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This website is dedicated to the 45-calibre service pistol called the Model 1911a1.
A Color of History
The Colt .45 has a very long and colorful history. Did you know that this gun known the world over for its stopping power was developed in response to the Philippine Moro subjugation campaign by the Americans in the turn of the 20th century? Did you know that this weapon was instrumental in the United States finally pacifying the entire Philippine archipelago?
Prior to the turn of the last century, the Philippines was only a Spanish colony in reality for 90% of the country. This, of course, left 10% in the hands of local insurrectionists or local chieftains who refused to bow to Spanish colonial overlords. Try as they might, in wave after wave of incursions by Spanish colonial forces, the Moro or Muslim minority in the southern islands of Sulu, Jolo and certain parts of Zamboanga were able to repel these Spanish incursions.
Please understand that the Spanish did not fail for lack of __3:35__. They tried to convert the local population to Catholicism, but the locals would not have any of it. They already were following another religion. They were, of course, Muslim. So, for the longest time, the Spaniards pretty much tried to segregate the southern part of the country, but there was one problem.
The Christian parts of the Philippines provided a steady and safe supply of slaves for the Moslem people in Cotabato and Maguindanao. Not surprisingly, slave __4:20__ going as far as Pampanga were quite common. In fact, they were recorded many times stretching all the way from the beginning of the Spanish presence in the Philippines all the way to the beginning of the American Colonial period.
Sword to cross
Believe it or not the Philippines is only one of a few, if not the only country that was colonized not through the end of a sword but through the cross. Thanks to enterprising and adventurous priests who basically partitioned the whole archipelago into different competing monastic and secular orders, Catholicism was preached in all parts of the Philippines.
Unfortunately, for the priests trying to make converts in the south, their missions usually did not end all that well. In fact, in many cases, they were lucky to hang onto their heads. The Muslim population in the south were not particularly keen on hearing about the Gospel because they already had a religion.
So, a lot of the conversion work done mostly in the 90% of the country that was not Muslim. Over three hundred years, the country became overwhelmingly Catholic. A lot of this was due not so much through the power of effective preaching but through very sly and clever cooptation pre-existing pagan religion.
The Filipino Catholic Sto. Nino, for example, was actually a direct synthesis of the pagan small rock worship precolonial Filipinos. From the north of the country all the way to near the Muslim parts of the archipelago, ago people still worship small rocks. These were called the “poon”. They were good luck charms. They also were symbols of local pagan deities.
The Sto. Niño
When the Spanish priests came to convert the different warring tribes of the Philippines, they would come across such religious displays and instead of doing what they did in Mexico and considering such pagan symbols heretical and condemning them, the Filipino Spanish colonial experience involved cooptation.
This means that the Spanish priests would put clothing on the small rocks and called them the Sto. Nino. When they go to a town and there’s a particular local deity, they would say that it would be San Jose, San Juan, San Lucas, San Pedro, you get the pattern. Using this theological slight of hand, the Philippines relatively quickly, over the span of a century, became overwhelmingly Catholic.
However, when you look at the synthesis of local paganism and Catholicism, most famously exhibited In the Nazareno festival in Quiapo Church on January 9, it’s easy to see that real Christianity actually has very shallow roots in the Philippines, but none of that mattered to the Spanish because they just wanted to turn what would otherwise be a population of angry, fierce and proud Malay warriors into docile peasants that they can extract taxes and labor from.
That was the history of the Philippines prior to the Americans, but the Americans had a serious problem in their hands. According to the territorial maps of Spain, they were supposed to cover all the way from the tip of the Batanes chain all the way to Malaysia.
However, there’s only one problem – a significant portion of the south was Muslim, and regardless of how many American soldiers were sent to that part of the country, a lot of them got killed. The reason for this was because the Muslim warriors, namely the Tausug, would rather be killed than surrender alive.
Stopping Tausug Warriors
In fact, they were so fierce that even if they were shot several times, they continue to charge and, believe me, even if your Tausug opponent only has a bolo, that’s usually enough to separate your head from your body. Americans found this out in the worst way possible in engagement after engagement. They got sick and tired of being hacked to death by bolo-wielding Tausug warriors who seemed to be immune to bullets. They had to do something.
This is where the Colt .45 came in. It was designed specifically to stop rampaging Tausug warriors. The Tausug were able to do this because they would tie strips of cloth to their arteries so that even if they get shot, the blood is restricted to that part of the body, and they still have enough blood and energy in other parts of their body for them to continue charging and possibly decapitate or maim an American soldier or two.
This struck fear in the heart of American soldiers stationed in the south of the Philippines, but thanks the Colt .45, they were able to stop a Tausug warrior even if he fully sectioned the blood in his system. That’s how much power a Colt .45 has. It’s like having a compact cannon in your hands. It can literally blow a hole through a person.
The service pistol version of the Colt .45 issued in 1911 is a more refined version of this Tausug-stopping weapon. However, make no mistake about it even though it is a service pistol, it can still punch a hole in most human beings. That’s how powerful the Colt .45 is, and it’s still in wide use today because of its tried-and-proven antipersonnel capabilities.
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