Mazatlan Captain of the port is ready for Carnival Naval Combat Festivities

Port Captain has reported that there is an average of 30 applications for permits to enjoy the naval combat in the maritime zone.

Captaincy of Puerto, began operating carnival

José Enrique Mora Reyes, Captain of the Port in Mazatlán, said that the supervision and maritime security operations in the city began, in order to apply the respective regulations that allow providing security in the nautical services.

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Know the history of the Naval Combat celebrated during Mazatlan Carnival.

The Attack of Mazatlan by French Frigate La Cordeliére

The French invaders, although they met with fierce opposition from the Liberal armies, continued their threatening advance towards the capital of the Republic. In the face of this pressing situation, President Juarez considers it advisable to reinforce the defense of the country and thus try to stop the impetuous French advance. In this sense, he requests urgent help from the Governors of the States and in response to his call the Sinaloa Brigade was organized, which embarks from the Port of Mazatlán on January 26, 1863 aboard the national ships, “Conde Cabaut”, “María” and the American schooner “Alerta”, but not before leaving a well-equipped garrison for the protection of the Port.

The French Ship “Palais” Boat Insignia of the French Fleet in the Pacific. 1861

Nine days after the departure of the Mexican forces, the majestic Frigate “Palais”, which was the flagship of the French Squadron of the Pacific and came under the command of Rear Admiral Nazeve, makes its appearance in Mazatlan Bay. This ship of more than 50 guns was escorted by three corvettes and only a few days before had actively participated in the bombing of the Port of Acapulco, in support of the landing of considerable contingents of troops, of the famous French Foreign Legion.

The French ships spent a short time in the Bay of Mazatlan and apparently decided to withdraw, considering that they did not have enough landing forces, to face the Liberal garrison and at the same time guarantee the easy taking of the place.

During the rest of the year (1863) the Pacific area was quiet, on the contrary the French war efforts were made to consolidate military control of the center of the country. What they finally achieve on June 10, 1863, the day on which the troops of the invincible and powerful French Imperial army make their triumphal entry into Mexico City.

It is not until the first months of the year of 1864, when the insistent rumor of an eminent foray to the Port of Mazatlan by the French naval forces is run, the reason why this was seen to come was because Mazatlan had an important value strategic, political and commercial. The port was the main berth of the Mexican Pacific, so it became essential and necessary for the French to have absolute control, since only in this way would they strengthen their presence in Northwest Mexico.

The rumors became a reality, on March 26, 1864, when the pride of the naval squadron of the Imperial France, the Frigate “La Cordelière”, unexpectedly makes its appearance in the Bay of Puerto Viejo. furiously it begins to bomb the fortifications of the port, fortunately without achieving important damages.

Frigate La Cordelière 1860

On the pier there was an artillery fort located at Fort 31 de Marzo, under the command of Colonel of Artilleros Gaspar Sánchez Ortega, who immediately ordered the fire to be answered with the English manufactured guns there; so well managed are these guns that the first volleys cause considerable damage to the arrogant frigate. The Cordelière, however, of being wounded in its side, again shoots a barrage with its 16 guns towards the coastal batteries, which cause only some minimal damage to the structure of the fort. The batteries of the coast immediately repelled the cannonade and although they were not as accurate as on the first occasion, a projectile hit the prow of the Cordelière; before this situation the French Captain ordered to seek immediate refuge in the back of the “island of the Deer”. Out of reach of the Mexican guns, when making a recount of the damage it was observed that the ship was seriously damaged and that it needed urgent repair to cover the waterways and thus prevent it from sinking.

During two days the suffering Cordelière was anchored in this place and while it was being repaired, part of the troop that it brought for landing actions was possessed in some of the accessible parts of the island and from there they made their presence felt. On the third day the frigate left its refuge with the intention of attacking the port, but the fire of the coastal batteries were felt and before the fear that the ship would be seriously damaged, the Captain of the Cordelière ordered to unfurl their sails and divert their course, to get out of reach of the successful Mexican cannons.

On March 31, 1864, the French persisted in taking the port, sent three boats full of sailors, accompanied by two pieces of light artillery, in order to disembark at the “Playas del Sabalo”, which in addition to being far away they did not have artillery defenses; they did so and everything was going well, they were already taking positions on the beach, when they were surprised by a group of armed men belonging to the battalions Mazatlán, Hidalgo, and Guerrero, who bravely attacked them and forced them to flee but not before causing them, several casualties and the loss of one of his campaign guns.

This confrontation forces the French sailors to return hurriedly to La Cordelière, protected by the heavy fire of the frigate’s guns, which, while impressing the Mexican forces, only caused some wounded.

Finally, at dawn on March 2, 1864 and sheltering by the still existing darkness, stealthily the frigate La Cordelière, the pride of the French Imperial Navy and the Schooners that accompanied her, leave the Bay of Mazatlan, leaving behind her honor and his fame and an enthusiastic liberal garrison, celebrating this triumph …, which did not open to last a long time.

Source: TVP, Mazatlan.Gob

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