By William F. Sater Ph.D. MA AB
The 12 months 1879 marked the start of 1 of the longest, bloodiest conflicts of nineteenth-century Latin the United States. The battle of the Pacific pitted Peru and Bolivia opposed to Chile in a fight initiated over a festering border dispute. The clash observed Chile’s and Peru’s armored warships vying for keep an eye on of sea lanes and incorporated one of many first examples of using naval torpedoes. On land, huge armies utilizing the main smooth weapons—breech-loading rifles, Gatling weapons, and steel-barreled artillery—clashed in battles that left millions of guys useless at the battlefields. finally, the fighters remodeled their respective army institutions, developing a lot wanted, civilian-supported provide, transportation, and scientific devices. Chile finally prevailed. Bolivia misplaced its seacoast besides priceless nitrate and copper deposits to Chile, and Peru used to be pressured to cede mineral wealthy Tarapaca and the province of Arica to the victor. Employing the first and secondary resources of the international locations concerned, William F. Sater deals the definitive research of the conflict's naval and army campaigns. Andean Tragedy not just areas the battle in a very important foreign context, but additionally explains why this devastating clash ended in a Chilean victory. (20080801)
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Extra info for Andean Tragedy: Fighting the War of the Pacific, 1879-1884 (Studies in War, Society, and the Militar)
The Chilean public demanded that Pinto ask de Lavalle directly and ofﬁcially two questions: Did a defensive alliance exist that committed Peru to assist Bolivia in case of a war with Chile? And if so, did Lima plan to honor this agreement? Confronted with these queries, de Lavalle could prevaricate no longer: he answered yes to both. 30 Seeking the Origin of the War Over the years, the War of the Paciﬁc became one of those conﬂicts whose origins moved from the simple to the sinister. A widely held interpretation argues that a coterie of well-placed and afﬂuent Chileans— sometimes but not always, depending on the theorist, acting in consort with their English masters—bulldozed Pinto into declaring war in order to protect the owners of the Compañía de Salitres y Ferrocarril.
On 14 February the Blanco Encalada landed enough sailors and troops to capture Antofagasta. None of the belligerents realized it yet, but the War of the Paciﬁc had begun. The Leaders Of Hilarión Daza much has be written, little of it complimentary. The Sucre-born bastard child of an Italian immigrant and a local woman, Daza spent a hardscrabble childhood in the care of his maternal uncle. Leaving school after completing the third year of humanidades, Daza apparently devoted himself to playing curipata, a Bolivian version of handball.
2 The Chilean seizure of its seacoast should not have surprised Bolivia. For days one of Santiago’s man-of-war, the Blanco Encalada, had hovered off Antofagasta. Chile’s President Aníbal Pinto had sent the ship north to demonstrate his concern about one of Bolivia’s recent acts. On 14 February 1878, President Daza had increased, by ten cents per quintal, the taxes levied on the export of nitrates. In truth, the surcharge on the tax was inconsequential. 3 But its imposition upset the Compañía de Salitres y Ferrocarril, a Chilean-owned corporation extracting salitre from the Bolivian littoral.