Seapower Misused: Mexico at War 1846-8

By R L Scheina, published May 1971


For Mexico, the results of this war were disastrous, potentially through the misuse of its seapower. Important ships were sold prior to the outbreak of hostilities, the efficiency and management of the ordnance available for defensive maritime use was woefully inadequate and there was an overall lack of guidance to the available Mexican fighting force. The effects of this policy left Mexico without an effective maritime force. The Government attempted to rectify this by the general support of any blockade runners, as well as the implementation of Letters of Marque for privateers to act against American shipping. However, Mexico had limited merchant fleet resources and privateering crews were expected to be composed of mainly nationals of the country concerned. Although blanket certificates for crews of any nationality were issued, the United States successfully blocked this move by diplomatic action. The conclusion is drawn that unless there is a policy of direction, good ships and brave men are wasted.

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Caribbean | Pacific
Subjects include: Strategy & Diplomacy

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