Military Subjects: Battles & Campaigns


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Marshal Suchet and the Siege of Valencia
Spanish Officers

By Dominique Contant, Robert Ouvrard, and Jonathan Cooper

Blake: Don Joaquín Blake y Joyes, Captain-General (1759-1827).

"General Blake, who cannot be better described than as a brigand, has, by menace, entreaty and inducement, excited the people of these mountains [the Alpujarras] to take up arms." (Soult to Berthier - 17 March 1810)

Blake was of emigre Irish parentage, but born at Malaga on 19 August 1759. At 15, he was a cadet in the America Infantry Regiment, and later Sergeant Major of the Volunteer Regiment of Castile. Wounded at Muga in 1794, Colonel in the elite Volunteer Light Regiment of Corogne in 1795, Lieutenant General in 1808, Regent of the King in 1810, he was promoted to Captain General in 1811. He survived for many years his captivity in France after the fall of Valencia. Released from his detention at Samur in 1814, he died in Spain, at Valladolid, on 27 April 1827.

O'Donell: Charles, Count O’Donell, General.

Charles O'Donell was one of the many brothers O’Donell (or O'Donnell) among the Irish Jacobin diaspora after the battle of Boyne. The most celebrated among them was Henry (Enrique José) O'Donnell, Count La Bispal (or Abispal)(1769-1834). Charles O'Donell remained a prisoner of the French at Samur until 1814. In 1823 he was Captain-General of Old Castile and a principle leader of the royalists. Another brother, Alexandre, was with the Grand Army through the Russian campaign.

Mahy: Nicolás Mahy, General (Madrid 1757-Havana 1823).

d'Eroles: Joaquín Ibáñez Cuevas, Baron d’Eroles, General (Talam 1784-Madrid 1825).

After having fought against the French during the Napoleonic era, d'Eroles supported the entry into Spain of the troops of the Duke d’Angoulême during the war against the liberals. He was rewarded by Ferdinand VII, becoming Governor of Barcelona.

Mina: Francisco Javier Mina, General (Otano 1789–Mexico 1817).

He was the nephew of General Espoz y Mina, with whom he fought against the French. Extremely popular with the Spainsh people, he was betrayed and taken as a prisoner to Vincennes, where he would remain until the first abdication. Upon his return from France, he opposed the government of Ferdinand VII, but was defeated while trying to raise Navarre in revolt. He was exiled to France and then went to England, where, in 1817, he joined the Mexicans in opposition to the reactionary absolutists. In Mexico, he was named Commanding General by the insurrectionists. Vanquished and taken prisoner at Fort Sombrero, he was shot as a traitor on 11 November 1817.

 

 

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