Imagen de fondo
Share it on: Share on Facebook Share it on Twitter Share on Linkedin

Regimiento de Artillería de Campaña nº20

escudo del Raca Nº20


  • • Birth and History of RACA No. 20

    Creation and Spanish War of Independence (1808-1814)

    independenciaThis "Regiment" was minted during the Spanish War of Independence, when, on October 27th, 1808, the Supreme Council gave the order for its formation. Given its peculiar constitution, since it was the first mounted artillery regiment that existed in the Peninsula, it was called the “Maneuver Brigade” and, initially, it was concentrated in Seville.

    It did not take long for these artillerymen to take the battle to the French, applying the new techniques required by their unit’s peculiar organization. In February of the following year, now integrated into the army of La Mancha, they had their baptism of fire in a successful action against a French cavalry corps in Mora (Toledo). At the end of July, it participated in the battle of Talavera (Toledo).

    In 1809, the Regiment also saw action in Extremadura, returned to La Mancha and later went to Andalusia. After the Spanish defeat at Ocaña, it accompanied the Government to the Isla de León (Cádiz) in 1810, assisting in its defense. The natural obstacles, together with the fortifications and batteries in the area, made the Island an impregnable bastion that resisted the siege of the best army of the time and, in 1811, the so-called Artillery Squadrons were able to make sporadic sorties to draw in the French forces and reduce the pressure on the besieged Isla de León.

    In the midst of the war of attrition, the Regiment was divided into two parts that operated, one, in the Extremadura area, fighting against the French in the battle of Albuera (Badajoz); while the other fraction headed towards Almería and Murcia, assisted in the lifting of the siege of Sagunto and, finally, participated in January 1812 in the defense of Valencia. With the capitulation of the city, the members of the Corps were taken prisoner by the French and taken to camps in France.

    Obviously, the story of this unit did not end there. Several officers managed to escape the surveillance of their captors and managed to reach Cádiz again, where the Mounted Regiment was reorganized, which, again, was divided between the Third Army and the Reserve Army. The batteries integrated in the former operated from 1813 in the area of eastern Spain to Catalonia. And those that were part of the Reserve, through Extremadura and Castile to Navarre. In both cases until the end of the Spanish War of Independence.

    Lastly, in August 1814, after peace was signed with France, the entire Regiment met again in the city that had been its birthplace.


    Reign of Ferdinand VII (1808-1833)

    fernando-viiAt the end of the War of Independence, Ferdinand VII "El Deseado" returned to occupy the Spanish throne and so began the period that classical historiography calls the "Absolutist Sexennium" (1814-1820). This was a historical period marked, among other characteristics, by pronouncements and conspiracies of a revolutionary nature. The Regiment was mostly used as a garrison in Seville in this period. However, it should be noted that in 1815, the king granted it the privilege of using a standard to acknowledge its performance during the War of Independence.

    The liberal insistence on imposing a constitutional government on the Monarch led to the successful pronouncement of Riego, on January 1st, 1820, in Las Cabezas de San Juan. In that year, the Regiment was part of the absolutist government forces that tried to suppress the rebels. This episode ended on March 9th, when the King, having overcome his initial resistance, swore loyalty to the Constitution of 1812 (called “La Pepa”), ushering in the "Constitutional Triennium" (1820-1823). Now, under the orders of the new liberal government, the Regiment was sent, first, to La Mancha and then to Aragon to put down the uprisings of the discontented absolutist groups formed by those who yearned for the Old Regime.

    At the end of this period, in February 1823, the Regiment was in Madrid and was integrated into the liberal army of Andalusia to face the invasion of the "Hundred Thousand Sons of Saint Louis", sent by the absolutist powers of La Holy Alliance with the full consent of Ferdinand VII.

    After the liberal armies were defeated, this Corps remaining faithful to the constitutional government, it was isolated on the Isla de León, where it tried to resist. The Regiment participated both in the defense of that redoubt and in the unproductive sorties that took place in the Malaga area.

