Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

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Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  Les-Art on Sun 27 Sep 2009, 3:15 am

Hi Guys,
Some interesting photos showing the huge variety of uniforms used by the Mexican Forces of the 'Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920' period.

This one appears to be a glass plate photo;
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/mexica12.jpg
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Captioned as Mexican Infantry 1910-15.
The shakos have the number '14' stencilled on the front of the cloth cover.
Another Glass plate photo;
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/mexica11.jpg
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Captioned as Mexican Cavalry 1910-15.
Actually both photos show the same cavalry unit. Their uniforms look to be khaki with White cloth covers to the shakos, any idea of the colour of the ball tuft ?

Last photo for now,
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/mexica10.jpg
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This one is from 1913 and has been touched up to detail some aspects of the uniforms as the original seems to have come out not to the photographers liking.
Of particular note is the amount of equipment carriesd by the two soldiers boarding the train, that's a lot of ammo!!
Also the officers uniforms seem to show the older Blue and newer khaki version. The cuff 'sardinetas' would indicate more of a dress uniform use for the blue uniform. Can anyone identify the cuff ranks ?

Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  ChrisF202 on Sun 27 Sep 2009, 3:55 am

As we have discussed in previous threads I can't find any clear info on Mexican Army ranks from this era. It appears that they wore both shoulder strap rank insignia and cuff rank insignia.

I have 2 theories:

1:

1 stripe - Lieutenants
2 stripes - Captains and Majors
3 stripes - Lt. Colonel and Colonel
4 - stripes - generals

and

2)

1 silver stripe - 2nd Lt
2 silver stripes - Lt
3 silver stripes - Captain
1 gold stripe - Major
2 gold stripes - Lt. Col
3 gold stripes - Colonel
Generals - ????

Based on pictures and the color plates in Osprey's book on the Mexican Revolution.

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  Les-Art on Sun 27 Sep 2009, 4:23 am

I just realised that I have a copy of 'Notes on the Mexican Army' somewhere, I'll see if I can find it.
If I remember correctly it covers the rank structure in some detail.

What about the colour of the ball tuft onthe cavalry shako, any thoughts ?

Les

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  buistR on Sun 27 Sep 2009, 3:29 pm

Hi Les-Art. Excellent photos - thanks for posting them.

The ball ornament or pom-pon on the Federal Army's cavalry shakos would have been red. The branch colour for both the M1898 cavalry and infantry uniforms was this colour, which appeared as red piping on the cuffs, collars, tunic fronts and trousers of the dark blue serge uniform and the "worsted grenades" of the M1898 leather shako. Infantry and cavalry were distinguished by bronze or gold metal insignia/buttons for the former and silver/white metal for the latter (as well of course as practical features such as riding boots for mounted troops). The branch colour for the artillery was crimson and it was only infrequently seen uniforms such as those of the Invalids Corps (yellow piping), signals (blue) and the Administration Corps (grey) who were readily distinguishable. The disadvantage of having the three major combat arms in much the same facing colour was obvious and the new (post-revolution) Federal Army's cavalry were given "hussar-blue" as their distinguishing feature.

The shako shown in two of your pictures was an archaic item even in 1910 - dating back in general form to those of the 1869 Regulations. It was usually worn as a dress item with the dark blue uniform but does appear in other orders - usually being worn by Federal units stationed in Mexico City. The cavalrymen in your photographs appear to be in the off-white duck (unbleached cotton) worn by the rank and file Federales for summer and fatigue dress in peacetime and generally on active service after the outbreak of revolution in 1910. The off-white dress was partially replaced by grey or khaki field uniforms, but continued to be widely worn until the old Federal Army was finally defeated and disbanded in July/August 1914.

The alternative headdress to the 19th century shako was a dark blue French style kepi, piped in branch colour. During 1913-14 the kepi was largely replaced by the khaki covered peaked cap shown in your train boarding photo. Suprisingly the leather shako seems to have remained as a popular item for the cavalry (something to do with providing protection for the head?), even on active service, until about 1913.

Photographs of the Federales campaigning against Madero's rebels in the early stages of the fighting (November-December 1910) show the dark blue serge uniforms still being worn (the weather presumably being colder) by all ranks, except for a few officers in the then newly introduced lead-grey field dress. The blue clad infantry wore bleached white covers over their kepis Foreign Legion style and cavalry the same white linen shako covers shown in your photographs of the 14th Regiment.

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  Les-Art on Mon 28 Sep 2009, 10:15 am

Hi BuistR,
That's all good info, it will take a couple of readings to digest all the info, it's appreciated. I may have some questions later.

I have quite a few more interesting photos taken during this period and have discovered many on the internet showing Mexican Federal troops, Revolutionares and US troops for the Punitive Expedition. I'll have a dig through and post a few more in the next couple of days, maybe there will be some other photos you haven't seen.

