The Fleets of the British, French and Spanish arrived in Veracruz in January 1862 with the intention of forcing Mexico to settle its debts. However it soon became clear to the British and Spanish that France, under Napoleon III, had greater ambitions and withdrew their forces in April of the same year. Supported by the Catholic Church, the Mexican nobility and the more conservative elements within the Mexican community France installed an archduke from the Royal House of Austria, Maximilian Ferdinand as Maximilian I of Mexico.
France’s Mexican adventure would lead to 5 years of protracted conflict in Mexico and would culminate in the execution of Emperor Maximilian himself.
The first release from Gringo 40’s new range of finely sculpted miniatures, by the incredibly talented Ian Mountain, is of Mohammed Almaz,The Egyptian Officer commanding the 'Ottoman Auxiliary Battalion' or Egyptian Battalion.
Made up of what were effectively Sudanese slave soldiers led by Egyptian officers the Egyptian Battalion would prove themselves excellent troops with one French commander whose force included 80 Egyptian troops to say of them "these were not fighting men, these were lions."