During World War II an army of 150,000 charros was created in anticipation of an eventual attack of German forces.
During the 1940’s, Hitler had a very deep Spy network in Mexico and many high rank Mexican politicians were Sympathetic to the Nazis cause. Mexico was neutral at the beginning of World War II, and even supplying Germany with Oil. Hitler had interests in being strategically allied to a country just south of the Border of the EEUU. But Mexico ended declaring war on Germany after the sinking of two Mexican Oil ships off its coast. On May 13, 1942, the Potrero del Llano oil tanker was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico. Seven days later another ship, the Golden Belt, was also attacked. This brought Mexico out of their neutrality in World War II and declaring war on Nazi Germany.
Even if it was a long shot that Hitler could have Invaded Mexico, it was still a huge fear. What if it did happen?
This is where Antolin Jimenez Gamas, current president of the National Association of Charros comes into the picture. A former soldier of Francisco Villa during the Mexican Revolution who climbed the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel in the Personal Guard of Villas Dorado’s. Antolin who learned Guerrilla Tactics and Strategies from his time in the Dorados came up with the idea of organizing a group of riders to protect the country of a possible Nazi invasion. 150,000 Charro soldiers were recruited and named “Legion de Guerrilleros Mexicanos”. For a year they were trained and on guard of the possible invasion. Nothing happened and the Legion was dissolved after a year. But they still officially remain as part of the Mexican Military under the cavalry reserve. Charros participate every year in the Military parade of Mexican Independence every September 16th at the Zocalo in the Heart of Mexico City.
Antolin Jimenez Gamas story of his organization of Charro Soldiers vs Nazis is portrayed in the book and documentary named “Matria” . Director and producer Fernando Llanos who also is grandson of Antolin tells an unpublished story of how the symbol of Mexico, a Charro, stepped up to protect its country.
“Matria” documentary trailer
link for video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JsSC17zFBs&t=7s
for more info please visit Fernando Llanos webpage http://www.fllanos.com/matria/