First Carlist War 1833-40

The 19th Century saw a rash of civil wars in Spain and Portugal. Essentially these pitted progressive constitutionalists against authoritarian absolutists in the guise of a dispute on royal succession. Although now little known outside Spain or Portugal, in their time these wars were international in flavour. The other European nations looked on with considerable interest, and forces from Portugal, Spain, Britain, and France were involved.

The Carlist Wars in Spain were the last major European civil wars in which pretenders fought to establish their claim to a throne. Several times during the period from 1833 to 1876 the Carlists – followers of Don Carlos and his descendents – rallied to the cry of “God, Country, and King” and fought for the cause of Spanish tradition against the liberalism, and later the republicanism, of the Spanish governments of the day.

El Mercenario's Carlists

El Mercenario’s Carlists

I’m particularly interested in the First Carlist War, otherwise known as the Seven Years War. Check out the Timeline for the major events. And although from a modern perspective this seems an obscure war in a minor country nearly 200 years ago, recreating it has considerable appeal.

  • Conrad Cairns sparked my interest with his inspirational articles in Wargames Illustrated … “A Savage and Romantic War: Spain 1833 – 1840”. .
  • It is international
  • I like the idea of an army wearing blue berets and red trousers.
  • It is unusual
  • It is very Spanish
  • It has Napoleonic colour and American Civil War style
  • I can use any rules I like (although I ended up picking Boina a variant of Shako)
  • It was a challenge

My Oriamendi Project is nearing completion. I put together a Uniform and Painting Guide to help Roland with the painting. You can see the results of Roland’s handiwork in the gallery. I use Boina, a variant of Shako, for fighting battles, and my section deals with Orders of Battle, Scenarios, etc. These are based on the Order of Battle for both sides, and in particular the orders of battle for the Oriamendi Campaign and Battle of Oriamendi.

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