This article may lack focus or may be about more than one topic. (February 2017)
The Cambodian–Spanish War (Spanish: Guerra Hispano-Camboyana; Filipino: Digmaang Kambodyano-Espanyol; Khmer: សង្គ្រាមកម្ពុជា-អេស្ប៉ាញ) (1593-1597) was an attempt by the Spanish Empire to conquer Cambodia, establish their own king, and Christianize the population. Along with the Spanish, Spanish Filipinos, native Filipinos, and Japanese mercenaries participated in the invasion of Cambodia.
Each country that participated in the war 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. In addition, both Spanish and Portuguese took part in the invasion of Cambodia because King Philip II ruled both Spain and Portugal.
Path to war
In February 1593, Thai ruler Naresuen attacked Cambodia in order to fight the Burmese. Later on, in May 1593, 100,000 Thai (Siamese) soldiers invaded Cambodia. As a result of the Thai's invasion, Longvek was conquered in July 1594.
In 1593, the Spanish expedition led by Gregorio Vargas Machuca and Blas Ruiz de Hernán Gonzáles invaded Cambodia from the city of Manila in the Spanish East Indies. Although the Spanish invasion of Cambodia (supported by Luis Pérez Dasmariñas) failed, Ruiz and Diogo Veloso succeeded in establishing King Barom Reachea II in May 1597. The king granted the Spaniards territorial rights over two provinces on the east and west sides of the Mekong River. Veloso later secured permission and financing to build a garrison. In 1599, he commanded four ships from Manila but two of these were ship-wrecked due to a storm.
After Spain's brutal attack on Malay residences, private individuals of Muslim Malays, Chams, Cambodians retaliated by slaughtering the Spanish and Portuguese, including Diogo Veloso. Only a few Filipinos and one Spaniard survived the massacre. Because of the massacre, Spain's planned Christianization of Cambodia failed. After the attack, Cambodia came under the dominance of the Thai in July 1599.