There are a lot of stories about unrecognized geniuses in the world, and many of them are heard by people. Many of these geniuses were recognized in their Fatherland after death, many were not, and many were simply forgotten, since completely different people were creating world history at that time. There are even more stories just about masters of their craft who did something, their works were then used by other people, they admired their creations - but the masters themselves were forgotten, since they did not suffer from excessive conceit and a desire to become famous, but worked for the result. But there are not so many masters-mnogostanochnik who, being forgotten in one, covered themselves with glory and eternal memory in another, as well as people in general who have achieved great success in many, sometimes quite different areas. One such master was Don Jorge Juan and Santisilia, a humanist, engineer, scientist, explorer, sailor, organizer, economist, cartographer, diplomat, spy, and God knows who else.
Science is never enough
Jorge Juan was born in 1713 in the town of Monforte del Cid, in the province of Alicante. They say that at the moment of his birth, the British, anticipating the future shame, were unanimously sad, and the Spaniards were filled with pride in advance that a representative of their nation would disgrace these ambitious islanders from the north. However, there is controversy about the place of birth of this outstanding man, since there is information that he was only baptized in Monfort, and he himself was born on the estate of his parents in El Fondonet. Jorge himself wrote on this topic simply - "I am a native of the University of Monforte." These words have their own meaning, since from childhood his fate was closely connected with education and sciences. Being only three years old, he became an orphan, and the canon of the local Jesuit college, and also Jorge's maternal uncle, Don Antonio Juan, who began his training, took up the upbringing of the boy. The boy soon moved in with another paternal uncle, Cipriano Juan, a knight of the Order of Malta and a prominent figure in the Spanish judicial system. According to the statute of the order, Cipriano had no right to have children of his own, and therefore he gave all his fatherly love and severity to his nephew. Thanks to him, Jorge received a good education at the University of Zaragoza, where his outstanding ability to science and enchanting industriousness showed early. At the age of 16, he applied to the Guards Maritime Academy in Cádiz (Academia de Guardias Marinas de Cádiz), and in 1730 he successfully enrolled in training, before attending classes as a student. Cadiz itself at that time was one of the largest educational and scientific centers in Europe, where research was carried out, highly qualified personnel were trained, and important scientific issues were discussed. Studying a huge number of subjects, he achieved great success, for which he earned the nickname Euclid. Even then, Jorge Juan began to show great hopes, and the fate of one of the most outstanding naval officers in Spain was predicted for him.
At the age of 21, he actually completed his studies, and immediately took part in hostilities in the Mediterranean, noted in a number of diplomatic actions, a punitive expedition against Berber pirates near Oran, etc. At this time, he had the opportunity to meet with many prominent sailors of Spain of that time and future years, in particular, Blas de Leso, the hero of the defense of Cartagena during the war for Jenkins' ear, and Juan José de Navarro, a highly controversial person and admiral who commanded the Spanish fleet during the time of the lost battle at Toulon. After three years of service, he was finally assigned in 1734 to a special scientific expedition organized by the Royal Academy of Sciences of France under the direction of Louis Gaudin. He got there together with Don Antonio de Ulloa, and together they will be destined to make a huge contribution to the development of science in Spain and Europe in principle. Formally, both of them were still studying at the university, but taking into account the fact that they had a chance to stay in the colonies and abroad for 14 years, conducting active scientific research, it was a simple formality. During the work, two Spaniards, together with their three French colleagues, studied the nature of South America for several years and measured the Earth's meridian at the latitude of Quito. Jorge Juan, as the best mathematician of the expedition, was engaged in calculations and derivation of the results of research, as a result of which he was the one to determine the exact length of the planet's meridian. It is on the result of his work that the metric system of measure of length will be created in the future. After conducting a number of other studies, he went with his results to Paris, where he was joyfully received by the local scientific community, and became a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences in Paris. This was followed by the writing and publication of various scientific works, including together with Antonio de Ulloa, international recognition of his achievements, and a return to Madrid in 1748. Alas, he was greeted there cool enough - Felipe V, who sent Jorge Juan on an expedition, had already died, and there were no people more interested in his research in the highest Spanish circles. Nevertheless, through acquaintances Jorge Juan came to the Marquis de la Ensenada, who concentrated in his hands almost all power in the country, and was responsible for the development of the Spanish fleet. He, being an intelligent and calculating man, immediately saw great potential in the learned sailor, gave him protection and promoted him to the rank of captain of a ship (capitan de navio). Further activities of Jorge Juan were associated with shipbuilding and …. Spying.
