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"Question Re: Mexican Infantry In Line" Topic

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Personal logo gamertom Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2021 3:15 p.m. PST

Did the Mexican infantry form into 2 ranks or 3 ranks when deploying into line? I've searched TMP and have looked through the Mexican-American War board and not found anything addressing this. Any one know the answer?
I know the Americans formed in 2 ranks (and presumably followed Scott's Tactics).

Prince Alberts Revenge03 Apr 2021 4:38 p.m. PST

I would imagine they deployed in 3 ranks. Anton Adams' book doesn't seem to mention how many ranks line deployed in but states that the line infantry tactics were based on French and Spanish manuals from the Napoleonic era. The manuals were revised in 1843 but its doubtful how much of this impacted how most line deployed.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2021 5:26 p.m. PST

Brassey's doesn't mention it either.

Hefter states that "the basic formation was closed order in depth prepared to deploy instantly into an extended or mixed order by threes." (11) He goes on to state that from this formation the companies could deploy in formations 2-4 ranks deep. I presume battalion size, enemy size and type, and terrain would figure into how many ranks they deployed in to.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Apr 2021 1:28 p.m. PST

My understanding is that they fought in two ranks. The Spanish Army had adopted the British infantry tactics as proven in the Peninsula after the Napoleonic Wars. This practice carried over into the Mexican Army after independence and never changed.

In fact, they observed the same Open Order intervals practiced by the US Army. Thus, 100 Mexican Infantry in line had the same frontage as 100 US Infantry.

However, almost everything else was inferior in material quality, training, and doctrine.

Please see "Gone To See The Elephant" for a practical application of Mexican Army doctrine to a wargame.


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