Success had been achieved by managing to overthrow the government of Victoriano Huerta, allowing Venustiano Carranza to rise as provisional president. However, the conflicts did not stop, as Carranza did not maintain a good reputation and lost the trust of many who supported him. What was Battle of Celaya?
For this reason, the same army that had united to overthrow Victoriano Huerta, divided and caused confrontations. One of the best-known confrontations that ended this division was the Battle of Celaya. Let’s see more details of this tough battle below.
When and where did the Battle of Celaya take place?
The Battle of Celaya is known for the set of military conflicts that took place from April 6 to 15, 1915 , under the famous Mexican Revolution, in the city of Celaya, within the state of Guanajuato. Pancho Villa led his troops to Irapuato, while Álvaro Obregón concentrated his army in Celaya, where he decided to wait for Villa to impulsively take the initiative to attack. What was Battle of Celaya?
Who participated in the Battle of Celaya?
In the Battle of Celaya it is known that both the Northern Division, which was commanded by Pancho Villa, and the Constitutionalist Army, which was led by Álvaro Obregón, participated. Despite the fact that Álvaro Obregón, Venustiano Carranza, Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa had joined forces to overthrow the government of Victoriano Huerta, which in turn had overthrown Francisco Madero; What became known as the Aguascalientes Convention arose and with it a lot of distrust towards Carranza, who had also proclaimed himself Head of State in August 1914. What was Battle of Celaya?
However, Obregón remained faithful to Carranza and was willing to fight for him in order to maintain his provisional government. In addition, Carranza not only had Obregón but also the support of the United States government, which recognized him as the president who should govern Mexico. But Pancho Villa disagreed, which started the Battle of Celaya between the forces that supported Carranza and those that supported Villa.
Causes of the Battle of Celaya
One of the causes of the Battle of Celaya was the first confrontation between the constitutionalist forces and the conventionalist forces, carried out at the Peón Station on March 7, 1915. In this confrontation, Eugenio Martínez, sent by Obregón, was attacked while He was going to start the confrontation against the most powerful part of Villa’s army. Canuto Reyes, Agustín Estrada, and Joaquín de la Peña, leaders of the Villista forces, carried out the attack while on their way to Querétaro. Despite the effort of these three generals to defeat the Constitutionalists, Martinez finally won, who gained strength and advantage from this first battle, starting the Obregonist advance.
Two weeks after this confrontation, General Obregón went to the Cazadero Station, where he met with General Alfredo Elizondo. Upon learning of this, Villa leaves Torreón in order to attack Obregón’s location and completely defeat him. However, Villa did not count on Obregón taking Irapuato and Celaya before Villa reached Irapuato itself. Thus, several battles were carried out between these two sides that were decisive for the Mexican Revolution. What was Battle of Celaya?
In the midst of these confrontations, Pancho Villa’s army was superior in number, with approximately 22,000 men at his disposal, who, it should be noted, were overconfident because of Villa’s constant victories and the wide dominance they had achieved. In addition, they had good weapons and enough ammunition for these battles, while their commanders were retired officers who transmitted experience and confidence to the troops.
On the other hand, the Constitutionalist army barely had the support of 11,000 men, that is, half of the Villista army. But, a big factor that worked in his favor was Carranza’s command and also the political authority that the United States had granted him. In addition, they had good weapons, enough ammunition and, of course, the good leadership of their generals, including Obregón and his great cunning.
Development of the Battle of Celaya
With all this number of men on each side and all that weapons ready to be used, what was known as the Battle of Celaya began, which was carried out in two parts. Next, let’s talk about each of them separately.
First Battle of Celaya
On April 6, 1915, the First Battle of Celaya began, where the next day Obregón’s army defeated the Northern Division commanded by General Pancho Villa, thus deciding the course of the Mexican Revolution and the Battle of Celaya in general. What was Battle of Celaya?
Both armies knew each other because not long ago they were united fighting shoulder to shoulder against the military government of Victoriano Huerta. Later, they were divided into two groups, where some supported Carranza and others the rebels against his government, joining Pancho Villa. Because they had conflicts of interest and different directions, they ended up face to face on the battlefield.
On April 6, the army commanded by Villa rushed on Celaya and managed to evict the constitutionalist forces from the positions they had taken and on April 7 they continued to attack Celaya to defeat Obregón’s army. However, they were achieved with a good defense by the Constitutionalist army, which contained all the strong attacks of the Villistas until they were exhausted physically and also in weapons. Once this is achieved, they decide to counterattack and put the villistas to flight. What was Battle of Celaya?
This First Battle of Celaya led the forces of Pancho Villa to retreat to Salamanca, fleeing the counterattack of the Obregonistas. There they proposed to regain strength and gather new elements to return to Celaya and attack the constitutionalists again. Although it is true that that first battle did not completely end the Villaistas, it marked the beginning of the end for this army, since it established a balance between Villa’s military number and the strategy that Obregón demonstrated on the battlefield. Without a doubt, the great Northern Division was on the brink of its end.
Second Battle of Celaya
The Second Battle of Celaya began on April 13, 1915, which marked the final stage of this battle between constitutionalists and conventionalists. In this second phase, Álvaro Obregón made use of Pancho Villa’s strategic errors and finally defeated the Villa’s forces on April 15, after which Villa was left without military forces and had to withdraw to Guanajuato.
The battle began on the afternoon of April 13, with light firefights, but progressively increasing. Later, the Obregonistas decided to open fire and this was answered by the Villistas, which led to a strong confrontation between both artillery. Before long, they were fighting face to face. While the villistas maintained the same strategy as in the first battle, which consisted of attacks from the front and the cavalry approaching the enemy infantry, Obregón’s strategy was different, since it was based rather on waiting for the attack. villista and use the infantry to stop him. However, this strategy almost made it fail, because the ammunition ran out more quickly than normal due to the numerous Villista attacks. Therefore, Carranza upon learning of this, What was Battle of Celaya?
Day 14 was a repeat of the previous day, which favored Obregón, since he knew that at that rate the villistas would end up exhausted enough for him to counterattack. On the 15th, Obregón decides to change strategy and take the lead through the offense. Therefore, he organizes his army to initiate an attack with double enveloping movement. Although the Villistas managed to defend themselves well against this attack, finally Obregón’s army managed to strongly attack the nucleus of the enemy force and force the rest to withdraw to other areas, which ended up giving them victory.
Once the Battle of Celaya ends, the confrontations continue between these two sides in the region of Trinidad, San Juan de los Lagos, Santa Ana del Conde and also Aguascalientes. But, not long after, Pancho Villa lost his position as commander of the Northern Division and later lost all the military strength he had, which led him to simply operate as a guerrilla in very small areas.
In this way, there was no more opposition strong enough to stop the consolidation of Venustiano Carranza as president of Mexico and the subsequent promulgation of the political constitution that is in force to this day.
The Battle of Celaya had as the winner the constitutionalist side , led by Álvaro Obregón in favor of the government of Venustiano Carranza, on April 15, 1915 . After the defeat, Pancho Villa was reduced and without military forces, in addition to repressing León, in the state of Guanajuato. What was Battle of Celaya?