The Mexican Army is the combined land and air branch and is the largest of the Mexican Armed Forces. It was the first army to use a self-loading rifle, the Mondragón rifle; the Mexican Army has an active duty force of 183,562 with 76,000 men and women of military service age. Mexico has no major foreign nation-state adversaries, it repudiates the use of force to settle disputes and rejects interference by one nation in the affairs of another. Although it has not suffered a major international terrorist incident in recent decades, the Mexican government considers the country a potential target for international terrorism. In the prehispanic era, there were many indigenous tribes and developed city-states in what is now known as central Mexico; the most advanced and powerful kingdoms were those of Tenochtitlan and Tlacopan, which comprised populations of the same ethnic origin and were politically linked by an alliance known as the Triple Alliance. They had a center for higher education called the Calmecac in Nahuatl, this was where the children of the Aztec priesthood and nobility receive rigorous religious and military training and conveyed the highest knowledge such as: doctrines, divine songs, the science of interpreting codices, calendar skills, memorization of texts, etc.
In Aztec society, it was compulsory for all young males, nobles as well as commoners, to join part of the armed forces at the age of 15. Recruited by regional and clan groups the conscripts were organized in units of about 8,000 men; these were broken down into 400 strong sub-units. Aztec nobility led their own serfs on campaign. Itzcoatl "Obsidian Serpent", fourth king of Tenochtitlán, organized the army that defeated the Tepanec of Atzcapotzalco, freeing his people from their dominion, his reign began with the rise of. Moctezuma Ilhuicamina "The arrow to the sky" came to extend the domain and the influence of the monarchy of Tenochtitlán, he began to organize trade to the outside regions of the Valley of Mexico. This was the Mexica ruler who organized the alliance with the lordships of Texcoco and Tlacopan to form the Triple Alliance; the Aztec established the Flower Wars as a form of worship. Combat orders were given by kings using drums or blowing into a sea snail shell that gave off a sound like a horn.
Giving out signals using coats of arms was common. For combat outside of cities, they would organize several groups, only one of which would be involved in action, while the others remained on the alert; when attacking enemy cities, they divided their forces into three equal-sized wings, which assaulted different parts of the defences – this enabled the leaders to determine which division of warriors had distinguished themselves the most in combat. During the 18th century the Spanish colonial forces in the greater Mexico region consisted of regular "Peninsular" regiments sent from Spain itself, augmented by locally recruited provincial and urban militia units of infantry and artillery. A few regular infantry and dragoon regiments were recruited within Mexico and permanently stationed there. Mounted units of soldados de cuera patrolled frontier and desert regions. In the early morning of 16 September 1810, the Army of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla initiated the independence movement. Hidalgo was followed by his loyal companions, among them Mariano Abasolo, a small army equipped with swords, spears and sticks.
Captain General Ignacio Allende was the military brains of the insurgent army in the first phase of the War of Independence and secured several victories over the Spanish Royal Army. Their troops were about 5,000 strong and were joined by squadrons of the Queen's Regiment where its members in turn contributed infantry battalions and cavalry squadrons to the insurrection cause; the Spaniards saw that it was important to defend the Alhóndiga de Granaditas public granary in Guanajuato, which maintained the flow of water, weapons and ammunition to the Spanish Royal Army. The insurgents proceeded to lay siege to the Alhóndiga; the insurgents suffered heavy casualties until Juan Jose de los Reyes, the Pípila, fitted a slab of rock on his back to protect himself from enemy fire and crawled to the large wooden door of the Alhóndiga with a torch in hand to set it on fire. With this stunt, the insurgents managed to bring down the door and enter the building and overrun it. Hidalgo headed to Valladolid, captured with little opposition.
While the Insurgent Army was, by over 60,000 strong, it was formed of poorly armed men with arrows and tillage tools – it had a few guns, taken from Spanish stocks. In Aculco, the Royal Spanish forces under the command of Felix Maria Calleja, Count of Calderón, Don Manuel de Flon defeated the insurgents, who lost many men as well as the artillery they had obtained at Battle of Monte de las Cruces. On 29 November 1810, Hidalgo entered Guadalajara, the capital of Nueva Galicia, where he organized his government and the Insurgent Army. At Calderon Bridge near the city of Guadalajara Jalisco, insurgents held a hard-fought battle with the roya
Ramon A. Alcaraz
Commodore Ramon Abacan Alcaraz was a Filipino World War II hero, Naval officer, businessman best known as a recipient of the Silver Star for heroism and gallantry as part of the Offshore Patrol unit of the U. S. Army Forces in the Far East during the Second World War. After graduating as a member of the Philippine Military Academy's Pioneer class of 1940, he joined the USAFFE's Offshore Patrol and was given command of the motor torpedo boat Q-112 Abra. In command of the Abra, he earned a Silver Star for an engagement on January 17, 1942, where the Abra shot down three low-flying Japanese planes which were attacking US and Filipino forces holed up in Bataan. Alcaraz’ heroic actions led to him being imprisoned twice - first as a prisoner of war of the Japanese forces during their occupation of the Philippines in World War II, second by the Presidential Security Group in 1972 after the declaration of Martial Law. In 2013 the Philippine Navy named the frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz in his honor - the first Philippine Navy ship to be named after a naval hero.
