Battle of Suipacha

Battle of Suipacha

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Suipacha
partof=Argentine War of Independence

date=November 7, 1810
result= Republican victory
combatant1=flagicon|Argentina|alt United Provinces of South America
combatant2=flagicon|Spain|1813 Spanish Empire
commander1=flagicon|Argentina|alt Antonio González Balcarce
Juan José Castelli
commander2=flagicon|Spain|1813 José de Córdoba
Vicente Nieto
strength1=600 10 field guns
strength2=800 4 field guns

The Battle of Suipacha was fought on 7 November, 1810 in Bolivia during the Bolivian War of Independence between the Spanish colonial army and the Republican forces sent by the Primera Junta from Buenos Aires. At the time Bolivia was known as Upper Peru ("Alto Perú"). It was the first decisive defeat of the Spanish (Royalists) by Republican forces. The battle took place convert|25|km|mi|0|abbr=on from Tupiza, near the small town of Suipacha, on the margin of the Suipacha river in the Sud Chichas province (Potosí Department in Bolivia.

An earlier rebellion in Upper Peru had been crushed by Spanish forces under the command of Generals Nieto and José de Córdoba, leaving the region firmly under Spanish control. In reaction, the Republicans sent an expeditionary army, led by Antonio González Balcarce, to Alto Perú with the mission to conduct a reconnaissance of the region. Departing from Buenos Aires, its ranks swelled in route as volunteers joined the march. Among these was a group of gauchos lead by Martín Miguel de Güemes, who would go on to play a key role in the southern revolution. By the time the expedition reached Upper Peru, it was 600 men strong with 10 field pieces.

After an earlier action at Cotagaita on 27 October in which they were repulsed, Republican forces withdrew and occupied a position on the southern bank of the Suipacha River. Having received reinforcements, the Royalists attacked this position with 800 men, but were beaten when the Republicans counter-attacked their left flank. Subsequently the Republicans were able to attack the Royalists camp and force a general withdrawal. The Republican army then continued to advance north to the river Desaguadero.

The victory at Suipacha had a strong effect on morale, which was shown in the celebrations in Potosí on November 10 and in Buenos Aires where the Junta authorized all the combatants to wear an arm band with the inscription "La patria a los vencedores de Tupiza" ("the motherland to the victors at Tupiza").

External references

*es icon [ Historia of Salta]
*es icon [ Castelli in Upper Peru]

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