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Pancho Villa
Weapons Bolo Knife, Colt Bisley, 1894 Winchester Repeating Rifle
Origin Mexico
Activities Revolutionary guerrilla
Service 1914
Battle Status Won vs. Crazy Horse
Experts Fernando Vazquez (Expert Marksman/Horseman)

Santiago Villalobos (Villa Folklore Historian)

"The people who hated Pancho Villa were the ones who were afraid of him. The thing is that more people loved him than hated him. -Fernando Vasques, Pancho VIlla Expert.

Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary whose guerrilla army destroyed corrupt dictators in the early 20th and then invaded the United States.

vs. Crazy Horse, the fierce Lakota warrior of the 1870's who brilliant battle plans and fearless offensives annihilated General Custer at Little Big Horn.


  • Year: Circa 1914 (Middle of Mexican Revolution)
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 5' 11"
  • Weight: 200 lb
  • Symbol - Bandoliers and Hat (Iconic Appearance of Pancho Villa)


Pancho Villa


Porfiriato was the reign of President Porfirio Díaz (1884 to 1911). Porfirio Díaz began his career as a soldier during the mid 1800s; a time of warfare for Mexico (First French intervention in Mexico, Mexican–American War, Reform War, Second French intervention in Mexico).

Porfiriato saw massive economic growth, but only for the upperclass and foreign investors. Mexican farmers, peasants and workers faced fatal working conditions, severe poverty and industrial corruption was rampant: Mexican life for most civilians resembled slavery in most ways. Mexican farmers were losing their lands to the upperclass since Porfirio Díaz made little to no attempts to protect low class farmers from these acquisitions. The Rurales were a secret police that maintained repression with mass arrests, raids and slaughter against potential rebellious towns or worker unions: frequently executing people in public for sometimes minor offenses.

Ricardo Flores Magón[]

Ricardo Flores Magón and his brothers were members of The Industrial Workers of the World and later founded the Mexican Liberal Party. The Magón Brothers were considered to be one of the first revolutionaries for the Mexican Revolution. Porfirio Díaz attempted to crack down against the Magón Brothers, well aware of the political threat they posed. Instead this sparked the Revolutionary War, as the Brothers were so popular among the people that militias formed across the nation to protect the Brothers.

Mexican Revolution[]

Pancho Villa[]

José Doroteo Arango Arámbula (June 5, 1878 - July 20, 1923) was born the oldest of five children in a poor family. At the age of sixteen, he shot Agustín Lopez Negrete after Negrete raped Doroteo's sister. He then fled to the Durango hills, where he became part of a bandit band and adopted the name "Pancho Villa".

In 1902, Villa was arrested for stealing a mule and assault. Though he was spared the death penalty due to the powerful connections of Pablo Venezuela (whom Villa had sold the mule to), he was forced to join the federal army. Several months later, he deserted and fled to the neighboring state of Chihuahua.

Francisco I. Madero & General Victoriano Huerta[]

At the onset of the Mexican Revolution, Pancho Villa (leading the northern rebels) and Emiliano Zapata (leading the southern rebels) gathered their mounted troops and fought alongside General Victoriano Huerta to support Mexican President Francisco I. Madero. Huerta, seeing Villa as a threat, accused him of stealing a horse and insubordination and had him sentenced to death. While in front of the firing squad, Pancho Villa was saved by a timely telegraph from Madero, changing Villa's sentence to imprisonment, which he would later escape.

Madero's presidency was unpopular despite supporting the Revolution. Granting freedom of the press only allowed Madero's popularity to continue to plummet. Diaz's supporters also still existed; making it impossible for Revolutionary generals (like Zapata) to ignore them and attempt the establishment of peace.

After Madero was overthrown and assassinated by Huerta (partially thanks to US aid), Huerta attempted to become dictator of Mexico. Villa, supported by American President Woodrow Wilson, joined the rebellion against Victoriano Huerta and helped force him from power on July 15, 1914.

