April 5, 1818: The Army of the Andes and Chilean rebels defeat the Spanish at the Battle of Maipú.

At this major battle of the Chilean War of Independence, forces led by Bernardo O’Higgins, José de San Martín, and Miguel Estanislao Soler met and defeated Spanish royalist armies near Santiago. Although the Chilean War of Independence (which had begun in 1810) would last by some accounts until 1826, when the last of the royalist troops surrendered, the Battle of Maipú is often considered the point in the war at which independence was all but secured, as the Spanish were never again powerful enough in that region to mount an attack on Santiago.

Three years earlier, the “Disaster of Rancagua”, a decisive royalist victory over the patriots, marked the beginning of the Reconquista period during the Spanish American wars of independence, during which Spain, with its newly restored king Ferdinand VII and an end to the threat posed by Napoleon, began to take the upper hand in the wars. In 1817, after the Crossing of the Andes, Santiago was recaptured from the royalists once more, and Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme was appointed Chile’s second Supreme Director. As Chile’s former royal governor Mariano Osorio prepared for a rematch over Santiago, it seemed as though the capital might fall into royalist hands again - that would be decided at Maipú, where two evenly-matched armies (numbers-wise) faced off against each other. The royalist force lost twice as many men as the patriot army (around 2,000), and their loss left them with no hope for a second Reconquista. 

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    April 5, 1818: The Army of the Andes and Chilean rebels defeat the Spanish at the Battle of Maipú. At this major battle...
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  22. estilicon said: The Army of the Andes was led by San Martin. Both Soler and O’Higgins were his subordinate. Great post, as usual.
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