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"Mexican artillery (1846-1848)" Topic

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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2023 9:34 a.m. PST

Hello everyone

What is the origin different pieces of artillery of the Mexican artillery during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), what were their types and calibers and the color of their carriages?

And the organization of the Mexican artillery batteries ?

Thank you.


Frederick Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2023 2:40 p.m. PST

As I recall the Mexican artillery were deployed in 4 gun batteries – and they did not have many of them. For example, at Palo Alto they had 8 artillery pieces, mostly 4 pounders

"In theory, the Mexican artillery deployed at a ratio of four guns for everyone thousand soldiers. In reality, brigades usually possessed few guns of mixed types and calibers: 2-,4-,6 – ,8-,12-, and 16-pound gunscast from iron and bronze. As a result, Mexican artillery lacked sufficient logistical support and was generally ineffective on the battlefield. The guns were often quite old, mostly forged in the 1770s. Because of their age and design, they were heavy, difficult to maneuver, slow to reload, and grossly inaccurate. In addition, many were defective and
dangerous to fire."

From the US Army Center for Military History

PDF link

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP17 Oct 2023 5:02 p.m. PST

There is not much out there on the Mexican artillery. As noted above 2 to 16 pounders were field artillery. A typical battery consisted of 4 x 4pdrs. It could also be deployed by the piece or as a two gun section. Larger calibre pieces tended to be part of mixed batteries, but not always.

The few color illustrations out there show a carriage of yellowish ochre. A number of people have suggested that the color is simply natural wood that has been oiled.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2023 2:28 a.m. PST

I thought they were using pieces of artillery from the Napoleonic wars.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2023 8:03 a.m. PST

Yes, they had old Spanish cannons. They also produced their own cannons, which were also of poor quality. Poor quality cannons fed with poor quality powder, drug around by oxen with civilian drovers.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2023 3:39 a.m. PST

Old Spanish cannons of the Napoleonic wars ?

Do you mean English and French cannons from the Napoleonic Wars?

Which factory sells specifically Mexican cannons for the Mexican-American War (1846-1848)?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2023 7:00 a.m. PST

No, I mean Spanish cannons.

I don't game the period, so I do not know what is available in terms of figures without searching through various sites.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2023 9:35 a.m. PST

Spanish cannons from the 18th century or from the Napoleonic era?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2023 12:24 p.m. PST

My presumption is that they are from the 1800s. I wouldn't be surprised if some large fortress guns were from the late 1700s.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2023 5:33 a.m. PST

According to René Chartrand, their guns consisted mostly of the Spanish version of France's Gribeauval system of artillery as expressed in Morla's excellent "Tratado de Artilleria" which remained the basic reference work for any artillery officer in independent Mexico !

From the time of independence until the war with the United State in 1846, the guns of the Mexican field artillery were largely the aging Spanish brass 4-, 6-, 8- and 12-pdrs mounted on Gribeauval carriages.

P Carl Ruidl31 Jan 2024 1:02 p.m. PST

Is it reasonable then to assume that the Mexican Artillery arm was deficient in most aspects? Four gun mixed batteries with lousy powder…egads!

The commentary reads that only Spanish guns were either left over or imported, and very few at that. Was the artillery really given such short shrift? Could senior Mexican military personnel have been that ignorant of Napoleonic artillery strategies from 30 years previous?

If this is true, U.S. Artillery employment at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma must have been utterly terrifying.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP26 May 2024 2:45 a.m. PST

@P Carl Ruidl

Yes, when we see the course of this war like that of 1835-1836 against the Texan renegades, we are entitled to assert that the senior Mexican officers were as ignorant of the Napoleonic tactics and strategies of the previous 30 years as of the employment American troops in this war have been almost perfect.

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