Battle of Carabobo
|Battle of Carabobo|
|Part of the Venezuelan War of Independence|
Detail of La Batalla de Carabobo by Martín Tovar y Tovar. Oil on canvas.
|Commanders and leaders|
|Simón Bolívar||Miguel de la Torre|
|6,500-8,000 Total||4,000-5,000 Total
No cavalry fought
|Casualties and losses|
|200 dead||2,908 captured, wounded or dead.|
The Battle of Carabobo, 24 June 1821, was fought between independence fighters, led by Venezuelan General Simón Bolívar, and the Royalist forces, led by Spanish Field Marshal Miguel de la Torre. Bolívar's decisive victory at Carabobo led to the independence of Venezuela.
Order of battle
Army of Gran Colombia
- Commander in Chief: Gen. Simon Bolivar
- 1st Army Division (Commander: Gen. Jose Antonio Paez)
- 1st Infantry Brigade
- Apure Braves
- British Legions
- 1st Cavalry
- Honor, Paez's Own Lancers
- Honored Lancers, The Death
- Valiant Horse Rifles, The Vengeance
- 1st Infantry Brigade
- 2nd Army Division (Commander: Gen. Manuel Cedeno)
- 2nd Infantry Brigade
- Guaicaiapuro Foot
- Tiralleurs Battalion
- Sacred Cavalry Squadron
- 2nd Infantry Brigade
- 3rd Army Division (Commander: Gen. Ambrosio Plaza)
Commander in Chief of the Royal Armies: Field Marshal Juan Miguel de la Torre
- Division Commanders: Gen. Morales (1st), Cols. Jose María Herrera (4th Vanguard) and Tomás Garcia (5th).
- Infantry Battalions attached under the three divisions:
- Garcia Division: 1st Infantry Brigade
- 4th Division: Vanguard Brigade
- Morales Division: 3rd Infantry Brigade
- 2nd Valencay Infantry
- Barbastro Foot
- Burgos Foot
- Hostalrich Foot
- Infante Don Francisco
- Cavalry Brigade
- General's Bodyguards
- Loyal Dragoons
- HM King Ferdinand VII's Own Hussars
- King's Own Lancers
- 2 artillery pieces, each attached to the Garcia and the 4th Divisions
The Royalists occupied the road leading from Valencia to Puerto Cabello. As Bolívar's force of 6,500 approached the Royalist position, Bolívar divided his force and sent half on a flanking maneuver through rough terrain and dense foliage. De la Torre likewise split his force and sent half to deal with this flank attack. Hitting the Patriots with musket fire, the Royalists held back the attack for a while. The Venezuelan infantry failed and retreated, but the men of the "British Legions", among them many members of the former King's German Legion, fought hard and took the hills. They sustained about 50% of Bolívar's casualties. The cavalry militia of royalist "Llanero" fled from battlefield, and the patriot cavalry eventually broke through the Royalist lines on the center, and marched towards the rear of de La Torre's force. The Spanish infantry formed squares and fought to the end under the attack of the Patriot cavalry. The rout was so bad that only some 400 of one infantry regiment managed to reach safety at Puerto Cabello. With the main Royalist force in Venezuela crushed, independence was ensured. Subsequent battles included a key naval victory for the independence forces on 24 July 1823 at the Battle of Lake Maracaibo and in November 1823 José Antonio Páez occupied Puerto Cabello, the last Royalist stronghold in Venezuela.
24 June is celebrated as Battle of Carabobo Day. This day is also called "Army Day" in Venezuela. Every year during the month of June; the 24th specifically, honors the penultimate battle of the Venezuelan War of Independence and the largest battle of that war that finally secured national independence after years of war against Spain.
It is a national celebration that is televised, lasts all day with a military parade of the Venezuelan Army, showing to public all armaments, tanks, battalions, weapons, etc. of the ground forces, as the main highlight.
This military parade doesn’t have any sponsorship except the government.
It’s the largest military parade in the country after the celebration of the birth of General Simon Bolivar on 24 July 1783 (Navy Day) and the annual Independence Day parades of July 5 yearly.
Also held is a joint historical reenactment organized by the Carabobo State Government and the Ministry of Education on the very site of the battle, joined in by elementary and middle school students.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Battle of Carabobo.|
- http://www.prodi.com.ve/home/presentacion1.htm (in Spanish language)
- Venezuela on Encyclopedia of Days
- Carabobo 1821 on Prodiseño Escuela de Comunicación Visual y Diseño
- Bolivar's British Legion by Ian Fletcher from Ian Fletcher Battlefield Tours
- Pages of Glory on Simón Bolívar, The Southamerican Washington from Don Mabry's Historical Text Archive.