Battle of Ciudad Juárez: When Rebel Forces Defeated the Federal Forces of Porfirio Díaz during the Mexican Revolution, 1911

Porfirio Díaz ruled Mexico for 31 years, from 1877 to 1911. During his final years, he faced strong opposition which resulted in a guerrilla campaign against his soldiers. The Mexican revolution broke out in 1910 and lasted for over ten years. During the Mexican Revolution, the Battle of Ciudad Juárez took place in May 1911 in Ciudad Juárez city, between federal forces of Francisco Madero.

The attacks paved the path for the return of exiled leader Madero to the country. On 7 April, Madero, Pancho Villa, and Orozco launched an attack with a force of 2,500 men against the force of 700 Federal soldiers commanded by General Juan Navarro. The battle took place in Ciudad Juárez city which lay on México’s border with the United States. The rebels took control of the bridges connecting the city to the United States border, cut off electricity and telegraph, captured the bullring, and reached the outskirts of the city center (where the second line of defenses had been constructed) on the first day of fighting.

General Juan Navarro placed barricades and machine guns to defend the city, however, the rebellions also had strong support from Ben Viljoen and the grandson of the famous Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi II. They developed an effective strategy that managed to circumvent Navarro’s well-placed machine-gun nests and street barricades. Rather than attacking through the streets, the rebels used dynamite to blow the walls of the adobe houses that were huddled up next to each other, which allowed them to proceed through the city house by house.

The federal troops eventually ran out of their supplies and General Navarro surrendered. Together with the Battle of Cuautla, Ciudad Juárez led to Diaz’s resignation, which brought Francisco Madero to power.

#1 Rebels in front of an adobe house riddled with bullet holes in Ciudad Juarez.

#2 General Navarro’s federal troops form up near a bullring in Ciudad Juarez.

#4 A rebel-built cannon appropriated by federal forces.

#7 Rebel fighters dash across a Juarez street under fire.

#9 A federal barricade in Ciudad Juarez captured by rebels.

#10 Rebels take aim from a fortified position in Ciudad Juarez.

#11 Rebels take up firing positions near an irrigation ditch.

#12 The bridge between Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.

#14 A soldier wounded in the battle for Ciudad Juarez receives treatment.

#16 Ciudad Juarez residents explore a battle-damaged street.

#18 Revolutionary forces march into Ciudad Juarez after the surrender of federal forces.

#19 A cart of rebels collect and identify the deceased bodies in the street during the Battle of Ciudad Juasrez.

#20 Fighting begins with cannon fire from Pancho Villa’s troops.

#21 Bodies are shown lying in the street after battle.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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