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The Magallanes-Elcano Expedition was plagued with setbacks and difficulties. After the death of Magellan in the Philippines, in 1521, during a skirmish with the natives, was chosen leader of the expedition Gonzalo Gómez de Espinosa and in front of the ship Victoria, became captain Juan Sebastián Elcano. After arriving at the Moluccas Islands, object of the trip, the return to Spain was undertaken.
Fernão de Magalhães (Sabrosa, North Region, Portugal, spring of 1480 – Mactan, Philippines, April 27, 1521) was a Portuguese navigator.
In the service of the King of Spain, he discovered what is now called the Strait of Magellan, being the first European to pass from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, until then called the South Sea. It began the expedition that, captained to its death by Juan Sebastián Elcano, would obtain the first circumnavigation of the Earth in 1522
The Magallanes-Elcano Expedition was a maritime expedition commanded by Fernando de Magallanes and, after his death, by Juan Sebastián Elcano, and financed by the Kingdom of Spain. It is known to have been the first successful circumnavigation of the planet.
Before the failure to expose his intentions to the king of Portugal, Magellan decided to go to Spain to expose to the young king Carlos I of Spain his audacious project; Accepted by him, were signed on 22 March 1519 in Valladolid capitulations for the expedition in which he was granted the title of Governor and Adelantado of all lands that he discovered.
Faithful replica of the ship of magellan
The expedition consisted of five ships, namely, at the command of Magellan, the flagship, the Trinidad; The other four: San Antonio, Victoria, Santiago and Concepcion, where Elcano went. The second on board was the Spanish Juan de Cartagena. He and Magellan commanded over 265 men. The intention was to find a maritime passage towards the territories of the East Indies and to look for the way that, always traveling Castilian seas (according to the Treaty of Tordesillas), arrived at the islands of the Spices (Moluccas), what was the call route towards The west, which had already sought Christopher Columbus without success.
The squadron announced its departure in Seville on August 10, 1519, descending the Guadalquivir until reaching Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a port that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. During the following weeks, Fernando de Magallanes and the captains of the naos were coming and going Seville in his falúas to take care of various unforeseen events and to ease some difficulties while the equipment was finished. Magellan himself issued a will in Seville on August 24.
Continuing the descent of the Betis, one passes near Coria and some other villages until San Lúcar … That is where the port that gives to the ocean … Some days later, the commander-in-chief and the captains of the other ships are Came in the chalupas from Seville to San Lúcar, and the squadron was finished. Every morning he went ashore to hear the mass in the church of N. S. de Barrameda; And before leaving, the chief determined that the whole crew should confess, forbidding any woman to embark on the squad.
The expedition sailed from Sanlúcar de Barrameda on September 20, 1519, port that would also be the point of return after completing the first round the globe. Once the trip began, the first stopover took place in Tenerife (Canary Islands), continuing the Atlantic crossing passing the islands of Cape Verde and the coasts of Sierra Leone.
In America, the first point where it landed was in the Bay of what is now Rio de Janeiro on December 13, 1519. Then it touched the estuary of the Plata in March 1520 and then reached the bay of San Julián, Who explored in search of a possible step. Seeing that there was no communication with the South Sea, they went along the coast of Patagonia, taking refuge to spend the winter of 1520 in the Port of San Julián.
During the winter, captains Juan de Cartagena, Antonio de Coca, Gaspar Quesada and Luis de Mendoza mutiny against the Admiral for disagreement with the command and intend to return to Spain for considering that the expedition had failed. Among the mutineers was Juan Sabastián Elcano, who precisely harvested all the honors and dignities of the exploit of Magellan. This insurrection was repressed with the death of the captains Mendoza and Quesada. This winter, too, the Santiago ship was lost. The expedition continued to the southern end of the continent, and between October 21 and November 28, the strait passed between the two oceans, crossing it was very difficult, given the complicated nature of the terrain. For this a ship was advanced in exploration looking for the best way and returning on its own steps to be followed by the rest to the zone explored.
Once these meticulous stages were completed, they managed to get out of the “labyrinth” into the Pacific Ocean. The Strait bears the name of its discoverer, Strait of Magellan, although he baptized it as Strait of All Saints.
On November 21, 1520, the expedition, for the first time, sailed the South Sea, which, because of its calm and serene surface, was called the Pacific. With only three ships, since the San Antonio had rebelled before crossing the strait and had returned to Spain, the heroic squadron ventured through that vast sea. The bad luck of Magellan wanted that in the long three-month route between the Strait of Magellan and the Marianas islands he did not discover any point of solid ground, so famine and scurvy whipped his crew, to the point that it was They paid large coins for a simple rat to devour. The water rotted, scurvy appeared, and the men ate even soft leather and sawdust.
Already on the Moluccas, on March 6, 1521, when the crew was already decimated by hunger, they boarded the island of Guaján, now belonging to the Marianas archipelago, which they called the Thieves’ Islands.
On 16 March they arrived in Samar, which meant the discovery of the Philippine Islands, which Magallanes called from San Lázaro and on the islet of Mactan, Magellan himself, in wanting to force the Indians to be put to death, died fighting on 21 April 1521.
His successor, Duarte Barbosa, was killed by treason in Cebu, along with 30 of his men in a trap trap organized by Raja. The rest of the expedition loaded with spices the ships Victoria and Trinidad and burned the Conception.
In Mindanao he was chosen as head of the expedition Gonzalo Gómez de Espinosa and in front of the ship Victoria, became captain Juan Sebastián Elcano, who after playing in the Moluccas Islands, object of the trip, undertook his return to Spain. The Trinity sailed badly and stayed in the port of Tidore to be repaired and return by the Pacific to Panama.
