La Batalla Naval de Topolobampo: Tampico vs Guerrero
Fascinante articulo sobre el incidente naval probablmente mas significativo durante la Revolucion Mexicana. Esta es la version ocular del oficial a cargo del destructor Americano USS Prindle, que solamente se limito a tomar datos sobre el encuentro.
THE CAREER OF THE MEXICAN GUNBOAT TAMPICO
By J. H. Klein,Jr.
At the beginning of the year 1914 there were three Mexican gunboats on the west coast of Mexico, namely, the Guerrero, Morelos and Tampico, all under Federal control.
Cañonero Morelos, al frente.
On February 22, 1914 (Sunday), at Guaymas, Mexico, about 8 PM, while about half the officers and men were ashore, the executive officer (Lieutenant Malpica), thepaymaster (Rebatet), and two engineer officers (Johnson and Estrada) took charge of the crew of the Tampico, arrested the captain and the chief engineer, and announced that the Tampico would henceforth be under the control of the Constitutionalists, or the Rebels. The captain and the chief engineer were told that if they made no resistance they would not be harmed, and would, at the firstopportunity, be turned over to the Federals. The mutiny, therefore, was accomplished without violence or bloodshed.
The Tampico immediately left Guaymas and stood to the northward intending to ram the Guerrero. Fortunately for the Guerrero, the Tampico's steering gear broke down and she then turned around to the southward and proceeded to Topolobampo, Sinaloa, arriving there on February 24. The captainand the chief engineer were then placed aboard the SS Herrerias, and sent to Mazatlan, which at that time was in Federal hands.
* Nothing has heretofore been written concerning the career of the Tampico except the official reports from vessels stationed on the western Mexican coast at that time. It was my intention at first to compile an official report of her operations, but the tale seemedso interesting that the "compilation" gradually became a "story." The official reports of Admiral T. B. Howard (commander-in-chief), Commander G. B. Bradshaw (commanding Yorktown), and Commander N. E. Irwin (commanding New Orleans) were consulted and the data derived there from were used in producing the following story which is of historical value because of its accuracy.
The exact cause of themutiny is not known. Various vague stories have been circulated concerning the true reasons therefore, but no one seems to know which, if any, of these may be true. One story has it that the Federals owed the crew 4000 pesos. Another story was told to the effect that Malpica had strutted the streets of Guaymas with a lady of questionable character (some say she was the captain's mistress) and asa punishment the captain sentenced Malpica to be reprimanded and to perform temporary duty with the army at the front. In order to avoid this sentence he was said to have hatched out the mutiny. By common repute the Tampico had been a very "gay" ship in her day, and I was told that frequently week-end parties had taken place at which both sexes were present aboard ship for several days at a time.Operations at Topolobampo
On March 2, 7:00 AM, the Guerrero, commanded by Capitan de Navio Torres, arrived off Topolobampo from Guaymas, and anchored outside the bar. At 10.30 AM the next day the Morelos arrived from Mazatlan, and anchored near the Guerrero.
At 9:37 AM, March 4, the Tampico was observed standing down from Topolobampo. The Guerrero immediately got under way and opened fireas she entered the channel. The Morelos got under way as soon as practicable and followed along astern of the Guerrero. As soon as the Tampico cleared Shell Point she returned the Guerrero's fire, whereupon the Guerrero stopped, backed out of the channel, and presented her broadside to the Tampico. At that time the Morelos was about 800 yards beyond the Guerrero away from the Tampico. The...