Battle of Toro

Battle of Toro
Part of the War of the Castilian Succession
Album Rejio, Francisco de Paula van Halen, batalla de Toro (cropped).jpg
Date1 March 1476
Location
Peleagonzalo, near Toro, Castile
Result
Belligerents

PortugueseFlag1475.png Kingdom of Portugal

Blason Castille Léon.png Castilian Juanistas

Blason Castille Léon.png Castilian Isabelistas

Armoiries Aragon Sicile.svg Crown of Aragon
Commanders and leaders
Afonso V of Portugal
Prince John of Portugal
Bishop of Évora
Archbishop of Toledo
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Cardinal Mendoza
Duke of Alba
Álvaro de Mendoza
Count of Alba de Aliste POW)
Strength

About 8,500 men:

About 8,000 men:

  • 5,000 footmen[4]
  • 2,500[4] or 3,000 horsemen[5]
Casualties and losses
Near 1,000 (dead, prisoners and drowned)[6]Many hundreds (dead and prisoners)[7]

The Battle of Toro was a royal battle from the War of the Castilian Succession, fought on 1 March 1476, near the city of Toro, between the Castilian troops of the Catholic Monarchs and the Portuguese-Castilian forces of Afonso V and Prince John.

The battle had an inconclusive military outcome,[8][9][10][11][12] as both sides claimed victory: the Castilian right wing was defeated by the forces under Prince John who possessed the battlefield, but the troops of Afonso V were beaten by the Castilian left-centre led by the Duke of Alba and Cardinal Mendoza.[13][14]

However, it was a major political victory for the Catholic Monarchs by assuring to Isabella the throne of Castile:[2][3] The remnants of the nobles loyal to Juana de Trastámara adhered to Isabella. With great political vision, Isabella took advantage of the moment and summoned the 'Cortes' at Madrigal-Segovia (April–October 1476).[15] There her daughter was proclaimed and sworn heiress of the Castile's crown, which was equivalent to legitimizing her own throne.

As noted by Spanish academic António Serrano: "From all of this it can be deduced that the battle [of Toro] was inconclusive, but Isabella and Ferdinand made it fly with wings of victory. (...) Actually, since this battle transformed in victory; since 1 March 1476, Isabella and Ferdinand started to rule in the Spain's throne. (...) The inconclusive wings of the battle became the secure and powerful wings of San Juan's eagle [the commemorative temple of the battle of Toro] ".[16]

The war continued until the peace of Alcáçovas (1479), and the official propaganda transformed the Battle of Toro into a victory which avenged Aljubarrota.[17][18][19][20]

Overview

Spanish historians Luis Suárez Fernández, Juan de Mata Carriazo and Manuel Fernández Álvarez :

"From a strictly military point of view, the battle of Toro cannot be considered a clear victory, but only a favorable fight for [the cause of] the Catholic Monarchs. It is not its intrinsic value which causes the joyful explosion of happiness among the chroniclers, but the consequences that resulted from it ... because it definitely discourages the supporters of Juana (p. 157) [21]... but … does not contradict in any way the reality of the fact that a part of the Portuguese army, having defeated the Castilian right wing, remained on the field, withdrawing in the next day without opposition. (p. 161) [22] … Not a military victory, but a political victory, the battle of Toro is in itself, a decisive event because it solves the civil war in favour of the Catholic Monarchs, leaving as a relic, a border clash between the two countries (p. 163) " [23]

— in La España de los Reyes Católicos (1474–1516)