Professor Elena Schneider reveals the hidden history behind the Siege of Havana.
In June 1762, a British force consisting of nearly 13,000 soldiers, 17,000 sailors and marines, 23 ships of the line, 19 auxiliary warships, and 160 transports arrived in Havana in the midst of the Seven Years’ War. By mid-August 1762, the British expedition had conquered the city. The jubilation of Britons and British Americans was immediate. One New York preacher likened the British triumph to the victory over the Armada in 1588. For Spain, the cost of losing Havana was immense: in the 1763 Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded Florida to Britain in exchange for the return of Cuba.