Carlos V, Count of Molina, King of Spain
Part 1: The rise of Carlism
"The Alfonsine Line was weak and sinful, It was not by revolution that I usurped their power, but by God that I delivered from the the people of Spain"
In early 1836 Carlists Soldeirs under the banner of Carlist claimant, Carlos V seized control of much of north eastern Spain, including Navarre and Most of Valencia (North of the Ebro river). By July Alfonsine loyalist Armies had Gathered South of the Ebro with their Largest Army of 30,000, just south of the city Zaragoza. Carlists soldeirs numbered 57,000 to 63,000 Alfonsine. Carlos himself was however no military commander, a sad fact he realized after a small battle outside Barcelona, So with numbers nearly even victory was not feasible without the presence of a capable military commander.
As it turned out, the ranks of the Carlists were barren of Millitary education, Carlos was forced to seek help from those outside the Carlist nobility, and Idea Carlos found rather distasteful. Thus when he was approached by a Catalan officer who fought in his army of Navarre, Carlso was reluctant to entrust it's command to him. However time was running out and 15,000 troops surrounded by the Carlists in Barcelona were in danger of being extracted by the Spanish Armada. Carlos was forced to appoint the officer, Alfonso de Pamplona to lead the Army of Navarre in an assualt against the stronghold at Barcelona.
Assualting with 17,000 troops against the enemy 15,000 gave Alfonso the advantage on paper, his forces were also better equipped. The fortifications surrounding Barcelona made a direct assault difficult and would have surely resulted in a resounding defeat. The enemy defenses were capable of protecting Alfonsine soldiers from Carlists muskets but were made of wood, making them very vulnerable to cannon balls, for the enemy had not anticipated artillery fire. The artillery bombardment lasted only 2 days before Alfonso gave the order to attack. The battle was a resounding success. Alfonso's men took only 2,210 casualties while 7,000 enemy lay dead and the rest captured. The battle took place 2 miles west of the city and had involved much of it's garrison, leaving Barcelona nearly undefended, Alfonso's men marched in without resistance, and were even met with some cheers.
The battle of Barcelona, one of the key victories by Carlist forces
Alfonso linked up with 12,000 additional troops directly south in preparation to cross the Ebro river and march North to capture Zaragoza, were 30,000 troops waited for them. Alfsonso ordered an assault on Zaragoza by both his troops and another army from the North to create a pincer and surround Zaragosa, leaving only a river crossing as an escape, and across the river a regiment of Carlist artillery sat hidden, waiting. Sure enough after 3 days of fighting Alfonsine forces began a mass rout across the river. of the roughly 9,000 who attempted to cross the river 3,000 were captured, the rest were, for the most part, dead. All remaining forces, with the exception of 2 cavalry regiments who had escaped, in Zaragoza surrendered in early August.
The only thing that stood in the way of a Carlist victory now was the remaining Alfonsine army in Madrid. Outnumbered 3 to 1, in low spirits, in desperate need of supplies and without any good leadership (something that most historians today attribute to the fall of the Alfonsines) , most of the Soldeirs at Madrid deserted the night before the battle. Madrid fell in September, leaving Carlist forces with the task of removing any remaining resistance in Spain.
Carlos was crowned King Carlos V of Spain formally a year later, in September of 1838, after establishing control over the entire Kingdom.
Carlos V appointed Alfonso as the minister of war, who, by definition of Carlos, had complete and total Control over the Millitary, answered only to Carlos and worked with the other ministers, the Minister of economics and the Minister of Society. The minister of economic would be a young Carlist from Gibraltar, educated in a British university in the ways of commerce, he had returned to Spain to join the Carlist movement. He was responsible for securing a supplies through direct management of a collection of Basque cities that would become the blood line of Carlist forces by the time of the Battle o Zaragoza. The minister of society, as would become a tradition, was a Catholic bishop.
Diego McEllester, Master economist, renowned for what is today known as the Basque commune.
With Carlism's success in Spain many thought conflict in Iberia was finished, but this was by no means, the intentions of Carlos V and the loyal Alfonso.