1863: French Conquer Mexico City

1863: French Conquer Mexico City
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 7 June 1863
  • The French succeeded to conquer Mexico City on this day largely thanks to the sacrifice of the French Foreign Legion members.

On this day in 1863, the French conquered Mexico City, the capital of Mexico.

It was the time of the French intervention in Mexico, during which the forces of Emperor Napoleon III were waging war against the Mexican Republicans. The French Foreign Legion played a significant role during the war in Mexico.

In the famous Battle of Camarón, which occurred in April of that same year, the legionnaires opposed ten times more numerous Mexican forces and fought to the last breath (almost all of them died). Even today, the French Foreign Legion commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Camarón every year.

The French succeeded to conquer the capital of Mexico on this day largely thanks to the sacrifice of the legionnaires. The French leader was General Bazaine, who later became the Marshal of France.

Bazaine was once also a legionnaire and is today in the Foreign Legion regarded as one of its greatest commanders (although he later had a rather controversial role during European wars).

At the instigation of the victorious Napoleon III, the Mexicans offered the imperial crown to the Austrian archduke Maximilian. He accepted the crown and traveled to Mexico, where he was crowned emperor.

The former Mexican President Benito Juárez fled to the north of the country, near the United States border.

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