Best Regards,
Les

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More interesting photos

Post  Les-Art on Fri 09 Oct 2009, 7:41 am

Hi BuistR,
Found a couple more interesting photos in my files that basically confirms the info you kindly gave me in your previous post.
This one is a colourised photo, not by me, showing the old Blue uniform. It was taken c1908.
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/mexica13.jpg
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Quite a ragtag bunch.
This next one is quite a clear photo and was taken c1913.
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/mexica14.jpg
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These guys are the exact opposite ,fresh ,clean and tidy. Still in the old Blue uniform but with New Khaki caps and leather bandolier equipment. The building sign may be a clue to wether they are standing outside there HQ but I can't quite make out what it says.

Regards,
Les

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  buistR on Sat 10 Oct 2009, 2:33 pm

Hi Les - many thanks for posting some more very interesting illustrations of the Federales.

There is certainly a contrast between the two groups shown! While President Porfirio Diaz's Federal army may not have been particularly noted for its parade ground smartness, the 1908 detachment does seem to have set some sort of record in terms of scruffiness for the peacetime army of a relatively prosperous nation - missing buttons, sandals instead of boots, nothing remotely fitting. The 27 Mexican states each maintained their own militias or National Guards - at least on paper - and one wonders if these are an example. The 1913 detachment are perhaps more typical of Mexican regulars when on parade and away from the fighting.

Hand colouring of existing photographs was a common practice before 1914 - at a time when colour photography was in its infancy and almost entirely limited to French subjects (see a couple of examples on the colonial uniforms thread). While tinting by hand was sometimes done with meticulous care and could give a good general impression, accuracy of detail was not always guaranteed (unless the artist was working from life).

Regards and thanks again.

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  Les-Art on Sun 11 Oct 2009, 2:08 am

Hi BuistR,
Pleased to hear that you found the latest photos interesting.

I agree that the tinting of a photo is not always very accurate but was quite common on postcards for the period. It looks like the colourist on this occassion got the colour wrong on the ball tuft on the shako.

I'll dig through my files and see what else I can find, pretty sure I have a nice clear image of soldiers wearing the Samaur Cap and White uniforms and of a mounted detachment of Rurales. Any interest?

Regards,
Les

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  buistR on Sun 11 Oct 2009, 9:05 am

Hi Les - yes that would be great. The Rurales would be particularly interesting - although their reputation for ruthlessness and brutal efficiency seems to have been exagerated. According to a study of the surviving administrative records of the Corps carried out by an American academic about two-thirds of them either deserted or were discharged for drunkeness, insubordination etc before completing their four year enlistments. Still their grey and silver uniforms were spectacular ....

Another error by the colourist (who admittedly was working with unpromising subjects) was the contrasting colour of the trousers shown. Both tunics and trousers of Federal uniforms were the same shade of dark blue.

Regards

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Rurales images

Post  Les-Art on Sun 11 Oct 2009, 12:56 pm

Hi BruistR,
Found three photos, not all as clear as I like but they do have enough detail for our purposes. Taken between c1914 and 1915.

Of note in this first photo is the decorated jacket of the officer and the rather plain looking one of the bugler
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/mexica16.jpg
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This next one also as buglers but they seem to have the normal musicians decorations on their sleeves, I like the smart collar and tie on one of the guys, off to see a lady friend after the photo is taken no doubt!
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/mexica17.jpg
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This third one is the clearest although it is difficult to keep the clarity when trying enlarge it, it was taken in 1914 in Matamoross and is part of a series of photos taken of troops as they paraded through the town. These are very smartly turned out and show good detail on the jackets and the horse furniture.
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/rurale10.jpg
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I'll dig out some more photos over the next few days just to keep your interets going. Do you have any photos to share? I'm looking for a good clear photo of a US Army Dodge car with crew as used by Lt. George Patton on his gunfight excursion in 1916.

Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  buistR on Fri 16 Oct 2009, 6:16 am

Thanks for these Les - very interesting.

The elaborate silver braided "Austrian Knots" worn by the Rurale officer in your first photo were a particular distinction of this mounted police corps - Army officers had much plainer rank insignia. Officers of the Rurales also had elaborate silver edgings on their grey felt sombreros and bolero jackets, which apparently cost hundreds of pesos - no idea what that means in modern money but it sounds a lot.

The second group look very business-like - off to hunt bandidos or fight Villaistas perhaps. The tie-wearing rurale that you flag may hope to impress his lady friend, but he would be ill advised to wear it in the field. The Rurale neckwear was apparently a particularly vivid shade of red and according to one contemporary observer likely to make them good targets.

