Battle of Ayacucho, 1824

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Antonio Jose de Sucre versus Jose de la Serna: A Royalist army under La Serna attacks a Republican army under Sucre in rough terrain. Can Sucre hold La Serna’s onslaught and then launch a decisive assault of his own? Also known as the Battle of Candorcanqui.

Many historians who draw up lists of the most decisive or important battles often excitedly look at battles and claim that a nation exists because of a certain battle’s outcome. Ayacucho is one of those battles, Peru and Bolivia coming into existence because of the Revolutionary victory.
This battle demonstrates effective use of interior lines to achieve victory. Sucre, operating on interior lines, was able to quickly shift reserves and allow all of his units to mutually support each other. Meanwhile, La Serna, operating on exterior lines, was unable to shift any forces once they were distributed and therefore the wings and center were fighting three different engagements without any mutual support. While no accessible, accurate map exists of the exact terrain for this battle, it should be noted that Sucre knew full well the way terrain would affect the battle and planned accordingly.
ayacucho preview 2Notes
This animation nagged and plagued me for quite a few months until it was completed. It was originally supposed to be released in Season II but a complete lack of sources prevented me from even beginning to plan and it was pushed into Season III. However, it was almost pushed into Season IV or scrapped altogether after the Royal Military College of Canada library could not provide me with adequate sources that would not require a few months spent in Spain to learn the language. Finally, I found the sources I needed in the McMaster University library and finished the animation in two days. All this trouble because I wanted the battles to have a wide variety of geography. Speaking of which, does anyone know of any battles worth animating from Central Africa or Antarctica?
– Jonathan Webb
Works Consulted

Black, Jeremy. The Seventy Great Battles in History. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2004.Masur, Gerhard. Simon Bolivar. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1948.

Rourke, Thomas. Man of Glory: Simon Bolivar. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1939.


Antonio Jose de Sucre:

Jose de la Serna:é_de_la_Serna

Map of South America:

Map of the world:

Royalist soldiers:

Revolutionary soldiers:


If you enjoyed the Battle of Ayacucho 1824 battle animation, you may also enjoy these other battle animations:

Battle of Tuyuti 1866, another battle fought in South America during the 1800s:

tuyuti preview 1

Battle of Saratoga 1777, another battle fought in the Americas against a colonial power:

saratoga preview 1

Battle of Gate Pa 1864, another battle fought against a colonial power in the 1800s:

gate pa preview 1

Thank you for visiting The Art of Battle: Animated Battle Maps.

Readers Comments (2)

  1. Bloody fine stuff mate! Appreciate the battle of ayacucho because i live in the area and was always wondering exactly how this went, as little information is displayed in textbooks. Would like to see if you could do Battle of Pichincha as well (it defined the ultimate liberation of Ecuador from the Royalist Troops, its commanding general Antonio José de Sucre defeated Aymerich) Also, i think the military symbols could do with a little more work; if you’re interested, I’ve got a page of military symbols i could scan and email you from the campaigns of Napoleon. I’m pretty sure you will contact me if so. Thanks a lot!

  2. Daniel: First of all, thank you for the kind praise. I am well aware of the vast quantities of military symbols; the official NATO handbook on symbols is hundreds of pages long. While I do have to carefully balance detail and clarity, clarity often wins, and I often opt for the simpler symbol for the sake of clarity. My Waterloo animation for example uses infantry, cavalry, artillery as symbols, and I feel this was the clearest way to illustrate the campaign’s events regardless of their knowledge of military matters.

    That being said, this was one of my earlier animations and I feel this one could have used more detail and more extensive research. It’s simply an animation I look back on and “don’t like very much how it turned out” so I am glad you enjoyed it. I am also glad for your recommendation for another South American battle. I haven’t had very much demand for them and haven’t made very many, which is a rather self-fulfilling cycle.

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