Military Wiki
Cambodian–Spanish War
LocationCambodia, Phnom Penh
Result Cambodian victory
Flag of Cambodia (pre-1863) Cambodia Flag of the Tercios Morados Viejos Spanish Empire
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Tercios Morados Viejos Luis Pérez Dasmariñas
Flag of the Tercios Morados Viejos Gregorio Vargas Machuca
Flag of the Tercios Morados Viejos Blas Ruiz de Hernan Gonzales
Flag of the Tercios Morados Viejos Belhoso
Cambodian, Malay, and Cham forces Spanish, Portuguese, and native Filipinos

The Cambodian–Spanish War[1] (1593-1597) was an attempt by the Spanish Empire to conquer Cambodia, establish their own king, and Christianize the population.[2] Along with the Spanish, the Japanese, Filipinos, Thai, Portuguese, and Dominicans participated in the invasion of Cambodia.[3] Each country possessed different motives for their invasion of Cambodia. Specifically, the Thai interference and the Spanish expedition was a result of a power struggle between rival factions in Cambodia's government.[4] In addition, both Spanish and Portuguese took part in the invasion of Cambodia because King Philip II ruled both Spain and Portugal.[5] In February 1593, Thai ruler Naresuen attacked Cambodia in order to fight the Burmese.[6] Later on, in May 1593, 100,000 Thai (Siamese) soldiers invaded Cambodia.[7] As a result of the Thai's invasion, Lovek was conquered in July 1594. In 1593, the Spanish expedition led by Gregorio Vargas Machuca and Blas Ruiz de Hernan Gonzales entered Cambodia through the city of Manila.[8] Although the Spanish invasion of Cambodia (supported by Luis Pérez Dasmariñas) failed, Ruiz and Veloso succeeded in establishing king Barom Reachea II in May 1597.[9]

Private individuals of Muslim Malays, Chams, Cambodians retaliated to Spain and Portugal's invasion by slaughtering the Spanish and Portuguese, including Diogo Veloso.[10][11] Only a few Filipinos and one Spaniard survived the massacre.[12] Because of the massacre, Spain's planned Christianization of Cambodia failed.[13] After the attack, Cambodia came under the dominance of the Thai in July 1599.[14]

See also[]


  1. Tony Jaques (1 January 2007). Dictionary of Battles and Sieges: A-E. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. xxxvi–. ISBN 978-0-313-33537-2. 
  2. Daniel George Edward Hall (1981). History of South-East Asia. Macmillan Press. p. 281. ISBN 978-0-333-24163-9. 
  4. Peter Church (3 February 2012). A Short History of South-East Asia. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 24–. ISBN 978-1-118-35044-7. 
  5. Arthur Cotterell (4 August 2011). Western Power in Asia: Its Slow Rise and Swift Fall, 1415 - 1999. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-1-118-16999-5. 
  6. Daniel George Edward Hall (1981). History of South-East Asia. Macmillan Press. p. 299. ISBN 978-0-333-24163-9. 
  7. George Childs Kohn (31 October 2013). Dictionary of Wars. Routledge. pp. 445–. ISBN 978-1-135-95494-9. 
  8. Daniel George Edward Hall (1981). History of South-East Asia. Macmillan Press. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-333-24163-9. 
  9. Daniel George Edward Hall (1981). History of South-East Asia. Macmillan Press. p. 282. ISBN 978-0-333-24163-9. 
  10. Ben Kiernan (1 October 2008). Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur. Yale University Press. pp. 139–. ISBN 978-0-300-13793-4. 
  11. Ainslie Thomas Embree; Robin Jeanne Lewis (1988). Encyclopedia of Asian history. Scribner. p. 185. 
  12. Arthur Cotterell (15 July 2014). A History of South East Asia. Marshall Cavendish International Asia Pte Ltd. pp. 178–. ISBN 978-981-4634-70-0. 
  13. Milton Osborne (4 September 2008). Phnom Penh: A Cultural History. Oxford University Press. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-0-19-971173-4. 
  14. Donald F. Lach; Edwin J. Van Kley (1998). A Century of Advance. University of Chicago Press. pp. 1147–. ISBN 978-0-226-46768-9. 
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