Cuba: Máximo Gómez y Báez

Lead: In both wars for Cuban Independence, the Ten Years’ War beginning in 1868 and the final conflict in 1895, no leader in tactics, strategy, and inspiration excelled Máximo Gómez y Báez.

 Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 Content: Gómez was born of prosperous parents in the Dominican Republic and received training as Spanish cavalry officer. He commanded reserve troops there and then transferred to Cuba in 1865. Attracted by the ideals and claims of the Cuban independence movement, Gomez joined the revolution in the decade-long first conflict in 1868. He helped modernize tactics among the greatly outnumbered and out-gunned Cuban rebels, particularly the innovative use of the machete. The Cubans were nearly always low on ammunition, typically having only a single bullet to fire at first, but the Spanish soldiers came to fear the machete wielding mambises who could cut through their traditional infantry squares with relative ease.

 

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