Battle of Aljubarotta, 14 August 1385 (Portugal)

Battle that helped maintain Portuguese independence from Castile. John, king of Castile, had claimed the throne of Portugal through marriage to the daughter of the last king. His rival for the throne was John, master of Avis, the half-brother of the last king. Avis was able to play on national feeling in Portugal, and had some English aid, while John of Castile had French aid and the larger army by far. Avis decided to use the same tactics as Edward, the Black Prince, had used at Poitiers, and fight a defensive battle. He was aided in this by the failure of his enemies to act in a concerted way. The French troops, who were the front line of the Castilian army, was intended to dismount and force the Portuguese line, while the second, Spanish, line, was meant to remain mounted and surround the Portuguese. Unfortunately, the French line made contact with the Portuguese while the Spanish were some mile behind them, and rather than wait for support, charged into the fray, taking massive casualties. When the second, Spanish, line arrived, the first battle was over, and the Portuguese forces were able to inflict similar casualties on the Spanish troops. The battle established John of Avis firmly on the Portuguese throne, and removed any chance of union with Castile for many years to come.
How to cite this article: Rickard, J (16 October 2000), Aljubarotta, 14 August 1385, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_aljubarotta.html

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