Elcano, in command of the Victory, crossed the Indian Ocean and going around Africa, completed the first circumnavigation of the globe, arriving at the port of departure, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, on September 6, 1522. Finally, on September 8 , Was unloaded in Seville the only ship that returned.
Thanks to Providence, on Saturday, September 6, 1522, we entered the bay of San Lúcar … Since we had left the Bay of San Lúcar until we returned to it, we traveled, according to our account, more than fourteen thousand four hundred and sixty leagues , And we went around the world, ….. On Monday, September 8, we left the anchor near the pier of Seville, and unloaded all our artillery ”
First trip around the globe. Antonio Pigafetta.
The cargo of spices that she brought in the Victoria No more than covered the expenses of the whole Expedition (five ships in total)
The Trinidad was sailing badly and had to stay in the port of Tidore to be repaired and return by the Pacific to Panama. Elcano finally took command of the return expedition, choosing to sail the Portuguese seas to the west, bordering Africa by known routes and with the possibility of watering.
Of the 265 men who left the fleet led by Fernando de Magallanes, 18 were fortunate enough to be able to return to their homeland under Elcano, after having overcome the tempests of all the roundness of the Earth; Hunger and deprivation had turned them into specters.
Another four men out of 55 of the original Trinidad crew, who had embarked on a different return route from the Philippines, finally returned to Spain in 1525.
Juan Sebastián Elcano, also written Juan Sebastián del Cano or Juan Sebastián de El Cano (Guetaria, Guipúzcoa, Spain, 1476 – Pacific Ocean, August 4, 1526), was a Spanish sailor who participated in the first round the world, Front of the expedition after the death of Fernando de Magallanes.
The Caliph Pulaka, better known as Lapulapu, is considered the first hero of the Philippines. As head of Mactan Island, he rejected the attempts to colonize it by Fernando de Magallanes. While Magellan was successfully submitting to the inhabitants of other Philippine islands, he encountered strong opposition from Lapulapu, who refused to pay tribute to the King of Spain and convert to Christianity.
On the morning of April 27, 1521, Magellan, along with 48 other Christian soldiers, went to Mactan Island in order to aid the Raja of Cebu, who was the declared enemy of Lapulapu. Magellan was eventually killed and his troupe defeated by 1,500 Muslim warriors in what is known as the Battle of Mactan. In popular stories and films one wants to believe that it was Lapulapu who killed Magellan, yet all the historians agree that it was a multitude of warriors who rushed on him.
In his honor, the town of Opon on the island of Mactan in the province of Cebu was renamed Lapulapu
The Battle of Mactan occurred on April 27, 1521 in the Philippines. 1500 warriors of Lapu-Lapu, a Muslim leader of the Island of Mactan, defeated a group of 49 European Christian explorers under the command of Portuguese captain and explorer Fernando de Magallanes, who died that day.
The fourteenth-century explorers had found a way to reach Southeast Asia by avoiding the routes then controlled by the Islamic kingdoms: sailing around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, so that they could go out into the Indian Ocean and continue to the Isles Of Spices.
Magallanes was assigned to the Portuguese Goa in India to begin his military training, and he soon foresaw that geography would be the key to the riches of Southeast Asia. After a trip to the area, he hired a Malayan servant, Enrique, whom he would use as an interpreter during his travels around the world.
After disembarking on Homonhon Island on March 17, 1521, Magellan conversed with Raja Calambu (or Kolambu) of Limasawa, who guided him to Cebu on 7 April. Communicating through Henry, the Raja Humabon of Cebu allied himself with Magellan, and both he and his wife were baptized. Impressed by the artillery of Europeans (pistols, swords, armor 12 guns and 50 crossbows), Raja Humabon and Datu (boss) Zula suggested Magellan to go to the nearby island of Mactan to punish Datu Lapu-Lapu. It is believed that Humabon and Lapu-Lapu were resentful and constantly fought for control of territories.
According to the chronicles of Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan deployed 48 armored men (less than half of their crew) armed with swords, axes, crossbows and pistols. Philippine historians say that, because of a rocky outcrop and corals near the beach, Magellan could not disembark.
Forced to anchor his ships far from the coast, he failed to use the cannons of them to withstand the Lapu-Lapu warriors, who were approximately more than 1,500 against 49 Christian soldiers.
The small group of soldiers approached the beach with water up to their thighs. Seeing them, the entrenched natives charged against them, and Magellan tried to frighten them by burning some houses. This action only managed to enrage the natives even more, who wounded him. It was then that Magellan ordered the retreat, but some soldiers who had remained isolated continued to fight, prolonging the fight for several hours, until a group of warriors, recognizing the commander giving orders, attacked Magellan, who was wounded in the leg with a Venomous arrow and later on the arm with a bamboo lance.
Magellan covered the retreat of his men until they could regroup and flee in the boats. He was finally overwhelmed and murdered, stabbed and cut by spears and swords. His action, however, allowed most of his men to escape with life, including Pigafetta, who recounts: “An islander managed to wound the captain in the face with a bamboo lance. Desperate, he thrust his spear into the Indian’s chest and left it nailed. He wanted to use the sword, but he could only unsheathe it halfway, because of a wound he received in his right arm … Then the Indians rushed on him with swords and scimitars and how much weapon they had and they finished with him, with our mirror, Our light, our comfort, our true guide. When he was wounded, he turned many times to see that we were all safe on the ships. ”