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Salvador Diaz Ordonez

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Salvador Diaz Ordonez (1845-1911)

1912 Obituary [1]

General SALVADOR DIAZ ORDOSIEZ died on October 14, 1911, from injuries received during the battle of Izmarufen, in Morocco. He was born in Oviedo on March 15, 1845. In December 1859 he entered the Military College at Segovia, and on the completion of his studies, in January 1866, he was appointed first lieutenant of artillery. He served in several regiments and distinguished himself during the Carlist Civil War, from 1872 to 1876, being honoured with various distinctions on account of his brilliant services. In 1879 he received an appointment at the Royal Ordnance Works at Trubia, where he remained for five years, until his promotion in 1884 to the rank of major. During the time he was at Trubia he was in charge of the Gun Factory, and devoted his time to the study of explosives and to the construction of guns. In 1881 he designed a 15-centimetre cast-iron tube gun, of which a large number were made at Trubia for various fortifications in Spain. He returned to Trubia in 1887 and continued his work in the development of new types of coast guns and Howitzers of 21, 24, and 30 centimetres calibre. These new guns were also of cast iron, fitted with steel tubes. In 1890 he advanced to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and remained at Trubia until April 1895, when, at his special request, he was ordered to Cuba. There he saw much active service and was also employed in various commissions of a technical nature. In 1897 he became colonel, and in the war with the United States he commanded the Artillery at Santiago di Cuba, where he was wounded on July 1, 1898. In consequence of his distinguished conduct on the battlefield, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general, and on his return to Spain he was placed in command of the Artillery in several military districts, notably in Madrid.

He was also appointed President of the Technical Committee of Artillery and held the command of the fortress of Jaca. At the same time he was closely occupied with his technical studies, working out calculations for a new 24-centimetre gun, L.45, and a new Howitzer of the same calibre. The latter has recently been approved after prolonged and severe trials. In 1908 he was promoted to the rank of major-general and was appointed Military Governor of Cartagena. In May 1910 he obtained the command of the Division which was centred in Melilla, in Morocco, and from the commencement of hostilities, in September 1911, he was at the front. On the 12th of that month he commanded his troops with conspicuous success in the engagement of Izmarufen, in which the Moors lost heavily. He occupied the positions at Izhafen and Izmarufen. He was just about to mount his horse for the purpose of paying a visit of inspection to this latter place, on October 14, when he was twice fatally wounded in the breast. General Ordoiiez was an exceptionally learned man, a hard worker, and extraordinarily devoted to the study of everything connected with Artillery. He was of an exceedingly modest disposition, working without thought of personal reward but only for the benefit of his country. General Ordofiez was never married, and is survived by his two brothers, still living at Oviedo. He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1887, and it will be within the recollection of members that he attended the Autumn Meeting of the Institute held at Buxton in September 1910 under the presidency of the Duke of Devonshire.

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