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Mexico


Relief map of northwestern Mexico


Mexico had seen its government caught between pro-Communist and pro-Fascist forces during the 1930s, to which the United States responded with both covert and open aid to prop up the weak centrist government. This culminated with the U.S. acquiescence in 1938 to the nationalization of the Mexican oil industry. Mexico broke diplomatic relations with the Axis following the attack on Pearl Harbor, but did not declare war until after the sinking of the tanker Potero de Llano by a German U-boat in June 1942.

Mexico was the only Latin American country to send a combat unit to the Pacific. This was the 201 Fighter Squadron (the "Aztec Eagles") which was trained in the United States and saw combat in the Philippines.

Though Mexican raw materials (particularly antimony) were a significant contribution to the struggle against the Axis, Mexico's greatest contribution to the war was probably in a negative sense: By adhering to the Allies, Mexico denied the Axis a safe haven for naval forces and intelligence networks.


References

Klein (2013)

Los Angeles Times Magazine (2004-7-25; accessed 2010-7-6)

Lenchek (2008; accessed 2010-10-8)

Smith (1985)



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