Venustiano Carranza[]

Resuming the War[]

Venustiano Carranza replaced Huerta. Huerta attempted to launch a coup against Carranza, but was arrested in the USA and died in prison. Cararanza demanded the revolution to end, but Villa and his ally Emiliano Zapata feared that Carranza would be another dictator (despite the two originally being allied with Carranza). Carranza made policies that were similar to Díaz's; supporting the upper class unfairly.

The Mexican Revolution continued, eventually dissolving into civil war between Carranaz's Constitutionalists and Villa's and Zapata's Conventionists. Pancho unleashed brutal massacres during this time, which weakened his reputation with the USA; The Santa Isabelle Massacre on January 10 1916 saw the Villistas massacre several American civilians. After the United States stopped supplying arms to Villa, they sided with Carranza instead. The USA allowed Venustiano Carranza's troops, whom Pancho Villa opposed, to be relocated over US railroads (believing that supporting Carranza was the best way to stabilize the Mexican government). In the Battle of Celaya: Villa's army was devastated (casualties estimated to be over 50%).

Villistas War with USA: The Pancho Villa Expedition[]

The USA aid threatened to overpower Villa and the revolution; causing Villa to retaliate. Villa ordered 500 members of his revolutionary group to make a cross-border attack against Columbus, New Mexico. This 'Burning of Columbus' occurred on March 9, 1916. The town was destroyed, but was ultimately a Pyrrhic Victory for Villa; both due to high casualties and political backlash. The US Army (led by Black Jack Pershing) would attempt to hunt down Villa in retaliation (dubbed 'The Punitive Expedition'), which would take a tole on his villistas; but the US Army had to return home on February 7, 1917 in response to the USA preparing its forces for WWI (officially joining on April 6, 1917).

Zimmermann Telegram[]

This was during the time that the Arthur Zimmermann Telegram was discovered on 19 January 1917; where Venustiano Carranza was offered to ally with Germany to retake former Mexican territory. While Carranza denied the offer, he did consider it; damaging ties with his government and the USA. On April 6 of the same year: the USA officially declared war on Germany.

Emiliano Zapata's Death[]

Carranza opened peace negotiations with Villa's ally Emiliano Zapata. However, this was a trap. On April 10, 1919; Zapata arrived at the Hacienda San Juan in Chinameca, Morelos. There; he was ambushed and shot to death by Carranza's hitmen. Carranza intended to have this assassination end the revolution. Instead there was political backlash; the assassination made Zapata a martyr and outraged the rebels.

Álvaro Obregón[]

Carranza's assassination of Zapata infuriated Carranza's general Álvaro Obregón. Obregón overthrew and assassinated Carranza in response on 21 May 1920; while Carranza was hiding in the Sierra Norte de Puebla mountains.

Villa was satisfied with Obregón ascension, and disbanded the villistas as a result. Obregón ascension is considered to be the official end of the Mexican Revolution. The Revolution left 1.3 to 2 million Mexicans dead.

Assassination of Pancho Villa[]

After the Mexican Revolution ended in 1920, Villa was given an hacienda (estate) outside of Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua by the national government. While visiting the town on July 20, 1923, Pancho Villa was gunned down by seven riflemen while he was in the driver's seat of his 1919 Dodge roadster. Villa's friends and bodyguards were also killed in the attack, with the only survivor being Villa's bodyguard Ramon Contreras: despite being shot in the gut, Ramon managed to follow and kill one of the 7 assassins. About 40 rounds were fired by the assassins, and it is believed that Villa died instantly from the gunfire.

Some historians believe that members of the new Obregón government were involved in the assassination. This is supported by the fact that the 6 surviving assassins received little to no jail time despite being declared guilty of the murder. Regardless: these many conspiracy theories have yet to be confirmed.

Cristero War[]

Mexico would face a second revolution in response to the new government's secularist, anti-Catholic and anti-clerical policies. These policies were primarily introduced by President Plutarco Elías Calles (reigning December 1, 1924 – November 30, 1928).

