like his Spanish-American escapades did. Throughout the revolution, Emperor Pedro’s government had insisted on a policy of reconciliation with the former Portuguese land-owners still living in Brazil, returning the wealth and property seized during the war to their original owners This was an affront to Cochrane, who had seized the equivalent of some $12,000,000 modern US dollars’ worth of booty during his time in Brazil, and insisted that he was owed at least

one-eighth of the total take, as was proper This boiled over in 1825, when Cochrane once more took his payment into his own hands, sacking Brazilian merchant ships anchored at Sao Luis do Maranhao and making off with the public funds in their holds. Outraged, the Brazilian government demanded that the Scotsman return to Rio, but Cochrane had absconded aboard a frigate, and after a 7-year absence, made his way back home to Britain. But as it turned out, Cochrane’s homecoming tour would be brief, as once more, a new nation was calling for his aid While the people and culture of Greece were Ancient, its modern nation was very new, and forged in rebellion. After nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule, the Greeks in the Ottoman Empire had risen up in 1821, and had been fighting a desperate war of survival ever since The Greek struggle had evoked sympathy across Western Europe Many saw the rebellion as a righteous holy war against their Turkish oppressors Meanwhile, the educated elites of Western Europe had gobbled up classical Greek literature since the advent of the Renaissance, and called upon their governments to help liberate the land of Socrates, Sophocles, Euripides and Demosthenes All of this was very tantalizing to Cochrane, who despite being over 50, still craved action, adventure, fame, and glory After the Greek Committee in London sent the Legendary Sea Wolf a letter asking him to assume command of the Hellenic Navy, he readily agreed However, there were a few wrinkles to iron out first. Having felt cheated out of his pay in Peru and Brazil, Cochrane demanded an upfront payment of 37,000 pounds from the Greeks, an exorbitantly high sum. He also insisted that a fleet of steam-powered warships be built for the war effort. Steam-powered vehicles were still a brand new invention in the 1820s, but Cochrane had long been an eager supporter of the technology However, due to incompetence in the production line, none of Cochrane’s commissioned steam ships were completed fast enough to influence the Greek war effort, and the delay they caused in Cochrane’s deployment cost the Greek revolutionaries heavily in time and resources On March 17th, 1827, Cochrane finally arrived in Poros. By then the rebellion was in dire straits The Greek leaders mounting the resistance had descended into vicious infighting, while the Turks’ Egyptian allies were ravaging the Peleponnese in a devastating invasion Things did quickly turn around the moment Cochrane stepped ashore The Sea Wolf was legendary; by now everyone was well aware of his track record against Napoleon and across South America. His mere presence was a massive boost to Greek morale, and he quickly used his clout to help unite the feuding Greek generals, who were finally able to agree on one man to lead them, the statesman Ioannis Kapodistrias Unfortunately, the rest of Cochrane’s endeavors in Greece went rather poorly. He had never developed a rapport with his Greek troops the way he had earned the loyalty of those of Chile and Brazil He considered the Hellenes in his crew poorly trained and mightily undisciplined. In reality, the Chilean and Brazilian navies had been pretty much non-existent before Cochrane’s arrival, allowing him to create a hierarchy and military doctrine from the ground-up. Meanwhile, the makeshift Greek Navy had enjoyed much success before Cochrane took command of them, forcing the Sea Wolf to adapt to a pre-existing style of irregular naval warfare he was not used to On the 5th of May, 1827, an attempt to liberate Athens by laying siege to the Acropolis ended in disaster, largely because Cochrane couldn’t stop quarreling with his fellow Briton, Richard Church, the man who had been appointed to lead the Greek army. Their collective failure to execute a successful invasion resulted in the deaths of thousands of Greeks From that point on, Cochrane no longer played a major role in Greek struggle for Independence, although his participation in the war did indirectly lead to the intervention of the Great Powers of Britain, France and Russia, who defeated a Turko-Egyptian fleet at Navarino in 1828, securing the independence of Southern Greece Nevertheless, the Sea Wolf’s legacy in Hellas is considered a stain in an otherwise remarkable naval career. It would take Cochrane several years to recover from his failures in the Peloponnese, as he grappled with his own shattered sense of self-worth. His fighting days were now over Over the years, the British Parliament that had originally driven him from his homeland

had begun to recognize his value once more, slowly becoming sympathetic to him. On May 2nd, 1832, Cochrane was finally pardoned for the Stock Fraud and was reinstated as an officer of the Royal Navy of Great Britain, and all the honours he had earned in the Napoleonic War were returned Cochrane was promoted to Rear Admiral of the British Navy. He never saw direct combat again, living his days in semi-retirement, where he continued his experiments with modern technology, pouring funds into the continued research and development of steam-powered engines One of Cochrane’s many legacies today is that of a pioneer of military technology, and he is widely considered to be one of the more influential men who helped Britain transition from the age of sail into the age of steam In 1860, an elderly Sea Wolf wrote an extensive autobiography of his life and adventures, the same tome we’ve referred to throughout this series That same year, his health began to deteriorate. And on the 31st of October, while undergoing a risky surgery for kidney stones, he passed away- at the age of 85 The legacy of the Sea Wolf still casts a large shadow upon the nations for whom he served In Britain, he is considered perhaps the single most daring commander of the age of sail, and his adventures have directly inspired famous naval fiction such as the Horatio Hornblower series, as well as Master and Commander In Chile, six vessels, dozens of streets, and a small town all bear his name, while a striking monument in Valparaiso has immortalized his role in the freedom of the country. Each year in May, representatives of the Chilean Navy hold a wreath-laying ceremony at his grave. Many in Peru and Brazil today still honour Cochrane’s crucial role in the liberation of their nations Thus, ends our video on Thomas Cochrane, but we always have more stories to tell, so make sure you are subscribed and have pressed the bell button Please, consider liking, commenting, and sharing – it helps immensely. Our videos would be impossible without our kind patrons and youtube channel members, whose ranks you can join via the links in the description to know our schedule, get early access to our videos, access our discord, and much more. This is the Kings and Generals channel, and we will catch you on the next one