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Battle of Puebla

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Battle of Puebla
Part of the Second French intervention in Mexico

Depictions of the battle showing Mexican cavalry overwhelming the French troops below the fort at Loreto

Scene recreated by Francisco P. Miranda.

Oil on canvas, 1872
DateMay 5, 1862
Result Mexican Republican victory[1][2]
Political victory for Mexican republicans[1]
Second Federal Republic of Mexico Second French Empire
Mexican nobility
Commanders and leaders
Ignacio Zaragoza
Benito Juárez
Charles de Lorencez
4,500[3] 6,500 soldiers[3][4]
Casualties and losses
87 killed,
131 wounded,
12 missing
476 killed,
304 wounded,
35 captured

The Battle of Puebla took place on 5 May 1862, near Puebla City in Mexico. It was part of  the "Second French intervention in Mexico". The Mexican Army won over the occupying French soldiers.

The French eventually overran the Mexicans in other battles. However, the Mexican victory at Puebla against a much better equipped and larger French army gave a morale boost to the Mexican army. It  also slowed the French army's advance towards Mexico City.[5]


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The 1858–60 Mexican civil war (known as the "Reform War") caused major distress in Mexico's economy. When he was elected president in 1861, Benito Juárez stopped payments of interest on foreign debts for two years.

At the end of October 1861 diplomats from Spain, France, and Britain met in London to form the Tripartite, or three part, Alliance. The main purpose of this alliance was to launch an allied invasion of Mexico, to take control of Veracruz, its major port. They thought this would force the Mexican government to pay money to Spain, France, and Britain again. In December 1861, Spanish troops landed in Veracruz; British and French troops came later in January.

The allied forces occupied Veracruz and advanced to Orizaba. The Tripartite Alliance fell apart by early April 1862, when it became clear the French wanted to impose harsh demands on the Juarez government and provoke a war. The British and Spanish withdrew, leaving the French to march alone on Mexico City. Napoleon III wanted to set up a puppet Mexican regime, with Maximilian of Austria as Emperor of Mexico.


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  1. 1.0 1.1 Christopher Minster (2011). "Latin American history: Cinco de Mayo/The Battle of Puebla". About.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  2. Booth, William (5 May 2011). "In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo a more sober affair". The Washington Post. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Cinco de Mayo". Mexico Online. 2007-04-25. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  4. DeRouen, Karl R.; Heo, Uk (2005). Defense and security: a compendium of national armed forces and security policies. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 472. ISBN 978-1-85109-781-4. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  5. The following sources are mentioning that Zaragoza was heading 12,000 troops : see The Cinco de Mayo and French Imperialism - HICKS Peter, Fondation Napoléon, and General Gustave Léon Niox book, Expédition du Mexique : 1861-1867, published in 1874 by Librairie militaire de J. Dumaine, p. 162 Read online