Battle of Sipe-Sipe


Battle of Sipe-Sipe

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Sipe-Sipe
partof=Argentine War of Independence


date=November 28, 1815
place=Bolivia
result= Spanish victory
combatant1=flagicon|Argentina|alt United Provinces of South America
combatant2=flagicon|Spain|1813 Spanish Empire
commander1=flagicon|Argentina|alt José Rondeau
commander2=flagicon|Spain|1813 Joaquín de la Pezuela
strength1=3,000 to 3,500 9 artillery pieces
strength2=5,100 23 artillery pieces
casualties1= 2,000 killed, wounded or captured, 9 artillery pieces destroyed or captured
casualties2= Light

The Battle of Sipe-Sipe was an important battle in the South American wars of independence in which the United Provinces of Río de la Plata (the insurgents in the old Spanish viceroyalty of the same name) were decisively defeated by Spanish royalist forces in Alto Perú (now Bolivia). The battle took place on November 29, 1815, and resulted in the loss of Alto Perú by the insurgents. The area was reannexed by the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru.

The insurgent Army of the North had been under the command of José de San Martín, but for health reasons he asked to be relieved. He was replaced by José Rondeau. At the time of the third campaign by the insurgents in Alto Perú (the first two had been defeats), General Carlos María de Alvear was named by Supreme Director Ignacio Álvarez Thomas to replace Rondeau. However Rondeau's officers revolted, and communicated to him that they would obey only his orders. Rondeau, now in revolt himself, accepted the officers' proposal and ordered the attack.

General Martín Miguel de Güemes, a rival of Rondeau, withdrew the support of his Gauchos and retired to Salta, taking with him the part of the army that was in Jujuy.

In his march to Cochabamba, Rondeau camped in the pampas of Sipe-Sipe, near the city of the same name. There on November 28, 1815 his forces were met by the Royalist forces from Peru under Brigadier Joaquín de la Pezuela. Rondeau had 3,000 to 3,500 men and nine pieces of artillery; Pezuela commanded 5,100 men and 23 artillery pieces.

The result of the battle the next day was the most serious defeat of the insurgent army since the Battle of Huaqui in 1811. The insurgents' losses were estimated at 2,000 men and all of their artillery. With this defeat, the province of Alto Perú was finally lost to the Argentine insurgents. Spanish control was reestablished, and in South America only Buenos Aires remained in rebellion.

For his success, in 1816 Pezuela was named interim viceroy of Peru by royal order dated October 15, 1815. The following year he was also promoted to lieutenant general and given the title "Marquis of Viluma". Rondeau was removed from his command in 1816 and he returned to Buenos Aires.


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