Weapons of the Mexican War
29 SEP 2017
The Mexican-American War, sometimes referred to as the Mexican War, was fought between 1846 and 1848, in part due to America's annexation of Texas. Mexico considered Texas to be part of its land. Ultimately the U.S. won the war. One reason for this could have been Mexico's inferior weapons. Mexico's artillery and firearms were no match for that of the United States.
1 Mexican War Information
In 1845, the U.S. annexed Texas to its territory. Texas had seceded in 1836, but Mexico did not recognize the secession and considered it to be a "rebel province." The support for the war in the U.S. was fueled by the American "manifest destiny" doctrine of the time period. This belief stated that it was the divine purpose of America to become a continental country that stopped at the Pacific Ocean. The war was fueled in Mexico by a border dispute between it and Texas.
The price Mexico paid for losing the war were the territories of California, New Mexico and Texas, in exchange for $15 million. Mexico also accepted the Rio Grande as its national border. Shortly after the war, gold was found in California that America would solely benefit from.
2 American Weapons
America's weapons far outdid Mexico's in their technology and efficiency. Muskets, rifles, pistols, colt revolvers, bayonets, swords and artillery pieces were all used against the Mexican forces. The standard issue firearm for the U.S. soldier was the .69-caliber smoothbore flintlock musket. It could hit a target from 100 yards. There were 10 different models used during the Mexican conflict. Officers carried double-barreled shotguns for closer combat. For sidearms, glintlock or percussion pistols were issued, but could only shoot accurately for 10 or 15 yards. But the U.S.'s advantage was in its artillery. Their cannonballs, shells, canisters were effective for up to 300 yards. Flying artillery units could fire more than five times faster than Mexican artillery.
3 Mexican Weapons
Mexicans used smoothebore flintlock muskets, pistols, savers, short swords, lances and out of date cannons. In general their weaponry was older, heavier and less reliable than that of Americans. Mexico had no armory to make weapons so they bought theirs from Europe, often settling for the weapons the Europeans no longer used or wanted, purchasing at a discount. Muskets and rifles from the 1830s were common. They used the Griveaubal cannon of different calibers, which were often defective, but ammunition was limited. Bad powder and wrongly sized balls, made their musket shooting inaccurate.