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Colonial New Mexico

During the late evening hours of 15 July 1945, Enrico Fermi wandered among his fellow scientists at the Trinity Test Site soliciting bets. He wondered. Would the test bomb ignite the atmosphere? And, if so, would it destroy just New Mexico or destroy the world? A deafening roar, a brilliant orange ball of fire and a thunderous shockwave at 5:29:45 a.m. the next morning answered his question. In that same instant, the military future of New Mexico departed dramatically from its martial past. Very quickly, a territory and state that was often an outpost of empire and a battleground for Native Americans and Europeans, was becoming inextricably linked to a new ideological and imperial struggle being waged on a global scale.

Territorial New Mexico

At the outbreak of the Mexican War General Stephen H. Kearny was made commander of the Army of the West by President Polk and ordered to lead a 1700 man expeditionary force from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to occupy New Mexico and California. He quickly accomplished the bloodless conquest of New Mexico on 19 August 1846, ending the brief period of Mexican control over the territory. After spending a little more than a month in Santa Fe as military governor with headquarters in Santa Fe, Kearny decided to continue on to California after ensuring that a civilian government was in place.

Korean War Era New Mexico

On 10 August 1945 with the Japanese surrender imminent and following a plan drawn up by the United States, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to divide Korea along the 38th parallel. Japanese forces north of that line would surrender to the Soviet Union; those to the south to the United States. Thus, without consulting the Korean people, the two major powers had divided the Korea peninsula into two occupation zones. The United States did not envision this as a permanent partition, though its later policies and actions contributed to Korea's division.

World War I Era From A New Mexican Perspective

As the twentieth century dawned, most of the state's traditional martial rivalries subsided. Conflicts of the past were replaced by new global wars that tested the resolve of all New Mexicans.

World War II Era From A New Mexican Perspective

When war broke out in Europe and Asia in 1939, the War Department suggested to the National Guard that their 111th Cavalry convert to another branch of service. The age of the horse as a combatant had passed. Thus, the officers and non-commissioned officers of the command jointly selected coast artillery. In 1940, the 111th was re-designated the 200th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA) and the 158th was reorganized as the 104th Anti-Tank battalion. On January 6, 1940, these units, along with the 120th Engineer Regiment, were called to active duty for a one-year training period that became the prelude to some of the earliest combat experienced by American troops in World War II.

Viêtnam War Narrative and Analysis – A New Mexican Perspective

It was the longest war in American history and the most unpopular American war of the twentieth century. Many Americans asked whether the American effort in Viêt Nam was a sin, a blunder, a necessary war, or a noble cause, or an idealistic, if failed, effort to protect the South Viêt Namese from totalitarian government.