Saturday, August 29, 2009
What did the exhibit teach me that I didn’t already know?
There were two pieces of information that I found very interesting when viewing the exhibit and reading the exhibition catalogue. The first of which was my being unaware of the makeup of the Mexican troops. I knew it was large in numbers and included professional troops and was not surprised that it also included impressed convicts as that has been a common tactic used to increase troop strength during war times. I was surprised however that a Mayan battalion, from the Yucatan, who did not speak any Spanish, were also among the Mexican troops. I am curious to know if they were forced or tricked into going with the Mexican troops or if they went voluntarily, perhaps out of curiosity since it is stated in the exhibition catalogue that, “they had never before left the tropics”. I also found it interesting that only weeks after the battle people were already comparing it to the ancient Greek battle of Thermopylae in which only one soldier survived of the 300 soldiers who sacrificed themselves in order to stall the advancing enemy and allow the other Greek city-states time to ready their forces and thus drive the Persians out of Greece. I find the comparison of this battle to that of the Alamo to be fair as both gave their followers inspiration to complete their tasks and claim victory.
(Above picture aquired at http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/54900/54983/54983_alamo_lg.gif )