Alcaraz was born on August 31, 1915 in Quingua, Central Luzon, Philippines. Son of Domingo Lipana Alcaraz and Maxima Cruz Abacan, he is the oldest of two brothers, Mariano'Rocky'. He entered the Philippine Military Academy at Teachers Camp, Baguio City, Mountain Province, Philippines from June 15, 1936 to March 15, 1940 where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. Alcaraz graduating among the 79 members from the Class of 1940 "The Pioneer Class", his class was the first group of graduates to finish the four year curriculum, as the previous curriculum was only three years. Alcaraz was a writer for the PMA publication "Corps" and the bantam weight boxing champion in 1937 and 1938. In 1941, he voluntarily joined and graduated from the Army's newly formed Offshore Patrol Training School in Manila as part of the USAFFE forces. In 1959, he went to United States to study at the Naval War College - Command Course at Newport, Rhode Island. After graduation, he assigned as a 3rd Lieutenant to the Philippine Commonwealth Army.
Nineteen months he volunteered to the newly formed Offshore Patrol unit of the Army and promoted as a 2nd Lieutenant with the OSP - Sea duty forces. A few weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he was promoted as a 1st Lieutenant after he was inducted into the U. S. Army Forces in the Far East, he was the Commanding Officer of the Q-112 Abra, a 55 ft stepped-hull torpedo boat with aftward launch torpedo chutes built for the Philippine Commonwealth Government by the British shipbuilding firm John I. Thornycroft & Company - one of three "Q-boat" torpedo boats used by the Offshore Patrol during the war. On January 17, 1942, while on patrol along the east coast of Bataan in Manila Bay with Q-111 Luzon, they were spotted by nine Japanese dive bombers, travelling towards the Bataan coastline; the two torpedo boats turned to engage the Japanese enemy aircraft at full speed, laying down accurate machine gun fire to shoot down three of the nine aircraft. Their attack was successful that it forced the remaining damaged Japanese planes to return to their base, thus preventing them to complete their bombing mission on Bataan installations.
For their actions, he was promoted to Captain by General MacArthur in Corregidor and awarded the Silver Star for heroism and gallantry in action. On April 10, 1942, to prevent their boat capture by the Japanese, Captain Alcaraz's Q-112 Abra was scuttled at night near the shore of Paombong coast, four miles off Bataan's east coast, he and his crew floated to shore using bamboo poles but spotted by two search lights from Japanese patrol boats. They were subsequently incarcerated in Bulacan POW Camp. Alcaraz was shortly appointed as Head among the POW prisoners, took care of his fellow POWs in that capacity but was held accountable for any escape. Alcaraz used the sense of humor. Despite of his disheartened state, Alcaraz befriended the Japanese and joked flattered his enemy's ego by asking to recount their battle victories; when new prisoners arrived with their hands bound behind their back, Alcaraz would have Japanese soldiers untie them. Alcaraz felt responsible for keeping his fellow POWs alive and make their lives better the best way he could.
It was during the many story-telling hours that his men enjoyed a respite from hard labor by just sitting and pretending to listen to the Japanese soldier's stories. At fall-in formations and other ceremonies, where POWs were required to hail “Banzai.” Alcaraz would join in with his boisterous native version of “Bankay”, the Japanese would roar with approval. By Alcaraz humor had become part and parcel of his escape plan, resulted in a less tortuous POW experience for his comrades compared with the unspeakable experiences the POWs endured at Camp O’Donnell. Notably, not a single death was registered at the Malolos POW camp. After four months, Alcaraz was released after undergoing months thru an intensive “rejuvenation program” on August 10, 1942, he was paroled and instructed to be re-trained to join the Bureau of Constabulary at the Torres High School in Gagalangin, Tondo. In September 1942, he graduated as a police officer and was told that his first assignment was at Lanao del Norte province in Mindanao.
Alcaraz faked that he was confined to a hospital in San Lazaro. This resulted that he would miss his transport ship