Battle of Los Alporchones

Battle of Los Alporchones
Part of the Spanish Reconquista
Colegiata San Patricio.jpg
The Church of St. Patrick in Lorca, named thus because of the date the battle was fought on
Date17 March 1452
Location
ResultVictory for the Kingdom of Castile
Belligerents
Bandera de la Corona de Castilla.svg Kingdom of Castile
Banner of the Castilian Realm of Murcia.svg Kingdom of Murcia
COA of Nasrid dynasty kingdom of Grenade (1013-1492).svg Emirate of Granada
Commanders and leaders
Bandera de la Corona de Castilla.svg John II of Castile
Bandera de la Corona de Castilla.svg Alonso Fajardo el Bravo
COA of Nasrid dynasty kingdom of Grenade (1013-1492).svg Muhammed IX, Sultan of Granada Surrendered
COA of Nasrid dynasty kingdom of Grenade (1013-1492).svg Malik ibn al-Abbas POW) Executed
Strength
400-700 knights
1,700-2,000 foot soldiers[1][2]
Unknown
Casualties and losses
40 killed
200 injured[1]
High
400 captured[1]
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The Battle of Los Alporchones was a battle of the Spanish Reconquista that took place on 17 March 1452. The battle was fought between the troops of the Emirate of Granada and the combined forces of the Kingdom of Castile and its client kingdom, the Kingdom of Murcia. The Moorish army was commanded by Malik ibn al-Abbas[3] and the Castilian troops were commanded by Alonso Fajardo el Bravo, the head of the House of Fajardo and the Alcalde of Lorca Castle. The battle was fought in the area around the city of Lorca and resulted in a victory for the Kingdom of Castile.

Context

After recapturing the Emirate of Granada from his uncle, the Sultan Muhammed X in 1447, Muhammed IX continued his bellicose policies with regards to the Kingdom of Castile. His predecessor (Muhammad X) had managed to retake a few frontier towns from the Kingdom of Murcia through regular raids or Razzis which terrorized the region's Christian population. Most of these incursions into Christian territory took advantage of squabbles within the Kingdom of Murcia's ruling family, the House of Fajardo. In 1448, Muslim forces captured and sacked the town of Cieza, and soon defeated Christian forces at the Battle of Hellín.

The continued Muslim incursions into Murcia obliged the Castilian monarch, John II of Castile to ask for a truce in 1450 in order to concentrate his own forces in a separate war against Juan Pacheco, the Marquis of Villena. However, Muhammad IX refused the truce, preferring to take full advantage of the disunity amongst Castilian nobles. The Granadan Sultan's fresh incursion into Murcia brought back much plunder in 1451. Muhammad IX then planned a large scale Algara (Arabic for incursion: الغارة) against the area of Campo de Cartagena. This raid captured 40,000 heads of cattle and around 40 prisoners, mostly herdsmen.[1]

The immensity of this raid incursion forced Castile's Christians to put aside their internal squabbles and form a united front against the Kingdom of Granada. The Alcalde of Lorca Castle, Alonso Fajardo, nicknamed el Bravo (English: The Brave) sent heralds to various towns within the Kingdom of Murcia. The resulting army from Aledo, Caravaca de la Cruz, and Murcia totaled around 300 knights and 2,000 infantry soldiers. They encamped outside Lorca, in a field called Los Alporchones, knowing that the Muslim raiders would have to pass through the area when returning from their pillaging expedition.[1]