In 1918, the fighting took on a very real feeling of a war. Shooting on both sides was rampant and deadly, and certainly could have gotten completely out of control before it ceased. From the folks at Listverse, here is a bit of history you may not know!
Battle Of Ambos Nogalesnogales
Photo credit: United States Army
When people think of World War I, they usually assume the fighting never reached the American continent. However, as the war neared its end, fighting between Mexican and US forces erupted along the border. The battle occurred in Ambos Nogales, a city split down the middle by a wide boulevard. Half of the town was in Mexican territory, and the other half was in US territory. (The Spanish word ambos actually means “both.”)
Relations between the two countries were already tense due to the Zimmerman Telegram, an intercepted communique between the German and Mexican governments, which enticed Mexico to attack the US. And in August 1918, American intelligence services reported a buildup of Mexican soldiers and armaments on the Mexican side of Nogales. Naturally, this made American troops incredibly nervous, and things only got worse on August 27.
On this particular day, a Mexican named Gil Lamadrid attempted to cross the border from the US side. He was carrying a large parcel through Nogales when US customs officials ordered him to stop. They wanted to examine the package, but then Mexican officials began telling Gil Lamadrid to cross the border immediately. In the confusion, a US soldier raised his rifle to threaten Gil Lamadrid. And that’s when gunfire erupted. Nobody knows who fired the first shot, but suddenly bullets were flying from both sides.
Mexican citizens grabbed their rifles and started shooting at the American soldiers. Ready to fight, the US 10th Cavalry (made of “Buffalo Soldiers”) charged across the border and began fighting in the streets. The battle soon spread into the American side. The 35th Infantry brought in machine guns to combat Mexican troops, and they soon captured the hills around the city. Felix Penalosa, the mayor of Mexican Nogales, attempted to wave a white flag of surrender, but he was fatally shot by American soldiers.
The death of the mayor served as a wake-up call for both sides. Mexican and US commanders gradually stopped the fighting, and the Battle of Ambos Nogales eventually came to an end.
It occurs to me that the U.S. isn't as untouchable as we would think. Certainly in the past and, most likely, in the future. If our enemies really want to get to us, we should be much more vigilant perhaps than we have been in the past, ya think?
Let's talk about this while we have coffee out on the patio.