No such problems with the third, Matamoross, detachment. Everyone is in parade dress here. Presumably the revolution is still far away (but 1914 was the year that Zapata and Villa triumphed and the surviving Rurales were disbanded). The presence of buglers in all three photos is interesting. Rurale bugle fanfares seem to have been particularly striking - though of no great practical use. "Oh their trumpet calls - I can hear them still" gushed one American lady tourist well after the event.

Thanks again - I will keep an eye out for any pictures of Patton's auto.

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  Les-Art on Fri 16 Oct 2009, 6:57 am

Hi BuistR,
If you liked the Rurales pictures I think you will really like this one purely for it's clarity.

http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/matamo10.jpg
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Entitled 'Defenders of Matamoros'
Look at the chevrons on these guys! As they all have sabres I imagine they are all NCO's with the 6th Cavalry Regiment. No missing buttons on their uniforms.

Best Regards,
Les

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  ChrisF202 on Fri 16 Oct 2009, 8:17 am

Damn, that's alot of chevrons Shocked

Im assuming the cuff chevrons indicate length of service.

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  buistR on Fri 16 Oct 2009, 2:25 pm

Great photo Les - even the pooch looks good!

Re the chevrons - alas neither rank nor long service insignia. They are golpes - musicians' braiding with bunches of pom-pon tassels (visible hanging from chevron edges and probably silver for cavalry). This was a peculiarity of the Mexican Army - equating to the braiding on the seams of the scarlet tunics of British Army bandsmen or the "bird nest" wings on the shoulders of German drummers. The golpes were worn by Federal buglers on their white cotton field uniforms as late as 1913 and are still a colourful parade feature of modern Mexican Army and Military Academy bands.

So we have the fanfare of buglers of the 6th Cavalry Regiment in their blue garrison uniforms. No shakos on this occasion but with red piping faintly visible on kepis, shoulder straps, collars and cuffs. Probably photographed sometime in the early 1900s. Funny how buglers keep reappearing in group pictures - the Porfirian police and troops must have been the most musical of military forces.

Thanks again.


Last edited by buistR on Sat 17 Oct 2009, 1:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  Les-Art on Fri 16 Oct 2009, 10:46 pm

Thanks for the info, I thought that the 'golpes' always had the little tassles attached which is why I presumed they were rank chevrons.
The fact that they are trumpeters probably explains the youthful appearance of the back row.

Look out for more photos shortly.

On the picture of Pattons Car, the U.S. Army used several different types during this campaign, so really I,m looking for some clear photos of types used. I have some postcards downloaded from the internet but they are really small and won't enlarge without a great loss of clarity, One shows a 2 Model 'T' Fords with mounted MG's and one shows a truck with mounted MG. So if anyone has a link to a site that shows vehicles with crews for the U.S. Punitive Expedition 1916, please post it here. Appreciate the help.

Regards,
Les

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Another clear photo

Post  Les-Art on Sun 08 Nov 2009, 2:04 pm

Here is another nice clear photo of a different Mexican Army uniform.
This one apparently taken in 1913 showing the White uniform with 'Samuar' Cap.

http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/mexica15.jpg
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These guys are well supplied with ammo, looks like they have German Mauser rifles.
Can't quite make out the numbers on the caps ,but looks like the two on the left are a different regiment than the two on the right, which may be the 19th.
Fairly uniform in their appearance expect for one wearing sandals instead of shoes, much more comfortable in the heat ,but probably a supply issue.
The soldier on the right seems prepared for action having already fixed his bayonet to his rifle.

Best Regards,
Les

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How can you miss at that range!!!!

Post  Les-Art on Fri 20 Nov 2009, 9:17 am

Not sure if they just parked this artillery piece in the street or if the intention was to have a go at executing as many guys as possible at one time Very Happy
http://i88.servimg.com/u/f88/13/98/25/75/mexica18.jpg
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Artillerymen seem to be more smartly dressed in general than any other branch, judging by all the photos I have seen and here is no different.
Don't know anything about Artillery pieces, so not really sure what it is, a German 'Krupp' Gun perhaps?

I don't think I would be standing where the infantryman is for any length of time just in case of an accidental
discharge of the gun!!!!

Best Regards,
Les

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Safer in front!

Post  wfrad on Sat 21 Nov 2009, 9:15 am

Hi Les
I think the infantryman could be safer than the gunners, the pile of stones may prevent it from rolling down a small incline but the recoil from firing the gun would wipe the gunners out!! Or maybe it's the Mexican army's reflex challenge.
Regards
WF

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

Post  Mike Blake on Sat 29 Oct 2016, 2:00 am

It is probably too late, but if the poster is still tuned in, the links are dead - is there any other way to take a look at the photos, please?

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Re: Mexican Revolution 1910 - 1920

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