The Adventures of Mr. Joses in England
Despite the introduction of a fairly progressive system of Gastaneta in the Armada, the Spaniards continued to lose battles at sea to the British. It did not work to blame the rather mediocre and passive command of this, since such an option, it seems, did not even occur to the Spanish elite (because they had to blame themselves), so the ships were appointed as extreme. At the same time, the real facts were ignored that the ships built according to the Gastaneta system showed impressive results - the same battleship Glorioso, in splendid isolation, managed to make noise during the war with Great Britain, causing the British a lot of problems, and the ship "Princess" captured from the Spaniards enthralled them, and served after the capture for another two decades. It was decided to find out how the winners build their ships, but, of course, they were not willing to voluntarily share their knowledge. And the Marquis de la Ensenada, without hesitation, decided to send a spy to England, who had to learn everything necessary, analyze the advantages and disadvantages of English shipbuilding, compare it with Spanish, recruit masters if possible, and return back. The task was by no means an easy one, and it required a smart and educated person to complete it. The Spanish envoy in London had already attempted this task, but failed. Just at this time, Jorge Juan entered the marquis's disposal, and the choice fell on him. Having received Mr. Jose's documents from Belgium, he went to hostile Britain. And this started there …
In a matter of weeks, Jorge Juan visited all the main British shipyards and gained access to blueprints for all the newest British ships. This was achieved thanks to an extremely risky, but completely justified step - as a foreign shipbuilder, Mr. Joses quickly made acquaintances with Admiral George Anson and First Sea Lord John Russell, IV Duke of Bedford, dined with them at the same table, became their "dear friend "and got into the retinue of the latter, which cleared the way for him to almost any shipyard. Having created an espionage network in the shipyards among local Catholics, he gradually began to recruit specialists from among them, who, because of their religion, were closed to senior positions, and in a short time recruited as many as 54 people, four of whom were chief designers. In addition, he immediately began to encrypt the obtained information and forward it to the Spanish embassy, from where the information was sent home. The Royal Secret Service did not immediately detect this active exchange of information, and took up its head - there is some kind of spy in the country, and a very successful one! Realizing what the information was being leaked about, but without decrypting the letters, the service immediately began to look for those responsible …. And she went out to the Duke of Bedford, the former (at that time) First Sea Lord and a prominent politician! While the proceedings were going on, until they found out that Bedford was not in business, but was somehow connected with a spy, while they figured out the suspicion of Mr. Jose's personality, Jorge Juan, along with the information he had obtained, realizing that they would soon come for him, left Britain aboard a Spanish ship " Santa Ana ". In total, he stayed in the UK for about two years. The incident did not receive wide publicity, but those who were in the know, experienced an exuberant bouquet of feelings, in which anger, shame, indignation, and much more were guessed. The severity of the situation was added by the fact that it was not even possible to establish exactly how and what exactly Joses "spied on", and whether he was associated with the Duke of Bedford, because of which he did not even incur any punishment. Britain has not experienced such a shame for a long time. But the unpleasant moments for English pride were just beginning.
Upon his return to Spain, Jorge Juan compiled a detailed report on the information obtained, where he also analyzed it and compared the English shipbuilding with the Spanish. It turned out that the Gastagneta system was much more progressive than the English shipbuilding, and, accordingly, the Spanish ships were better than those of the British. Especially Jorge Juan had a lot of complaints about the quality of the timber, tackle and spars, as well as the irrational distribution of loads and load items. On the other hand, the shipbuilders of Foggy Albion also had advantages. Chief among them was the broadest standardization and unification of tools, materials and structural elements at Royal Navy. The Gastaneta system also assumed a set of standard techniques and ship designs, but these were separate elements, while the British unified and standardized almost everything. This made components from different shipyards interchangeable, simplified the repair of ships, and also significantly reduced the cost and accelerated the construction process. In addition, the system for ensuring the tightness of the bottom was very advanced, and experiments were also carried out with copper sheathing of the bottom, which slowed down fouling and improved the speed characteristics of ships. The beginning of the use of steam engines in the production and operation of ports - still imperfect, but already giving certain benefits, was especially noted. There were also remarks about artillery - the British loaded their ships with artillery more heavily, but at the same time, the main battery was located so low that it was almost impossible to use it in fresh weather. The Marquis de la Ensenada, impressed by the work done, gave full patronage to all the endeavors of Jorge Juan, who was eager to continue working in the field of science.
