Second Battle of Guararapes


Second Battle of Guararapes

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Guararapes


caption=
partof=Dutch-Portuguese War
date=February 18, 1649
place=Pernambuco, Brazil
result=Portuguese victory
combatant1=Netherlands
combatant2=Portugal (Brazil)
commander1=Johan van den Bricken
commander2=Francisco Barreto de Menezes, João Fernandes Vieira, André Vidal de Nequeiros, Henrique Dias, Diogo Pinheiro Camarão
strength1=4,000
strength2=3,200
casualties1=1,500
casualties2=Unknown

The Second Battle of Guararapes was the second and decisive battle in a conflict called Pernanbucana Insurrection, between Dutch and Portuguese forces in 1649 at Pernambuco, ending the Dutch occupation of Brazil.

Though the Dutch West India Company fielded a larger, better equipped force, they suffered morale problems as most of their army was made up of mercenaries from Europe (primarily Germany) who felt no real passion for the war in Brazil, as opposed to the Natives and Luso-Brazilian settlers who considered Brazil to be their home and were fighting for a patriotic cause. The Dutch force was also unused to fighting in the dense jungle and humid conditions of the country, wearing thick, brightly coloured European clothing and heavy metal armour which inhibited their dexterity. Contemporary accounts describe Dutch troops at the battle as "pale and sickly". The Dutch army at Guararapes were armed with pikes, cannon and an assortment of bladed weapons. It is thought by historians that the use of short blades by the Dutch was an attempt to imitate previously successful Portuguese weaponry and tactics.

The Luso-Brazilian force was made up of an assortment of natives, blacks and whites who knew, and had experience fighting in, the difficult Brazilian terrain. They would weaken Dutch troops with fusillades of musketfire from behind trees, and then charge with mêlée weapons.

The Dutch had expected the enemy to march down the well established coastal roads, and thus formed a lines of defence covering these roads. However, the Luso-Brazilian force used a series of minor trails to reach Pernambuco, appearing out of the wetlands to the west and Guararapes hills (from which the battle derived its name) and flanking the Dutch. After several hours of fighting, the Dutch retreated northwards to Recife, leaving their artillery behind. Following the Dutch retreat, the Portuguese army marched into Pernambuco.

Important Characters

* Henrique Dias - Son of slaves, he was the "governador da gente preta" (governor of the black people), ex-slaves from farms reached by the conflict
* Filipe Camarão - Native Brazilian from the Potiguar tribe, leader of the forces from that tribe
* João Fernandes Vieira - Land owner of Funchal, Madeira commanded one infantry terço.
* André Vidal de Negreiros - Brazilian commanded one infantry terço.

ee also

*First Battle of Guararapes

References

* [http://tetrad.stanford.edu/newfiles/DBMColonialPortuguese.html DBM Colonial Portuguese]
* [http://www.irenescorner.com/home/braziliancorner/history/history02.htm Irene's Country Corner - Brasil]


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