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Irish Man William Brown Founded The Argentinian Navy

Irish Man William Brown Founded The Argentinian Navy

Admiral William Brown is considered as the founder of the Argentine Naval fleet.

Ireland, with its kaleidoscope of emigration and unbridled boldness, has woven its vibrant threads throughout naval history, and none narrate this tale more vividly than Admiral William Brown. And more than 165 years after his death, Redditors can’t believe his story!

Admiral William Brown is considered as the founder of the Argentine Naval fleet after the plucky Irishman took on the mighty Spanish Navy with just a handful of rag-tag ships and emerged victorious.

Seizing back his merchant ship in a daring heist after its capture by a Spanish blockade, the Mayo-native's audacious feat propelled him to command the Argentinian Naval fleet under the revolutionary government.

Born in the picturesque Foxford, County Mayo in 1777, Willian Brown emigrated to America with his father while still a child only to face the tragic loss of his father shortly after their arrival.

his Mayo-man swiftly discovered his calling, steering his way from a cabin boy to captaining his own boat in a brilliant spectrum of nautical pursuits.

However, Brown was eventually forced to join the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars which left him rotting in a French prison. Brown attempted a number of escape attempts, including dressing up as a French soldier, eventually escaping from the fortress of Verdun and returning to England.

After getting married upon his return, Brown made the decision to join the large number of Irish emigrants in South America where he plied his trade as a merchant – selling arms and munitions to groups throughout the continent. Originally based out of Uruguay, Brown’s merchant services to Argentina were unsurprisingly seen as a threat to Spanish Colonial interests in South America.

When Buenos Aires, now the capital of Argentina, fought to free itself from Spanish colonial rule in 1810, Brown found himself involved in the Argentinian War of Independence by sheer bad luck.

His boat was seized by the Spanish government which had blockaded the rebel city. Brown’s daring efforts left him in charge of the new state’s tiny naval fleet which flipped the script and wrote the ultimate underdog story in defeating the colonial forces in massive sea battles.

Statue of “Admirante Brown” in Argentina
Statue of “Admirante Brown” in Argentina

Brown broke the blockade along with a crew of Irish and British sailors who had been working the merchant routes.

His daring antics turned the Argentine Navy into a naval powerhouse, but his story had its share of drama. Amidst court martials and court cases, he was compelled to retire from the Navy he founded, only to stage a triumphant return, leading Argentinian forces to numerous military triumphs before his eventual retirement.

Brown was even appointed governor of Buenos Aires and since the 1980s, a replica of Brown’s sword has been worn by Admirals of the Argentine Navy with a replica being shown in the National Maritime Museum of Ireland.

His legacy endures as a symbol of bravery, dedication to the cause of independence, and the founding father of the Argentine Navy.

From Foxford to Buenos Aires, that’s the story of how one Irishman made waves for Argentinian independence!

Featured Image Credit: Wikipedia

Topics: Ireland, History