The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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Juan Bautista Azopardo: a Maltese-French corsair who lived through the Napoleonic era

Sunday, 1 October 2023, 09:05 Last update: about 3 months ago

Dar Camilleri is announcing a new book about a Maltese-French corsair who lived through the Napoleonic era. This book is called "The Life and Times of Juan Bautista Azopardo: The Maltese corsair who founded the first navy of Argentina (1772 - 1848)".

This is the incredible story of a Maltese corsair who ended up fighting for Argentina and building its first navy. Juan Bautista Azopardo was born in the port town of Senglea in Malta, but as a teenager, he grew up in Toulon, learning shipwrightery and the art of naval warfare. He fought in the French Revolution on the side of the revolutionaries and was promoted to the rank of officer and given French citizenship. He opted to continue his privateering career with the legendary French corsair Hipólito Mordeille until he ended up in Buenos Aires fighting alongside the locals against a British invasion. Victorious and successful, he was promoted again and given a new home country. A Francophile and a Republican, Juan Bautista Azopardo supported Argentina's May Revolution and, being close to the military's top brass, convinced his superiors to hand him the responsibility for building Argentina's first ever navy. The end result was catastrophic for Juan, but his name remains embedded in Argentina's hall of heroes. 


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