World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Battle of Atoleiros

Article Id: WHEBN0001885554
Reproduction Date:

Title: Battle of Atoleiros  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 1383–85 Crisis, Battle of Aljubarrota, Battle of Trancoso, Index of Portugal-related articles, Nuno Álvares Pereira
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Battle of Atoleiros

Battle of Atoleiros
Part of 1383–1385 Crisis
Date 6 April 1384
Location Atoleiros, Alentejo, Portugal
Result Portuguese victory[1]
Belligerents
Kingdom of Portugal Crown of Castile
Commanders and leaders
Nuno Álvares Pereira Fernando Sanchez de Tovar
Pedro Álvares Pereira
Pero Gonzalez de Sevilla 
Martim Anes de Barundo
Strength

1,400 men:[2][3]

  • 1,000 foot soldiers[4]
  • 300 cavalry[5]
  • 100 crossbowman[6]

5,000 men[7]

  • 3,000 foot soldiers
  • 2,000 cavalry[8]
Casualties and losses
No casualties[9][10] Heavy[11]

The Battle of Atoleiros (Portuguese pronunciation: ) took place on 6 April 1384, between a Portuguese force and a punitive expedition from Castile sent by John I. The battle took place near the population centre of the same name[12] in Alentejo. It was the first major battle of the 1383–1385 Crisis.

Nuno Álvares Pereira had been chosen to protect the frontier in this area, amid fear that a Castilian force could enter Portugal here. He left Lisbon with 1,000 infantry, adding to the strength of his forces on his way to Atoleiros. The Castilian army consisted of some 6,000 men, mostly cavalry, which was besieging the village of Fronteira. As Pereira approached, the Castilians sent an emissary to him, attempting to persuade him to retire. He refused, and the Castilians advanced to meet him, lifting the siege. The Portuguese formed a defensive square. In the short battle that followed, the Castilian cavalry was unable to break the Portuguese formation, suffering heavy losses. The Portuguese suffered none, and the Castilians withdrew.

The battle of Atoleiros represents the first effective use of “square tactics” on the battleground. This tactic, in which groups of infantry armed with both missile and hand-to-hand weapons defended themselves from all directions, was so successful that it was still in use over 500 years later during the Napoleonic Wars against mass French cavalry attacks, and during the Zulu War against huge masses of predominantly spear-armed infantry. It was especially effective when the infantry had to fight against strong cavalry.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Tony Jaques, p.81
  2. ^ Conceição, p.47
  3. ^ Sylva, p.57
  4. ^ Conceição, p.47
  5. ^ Conceição, p.47
  6. ^ Conceição, p.47
  7. ^ Affreizo, p.96
  8. ^ Castro, p.197
  9. ^ History of Portugal, p.176
  10. ^ Sylva, p.65
  11. ^ Castro, p.198
  12. ^ http://atoleiros1384.cm-fronteira.pt/Atoleiros_Batalha_PT_03.html

References

  • Tony Jaques, Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A-E (2007) ISBN 0-313-33536-2
  • History of Portugal: Pamphlet Collection (197?) ISBN 1-00-128780-0
  • Cláudio da Conceição, Gabinete historico: Desde 1325 até 1580 (1818)
  • José Soares da Sylva, Memorias para a historia de Portugal: que comprehendem o governo del rey D. Joaõ o I., do anno de mil etrezentos e oitenta e tres, até o anno de mil e quatrocentos e trinta e tres (1731)
  • José María da Graça Affreizo, Compendio de historia de Portugal (1885)
  • Damião António de Lemos Faria e Castro, Historia geral de Portugal, e suas conquistas (1786)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.