The Battle of Cádiz, fought in August/September 1702, was an Anglo-Dutch attempt to seize the southern Spanish port of Cádiz during the War of the Spanish Succession. The Andalusian city of Cádiz was the great European centre of the Spanish–American trade. The port’s capture would not only help to sever Spain’s links with her empire in the Americas, but it would also provide the Allies with a strategically important base from which the Anglo-Dutch fleets could control the western Mediterranean Sea.
The military build-up was accompanied by diplomatic measures in Portugal aimed at securing King Peter II for the Grand Alliance. The Allies also intended to garner support in Spain for an insurrection in the name of the Austrian pretender to the Spanish throne, the Archduke Charles. The battle was the first of the war in the Iberian Peninsula, but due to Allied intra-service rivalry, ill discipline, poor co-operation, and a skilful defence from the Marquis of Villadarias, Admiral George Rooke was unable to complete his objective and, after a month, he set sail for home.
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