During the 19th century, the Navy of Mexico was key to the defence of the national territory before foreign interventions.
This 1st of June the National Navy Day is celebrated in Mexico, in memory that on a day like this but in 1917, the “Tabasco” steamer sailed from the port of Veracruz, with the total of the crew composed exclusively of Mexicans by birth.
This fact marked that for the first time a Mexican merchant ship was crewed by Mexicans, and had as captain Don Rafael Izaguirre Castañares. Since 1942, the National Navy Day in Mexico has been celebrated.
In the same way, the crews of the Mexican tanks “Potrero del Llano” and “Faja de Oro” that were torpedoed and sunk by German submarines on May 13 and 20, 1942, in the framework of the Second War, are honoured. A world, and by which the Mexican government decided to enter the war.
And although the Navy of Mexico was created from the first years of the independent nation, it was not until the end of the 19th century that it was strengthened as a central element of national defence and promoter of foreign trade.
On April 11, 1942, President Manuel Ávila Camacho decreed that all June 1 would serve to celebrate the National Navy Day in Mexico.
“The Navy faithfully and gallantly fulfills its daily action in the seas and coasts of Mexico; their actions prevent the integrity of our territory and ensure the validity of the rule of law. As a permanent national institution, its mission is to use the Federation’s naval power for internal security and the country’s external defence, “reads the official website of the federal secretary.
Decisive in the history of Mexico
Antonio de Medina Miranda, head of the Ministry of War and Navy during the empire of Agustín de Iturbide, was the first to call for the need to have a naval force to defend the country from any situation that threatens its fragile sovereignty.
Under this condition, Mexico began to bet on naval armament, which had its first great victory in the Taking of San Juan de Ulúa in 1825 to defeat the last Spanish stronghold that was trying to reconquer Mexico for the Hispanic crown.
Miguel Barragán, as governor of Veracruz, and Captain Pedro Sainz de Baranda y Borreiro were the orchestrators of the recovery of Fort San Juan de Ulúa, preventing the Spaniards in the place from being relieved or having reinforcements against the pressure of the Navy. mexican
Unfortunately, the conflictive history of the 19th century in Mexico had repercussions in the Navy, which failed to defend the nation as was its objective, although it could cope with dedication and honour to Mexico.
The precarious Mariana Armada of Mexico suffered attacks from enemies with greater naval power, such as France and the United States, who did nothing more than future presidents understand the importance of having a naval force that lived up to the demand that was demanded.
In the War of the Cakes with France, the Navy was easily overtaken by European ships, which at that time were among the best in the world, as well as their infantry.
However, it was in the War with the United States that the most notable was the meeting between the armies of both countries, losing several ports of importance in the Gulf of Mexico and allowing American soldiers to invade national territory.
And as if that were not enough, after the American war the Second French Intervention followed with a depleted Mexican navy that confronted the French ships, always with the firm intention of defending Mexico from foreign invaders.
The last major foreign intervention that Mexico had was from the United States in 1914 during the Mexican Revolution, because the US government did not agree with the mandate of Victoriano Huerta after the Tampico incident in April of that year.
On that occasion, the Navy of Mexico and the Naval Military School defended the port of Veracruz, and during the US siege that lasted up to seven months, they safeguarded the national sovereignty against any aggressive attack against the Mexican population.