In 1861, French troops aboard the La Royale Navy ships, disembarked at Veracruz, and headed for Mexico City to take control of the Mexican government for not paying its debt to the French authority. Sitting in the bay with a skeleton crew, the French warship, MYO, (latin for muscle) was left to fend for itself amongst the local fishermen. The bold Man o’ War lay in the placid, blue harbor, flying France’s powerful tri-colored flag. These blood-red flags served as a warning to the locals to keep their distance. For months, and into late April, peace ensued, but the foreign presence in the home port antagonized the local population. Insults and profanities flew continuously between the belligerents, as the hatred grew daily. The two main Mexican fishing clans began to discuss a plan to destroy the vessel, and on the 4th day of the following month at 6AM, the operation was sprung. The attack began with the pouncing Pronto group sneaking up the gang plank and making their way into the ship’s hold, but a vigilant French guard on duty spotted them and quickly rang the brass bell. The sleeping French sailors were awakened immediately, and a full-blown, murderous melee resulted. Like lightning, the second group, the aggressive Arribas, stormed their way on to the flagship to assist. Thunderous shouting and cries for help filled the early morning silence. ARRIBA! ARRIBA! ON THE WAY! ON THE WAY! PRONTO! PRONTO! The French, greatly outnumbered, succumbed to the onslaught and while they lay wounded, watched the frenzied Mexicans head for the stern of the boat. This is where the hull is at its thinnest, and the rebels repeatedly smashed the timber floor with Pinata bats. The rage-filled rioters ended their successful attempt at midnight, as the crippled craft slipped beneath the harbor, ensuring victory. This momentous event is celebrated every May 5th and is known in the United States and Mexico as SINKO THE MYO, a turning point in modern history.  

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