Sunday, May 01, 2016


Thought of the Day

May first. Which means I'm 4 short days from another holiday Americans have decided to celebrate.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for another excuse to drink.
But Seriously Mexico: Celebrating beating the French is like celebrating managing to get your feet into the correct shoes.

Open Blogger at Ace of Spades HQ

The Mexicans won the battle of Puebla on 5/5/1862 but lost the rest of the battles that year and were conquered by the French the next year. The French had taken the opportunity to invade (and ignore the Monroe Doctrine) because we were up to our waists in American dead from our Civil War and couldn't do anything to stop them, which is all the more reason to mock them now. The French left Mexico in 1867 defeated by Mexico's guerilla tactics.

The French Foreign Legion, which can actually fight, suffered a defeat in 1863 in Mexico at the Battle of Cameron, where sixty some Legionnaires took on 3,000 Mexican troops and fought until every one in the Legion was dead or incapacitated. This is what the French celebrate, defeat, but a die-hard defeat and the classical heroic structure--defense of a narrow place against odds. We here in America also celebrate a lost battle in a successful war against the Mexicans. Remember the Alamo.


I think it's worth mentioning that very shortly after the end of the ACW, the US shipped arms to Mexico and threatened both France and Austria with war if they stayed in the war or reinforced the Maximilian monarchy (respectively). Like the fact that the Mexican-American war was declared first by Mexico, this is seldom mentioned by Mexican and Mexican-American partisans.

I think it's also worth mentioning that the "intervention" was not a purely French operation. It was originally the result of a treaty between Napoleon III, the UK, and Spain, and Maximilian was, of course, Austrian. The bulk of the military force involved, though, was French.
Doug, as usual, you're historical knowledge eclipses mine. I remember seeing a movie set in Mexico made in the late 60s or early 70s where all the bad guys were Austrians in white uniforms. I thought it unlikely at the time. Now I know better. There was no way we were letting the Europeans get away with invading a country in our hemisphere, so the help to Mexico and threats against France and Austria after our Civil War was ended makes perfect sense.
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