Battle of Mérida


Battle of Mérida

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Mérida


caption=
partof=the Spanish Civil War
date=August 10-11, 1936
place=Mérida, Spain
result=Nationalist victory
combatant1=flagicon|Spain|1931 Spanish Republic
combatant2=flagicon|Spain|1939 Nationalist Spain
commander1=Captain Carlos Rodríguez Medina [ESPINOSA, Francisco. "La columna de la muerte. El avance del ejercito franquista de Sevilla a Badajoz." Editoríal Crítica. Madrid. 2003. Pagina 53]
commander2=Carlos Asensio
Heli Rolando de Tella
strength1=2,600 militia
strength2=1,000 regulars
casualties1=Unknown
casualties2=Unknown|

The Battle of Mérida saw Republican militia twice fail to halt the Spanish Army of Africa near the historic town of Mérida early in the Spanish Civil War.

The Nationalists routed the Republicans from the city August 10, 1936 and secured control the following day, allowing General Yagüe to surround and capture neighbouring Badajoz several days later.

Nationalist advance

The Nationalist army under Colonel Asensio, assembled at Seville with German and Italian help, began its lightning drive northward on August 2 in trucks supplied by General Queipo de Llano. Major Castejón followed with a second column on August 3.

Asensio raced north, smashing through fierce Republican resistance August 6. The next day, the Army of Africa captured the village of Almendralejo after a bloody struggle that decimated both sides. The Republicans retreated north to nearby Mérida, while the Nationalists waited for Castejón.

The battle

The Republican militia made another stand on the Guadiana, several kilometers south of Mérida, on August 10. Asensio pushed forward and captured the bridge, then swept across the river and captured the city. The militia retreated rather than risk encirclement. General Juan Yagüe then arrived to take command of the Nationalist army.

Yagüe next moved east against Badajoz with Asensio and Castejón, leaving a detachment under Lieutenant Colonel Tella to hold Mérida. On August 11, the Republican militia reappeared with a strong contingent of "Asaltos" and "Guardia Civil" from Madrid. The Republicans attacked and were beaten by Tella's professional Legionnaires.

Meanwhile, Yagüe's contingent took Badajoz by storm.

References

*

External links

* [http://www.balagan.org.uk/war/iberia/1936/la_marcha.htm La Marcha: The Drive on Madrid]


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