was not really interested in keeping Mexico City and even his fight against
the Carrancistas was not enthusiastic. His idea of revolution was more regional
than national. Villa decided to shorten his lines of supply and abandoned
the capital and it was recaptured by the Carrancista army in January 1915,
although Zapata’s forces recaptured it once again in March 1915.
|Advancing across the open fields outside of town with the morning sun in their eyes, the Villistas ran into a hail of machine gun and rifle fire from Obregón’s men who were safely entrenched. Again and again Villa’s army and his vaunted cavalry were mowed down by Obregón’s army in their trenches, protected by barbed wire.|
Late in the afternoon of 15 April 1915, with a sizable portion of his army hanging
dead on the wire, Villa finally ordered a retreat.
Over the next few days, Obregon began mopping up the battlefield and planning his next move. Despite Carranza's demands for immediate pursuit, he let Villa slowly withdraw to the north. With nearly nine thousand casualties and another five thousand in captivity, Villa was incapable of doing anything else. Thanks to the condition of his army during the final Constitutionalist attack, he also lost twenty-eight of the thirty-four field guns he’d started with. Whatever he might be able to do about replacing over thirteen thousand men, he would never be able to replace the artillery. The Division was now hopelessly outgunned.
Celaya was the
largest land battle fought in North America since the American Civil War.
It was also the bloodiest campaign of the Mexican Revolution. Just as it had
in Europe, the integration of modern firepower with static defences had proven
the failure of traditional frontal assaults and mass attacks. Never again
would two huge armies come together in Mexico as they did in April, 1915.