Battle of Puebla (The Battle of Puebla (Spanish: Batalla de Puebla;…
Battle of Puebla
The Battle of Puebla (Spanish: Batalla de Puebla; French: Bataille de Puebla) took place on 5 May 1862, near Puebla City during the Second French intervention in Mexico.
The battle ended in a victory for the Mexican Army over the occupying French soldiers. The French eventually overran the Mexicans in subsequent battles, but the Mexican victory at Puebla against a much better equipped and larger
French army provided a significant morale boost to the Mexican army and also helped slow the French army's advance towards Mexico City.
The Mexican victory is celebrated yearly on the fifth of May. Its celebration is regional in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is celebrated as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla
The 1858–60 Mexican civil war (known as The Reform War) had caused major distress throughout Mexico's economy. When taking office as the elected president in 1861, Benito Juárez was forced to suspend payments of interest on foreign debts for a period of two years
At the end of October 1861 diplomats from Spain, France, and the United Kingdom met in London to form the Tripartite Alliance, with the main purpose of launching an allied invasion of Mexico, taking control of Veracruz
. The allied forces occupied Veracruz and advanced to Orizaba. However, the Tripartite Alliance fell apart by early April 1862, when it became clear the French wanted to impose harsh demands on the Juarez government and provoke a war.
The British and Spanish withdrew, leaving the French to march alone on Mexico City. Napoleon III wanted to set up a puppet Mexican regime
The French expeditionary force at the time was led by General Charles de Lorencez. The battle came about by a misunderstanding of the French forces' agreement to withdraw to the coast.
When the Mexican Republic forces saw these French soldiers on the march, they took it that hostilities had recommenced and felt threatened. To add to the mounting concerns,
A vehement complaint was lodged by the Mexicans to General Lorencez who took the effrontery as a plan to assail his forces. Lorencez decided to hold up his withdrawal to the coast by occupying Orizaba instead
Zaragoza retreated to Puebla which was heavily fortified – it had been held by the Mexican government since the Reform War. To its north stood the forts Loreto and Guadalupe on opposite hilltops. Zaragoza had a trench dug to join the forts via the saddle
Lorencez was led to believe that the people of Puebla were friendly to the French, and that the Mexican Republican garrison which kept the people in line would be overrun by the population once he made a show of force
This would prove to be a serious miscalculation on Lorencez's part. On 5 May 1862, against all advice, Lorencez decided to attack Puebla from the north
However, he started his attack a little too late in the day, using his artillery just before noon and by noon advancing his infantry
By the third attack the French required the full engagement of all their reserves.
The French artillery had run out of ammunition, so the third infantry attack went unsupported. The Mexican forces and the Republican garrison both put up a stout defense and even took to the field to defend the positions between the hilltop forts.
As the French retreated from their final assault, Zaragoza had his cavalry attack them from the right and left while troops concealed along the road pivoted out to flank them.
By 3 p.m. the daily rains had started, making a slippery slope of the battlefield. Lorencez withdrew to distant positions, counting 172 of his men killed against only 83 of the Mexicans
He waited a couple of days for Zaragoza to attack again, but Zaragoza held his ground. Lorencez then completely withdrew to Orizaba.
Slowed by their loss at Puebla, the French forces retreated and regrouped, and the invasion continued after Napoleon III determinedly sent additional troops to Mexico. The French were eventually victorious, winning the Second Battle of Puebla on 17 May 1863
Puebla, in full Puebla de Zaragoza, city, capital of Puebla estado (state), central Mexico.
Since Spanish colonial times, Puebla has been considered a military key to the control of Mexico because of its strategic position on the route between Mexico City and the port of Veracruz to the east on the Gulf of Mexico
It was occupied in 1847 by U.S. forces during the Mexican War. During the Battle of Puebla (May 5, 1862), invading French troops were repulsed there by a much smaller Mexican force under the command of Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza; thereafter the city was renamed Puebla de Zaragoza, and May 5 (Cinco de M
Puebla has been repeatedly damaged by strong earthquakes, but numerous colonial-era buildings are extant in the grid-patterned city centre, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987.
Many of these structures incorporate decorative glazed Talavera tiles, introduced by early residents from the area of Talavera de la Reina, near Toledo, Spain
The 16th–17th-century Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the central plaza is one of Mexico’s largest and most ornate churches and features an onyx altar carved about 1799 by the Spanish-born sculptor Manuel Tolsá. Among other colonial-era structures are the Church of Santo Domingo
Long the commercial centre of an important agricultural district (corn [maize], sugarcane, cotton, livestock), Puebla was also an early manufacturing city, known for its traditional onyx products, Talavera tiles, pottery, glass, and textiles
The city’s economy now depends on a mixture of manufacturing and services. Its wide array of manufactures include automobiles, metal products, foods and beverages, and building materials
The city is served by rail, highway, and air routes. Poblano (“Pueblan”) culture, a blending of its European and indigenous traditions, is associated with a distinctive regional cuisine and with traditional forms of clothing, music, and dance
The route taken by the French toward the capital was blocked by the fortified city of Puebla. Incautiously the French general Charles Latrille Laurencez ordered a frontal assault up the steep Cerro de Guadalupe against the Mexican position, which was fortified by a ditch and a brick wall.
Battle of Puebla, (May 5, 1862), battle fought at Puebla, Mexico, between the army of the liberal
The Mexicans under General Ignacio Zaragoza repulsed the attackers, who lost about 1,000 men and then retreated to the coast.
The following March, the French general Élie-Frédéric Forey, with reinforcements from France, laid siege to Puebla. Its approximately 30,000 defenders, commanded by Gonzáles Ortega
The Cinco de Mayo holiday symbolizes Mexico’s determination to thwart foreign aggression.
The relief and climate contrast dramatically between Puebla’s highlands—a combination of the Mesa Central, the Sierra Madre Oriental, and the Cordillera Neo-Volcánica