The Spanish-American War was over, and because of this, the Philippines were no longer under Spanish control.
When the Americans arrived in 1899, the Filipino fighters turned their anger away from the Spaniards and towards the US instead.
Among those with resentment toward the Americans were the Moro warriors. The Moro were seemingly invincible during combat.
What was particularly confusing about fighting against the Moro was that no matter how many times they were shot, they seemed to be capable of shrugging it off and continuing to charge with knives held aloft toward the American line.
How could you fight an enemy when bullets didn’t stop them? And what on earth enabled somebody to run on like that?
The secret to the Moro’s toughness?
Right before they would go into battle, the Moro would tightly wrap their arms and legs with strips of cloth.
Doing so would staunch the blood flow to their extremities much like a tourniquet, making it so if they were hit in the arm or leg, they would still be able to move until blood loss became a factor.
At the time, American soldiers used the .38 Long Colt-chambered M1892. While this revolver had performed well in the past, the times had changed.
But facing off against the Moro, America knew they needed something stronger that could stop them in their tracks.
The U.S. ditched the .38 revolvers and re-issued Colt M1873 single-action .45 Colt revolvers to soldiers instead. They later issued M1909 double-action revolvers chambered in .45 Colt as well.
Going back to the .45 Colt proved to be a prudent move, with many Moro warriors being felled where they stood.
America eventually quelled the rebellion, but several lessons were learned.
Chief of these was that soldiers needed a sidearm that could be relied on to put down an enemy before they could close the distance.
Second, they needed something that used modern firearms technology as well — no more having to step back into the past to fight the wars of today.
And so, when the next war came – World War I – Americans would no longer be sent into battle with outdated revolvers that didn’t pack a punch.
Instead, they would come to be sent with the newest innovation in firearms — the Colt 1911.
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