Arsenio Linares y Pombo

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Arsenio Linares y Pombo

Arsenio Linares y Pombo (1848 – 1914) was a Spanish military man and government official. Born in Valencia, he earned the rank of lieutenant in 1868 and participated in operations against rebellions in Cuba, and in the Carlist Wars on mainland Spain. He occupied posts in the Philippines, Madrid, and Melilla, and later returned to Cuba.

He organized the defense of Santiago de Cuba during the Battle of San Juan Hill. Linares failed to reinforce this position, choosing to hold nearly 10,000 Spanish reserves in the city of Santiago. Spanish entrenchments, crucial to the defense of the city, had been poorly constructed. Rather than being on the forward or military crest of the San Juan Height where they could have a clear field of fire all the way down the hill, they were constructed on the hilltop, itself allowing the Americans to escape even near point-blank rifle volleying at the advancing Americans when they went below the Spanish soldiers lines of observation.

He was named Minister of War in 1900 by Prime Minister Francisco Silvela, and occupied this post under subsequent governments. He was appointed senator for life in 1900. In 1909, his call-up of troops from Catalonia to be sent to Morocco led to the Tragic Week in Barcelona. He died in Madrid.

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