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Battle of Saragossa
Part of the War of the Spanish Succession
Batalla de Zaragoza-1710.jpg
An artist's rendition of the Battle of Saragossa, or Monte Torrero.
Date 20 August 1710
Location Zaragoza, Spain
Result Allied victory
Belligerents
Spain Spain  Habsburg Empire
United Kingdom Great Britain
 United Provinces
Catalonia Crown of Aragon
Commanders
France[1] Marquis de Bay Habsburg Monarchy Guido Starhemberg
United Kingdom Lord Stanhope
Strength
20,000 23,000–30,000
Casualties and losses
7,000–10,000 dead or wounded
4,000–5,000 captured
~1,500 dead or wounded


The Battle of Saragossa (Spanish: Zaragoza) took place on 20 August 1710 in the War of the Spanish Succession.

Contents

Prelude

On July 27, 1710 the Spanish troops suffered a defeat in the Battle of Almenara. They had to leave Catalonia and withdraw to the capital of Aragón. The Spanish commander, marquis de Bay, positioned his troops between the river Ebro (on his left) and the Torrero heights (on his right).

On August 15, an allied cavalry-attack was successfully countered. Five days of skirmishes followed.

On August 19, the allied troops crossed the river Ebro unchallenged and were allowed to deploy their army during the night.

The battle

The allied left-wing was composed of Catalan and Dutch troops under Count Atalaya. The right-wing was commanded by Stanhope and was composed of British and Austrian troops. Starhemberg was in charge of the center, which was mainly German infantry.

On August 20 at 08:00 an artillery-duel started which lasted until noon. In the afternoon, the battle was more or less a repeat of the Battle of Almenara. The Spanish cavalry attacked fiercely and were almost successful, but the allied troops stood firm.

Then the British and Austrian infantry counter-attacked and the Spanish army was pushed back. Thousands were killed or taken prisoner. Philip V only escaped disguised as an ordinary soldier and helped by a local miller.

Aftermath

Archduke Charles entered Zaragoza then next day.

The Spanish defeat was total, the way to Madrid was open. Philip V abandoned Madrid on September 9, and went to Valladolid.

Archduke Charles entered a very hostile and almost empty Madrid on September 28. Charles commented: "This city is a desert!"

In the winter of 1710, Archduke Charles and the allied troops had to abandon Madrid, and suffered the decisive defeats of Brihuega and Villaviciosa.

References

  1. ^ George Ripley, Charles Anderson Dana, The American Cyclopaedia, New York, 1874, p. 250, "...the standard of France was white, sprinkled with golden fleur de lis...". *[1]The original Banner of France was strewn with fleurs-de-lis. *[2]:on the reverse of this plate it says: "Le pavillon royal était véritablement le drapeau national au dix-huitième siecle...Vue du chateau d'arrière d'un vaisseau de guerre de haut rang portant le pavillon royal (blanc, avec les armes de France)."[3] from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: "The oriflamme and the Chape de St Martin were succeeded at the end of the 16th century, when Henry III., the last of the house of Valois, came to the throne, by the white standard powdered with fleurs-de-lis. This in turn gave place to the famous tricolour."

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