Roberto Cabello-Argandoña. Cinco De Mayo: A comprehensive Illustrated History. ISBN 978-1483923970. $20.95.

The somber reality of foreign naval invasion of Mexico by three major world powers, Spain, Britain and France constituted the prelude to the Battle of Cinco de Mayo. Spain was the first country to have the troops ready for the invasion of Mexico. General Serrano, Commanding General of Cuba, then still a Spanish possession, prepared three army divisions, who were shipped in 13 frigates and supported by 13 transport ships, all under the command of Marine Commanding General Joaquín Gutiérrez de Ruvalcaba.

The Spanish troops occupied the castle of San Juan de Ultia and the Port of Veracruz on December 17, 1861. Great Britain sent a naval infantry detachment of 700 soldiers and occupied the ports of Veracruz and Tampico on January 6, 1862. On January 8, a French infantry regiment arrived comprised of nine companies, including cavalry, artillery, experienced African Zouaves, and African Escorts (Cazadores). This setting was the beginning of the conflict which led to the Battle of Puebla on Cinco de Mayo, 1862. The author provides a most detailed account of the forces and activities of the French and Mexican sides, during the last three days before, the day of and the day after the battle itself.

This book also examines the inspiring history of a triumphant Chicano general, Ignacio Zaragoza, (1829-1862), born in a period of international conflicts and forced to flee from his home as a youth because of the American settler's revolt in Texas in 1836. It includes nine patriotic poems (Spanish-English parallel text) written in California between 1864 and 1865 commemorating CINCO DE MAYO and published for the first time in monographic form. Unquestionably, this is the definitive history book on The Battle of Puebla on the Cinco de Mayo, 1862. "This is an amazingly interesting work of historical narrative on Cinco de Mayo dating from 1861, California 1864-1865, and its geopolitical ramifications; ably introduced with a compilation of illustrations from the period." Dr. Namazie

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Cinco de mayo: An illustrated History. Cabello-Argandoña, Roberto.  Nuestra Historia Series. ISBN: 978-1-888205-05-6 Includes illus. and biblio. $24.95