On April 23, 1519, Hernán Cortés lands in the Yucatan with the intention of bringing the Aztec Empire to heel and seizing all the wealth of the territory. But he has a paltry force at his command: fewer than 600 men and some horses. On September 2, things get worse: several thousand Talaxcaltecs, traditional enemies of the Aztecs, confront him, ready to do battle. Horses are a totally unknown animal for the Talaxcaltecs, and when the battle commences, the Indians panic at the sight of them. Cortés exploits this psychological advantage and, against all expectations, wins the battle. Better still, he manages to rally the Talaxcaltecs to his cause. Strengthened by these unexpected reinforcements, Cortés advances to Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, and besieges it. After three months of intense fighting, he takes the city on August 13, 1521. Mexico has fallen into the hands of Spain.