However, this did not mean that "Mr. Joses" abandoned shipbuilding - on the contrary: the Gastagneta system was improved by him based on the experience gained in England, new rules were introduced and production standards expanded. Logging and production facilities were improved. Jorge Juan was entrusted with the modernization of old and the construction of new arsenals in Spain, as a result of which it was his ideas that became the basis for the construction of the magnificent Cartagena, Ferrol and La Carraque arsenals, as well as the Esteiro shipyard and a number of other shipbuilding enterprises. In everything he did, rationalism, cold calculation and a scientific approach were at the forefront. In addition, he developed a project for beautiful 74-gun ships, conducted experiments in Cadiz with ship lines, sails, and much more, improving every year the design of ships and methods of their construction.
The British, having learned about all this, without further ado, came to Spain, and began legal and illegal methods to find out the results of Jorge Juan's work. In Cadiz, during the tests of new, lightweight hulls and a system of sails, even Admiral Richard Howe appeared, who observed the activities of the people of the Spanish scientist. The scale of the undertakings of Jorge Juan and the Marquis de la Ensenada impressed the British so much that they were seriously concerned with the problem that after a few decades Spain could become serious competition for them (which, by the way, actually happened). This problem became especially acute in view of the fact that from 1740 to 1760 shipbuilding in Spain experienced a real boom, and the current composition of the Armada increased every year, even taking into account the decommissioning of old ships. In addition, having familiarized themselves with the Spanish analysis of English shipbuilding, which was obtained by English spies, the natives of Foggy Albion again experienced something resembling shame and humiliation, for, with the exception of certain points, the Spaniards rated their shipbuilding industry very low, which Britain was proud of. It was decided to act secretly, with the help of intrigue, forged letters and fabricated information, in order to inflict maximum damage on the Spaniards. A similar strategy was put into practice by the British ambassador in Madrid, Benjamin Keane, and it quickly yielded results. The Marquis de la Ensenada was discredited and lost his position as Secretary of State, and with it, most of his influence. Conducting a double correspondence, and slipping the Spaniards with one that was fake, the British convinced the new Spanish Minister of the Navy, Julian de Arriaga, that they considered Jorge Juan's criticism of their shipbuilding untenable, and the system he developed, together with the Gastagneta system, was frankly inferior to the English. At the same time, the British themselves borrowed a large number of innovations from the Spanish shipbuilding practice, improving their own shipbuilding, but information about this was in the second, secret part of the correspondence. Arriaga, being a Francophile, allowed himself to be persuaded by this fake correspondence, and practically nullified the use of Jorge Juan's system, everywhere introducing the French Gaultier system, about which "Mr. Jose" disparagingly said that "Gaultier builds excellent sailing ships, but bad warships" … As a result, much of Jorge Juan's work on ship structures was temporarily forgotten in Spain, but spread to the UK. However, no one was going to cancel the rest of his innovations, as well as interfere with his further scientific activities, because after 1754 he focused mainly on her.
And again the affairs of science
The list of cases in which Jorge Juan left his mark is truly amazing. Moving from place to place, he actively followed the instructions of the government, providing support and ensuring the effective implementation of certain projects. Under his leadership, canals and dams were built, the work of mines was adjusted, he managed to work as minister of the main department of trade and currency. In 1757, following the instructions of King Carlos III, he drew up a project and supervised the construction of the Royal Observatory in Madrid, and then proposed to build the same one in Cadiz, for the needs of the Armada - this project, alas, was realized only after the death of Jorge Juan. He also had to deal with the issues of drawing up maps, in which he managed to achieve great success, as a result of which Jorge Juan actually became one of the founders of Spanish cartography in its modern form. In 1760 he was appointed to command the battle squadron of the Armada, where he proved to be a competent and decisive commander, and a good organizer. However, they began to celebrate his diplomatic skills even more - and in 1767 he was made ambassador extraordinary to Morocco, where it was necessary to conduct difficult negotiations with the Sultan and ensure that Spanish interests are respected. The treaty concluded by Jorge Juan, and consisted of 19 points, fully and completely satisfied all these interests, for which he was especially noted by Carlos III. Moreover, while in a neighboring country with Spain, he collected a large amount of secret information about it, which was later very useful to diplomats and politicians. In the last years of his life, he succeeded in sending a large scientific expedition led by Vicente Dos to the shores of California, which, among other things, was supposed to accurately determine the parallax of the Sun and the distance from it to the Earth. The results of this expedition turned out to be close to ideal, and put an end to scientific disputes about the size of the solar system.
