The Torre del Tuerto became an intrinsic part of the attack on Gibraltar by Anglo-Dutch forces in August 1704. Following the rejection of surrender, a six-hour bombardment of the City and fortifications took place in which some 15,000 rounds were said to have been fired and which inflicted great damage to the Rock’s defences. It was then noted that the guns on the New Mole were silenced and a decision was taken to attack the Torre del Tuerto. Captains William Jumper of HMS Lennox and Jasper Hicks of HMS Yarmouth, together with 200 sailors and marines in the ships’ pinnaces attacked the fort without waiting for sufficient backup. The fort had been manned by some twenty militia, eight invalids and some townspeople, under the command of Captain Francisco Toribio de Fuentes.
The attackers scaled the 10-foot wall and entered the fort, finding little or no opposition. However, no sooner had they entered when the ground blew up under their feet, killing two officers and forty men. Sixty others lay wounded including Captain Hicks. The fort’s powder magazine had been mined and exploded as the attackers came ashore. Many of the attackers were killed or wounded by the huge pieces of stone that were thrown into the air by the huge explosion. The magnitude of the disaster caused Hicks and Jumper to order a retreat to the remaining boats of which seven had capsized in the blast. Subsequently, Captain Edward Whitaker of HMS Dorsertshire soon arrived with a further 200 or 300 reinforcements and were able to consolidate the beachhead.
An eye-witness account by Lieutenant Streynsham Master, serving on HMS Ranelagh described the event as follows: ‘..we drew into a line of Battle & about five in ye morn we began to bomb & cannonade ye town wch is built all of Stone & lies at ye foot of ye Hill fortified with many Strong batteries; but we plyd yre so briskly wth our shot they ceased firing by one of ye Clock abt wth time perceiving a fort to be extremely battrd & ye guns Dismounted we mand ye boats & attacked it wth sword & pistol in our hand being Landed and marching up to ye castle, Ye Spaniards sprung a mine & blew up ye castle ye stones of which as big as mountains fell upon some of our men & smote yon on hip & thigh, crushed some to death, bruised others on theire heads Legs & arms, no parts escaping. What befell me was one knock on my pate wch made me to bend and a great bruise wch confines me to my bed besides other small knocks; his not yet computed how many were maimed by this Stratagem but many killed and many will die of theire wounds & many will for ever be disabled.’