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Spanish Joan of Arc — Agustina de Aragón – Lessons from History

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Its raining shells on a city in Spain. The French troops are nearing the city walls. City defenders are trying to handle the defense after they fall to the offense of the French forces one by one. One of the primary defense of the city walls cannon fell silent. The soldiers handling the cannon abandoned it to save their lives. The gun fired again not by the forces but by a lady, later hailed as Spain’s Joan of Arc. The name of the lady is “Agustina de Aragón”, and the city is Zaragoza.

Agustina de Aragón. Source: WIKI

French invasion of Spain:

Its Napoleonic era, The war clouds are over Europe again. This time the war is due to Napoleon conquests around Europe. Napoleon led an expedition to Spain. The invasion ended up to be a failure. Spanish invasion cost a lot of loss both in terms of men and material for the French.

Each city in Spain fought against the invading French forces. The church called upon the people of Spain to fight against the invading French. French were facing stiff resistance fight from building to building. There were Guerrilla forces formed by the defeated Spanish troops, which made matters worse for French. Also, Duke of Wellington just landed in the shores of Spain to drive the French out of Spain

Zaragoza was a town on the way to many important cities in Spain. Fall of Zaragoza is significant for the French, and they attacked the city will all force. Agustina de Aragón was running to various defense positions with water and apple to replenish the troops. When she saw a cannon post being abandoned and left open, she jumped in. She started loading the cannon and fired at the French. Looking at a lady with such courage fighting against the French the demotivated Spanish forces reoccupied their positions and started their defense.

Zaragoza fell in a few days. But the audacity provided by Agustina de Aragón was now known across Spain and encouraged many to join the cause. Agustina de Aragón fell escaped captivity and joined the Guerrilla forces fighting against the French. Later she joined the Duke of Wellington’s forces and fought until the French left Spain. Agustina de Aragón came back to Zaragoza, the city she defended.

She died in 1870 at the age of 71


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