Battle of Maipú


Battle of Maipú

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Maipú
partof=the Chilean War of Independence


caption=Battle of Maipú, painted in 1837
date=April 5, 1818
place=Maipú plains, near Santiago, Chile
result=Decisive Patriot victory
combatant1=
combatant2=flagicon|Spain|1785 Royalists
commander1=
commander2=flagicon|Spain|1785 Mariano Osorio
strength1=c5,000
strength2=c5,000
casualties1=1,000
casualties2=2,000 dead
3,000 captured
The Battle of Maipú was a battle fought near Santiago, Chile on April 5 1818 between South American rebels and Spanish royalists, during the South American wars of independence. Victory came to the rebels commanded by José de San Martín, leader of the resistance to Spain in southern South America, and it completed the independence of Chile from Spanish domination.

Background

In 1817, the Argentine General José de San Martín led an army across the Andes and defeated the Spanish at the battles of Chacabuco and Chalchuapa and captured Santiago. The Spanish viceroyalty sent a Spanish army to Santiago under General Mariano Osorio, which defeated San Martin at the Second Battle of Cancha Rayada. The drive for independence never diminished, however, and the following year San Martin launched a final offensive, which was to decide the outcome of the war.

The battle

In April 1818, marched his army out from Santiago and scaled the Andes Mountains, some rising as high as 13,000 feet (4,000 m). Near the Maipú River high in the rugged terrain of the Andes, San Martin caught the Spanish army under General Osorio off guard. The Royalists formed up on a ridge, but with their left flank separated from the main body. San Martin attacked this flank, driving off the Royalist cavalry with his own elite Horse Grenadiers, and isolated it, securing his right flank. He then attacked the Royalists in the centre, and was initially repulsed, but a Royalist counter-advance was met by effective artillery fire, and also driven back. At this point, General Osorio deserted the field, leaving the Royalist army under the command of Colonel Ordonez. San Martin committed his reserve to the attack, and the Royalists retreated, some making a stand at a nearby farm.

Results

The victory produced tremendous results. The victory ended the struggle for Chilean independence and so demoralized the Spanish army in South America that San Martin was able to easily sweep through and liberate Peru. The battle left 2,000 Spaniards dead and 3,000 captured; the patriots lost about 1,000 men.

Order of Battle

Patriots Commander: General José de San Martin
*"Las Heras' Division" (Colonel Las Heras):*11th Infantry Battalion (Argentinian):*"Cazadores de Coquimbo" (Chilean):*Battalion "Infantes de la Patria" (Chilean):*4 Squadrons of Horse Grenadiers (Argentinian):*8 Field Pieces
*"Alvarado' Division" (Colonel Alvarado):*2nd Infantry Battalion (Chilean):*8th Infantry Battalion (Argentine):*"Cazadores de los Andes" (Argentine):*4 Squadrons "Cazadores a Caballo de los Andes":*9 Field Pieces
*"Reserve Division" (Colonel de la Quintana):*1st Infantry Battalion (Chilean):*3rd Infantry Battalion (Argentine):*7th Infantry Battalion (Argentine):*2 Squadrons Escort Cavalry:*4 Field PiecesTotal: 5,000 men with 21 guns

Royalists Commander: General Mariano Osorio
*1st Brigade (Colonel Ordoñez):*Battalion "Concepción":*Battalion "Infante Don Carlos":*1 Company Sappers:*Squadron "Lances del Rey":*Squadron "Arequipa Dragoons":*4 guns
*2nd Brigade (Colonel Morla):*Battalion "Arequipa":*Battalion "Burgos":*"Chillan Horse Dragoons":*2 Squadron "Frontier Dragoons":*4 guns
*3rd Brigade (Colonel de Rivera):*Amalgamated battalion (Grenadier and Cazadores Companies from Battalions "Burgos", "Concepción", "Infante" and "Arequipa"):*4 gunsTotal: 5,000 men with 12 guns

ources

* [http://historicaltextarchive.com/sections.php?op=viewarticle&artid=642 Battle of Maipú: Its Causes, Events, and Effects Upon South America (Historical Text Archive)]
*"Compton's Home Library: Battles of the World" CD-ROM

External links

* [http://www.maipuasuservicio.cl/nuevo/biblioteca/labatalla.htm Maipú a su servicio journal]


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