Thomás O'Ryan y Vázquez

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Thomás O'Ryan y Vázquez (1821, in Madrid – 1902) was a Spanish military Lieutenant General, Minister of War, and Professor at the Academy of Military Engineering in Guadalajara, Spain. He was of Irish descent.

Madrid Capital of Spain

Madrid is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.3 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (EU), surpassed only by London and Berlin, and its monocentric metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU, smaller only than those of London and Paris. The municipality covers 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi).

The Academy of Military Engineering of Guadalajara was a military academy in Guadalajara, Spain. It operated in Guadalajara from 1833 until its move to Segovia in 1932 as part of its merger with the Artillery Academy.

Guadalajara City in Jalisco, Mexico

Guadalajara is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the seat of the municipality of Guadalajara. The city is in the central region of Jalisco in the Western-Pacific area of Mexico. With a population of 1,460,148 inhabitants, it is Mexico's second most populous municipality. The Guadalajara metropolitan area has a reported population of 5,002,466 inhabitants, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, behind Mexico City. The municipality is the second most densely populated in Mexico, the first being Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl in the State of Mexico. It is a strong business and economic center in the Bajío region.


Military career

O´Ryan took part in the Spanish Revolution in 1848. He also fought in Cuba, aged around 30, participating in the defeat of the second attempt at maritime invasion by the Venezuelan filibuster Narciso López (1797 – executed 1851), who had been helped with exiles, mercenaries and money by United States Governor John A. Quitman of Mississippi (1797–1858), former Senator John Henderson of Mississippi (1797–1857) and the editor of the New Orleans Delta, Laurence Sigur, contravening the Spain–USA neutrality conventions operative since 1818. Quitman, Henderson and others were tried by a tribunal in the United States but were finally acquitted.

Glorious Revolution (Spain) revolution of 1868 in Spain

The Glorious Revolution took place in Spain in 1868, resulting in the deposition of Queen Isabella II. The success of the revolution marked the beginning of the Sexenio Democrático with the installment of a provisional government.

Cuba Country in the Caribbean

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometers (42,800 sq mi). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometers (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.

Narciso López Venezuelan adventurer

Narciso López was a Venezuela-born adventurer and Spanish Army general, best known for his expeditions aimed at liberating Cuba from Spanish rule in the 1850s. His troops carried a flag that López had designed, which later became the flag of modern Cuba.

Crimean War

O´Ryan was a military attaché in 1855, as a Lieutenant Colonel, aged 34, and was invited by the General Headquarters of the French - British Army at the Crimean War against Russia to write an account of the war. He did this together with his assistant Lieutenant of the Military Engineers Corp, Andres Villalon Hechebarria, deceased in 1885 as a Brigadier of the Spanish Army, who participated in military campaigns in Africa, Mexico and the Philippine Islands.

Military attaché military expert who is attached to a diplomatic mission

A military attaché is a military expert who is attached to a diplomatic mission, often an embassy. This post is normally filled by a high-ranking military officer who retains his commission while serving in an embassy. Opportunities sometimes arise for service in the field with military forces of another sovereign state.

Crimean War 1850s military conflict

The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense. It has widely been noted that the causes, in one case involving an argument over a key, have never revealed a "greater confusion of purpose", yet they led to a war noted for its "notoriously incompetent international butchery".

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), it is, by a considerable margin, the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.79 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

They wrote a most interesting account of the Crimean War in 3 volumes, namely: Memorias sobre el viaje militar a La Crimea, presentada por los oficiales del Cuerpo de Ingenieros nombrados en 1855 para seguir y estudiar las operaciones de la Guerra entre Rusia y las potencias occidentales de Francia e Inglaterra auxiliando a la Turquía. Madrid, Imprenta Memorial Engineers (Reports on the military journey to the Crimea, by officers of the Corps of Engineers appointed in 1855 to monitor and study the operations of the War between Russia and the Western powers France and England, in support of Turkey.).

Further career

In 1859 he was commissioned as a Colonel to witness the Italian War.

He was a Governor of Melilla (1864–1866). He was a personal aide of King Alfonso XII of Spain (1857 - King under a coup détat in 1875–1885), Minister of War in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Praxedes Mateo Sagasta and General Director of the Infantry Corps.


O´Ryan wrote in Spanish, Guerra de Oriente (1854 a 1856). Conferencias dadas en el Centro del Ejército y de la Armada by General Don Tomás O´Ryan y Vázquez (East War (1854 to 1856). Lectures given to the Army and Navy.). Madrid, Imprenta Memorial Engineers (1886).

Spanish, or Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula and today has over 450 million native speakers in Spain, the Americas and a small part of Africa. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

He published in 1856, in vol. 11, of the Imprenta Memorial Engineers, (Madrid), a 360 pages treatise with 36 deployable designs, a translation of the German work by the Austrian Julius von Wurmb Tratado de Arquitectura Militar (Treatise on Military Architecture).

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium and Liechtenstein. It is one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages that are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch, including Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

He wrote some treatises on military engineering.


He received the "Legion d'Honneur" medal in France, the Portuguese medal of the "Order of the Concepcion de Villaviciosa", the medal of "San Maurizio e San Lazaro" in Italy and the "Order of the Medjidie" from Turkey.

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