By Steve Lilley In the 1939 movie The Real Glory, elite U.S. Army officers arrive in the southern Philippines to mold the Filipinos into a military force to defend their villages against marauding Moro tribesmen. In one scene, a burly, sword-wielding Moro attacks the Army unit’s commander. The Moro charges through a hail of lead unleashed by other officers, including Dr. Bill Canavan (Gary Cooper), and fatally wounds the colonel before succumbing to the gunfire. Later, Canavan drops five spent bullets from the Moro’s body on a table in front of his fellow officers and the parish priest. “I thought I missed when I shot at that juramentado, but I guess I didn’t,” Canavan said. “He had enough lead in him to sink a battleship. I wonder what kept the beggar going with all those slugs in him. Must be some drug.” The scene was realistic. During the Army’s early years in the Philippines, such incidents created a crisis of faith among U.S. soldiers—faith in their weapons. That crisis led the Army to adopt one of the most famous firearms in history, the 1911 Colt, but the outcome might have been very different. Generations of American soldiers might have gone into battle with 1907 Savages instead. The Need For Increased Stopping Power The trouble began in 1899. When the United States won the Spanish-American War and annexed the Philippines as a colony, it unexpectedly entered a conflict more costly, longer, and deadlier than the war with Spain had been. The Moro


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