The Battle of Cape Passaro was the defeat of a Spanish fleet under Admirals Antonio de Gaztañeta and Fernando Chacón by a British fleet under Admiral George Byng, near Cape Passero, Sicily, on 11 August 1718, four months before the War of the Quadruple Alliance was formally declared.
Tensions between Spain and Britain were high. On 2 August 1718 the Quadruple Alliance consisting of the Holy Roman Empire, Kingdom of France, Kingdom of Great Britain and the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, demanded that the Spanish withdraw their invading forces from Sicily and Sardinia. The British fleet had landed a small Austrian army near Messina, which began besieging that city which was controlled by the Spanish.
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