Why the Apache were Defeated

Why The Apaches Were Defeated

The Apaches lost their wars against the Mexicans and Americans for six basic reasons.
First, the Apaches were hopelessly outnumbered. When an Apache chief, such as Cochise, lost a warrior in battle, there was no replacement until one of the younger boys grew up and became a warrior. All an American or Mexican military officer usually had to do when he lost men was call for readily available replacements. It was a war of attrition.

Geronimo, 2 sons and nephew

Geronimo (rt), two sons and a nephew.

Second, the Apaches had no friends. For centuries, they had raided the more sedentary, less aggressive tribes, such as the Navajo in Northern Arizona, the Tarahumara to the south in Mexico, and the Papago (Tohono O’odham) to the west along the Santa Cruz River near Tubac and Tumacacori. These neighbors wanted the Apaches eliminated as much as the Americans and Mexicans.

Third, the Apaches could seldom put together a large, effective fighting force. The many autonomous Apache bands seldom came together to match or exceed the size of their opponent’s army. Each band had its own leaders who often went their own way rather than join forces with other Apaches groups. Thus, these small bands of Apaches, seldom more than a hundred souls with only 30-40 able warriors, had to rely on stealth and ambush; attack then disappear into the mountains. Read More

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