The Great Depression had ravaged the CSA ever since it began in 1929. President Herbert Hoover of the South, was blamed by Congress for allowing the economy to even get to the point of collapse. His policy of no Government interference led to the grayback (CS Dollar) rapidly lose value to the already devalued US Dollar. With his six year term winding down, he began to gear the CS for war, planning to expand the Confederate Empire for resources. To the south, Emperor Juan Santos's regime had held power ever since the the military coup he led took power in 1924, ousting President Diaz. Diaz resided in exile in the United States, a regular guest at the White House. The first idea for an invasion of Mexico came from the General Staff of the CS Armed Forces, under the joint command of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. (At the time, the Air Force was under the control of the Army, as the CS Army Air Corps.) General Nathan Bedford Forrest III, great grandson of the famous General of the War of Secession, designated the plan as Operation Grey. It called for a broad front advance across the border, with the main drive focused toward Mexico City. A further option was to land a force of Marines in the Yucatan, mirroring US plans from 1848. The main units used for the plan were the 1st and 4th Armies, based in Texas and Oklahoma, which were led by veteran NCOs of the Great War. The 14th, 19th and 3rd CS Marine Divisions would also be designated to land in the Yucatan for the amphibious portion of the invasion.
"Move Ahead Truman" - CS President Hoover ordering the 1st Army to begin the Invasion.
At Dawn on April 8th, 1937, The President gave orders to begin the attack. Giving the orders at 5:30 AM, infantry of the 1st Army immediately attacked and killed Mexican Border Guards, catching them completely off balance. For almost an hour into the invasion, the Mexican Government did not know that the CS was moving into the country. By 7:16 AM, The Mexican Chief of Staff was interrupted from a morning meeting with a frantic Radio message from the 9th Infantry Brigade, stationed in Ensenada. At first, reports of CS troops attacking the Mexicans were written off as an exercise, with the generals slowly passing along word to the Emperor. At 7:57, the first bombs fell on Mexico City, which swooped in from the CSS Virginia, lurking in the Gulf. The Empire of Mexico officially declared War on the CS at 8:01 Am, with the Confederate ambassador Huey E. Long delivering a Declaration of War at 9:35. He was then forced to leave Mexico. Meanwhile, the CS 1st Army barreled southward, overrunning the small centers of resistance. It soon became clear that the new model L-36 Tanks, manufactured in the Birmingham Industrial Works, were far superior to the obsolete Mexican MT-30, as well as even older 1920's US import tanks. The first significant battle in which Confederate forces were forced to stop was the Battle of Chihuahua. It was famous for the Stand of the 9th Brigade. When the CS 8th Division first appeared at the city outskirts in early May, the Mexican Conscripts assigned to defend it were re-inforced by the newly deployed 12th "La Patria" Division, a unit of the Mexican Imperial Army which was manned by the trained troops of the Imperial Guard, Juan Santo's personal military force. The Confederates charged the trenches outside the City, expecting to quickly overrun the defenses as they always had. At first it was chaos, with Confederates blasting their way past the defensive lines, and having the L-36s charge straight ahead. But then the Mexicans counter-attacked, stopping the Confederate drive, Colonel Gutterman of the CS 156th Combat Battalion (8th Division) having led his forces into a trap. Although he escaped, essentially the rest of the lead elements of the 156th were cut off and destroyed, ambushed by Mexicans with machine guns, grenades, mines, and dug-in tanks. Once word of the disaster reached Richmond, President Hoover was said to remark "How could the rotten structure of the Mexican Empire defeat us? All we have to do is kick in the door and the whole system was supposed to collapse!".