Battle of Ameixial

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Battle of Ameixial
Part of Portuguese Restoration War
Batalha do Ameixal.jpg
17th-century Portuguese engraving depicting the Battle of Ameixial
Date 8 June, 1663
Location Near Estremoz, Portugal
Result Portuguese victory[1]
Belligerents
 Portugal
England English auxiliaries[2]
 Spain
Commanders and leaders
Portugal Sancho Manoel de Vilhena
Portugal Count of Mértola
Spain John of Austria
Strength
17,000:[3]
14,000 infantry
3,000 cavalry
15 cannons
18,500:[4][5]
12,500 infantry
6,000 cavalry
18 cannons
Casualties and losses
2,000 killed or wounded 8,000[6] of whom more than 4,000 killed
all the artillery captured[7]

The Battle of Ameixial, was fought on 8 June, 1663, near the village of Santa Vitória do Ameixial, some 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north-west of Estremoz, between Spanish and Portuguese as part of the Portuguese Restoration War.

In the spring of 1663, the Spanish had undertaken their most successful attack on Portugal, since the beginning of the war.

Under command of the renowned general John of Austria the Younger, natural son of Philip IV of Spain, the greater part of the south of Portugal was overrun. The important city of Évora was taken on 22 May, opening perspectives for a march on Lisbon, 135 kilometres (84 mi) to the west.

But the Spanish army lack of ammunition, food and money paralysed the army. The Portuguese raised a 17,000 men strong army and marched against the Spanish. The Spanish commander decided to retreat to a strategic position at the north east of Évora and wait for the enemy, leaving a garrison of 3,700 in Évora.

The Portuguese were reinforced by a body of about 2,000 English troops and were put under the command of the Huguenot Schomberg.

Don John of Austria standard was captured when his squadron was almost totally killed.[8] The standard was later presented to King Afonso VI of Portugal himself.[9]

The Spanish casualties were very high, all of their artillery and baggage was captured,[10][11] and the army was forced to retreat to Badajoz in Extremadura. When the Spanish garrison of Évora of 3,700 men capitulated on 24 June, 1663, the whole expedition was a complete failure.

A memorial stone was placed on the site of the battlefield.[12]

In Spain, the battle is better known as the Battle of Estremoz.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dauril Alden, p. 115
  2. ^ Edward McMurdo, p.421
  3. ^ Edward McMurdo, p.420
  4. ^ H. V. Livermore, p. 188
  5. ^ Ribeiro, p.91
  6. ^ Atkinson, p.190
  7. ^ Edward McMurdo, p.421
  8. ^ Great Britain Royal Manuscripts, p.112
  9. ^ Great Britain Royal Manuscripts, p.112
  10. ^ Edward McMurdo, p.421
  11. ^ Great Britain Royal Manuscripts, p.111
  12. ^ H. V. Livermore, p. 169

Bibliography[edit]

  • Edward McMurdo, The History of Portugal - From the Reign of D. Joao II. to the Reign of D. Joao V. - Volume III., Volume 3, (2010) ISBN 978-1-4446-9569-4
  • William Christopher Atkinson, A history of Spain & Portugal, (1960)
  • Ângelo Ribeiro, História de Portugal - A Restauração da Independência - O Início da Dinastia de Bragança (2004) ISBN 989-554-110-4
  • Great Britain Royal Manuscripts, The Manuscripts of J. M. Heathcote, Esq., Conington Castle (2009) ISBN 978-1-150-12681-9
  • Dauril Alden: The making of an enterprise: the Society of Jesus in Portugal, its empire, and beyond, 1540-1750 (1996)
  • H. V. Livermore: Portugal: a traveller's history (2004)