Monday, April 23, 2007

Four Hundred Miles into Mexican Territory

In advance of Memorial Day, Null Space brings to our attention the Battle for Vera Cruz in 1914, which took a heavy toll on soldiers hailing from Pittsburgh.

The battle took place during the thick of the Mexican Punitive Expedition, for which Mr. Briem links to a history in a Part 1 and a Part 2.

We don't know if Mr. Briem was getting at this or not, but the parallels between the Mexican Punitive Expedition and current U.S. conflicts are numerous, obvious, and salient.

So how did the M.P.E. work out? Spoiler alert:

Despite its failure to capture Pancho Villa, the Mexican Punitive Expedition can be deemed a success. Secretary of War Baker praised the efforts of Pershing and his men by stating that "its objective, of course was the capture of Villa, if that could be accomplished, but its real purpose was a display of the power of the United States into a country disturbed beyond control of the constituted authorities of the Republic of Mexico as a means of controlling lawless aggregations of bandits and preventing attacks by them across the international frontier. This purpose is fully and finally accomplished."

After a strategic and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. forces, everyone lived happily ever after. The End.


  1. Speaking of history:

    David Halberstam, 1934-2007, R.I.P., killed in an automobile accident today.

  2. great author...his talent will be missed