    Finally, the capitulation of the Liberals led to the reinstatement of Ferdinand VII in his full and absolute powers and the army was disbanded, since the king no longer trusted it. Evidently, this also led to this Corps being disbanded.

    In 1824, shortly after the start of the "Ominous Decade" (1823-1833), a new period of this outlandish reign, the Regiment was reorganized again and, it tended to remain in its Sevillian barracks, sometimes providing batteries to other locations.

    At the end of the reign of Ferdinand VII, on June 28th, 1832, Queen Maria Cristina of Naples delivered a new standard to a Detachment of this Corps in Madrid, a distinction it well deserved for being the oldest Mounted Artillery unit in the army.


    Regency of Maria Cristina of Naples (1833-1840)

    maria-cristina-borbonAfter the death of Ferdinand VII and triggered by a dynastic conflict over the succession, a series of civil wars, called the Carlist Wars, began, which brought liberals and absolutists into conflict. Queen Maria Cristina had handed over the government to the former, and the late king's brother, pretender to the throne, from Portugal encouraged the uprising of absolutist groups. To prevent him from leading the rebels, an operations army was formed which, located on the border with Portugal, was to prevent the candidate from entering Spain. The Regiment was assigned to this army, with which it operated in Extremadura until mid-1834, when it returned to Seville.


    First Carlist War (1833-1839)

    With the First Carlist War already underway, this Corps was divided, as was customary, and part of its batteries shadowed the expedition that Carlist General, Miguel Gómez Damas, had undertaken in the Cádiz area. Another 1carlistacontingent moved to Saragossa and operated in Valencia, Catalonia and mainly in lower Aragon and Maestrazgo until the end of the war. One of the batteries that was in Saragossa on March 5th, 1838, participated prominently in the defense of the city, invaded by Brigadier Cabañero, lieutenant of the Carlist General Cabrera, a date that is commemorated in said city with the name "Cincomarzada” (March 5th). In this action, the Regiment won the ribbon of the order of San Fernando, the first of the four that would later hang on its banner.

    In 1840, another battery was chosen to escort the Queen Regent Maria Cristina and the future Isabella II, from Guadalajara to Saragossa, which meant an important distinction for the Corps. After the war, the Regiment met again in its barracks in Seville.


    Regency of General Espartero (1840-1843)

    esparteroThe political struggle between liberals, moderates and progressives ended up causing the fall of the regent Maria Cristina and the appointment as regent of General Espartero. During this period, on April 12th, 1841, the Corps moved to Madrid, a city that would be its new garrison.

    The little political tact of the new ruler and the increase in social tension in Spain, produced serious disturbances of public order and the rise of the moderate General Narváez. Espartero's government formed the army of Andalusia, in which most of the Regiment was integrated, except for the troops of one battery, which, in Seville, also rose up against the regent.

    Espartero was defeated and the Corps accepted the change of government. For this reason, it was once again sent to Aragon to assist in the siege that had been placed on Saragossa, still faithful to the deposed regent, until the city capitulated.


     Reign of Isabella II. The moderate decade (1844-1854)

    isabelIIThe de facto reign of Isabella II was inaugurated with the "Moderate Decade". The tense political situation in the country produced progressive liberal or Carlist uprisings against the moderate liberal government, and the batteries of the Regiment were dispersed throughout various cities. On May 11th, 1844, a battery garrisoned Saragossa, and another, in April 1846, left for Galicia to subdue the uprising of Colonel Solís, opposed to the projected marriage of the queen; and during 1848, the batteries of this Corps were also used to maintain public order, altered by the progressive revolts in Madrid and Saragossa.

    In this city and in 1854, it also participated in the subjugation of the Córdoba Infantry Regiment that had been raised by the progressives. Eventually, General O'Donnell caused the fall of the moderates in the so-called "Vicalvarada", in which the Regiment participated on the side of the Government, later being used to subjugate the progressive and democratic councils in Madrid. For its performance, it was awarded the second ribbon of the order of San Fernando, which would further decorate its banner.