An extremist movement known as The Cristeros launched terrorist attacks and assassinations across Mexico. This movement was influenced by post WWI extremist movements (especially Fascism). This launched the Cristero War (1926–1929).

While the Cristero War has been overshadowed by the previous Revolution; the brutality of this war was still severe. Atrocities and massacres were committed on both sides. Cristeros targeted non-catholic schools; destroying the buildings and massacring the teachers. Politicians and their political buildings were also attacked. On July 1, 1928: Álvaro Obregón was reelected to the presidency. 16 days later; Obregón was assassinated by a Cristero. 250,000 civilians dead and a similar amount of civilians fled to the USA. Both sides suffered about 50,000 casualties.

The Maximato[]

The Maximato is the period of the presidencies of Emilio Portes Gil (1 December 1928 – 4 February 1930), Pascual Ortiz Rubio (5 February 1930 – 4 September 1932), and Abelardo L. Rodríguez (September 4, 1932 – November 30, 1934). Calles agreed to a truce with the Cristeros to give up his political power and to accept Catholic rights in order to end the Cristero War. The truce quickly dissolved, and former Cristeros were arrested and executed as a result. Calles retained political power during The Maximato despite technically not being president. Rubio resigned as president in response to Calles' clear corruption.

Former Mexican Revolutionary Captain Lázaro Cárdenas became the next president of Mexico (December 1, 1934 – November 30, 1940). Cárdenas managed to crack down against Calles and temporarily expel him from Mexico on April 9, 1936. Cárdenas nationalized oil, implemented Revolutionary policies, and began an economic and cultural golden age for Mexico.


Even after the end of the Revolution, Mexico returned to being engulfed in political violence and corruption. The political party now named Partido Revolucionario Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party) was founded in March 4, 1929 and dominated Mexican politics over 70 years as a defacto singleparty dictatorship. Because of these post-revolutionary events, there is much debate over if Pancho's revolution had any effect at removing corruption from Mexico's future. The Cristeros reorganized themselves as the National Action Party (Partido Acción Nacional or PAN) in 1939.

Today, corruption is still rampant; primarily due to wealth inequality and influence over the drug trade. Mexico is infamous for its large population of migrants fleeing their poor living conditions by moving to the USA.


Short Range Bolo Knife
Medium Range Colt Bisley
Long Range 1894 Winchester Repeating Rifle
Tactics El Golpe Terrífico (The Terrific Blow)

Simulated Battle[]

RedRedRedRedRed Crazy Horse

BlueBlueBlueBlueBlue Pancho Villa

The battle starts under a tree at  Villa's campsite, where 4 Mexican Villistas are inspecting their Pancho slicing and eating a pomegranate with his bolo knife. Not far away, Crazy Horse and 4 Lakota indians come over the hill, himself and two other indians mounted on horseback. Villa and his men look over to the hill just as Crazy Horse and his men give loud war whoops. Sensing a fight, Pancho orders his men to arm up as he sheaths his knife. As the Lakotas charge forth firing their repeating Henry rifles, the Villistas take defensive positions and return fire with their repeating Winchester rifles. As one bandito rides into the middle of the field, another takes aim with his Colt Bisley and fires, killing the other mounted Lakota who slumps down in his saddle. Reddead As he rides past one of the mounted Lakotas, he is fatally shot by his Henry rifle, causing to fall down from his horse. Bluedead The Mexican revolutionaries continue to fire until the indians come too close for comfort. Psyched out, the Mexicans retreat from the safety of their campsite, with Villa mounting a horse and escaping. Crazy Horse regroups with his fellow men and give celebratory war whoops to each other. The remaining 4 Native Americans then decide to split up into two groups: Crazy Horse and the other mounted indian on horseback, and the other two indians on foot.

Time passes, and in a nearby field, Crazy Horse and his fellow brave have dismounted and are navigating the tall grass with rifles in hand. The other indian suddenly steps on a large twig, giving their position to the other 2 banditos. Behind tree cover, one of the bandito fires his WinChester and shoots the other Lakota in the head. Reddead Crazy Horse ducks down and disappears into the grass. The banditos cautiously wait for Crazy Horse to make his move, with one of them shooting into the grass with his Bisley. The Lakota chief soon reappears and aims his Colt, shooting the bandito in the eye. Bluedead The other bandito fires his Bisley at the Lakota chief as he makes a run for his life. Crazy Horse quickly holsters his revolver and gives chase.

