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Military-historical events in Madrid on May 2

Posted by Santi Pérez on 17 May 2024, 20:11

Continuing with the review of military events and ceremonies held in Madrid at different times of the year, today I bring you a celebration that takes place every year on 2 May. :-)

This date is the official holiday of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, coinciding with the same day in 1808, when the people of the city of Madrid rose up against the French imperial troops stationed in the city under the command of Joachim Murat. These troops were part of the army that had been entering Spain since 1807 under the pretext of conquering Portugal, an ally of Britain, but with the real intention of bringing Spain under French rule as well. :(

Although the Madrid uprising (poorly supported by the regular army, with strict orders from above not to confront the French) was drowned in blood, it marked the beginning of the War of Independence (known to the English as the Peninsular War), which ended in 1814 with the total expulsion of the invaders, and in which such important events as the Battle of Bailén (19 July 1808) and the guerrilla warfare (which greatly wore down and demoralised the French forces) stand out. :mrgreen:

In commemoration of the events of 2 May 1808, two acts are held on this day every year, attracting the attention of thousands of locals and visitors from other parts of Spain and the rest of the world. :lol:

The first of these events is a civic-military parade in which reenactors from numerous Spanish and foreign organisations take part, representing the different units of the French and Spanish armies present in Madrid on that date, together with the civilians taking part. The climax consists of a re-enactment of the confrontation between the two sides in front of the Royal Palace, the initial scene of the events.

The second act is a military ‘retreta’ (troop withdrawal call), consisting of a parade in which bands from different current Spanish military units take part (some dressed in historic uniforms). The parade also starts in front of the Royal Palace and makes a route through some streets and squares of the historic centre of Madrid, stopping at some points along the way, where the different bands perform different musical pieces to the delight of the large audience. :love1:

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This year I had the opportunity to attend this last event with my wife (from the first one I could only see some units of the French army) and with the different recordings I was able to make I made this video, which I posted on YouTube and which I leave here so that you can know a little more about these military events that are celebrated in my city.

https://youtu.be/zejbe7aOUxI



I hope you like it. Thank you very much. Best regards. ;-)

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
Posts: 1936
Member since:
28 Aug 2016, 19:42


Posted by Bessiere on 18 May 2024, 21:04

You are so fortunate to live in Spain where tradition and history are still celebrated and form an essential aspect of Spanish identity. I just finished reading a bio of Murat and apparently the presence of Napoleons Mamluks were a singularly targeted group. Napoleon had severely misjudged the Spanish character and their loyalty to a royal family who was dysfunctional but of the right birth. Murat himself did a good job of keeping good relations with the Spanish and the uprising was not something that could be blamed on him. Thanks for the video, I enjoy military parades anytime.
Cheers,
Bessiere
Bessiere  United States of America
 
Posts: 1122
Member since:
23 May 2019, 15:50

Posted by Santi Pérez on 22 May 2024, 20:01

Bessiere wrote:You are so fortunate to live in Spain where tradition and history are still celebrated and form an essential aspect of Spanish identity...

I totally agree with you, Bessiere. It's sad that countries with a long and rich history forget all or part of their past and do not keep it alive today. Although that includes traditions of all kinds, I'm referring especially in this case to military history. :(

Bessiere wrote:...I just finished reading a bio of Murat and apparently the presence of Napoleons Mamluks were a singularly targeted group...

In general, the arrogance of the invading troops greatly irritated the population of Madrid, but it's true that the Mamluks particularly aroused the anger of the inhabitants, who attacked them ferociously when they came within reach, as is well depicted in Francisco de Goya's famous painting ‘The Charge of the Mamluks’, which can be seen in the Prado Museum in Madrid.

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Bessiere wrote:...I enjoy military parades anytime...

It's a pleasure we share. ;-)

Best regards, my friend.

Santi.
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Santi Pérez  Spain
 
Posts: 1936
Member since:
28 Aug 2016, 19:42


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