In 1771, Jorge Juan completed his major work on shipbuilding and published it under the title "Examen Marítimo". In it, using the results of his practical experience, as well as the mathematical analysis and experience of the shipbuilding systems of Britain and Gastaneta, he considered so many issues related to shipbuilding that in terms of volume and fundamentality, the "Exam" eclipsed even the work of Gastaneta. The work spoke about astronomy, navigation, artillery, technologies and organization of construction, the dynamics of ships, stability, the effect of waves on hulls of different designs and strength, and much more. In fact, it was the result of his entire life, the result of all the developments on the topic of shipbuilding and everything that was associated with it. Instantly "Exam" was translated into most European languages, and sold to libraries throughout the continent. This work was highly appreciated, its developments and inventions were used for the further development of ship design - but in Spain it met with resistance: the influence of the French remained too strong, the fake negative reviews of the British about the activities of Jorge Juan were still remembered too clearly. Seeing this, the scientist in 1773 wrote a letter to King Carlos III, and in a very sharp form, emphasizing that the dominance of the French shipbuilding system could lead Spain to catastrophic consequences. Alas, the king did not have time to respond to this letter, and Jorge Juan did not receive an answer or any sanctions because of such an act, because in the same year he died. The reason for this was colossal hard work - doing everything at once, making a contribution to the development of his native Spain, he undermined his health, suffered from many diseases, and another convulsive biliary colic finished him off. Today his remains rest in the Pantheon of Eminent Sailors in San Fernando, near Cadiz.
Jorge Juan died, Carlos III never responded to his letter, but the hype around "Examen Marítimo" did not subside. In the end, it was already impossible to ignore her, especially after the book was translated and published in England, where she received a rather warm welcome. They remembered both the system developed by Jorge Juan, but rejected by the ministries, and his criticism of the Gaultier system. And the point was not that Gaultier's ships were completely bad - it was just that the Spaniards had long been accustomed to seaworthy ships with strong, wide hulls and thick skin, while Gaultier's ships were typical Frenchmen with a lighter hull and an increased length-to-width ratio, which provided good speed and maneuverability, but caused problems in battle, and sometimes in storms too. Already in 1771, in the Spanish naval environment, voices began to be heard about the revision of the rate in shipbuilding to the French system, which everyone began to consider obsolete. As a result, in 1772 the last ship of this system, the 74-gun "San Gabriel", was laid down, and further construction was carried out according to "standard" projects, which did not fully use any of the shipbuilding systems available in Spain. The reason for this was both conservatism and the fact that Francisco Gaultier remained the general engineer of the Armada, the author of the rejected French system, who was a rather arrogant person and did not want to recognize the superiority of the Spanish system over his own. But in 1782 he was "gone" and was replaced first by Jose Romero and Fernandez de Landa, and then Julian Martin de Retamosa. Both were Spanish, both had little reverence for the French system, but they were familiar with Jorge Juan's system. As a result, when these engineers began to create their ship designs, the magnificent 112-gun Santa Ana, 64-gun San Ildefonso (the lead ship carried 74 guns), and the 74-gun Montanes, which everything else, developing fantastic speeds for its size and having maneuverability no worse than a frigate. All of them became magnificent warships, they all deserved rave reviews from the British - and, with a high degree of probability, they all were the result of a theory developed by Jorge Juan, although I never found direct evidence of this. Alas, he never received any deserving recognition as a shipbuilder in the era of wood and sail.
But as a scientist, he received quite wide recognition, becoming, among other things, the "grandfather of the metric system" and a man who significantly improved navigation in Spain. He was friends with another prominent sailor, Don Antonio de Ulloa, and in one way or another met and collaborated with many prominent sailors and scientists of Spain and France of his time. As for his English voyage, they do not like to remember him in Great Britain to this day, and in the biographies of his English participants like the Duke of Bedford there is not a word that he contributed to the leakage of military secrets abroad. However, such a puncture as a result turned out for the British in a positive way, allowing them to revise and update their own shipbuilding system. Today, a school is named in honor of Jorge Juan, the streets of many cities, and his monuments stand on squares. Also in honor of Jorge Juan, the Churruca-class destroyer, built in the middle of the 20th century, was named, and the portrait was placed on the back of a 10 thousand peseta note. He did not have a spouse, like children, because the oath of the Knight of the Order of Malta, which he took, following the example of his uncle, interfered with that. These are the results of the activities of this bright, extraordinary and extremely intelligent person who left his mark on the history of Europe in the middle of the 18th century.