Battle of Tétouan

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Battle of Tetuán
Part of the Spanish-Moroccan War (1859-1860)
MARIANO FORTUNY - La Batalla de Tetuán (Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña, 1862-64. Óleo sobre lienzo, 300 x 972 cm).jpg
The battle as painted by Marià Fortuny, an immense canvas (300 x 972 cm) on exhibit at the National Art Museum of Catalonia in Barcelona (date: 1863-1865)[1]
Location Near Tétouan, Morocco
Result Spanish victory
Belligerents
Morocco Moroccan Army Spain Spanish Army of Africa
Commanders and leaders
Morocco Mohammed IV of Morocco Spain General The 1st Conde de Lucena
Strength
36,000 men, 65 pieces of artillery, and 41 ships

The Battle of Tetuán was fought in 1860, near Tetuán, Morocco, between a Spanish army sent to North Africa and the tribal levies comprising the Moroccan Army. The battle was part of the Spanish-Moroccan War of 1859-1860.

Background and battle[edit]

The expeditionary Spanish force, which departed from Algeciras, was composed of 36,000 men, 65 pieces of artillery, and 41 ships, which included steamships, sailboats, and smaller vessels. General Leopoldo O'Donnell, 1st Conde de Lucena (later created Duque de Tetuán), a future Prime Minister of Spain, personally took charge of the expedition and divided these forces into three corps. These were commanded by General The 5th Marqués de Torreblanca, General Antonio Ros de Olano and General Ramón de Echagüe. Reserves were placed under the command of General The 1st Conde de Reus. Admiral Segundo Díaz Herrero commanded the fleet.

The objective of the Spanish forces was to take Tetuán.

Hostilities between Moroccan and Spanish troops began on 17 December 1859 when the column commanded by The Marqués de Torreblanca occupied the Sierra de Bullones. On 19 December, Echagüe captured the Palacio del Serrallo. The Conde de Lucena commanded a force that landed at Ceuta on 21 December. By Christmas Day, the three columns had consolidated their positions and awaited orders to advance towards Tetouan.

On 1 January 1860, the Conde de Reus advanced towards the port of Guad al Gelu. The Marqués de Torreblanca’s forces and the Royal Spanish Navy guarded his flank. Clashes continued until 31 January 1861, when a major Moroccan offensive was stopped. The Conde de Lucena began a march towards the objective of Tétouan, and was supported by forces composed of Catalan volunteers. Covering fire was provided by units commanded by General The Conde de Reus and General Ros de Olano. Spanish artillery decimated the Moroccan ranks; the Moroccan forces that remained took refuge in Tétouan. The city fell on 6 February 1860. A week of further fighting followed before hostilities ceased.

Outcome[edit]

The capture of Tétouan prevented further attacks on Ceuta and Melilla by Moroccan forces. The Conde de Lucena returned with his forces to Spain; they camped at a spot north of Madrid while a triumphal entry into the capital was arranged. The camp, which acquired permanent structures as well as shops over time, became the Madrid neighbourhood known as Tetuán de las Victorias. In the aftermath of the battle, General Leopoldo O'Donnell, 1st Conde de Lucena, was elevated in the Spanish peerage to being The 1st Duque de Tetuán. He later served as President of the Council of Ministers (also known as the Prime Minister).

Cultual references[edit]

Salvador Dalí painted a version of Fortuny’s painting of the battle.[2][3]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Battle of Tetouan" at the MNAC website. Retrieved on 25 July 2013
  2. ^ La batalla de Tetuán
  3. ^ Las Batalla de Tetuán
  4. ^ Francesc Sans i Cabot in the Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana. Retrieved on 25 July 2013

External links[edit]