    Progressive biennium (1854-1856)

    The moderate government was replaced by a progressive one, the last of them chaired by General Espartero, whose departure from the government caused the corps to participate in 1856 in an action in Madrid against the National Militia, which supported Espartero. Later, it had to leave for Saragossa which, still supporting the progressive faction, which was joined by the troop of the battery that was in the city, had to be besieged until its surrender. In this action, it was awarded the third ribbon of the military order of San Fernando.


     Government of the Liberal Union (1858-1863). Hispano-Moroccan War (1859-1860)

    africaDuring the government of the Liberal Union party in Spain, there was a conflict with Morocco due to border clashes. As a consequence of the lack of understanding between the two governments, on October 22, 1859, war was declared and the "Regiment" was integrated into the North African operations army. Until March 1860, it participated in the African conflict in defense of the so-called "Hunger Camp", in the "Customs action"—a reaction against an attack by the Berbers—, in the battle of the Martín River and, lastly, in the capture of Tetouan. Once the peace was signed, it returned to the Peninsula at the beginning of April and returned to its Madrid barracks. During this campaign, the personnel of the “Regiment” did not suffer any casualties in combat.

    In the years that followed, this Corps maintained two batteries stationed in different provinces, one in Segovia and the other in Vitoria. And, in September 1863, it left the Madrid Regiment to garrison the city of Saragossa, where it remains to this day. Shortly after its arrival, on October 2nd, it was already employed to maintain public order, which had been disturbed on this occasion by the protests against the hated consumption tax for the poorest inhabitants of the city.


     The Six Revolutionary Years (1868-1874). Monarchy of Amadeus of Savoy (1871-1873)

    amadeoAfter the “Glorious” revolution, a new period of social conflict began in Spain, in which the army and this Regiment had a role to play. Thus, in 1869, it participated in Saragossa in the victory over the federal republicans—part of the Volunteer Battalions—, who had refused to hand over their arms after the mandate of the provisional government.

    Dethroned as the Bourbon dynasty was, Amadeus I of the House of Savoy accepted the Spanish throne, although this event brought about a new confrontation with the Carlist forces (1872-1876). The batteries of the Regiment intervened in this new conflict in the lands of Navarre and Alava from the end of April 1872. At the end of that year, tensions eased somewhat, and the entire unit was brought together in Saragossa.

    However, the confusion that plagued Spain at that time affected this Regiment once again. The following year, when the artillery officers were dismissed, the command of the batteries was handed over to the first sergeants of the unit and to officers of other arms, a situation caused by the confrontation between the Artillery Corps and the Government, since the former opposed the appointment of the Captain General of the Basque Provinces.


    The First Republic (1873-1874)

    1republicaThe conflict-ridden political and social situation caused the abdication of Amadeus of Savoy, after which Spain embarked upon its first republican experience. This brought about a new Carlist uprising, which led the Regiment to again support the government forces in the subsequent civil campaign. It operated on various fronts in Aragon, Vizcaya and Navarre with uneven successes, forcing the Government to reinstate the officers dismissed in September 1873. The batteries of this Corps were present both in the unfavorable battle of Montejurra and in the raising of the Carlist siege of Bilbao.

    It also participated in the maintenance of public order in Saragossa after the coup d'etat of General Pavia, which ended the first republican experience. The batteries garrisoning the Aragonese capital moved to lower Aragon in mid-June, to try to prevent Carlist raids in that region.


     From the Restoration to the Civil War (1875-1836). Reign of Alphonse XII (1875-1885)

    AlfonsoXIIAlphonse XII was brought to the throne after the pronouncement of General Martínez Campos, and the batteries of the Regiment continued to act in the Carlist campaign until the conflict ended in 1876. Later they occupied different areas in Navarre, the Basque Country and Burgos. And even in 1879 it maintained outstanding batteries in Vitoria and Logroño.




