11 Oct

“J. Vara de Rey en el Caney” Special Raffle by WarStuft

“J. Vara de Rey en el Caney” Special Raffle by WarStuft.


Joaqui Vara de Rey y Rubio

Joaquín Vara de Rey y Rubio (Ibiza, 1840 – Santiago de Cuba, July 1, 1898) was a Spanish military man and politician, hero of the Cuban War for his defense of the fortress of El Viso.

He graduated from the General College as a second lieutenant, rising to the rank of lieutenant in 1862. He fought the cantonal rebellions of Cartagena and Valencia and fought in the Third Carlist War.

In 1884 he requested his transfer to the Philippines where he was given the command of the Spanish Regiment, in 1890 he was appointed military political governor of the Marianas Islands and then of Zamboanga.

The following year he was promoted to coronel and returned to Spain.

On returning to Spain was assigned the command of the garrison of Avila until April 1895.

Subsequently he volunteered to serve in Cuba. He was appointed military commander of Bayamo.

He commanded the regiment that fought in Batalla de Loma de Gato, in which the Spaniards finished with the rebel leader Jose Maceo, brother of Antonio Maceo.

Due to his brilliant performance he was promoted to brigadier general.


Monument in memoir of J.Vara de Rey in the battle of Caney by Eduard Alentorn


Desperta Ferro historical magazine 2017

He commanded the regiment that fought in Batalla de Loma de Gato, in which the Spaniards killed the rebel leader José Maceo, Antonio Maceo’s brother. Due to his brilliant performance he was promoted to brigadier general.

After the American landing on the island, General Shafter sent the 5th Army Corps against Santiago de Cuba on July 1, 1898.

Since the day before, American troops and their Cuban allies had been taking positions on the eastern side of the city with the intention of starting the attack at dawn.


El Caney picture 1898

The 5th US Corps was organized into three divisions and two independent brigades totaling some 18,000 men.

The Caney was a small defensive position supported on the fort of El Viso, without artillery nor machine guns, with a garrison of 550 men to the control of Vara de Rey.

Shafter decided to take this position in order not to leave Spanish troops on his right flank.

The mission was entrusted to the 2nd Division of General Henry Lawton, 6,899 men supported by a battery of artillery (4 81-mm guns) commanded by Captain Capron.


Defending spanish positions at El Caney

The battle began with the first light of day when the Americans put the buildings and small wooden forts of El Caney under fire.

An hour later, the first wave of assailants was advancing, which was slowed by the close-up of the Spanish soldiers with their Mausers.

The Americans believed that the Spaniards would flee before their overwhelming numerical superiority (10: 1), 3 but by 9 am it had become clear that the Spaniards were preparing to resist.

Vara de Rey himself paced impassively through the trenches, encouraging his men.

Lawton had calculated an hour, or two at most, for his men to evict the 550 Spaniards from El Caney, but it took about 12 hours.

The waves of assailants followed one after another, but were systematically rejected by the Spaniards.


Us Army Artillery battery

The American artillery changed position and approached El Viso, core of the resistance, and its fire began to effectively beat the fort, whose walls began to be demolished by the continuous impacts they received.

With El Viso almost destroyed and after four o’clock in the afternoon, a new and fierce assault took place, which was stopped before the very walls of the fort. Vara de Rey continued, despite his injuries, haranguing his men.

At 5 The Viso was taken, only there were dead and some wounded. The artillery was placed in the same fortín to be able to beat the houses of the town and the trenches.

The resistance was already useless and the few remaining defenders, 84 of the 550, retired orderly towards Santiago directed by Lieutenant Colonel Puñet.

When General Vara de Rey was retired and was carried by two military men, both the general prostrate and his porters were attacked by shots of the insurgents, or mambises.


Spanish prisioners after the battle

The injured general was executed on his stretcher, and under the fire of the Cuban rebels, his orderlies abandoned the body. This type of instigation of the insurgents on the wounded military was quite common during the Cuban war, as evidenced by the sadly famous practice of “enguaaba” to their prisoners, and even the acts evidenced against the Hispanic survivors who managed to reach the coast , bloodless and unarmed, after the sinking of their ships in the naval battle of Santiago.

Those wretches who survived the sinking and burning of their ships, and the hordes of voracious sharks, were attacked by machetes by groups of mambises waiting for them on the beaches.

In the battle also his brother died, the infantry captain Antonio Vara de Rey, and his nephew, Lieutenant Alfredo Vara de Rey. General Vara de Rey received the Laureate Cross of San Fernando on a posthumous basis from Spain and due to his heroic performance, while, in recognition of that same value, the American army buried General Vara de Rey with all honors. In this way, the list of men and actions that would give a heroic image of the “Spanish soldier” before the American public of the time would be added.

After the war, his remains would be repatriated to Spain in 1898 with US collaboration.

Text obtained from Wikipedia.

Vara de Rey kit “The Review” by WarStuft

First and foremost, to thank 1898 Miniatures, for having loaned us two kits of this magnificent vignette.

Vara de Rey Vignete by 1898 Miniatures

Category 1: Kit quality.

The vignete that presents 1898 Miniatures, pretends to be faithful to the sculpture that is in Mallorca and that recalls the battle of Caney.

These are two miniatures in white metal with a great quality of casting and with just flash and moulding lines.

The blister includes two bodies, arms  sprue and a base.

The use of super glue, cutter and other useful for the assembly process is recommended.

The small base is decorated properly and allows to fix both figures enhancing the set.

The assembly of the different parts is simple, and the assembly once assembled whole pieces, will cover our expectations.

The part of the painting is somewhat complex since the scheme used includes the uniform colonial called “Rayadillo”.

However, following the tutorial that 1898 miniatures provides on its website, it will not big problem for a medium or advanced user.

These two kits will be drawn between users and subscribers one of them and the other among facebook followers, to thank the loyalty among the partners of the Social Network.






Category 2: Wargaming suitability. 

The vignette is fully adapted to the concept of the historical game 1898 Miniatures guys have developed, Miniatures, and is the perfect complement for the rest of references that the brand has developed, for those historical period.

Category 3: Conv. capabilities &upgrades.

Not upgrades are needed, …

Category 4: The kit in the market & value.

Each sealed bag  1898 miniatures cost is 6,50 € not included handling fees, and it´s enough for a white metal vignete who includes two 28 mm minatures.

Category 5: My summary.

A great piece that complements your historical list of colonial wars in Cuba.

Great quality of casting and fidelity in the representation, together with a reasonable price.

It allows me to recommend it to any fan of historical recreation and wargames.

Vara de Rey kit “The Raffle” by WarStuft

As I have commented 1898 guys have donated two kits of this vignette.

The raffle will be done separately for the subscribers of the blog who are included on those  list in .pdf format you can view by clicking on the next link.

Subscribers or Users

The other will be drawn among all followers of Warstuft.com on Facebook who are included on those  list in .pdf format you can view by clicking on the next link.

Facebook followers and likes

As usual, I´ll enter the series on Random.org and generate two random numbers. Then I´ll contact with the winners of the raffle using personal message, with our corporative mail,.

Good luck to you all.




Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: