By Armando F. Mastrapa III
Historian John Lawrence Tone contends in his article “The Machete and the Liberation of Cuba,” The Journal of Military History 62 (January 1998) that “one of the most enduring myths of the Cuban war [of Independence]: that the Cubans used machetes to defeat Spanish troops.” He also authored War and Genocide in Cuba: 1895-1898 published in 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press.
Dr. Tone states: “The Cubans used the machete for many purposes, but rarely as their main weapon in battles with Spanish troops.”
“Cuban forces were fortunate, though, to have better weapons close at hand: rifles, dynamite and eventually artillery. Not the machete but the intelligent use of this available use of firepower by Cuba’s outstanding military leaders, Máximo Gómez, Antonio Maceo, and Calixto García, helped to create the conditions for military victory against Spain,” Tone further adds.
Dr. Tone examines four important battles (Peralejo, Iguará, Ceja del Negro and Victoria de Las Tunas) where Cubans did not rely on the machete in combat against the Spanish.
Dr. Antonio Rafael de la Cova of Indiana University hosts the article in his website latinstudies.org. Click here to read the rest of the article.
[H/T Emilio Ichikawa]
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