By 21/01/2019

1st – 21st August 1704

The Capture of Gibraltar by Anglo-Dutch forces of the Grand Alliance occurred between 1–3 August 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. Since the beginning of the war the Alliance had been looking for a harbour in the Iberian Peninsula to control the Strait of Gibraltar and facilitate naval operations against the French fleet in the western Mediterranean Sea.


Prince George of Hesse-Darmstadt represented the Habsburg cause in the region. In May 1704 the Prince and Admiral George Rooke, commander of the main Grand Alliance fleet, failed to take Barcelona in the name of ‘Charles III’; Rooke subsequently evaded pressure from his allies to make another attempt on Cádiz. In order to compensate for their lack of success the Alliance commanders resolved to capture Gibraltar. Following a heavy bombardment the town was invaded by English and Dutch marines and sailors.


The governor, Diego de Salinas, agreed to surrender Gibraltar and its small garrison on 3 August. Three days later Prince George entered the town with Austrian and Spanish Habsburg troops in the name of Charles III of Spain.




Image: View of Gibraltar taken by an officer of Admiral Sir George Rooke’s fleet on July 1704