In 1655 Oliver Cromwell sent William Penn and Robert Venables to seize Hispaniola, an island at the center of the Caribbean shared today by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. According to Cromwell's plan for dispossessing Spain of her empire in the Americas, Hispaniola would very well serve as a base to launch more attacks on the Spanish territories, given its location. By 1655, less than a century had passed since Francis Drake had ravaged Santo Domingo in 1586, one of the many successful British attacks and occupations around the Caribbean basin. Nevertheless, the expedition of 1655 was an embarrassing failure, and Bernardo Vega writes an interesting account of how and why the army of 9,000 soldiers was unable to accomplish the mission.

Based on Dominican, British, and American authors and documents, this book about the military failure of 1655 is also an...

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