     Regency of Maria Christina of Austria (1885-1902) and Reign of Alphonse XIII (1902-1931)

    Alfonso13This period was one of relative internal tranquility and the Regiment tended to remain in its Saragossa garrison. Its action was not necessary until well into the reign of Alphonse XIII when, as a consequence of the anarcho-syndicalist radicalization, on January 9th, 1920, a small part of the Regiment's troops, together with some countrymen, unsuccessfully attempted to revolt against the batteries of the Carmen barracks in Saragossa.

    Abroad, due to a new conflict with Morocco, a Group of the Regiment was sent to Melilla in mid-1921, to participate in the conflict after the Battle of Annual. This unit carried out various actions until, gradually, it returned to Saragossa again in August 1926.


    Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923-1930)

    For the second time, the Regiment was left without officers for a few months after the Artillery Corps was dissolved again, due to its refusal to accept the restructuring that the Government had requested.


    Second Republic (1931-1936)

     segunda-republicaLater, during the Second Republic, the Regiment remained in its Saragossa garrison, undertaking no noteworthy action in this period.






    Civil War (1936-1939)

    guerra civilIt would be lengthy to recount the feats of arms of the Regiment during the civil war. Once the conflict began, the unit was reinforced with newly created batteries, reaching up to thirty-five of them and ten independent sections, which were equipped with assorted field artillery materiel and even with machine guns.

    These units were active throughout the conflict in different areas of the Peninsula such as Huesca, Teruel, Gipuzkoa, Castellón, Vitoria, Catalonia, Guadalajara, Cáceres, Toledo and Córdoba. Especially noteworthy was the action of the twelfth Battery in the battle of Belchite, where it obtained the Laureate Cross of San Fernando for its heroic performance in the defense of the city.

    After the war and with the reorganization of the army, the organic structure of the Regiment was modified, being considerably reduced and with its groups distributed between Saragossa and Barbastro (Huesca).


    1939-1975 period

    Afterwards, from April 1944 to October of the same year, the Regiment was based in Guipúzcoa, until the end of World War II. From that moment on, the Battalions of the Regiment were garrisoned between Saragossa and a number of villages throughout northern Aragón.

     Subsequently, the organizational structure was adapted to the circumstances of each moment until 1966, when the regiment took an organization similar to today´s. Thus it was reduced to a Headquarters and a Battalion of 3 Batteries of shell guns.


     Reign of Juan Carlos I (1975 - 2014)

    escudo-españaIn July 1979, the "Regiment" left its traditional barracks in Palafox, located in the interior of Saragossa, to move to the outskirts of the same city, at 9 kilometers from the Huesca road, as it was more suitable for material needs and staff training. The new compound initially kept the name of the old barracks.

    On July 18th, 1986, the "Regiment" was integrated into the 2nd Cavalry Brigade “Castillejos”, which recalls its origins, when it was formed as "Artillery Squadrons", a name that it had received centuries ago for the speed with which its equipment was moved and the ability to jump into action quickly, this remaining an essential quality of its batteries to this day.

    In recent years, the Regiment's personnel have formed part of the contingents that our Brigade has sent to the Balkans and Lebanon in the different groups that were deployed under UN and NATO mandates. In addition, many of its members, individually, have been and are part of the Spanish forces that have passed through Iraq, the former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Kosovo.


    Reign of Philip VI (2014 to the present)

    escudo-españaAs of January 1st, 2017, and with the current organization of the Army, the regiment has become part of the 1st "Aragon" Brigade, which maintains its headquarters in Saragossa, and is constituted on the basis of the former Cavalry Brigade.

    It continues to form part of the contingents sent by the 1st "Aragon" Brigade to Lebanon and Iraq, and new scenarios have been added, such as Mali and Latvia.

    The new organization, as well as the new materials received, has allowed it to increase its capabilities by incorporating a towed battery, as well as fire support and anti-aircraft defense capabilities in the mountains.