Topa Atao

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Topa Atao was a brother and commander of Huascar's forces in the Inca Civil War. After defeat at Chimborazo and the initial success at halting Atahualpa's forces at Wanuku Pampa, he was ordered by the retreating Huascar to lead a force of recognition into a ravine upon the emerging armies of Chalkuchimac and Quizquiz. Chalkuchimac divided up his forces, attacking Topa Atao from several directions, capturing him and destroying the recognition force. His fate remains unknown. He was possibly gored in the head by zealous warriors who wanted to have his position.

Inca Civil War War of succession just before the Spanish conquest

The Inca Civil War, also known as the Inca Dynastic War, the Inca War of Succession, or, sometimes, the War of the Two Brothers was fought between two brothers, Huáscar and Atahualpa, sons of Huayna Capac, over the succession to the throne of the Inca Empire. The war followed Huayna Capac's death in 1527, although it did not begin until 1529, and lasted until 1532. Huáscar initiated the war because he saw himself as the rightful heir to the kingdom of all the Incas. Regardless of legitimacy, Atahualpa proved himself to be tactically superior to his brother in warcraft and to the mighty armies of Cuzco, which their father had stationed in the north part of the empire during the military campaign. Accounts from sources all vary in the exact details.

The Battle of Chimborazo was among the first confrontations in the War of the two brothers, a struggle between Huáscar and Atahualpa for power over the Inca Empire. Atahualpa won, having the more capable generals; he drove Huáscar back onto the defensive.

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After the disastrous battle of Chimborazo, the expected victor of the war, Huáscar, had been deeply humiliated, his army routed and forced to withdraw to the south, shadowed by a contingent of the northerners sent by Atahualpa under the command of generals Chalcuchimac and Quizquiz, possibly as well Rumiñahui. Huáscar himself split his army along the border in three divisions, one main division commanded by Uampa Yupanqui with troops from Kuntisuyu and from the south, planning to cross the Cotabambas river. Another army was led by Guanca Auqui, Agua Panti, Paca Yupanqui and a third led by Huáscar himself and his brothers Tito Atauchi and Topa Atao.
The armies met at the plains close to Huanuco, when Huáscar ordered Uampa Yupanqui to take battle with the followers. Initially the battle was reportedly successful for the Huáscaran troops, with Atahualpa's captain Tomay Rima killed in battle, upon when Huáscar launched a massive assault with all his soldiers. The battle allegedly lasted for an entire day and ended inconclusive, as Chalcuchima and Quizquiz pulled back upon night towards a hill nearby. Huáscar ordered his warriors to burn the grass, causing massive losses among the Atahualpan forces. Instead of pressing this attack, however, Huáscar chose to retreat safely to the south across the river, ordering his brother Topa Atao to fortify a pass carrying the main route to the nearby Inca capital of Cuzco. Once again followed by the army of Quizquiz and Chalcuchima, the latter managed to envelop and destroy the forces of Topa Atao. Permanently losing his possible outlets for advantage, Huáscar was himself defeated and captured at Quipaipan in April, 1532.

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