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Siege of Barcelona
Part of the War of the Spanish Succession
11 Setembre.jpg
11 September 1714: the last stage of the Siege of Barcelona. The Catalan defenders charge against the Franco-Spanish army of the Bourbon king Philip V.
Almost all of them died.
Date 25 July 1713 - 11 September 1714
Location Barcelona, modern-day Spain
Result Decisive Franco-Spanish Bourbon victory.
Belligerents
Estandarte Real de Felipe V-2.svg Bourbon

France[1] Kingdom of France
Spain Kingdom of Spain

Estandarte de Carlos III.svg Austrian
Barcelona defenders
Maulets
Commanders
Duke of Berwick Antoni de Villarroel
Strength
40,000 regulars
80 cannons
20 howitzers
2,000 regulars
4,700 militians of the Coronela
Some piece of artillery
Casualties and losses
14,000 dead or wounded 7,000 dead or wounded

The Siege of Barcelona was a battle at the end of the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714), which pitted Archduke Charles of Austria (backed by Britain and the Netherlands, i.e. the Grand Alliance), against Philip V of Spain, backed by France in a contest for the Spanish crown.

Contents

Prelude

During the early part of the war, Barcelona had fallen to the forces of Archduke Charles: his fleet had anchored in the port on 22 August 1705, landing troops which surrounded the city. These troops later captured the fort of Montjuic, and used it to bombard the city into its submission on October 9 of that year.

Battle

Even though the freshly defeated Catalan court then supported the Archduke against Philip V, the Franco-Spanish forces were not strong enough to attempt a recapture of the city until 1713. By 25 July of that year, the city was surrounded by Bourbon forces, but attacks upon it were unfruitful due to the scarcity of artillery. The Bourbons then waited for a 20,000 man reinforcement force, which arrived in April-May of 1714. The assault was renewed under the command of the Duke of Berwick, and after entering the city on 30 August, the Bourbons finally triumphed on 11 September. This date is now commemorated as La Diada.

Aftermath

The war's end in 1714, with the surrender of the pro-Archduke forces to a Franco-Spanish army, marks a two century long period of greater suppression of Catalan autonomy that mirrored the greater centralization of the various monarchies of the European continent. With the War of the Spanish Succession completed, Spain evolved from a de facto unified kingdom to a centralized de jure one. The defenders of the city were buried in a cemetery, now a plaza, Fossar de les Moreres, where Catalans gather every 11 September.

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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