Military History of Argentina - Before Independence

Before Independence

One of the first notable military conflicts taking place in modern Argentina were the British invasions of the Río de la Plata, involving both Buenos Aires and Montevideo (currently part of Uruguay). As part of the Napoleonic Wars, a British force led by William Carr Beresford occupied Buenos Aires on June 27. The French Santiago de Liniers moved to Montevideo and led the forces that would reconquer Buenos Aires on August 12, 1806. The Viceroy Rafael de Sobremonte, who had fled from the city to Córdoba, was not allowed to return, and Liniers was trusted to organize the defense of the city against a possible British counter-attack. For this end he drafted all men capable to bear arms, regardless of their social condition (including slaves), and formed militias to defend the city. The Regiment of Patricians, composed of criollo people, was created during this time.

The second invasion took place the following year. A new British army, much bigger than the first one, invaded first Montevideo and then moved to Buenos Aires, led by Lieutenant-General John Whitelocke. The British found a strong resistance and were forced to surrender, and return Montevideo to the viceroyalty.

As a result of the invasions, Sobremonte was removed as viceroy, and replaced by Liniers. The Regiment of Patricians, led by Cornelio Saavedra, became a strong political force in Buenos Aires, and was instrumental to the failure of the Mutiny of Álzaga and the success of the May Revolution.

Read more about this topic:  Military History Of Argentina

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