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Captain Henry Morgan's capture of the city of Panam in 1671 is seen as one of the most audacious military operations in history. In The Sack of Panam , Peter Earle masterfully retells this classic story, combining thorough research with an emphasis on the battles that made Morgan a pirate legend.
Morgan's raid was the last in a series of brutal attacks on Spanish possesions in the Caribbean, all sanctioned by the British crown. Earle recounts the five violent years leading up to the raid, then delivers a detailed account of Morgan's march across enemy territory, as his soldiers contended with hunger, tropical diseases, and possible ambushes from locals. He brings a unique dimension to the story by devoting nearly as much space to the Spanish victims as to the Jamican privateers who were the aggressors.
The book covers not only the scandalous events in the Colonial West Indies, but also the alarmed reacions of diplomats and statesmen in Madrid and London. While Morgan and his men were laying siege to Panam , the simmering hostilities between the two nations resulted in vicious political infighting that rivaled the military battles in intensity.
With a wealth of colorful characters and international intrigue, The Sack of Panam is a painstaking history that doubles as a rip-roaring adventure tale.