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Battle of Tetuan
Part of the Spanish-Moroccan War (1859)
Battle of Tetuan.jpg
The battle painted by Mariano Fortuny - a collection of Morohashi Modern Art Museum
Location Near Tétouan, Morocco
Result Spanish victory
Belligerents
Morocco Moroccan Army Spain Spanish Army of Africa
Commanders
Morocco Mohammed IV of Morocco Spain Leopoldo O'Donnell, 1st Duke of Tetuan
Strength
36,000 men, 65 pieces of artillery, and 41 ships

The Battle of Tétouan was a battle fought near Tétouan, Morocco between the Spanish Army of Africa and the Moroccan Army in 1860. The battle was part of the Spanish-Moroccan war of 1859-1860.

The expeditionary Spanish force, which departed from Algeciras, was componed of 36,000 men, 65 pieces of artillery, and 41 ships, which included steamships, sailboats, and smaller vessels. Leopoldo O'Donnell, 1st Duke of Tetuan, Prime Minister of Spain, personally took charge of the expedition and divided these forces into three corps. These were commanded by Generals Juan Zavala de la Puente, Antonio Ros de Olano and Ramón de Echagüe. Reserves were placed under the command of Juan Prim. The admiral Segundo Díaz Herrero commanded the fleet.

The objective of the Spanish forces was to take Tétouan.

Hostilities between Moroccan and Spanish troops erupted on December 17 by the column commanded by Zavala de la Puente, which occupied the Sierra de Bullones. On December 19, Echagüe captured the Palacio del Serrallo. O'Donnell commanded a force that landed at Ceuta on December 21. By Christmas Day, the three columns had consolidated their positions and awaited orders to advance towards Tétouan.

On January 1, 1860, Prim advanced towards the port of Guad al Gelu. Zavala’s forces and the Spanish navy guarded his flank. Melees continued until January 31, 1861, when a major Moroccan offensive was stopped. O’Donnell began the march towards the objective, and was supported by forces composed of Catalan volunteers. Covering fire was provided by Generals Ros de Olano and Prim. Spanish artillery decimated the Moroccan ranks; the Moroccan force that remained took refuge in Tétouan. The city fell on February 6, 1861.

A week of further fighting followed. The capture of the city prevented further attacks on Ceuta and Melilla by Moroccan forces.

O'Donnell returned with his forces to Spain; they camped at spot north of Madrid while a triumphal entry into the capital was arranged. The camp, which acquired permanent structures as well as shops over time, became the Madrid neighborhood known as Tetuán de las Victorias. O’Donnell acquired the noble title of "First Duke of Tetuán."

Contents

Cultual references

Salvador Dalí painted a version of Fortuny’s painting of the battle.[1][2]

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