Edges of Empire

KNW 2399: Edges of Empire

Indian and Mexican Military Defenses


Mexican Federal Troops in 1913

The troops pictured seem to be guarding a street of a higher end section of Mexico City. Being federal troops, they have access to heavier weaponry, most significantly in this picture the M1895 Browning machine gun. An interesting factor of this picture is that it appears to be staged. A soldier at the rear is holding a very short ranged weapon while seeking no cover and merely aiming it slightly up. Another factor is that the farthest soldier on the right seems to almost be looking at the camera. Finally, a major point that sticks out is that, if these soldiers were in action, as the caption describes, the soldiers would have their fingers on the triggers of their weapons. Whether this image is staged or not, these soldiers have relatively little cover from enemy fire showing their superiority in firepower and possible reinforcements. Squads like these would often be seen defending key points on streets, such as intersections or entrances to military assets during the Ten Tragic Days of the Mexican Revolution.


Fort near Mumbai

The fort, located south of Mumbai, is a bit of sore point to the old British regime of India. This fort, originally used by the Maratha to raid British ships, was given over as part of a treaty to Kanhoji Angre in1713. Angre followed a similar path of the Marathas, and once challenged by the combined might of the British and Portuguese, fought them off with ease. This fort embodies the collective resistance of the Indian people against the might of colonizers. When it came time for the revolt of 1857 and then the gaining of independence in 1947, India’s opposition to British rule can be seen symbolized by this fort of defiance, which still stands today. It makes one wonder if the reason the fort is still heavily visited today by tourists of India and all nations is due to its resilience to stand against the tests of time, much like the Indian people stood against the largest empire in the world.

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