Frankreich (FRANCE) - Prephilatelie 1845
Folded letter written by a member of the french naval forces on board of the "D´ASSAS 2 AOUT 1845 devant MONTEVIDEO" mentioning the capture of the argentinian naval fleet and the blocade of Buenos Aires by the Franco-British navy during the Great War (1843-52).The letter was carried by the royal navy to the British P.O in "RIO JANEIRO SP. 22. 1845" and send via England with a "COLONIES / &C ART 12" treaty marking to Brest / France (arrival 19.nov.45) . Extremely rare mail from this french military expedition in Uruguay & Argentina.In very fine condition, with long historical contents. (see also Mario Kurchan : "The River Plate Maritime Postal History, Republic of Uruguay" page 25.)
Oribe´s siege of Montevideo marked the beginning of the Great War (Guerra Grande, 1843-52). The Great War centered on the nineyear -long siege of Montevideo, described by Alexandre Dumas as a "new Troy," although the city itself suffered relatively little from the war. Britain had saved Montevideo at the outset by allowing the city to receive supplies. During the Great War, there were two governments in Uruguay: the Colorados at Montevideo (the so-called government of the "defense") and the Blancos at Cerrito (Little Hill), a promontory near Montevideo.
The intervention first of France (1838-42) and then of Britain and France (1843-50) transformed the conflict into an international war. First, British and French naval forces temporarily blockaded the port of Buenos Aires in December 1845. Then, the British and French fleets protected Montevideo at sea. French and Italian legionnaires (the latter led by Giuseppe Garibaldi) participated, along with the Colorados, in the defense of the city.