Meanwhile, in the forest, the natives follow Pancho and the last Villista, cornering them behind trees. As the two natives take cover behind a log, both revolutionaries pull out their Colt Bisleys and fire, shooting one of the natives as he draws his revolver. Reddead While Pancho has a shootout with the other native, the other revolutionary attempts to reload his revolver, only to be shot in the neck by Crazy Horse who appears right behind the two Mexicans. Bluedead Crazy Horse soon discovers he has depleted the last of his Colt ammo and pulls out his Inyankapemni, preparing to get the drop on the Mexican general.

Pancho soon stops firing at the last Lakota brave as he sees the last bandito run up behind him and run him through with his bolo knife. Reddead The bandito then runs past Villa, charging at Crazy Horse but is quickly put down by a blow to the head from Crazy Horse's war club. Bluedead As the Lakota chief advances at the Mexican general, Pancho attempts to fire his revolver which has run out of ammo. Crazy Horse brings the Inyankapemni down on his left shoulder, causing him to shout in pain. Pancho Villa then drops his gun and draws his bolo knife. He lunges in close to Crazy Horse, cutting him across the chest and sending him to the ground. Villa goes in for a second chop while the Lakota brave is floored, but Crazy Horse holds out his club and blocks the swing, breaking the Inyankapemni. The Lakota chief rolls out of the path of another chop and tries to get back up. Pancho responds only by kicking him back to the ground. Crazy Horse then throws the stone end at Pancho's face. While he's stunned, Crazy Horse gets to his feet and grapples with the Mexican, trying to stab him in the neck with the splintered handle, but Pancho stops him and slashes him in the chest again, ending the Lakota's life and sending him back to the ground. Reddead Pancho then stands up and raises his arms while he shouts "Victoria!" (Victory) in triumph.

Expert's Opinion[]

According to the experts, Pancho Villa managed to win due to his newer, more reliable 1894 Winchester Repeating Rifle and his bolo knife, able to slash out Crazy Horse's war club as well as the fact Pancho had a significant advantage in the X-Factor of Logistics because Crazy Horse was unable to get the right supplies because he and his troops were foraging for firearms and supplies from soldiers they killed, while Pancho Villa had better weaponry, and medical supplies from the controlled railroads throughout Mexico.


  • Pancho Villa Documentary [1]
  • A similar bandito rebel was Jesús Malverde: who also had the reputation of a 'Mexican Robinhood' who used his criminal activities to attack the rich and support the poor. Malverde has a darker reputation however as there are drug cartels who created cults worshiping him. Some historians think that these drug cartels invented Malverde: that he was a myth instead of a real person in order for the cartels to claim to share his heroism in order to become more popular.
  • Because of his popularity, Pancho Villa's appearance has become a stereotype of Mexicans, with Pancho's bandoliers, sombrero, shirt or coat and mustache. The Deadliest Warrior symbol for Pancho is his bandoliers and hat.
  • George Patton, who would later become famous as an American general in WWII, assisted John J. Pershing's campaign to hunt down Pancho Villa known as the Pancho Villa Expedition.

  • According to the episode, the guerrilla tactics used by Pancho Villa and Crazy Horse inspired the tactics used by future rebels all over the globe, like the IRA, the Taliban and the Viet Cong.
  • The Mexican Revolution was the first conflict in which airplanes played a major role. Planes were used in both a scouting role and in bombing, with pilots dropping dynamite from their planes. Because the interrupter gear, which allowed a machine gun to fire in between the rotors of a plane's propeller, had not yet been invented, planes did not have on-board weapons; however, some pilots armed themselves with handguns to defend themselves from enemy planes. There was one incident in which two opposing pilots actually threw bricks at each other.