By William F. Sater Ph.D. MA AB
The yr 1879 marked the start of 1 of the longest, bloodiest conflicts of nineteenth-century Latin the USA. The conflict 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 regulate 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 hundreds of thousands of guys useless at the battlefields. ultimately, the opponents remodeled their respective army institutions, growing a lot wanted, civilian-supported provide, transportation, and scientific devices. Chile eventually prevailed. Bolivia misplaced its seacoast in addition to useful nitrate and copper deposits to Chile, and Peru was once compelled to cede mineral wealthy Tarapaca and the province of Arica to the victor. Employing the first and secondary resources of the nations concerned, William F. Sater deals the definitive research of the conflict's naval and armed forces campaigns. Andean Tragedy not just areas the warfare in a very important foreign context, but additionally explains why this devastating clash ended in a Chilean victory. (20080801)
Read Online or Download Andean Tragedy: Fighting the War of the Pacific, 1879-1884 (Studies in War, Society, and the Militar) PDF
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Extra info for Andean Tragedy: Fighting the War of the Pacific, 1879-1884 (Studies in War, Society, and the Militar)
Having miscalculated, Bolivia’s President Daza had no choice but to brazen it out: in March he suddenly declared war on Chile. He also appealed to Peru to honor its treaty obligations. The Peruvian leader, regardless of personal feelings, had to abide by the 1873 treaty with Bolivia. As de Lavalle observed, failing to assist Daza would not only “arouse the most intense indignation in the Bolivians and the most profound disdain in the Chileans . . ”47 Thus the War of the Paciﬁc, like the First World War after it, appeared to begin by accident, with one unrelated act knocking over the ﬁrst domino that in turn upended others.
It quickly became clear to Colonel Sotomayor that if he wished to defend Antofagasta against a possible Bolivian counterattack, he had to occupy some of the towns located in the interior. Thus, some six hundred regular troops marched 125 miles east from Antofagasta, through one of the world’s most desolate deserts, to Calama, a key road junction that controlled the overland approaches to the coastal cities, reaching the city by 23 March. Sotomayor, who did not scout the Bolivian position prior to the battle, divided his men into three groups, sending the ﬁrst two to capture the city.
20 Witnessing these activities, one English visitor noted, “Of all the adventurous careers recorded in the annals of South American republics, Daza’s . . 21 Daza’s administration rested upon his relationship with the army’s First Battalion, the Colorados, so named for their red jackets. ”23 Daza’s rationale for the tax increase still appears somewhat clouded. Clearly the Bolivian government always needed money, in part because Daza had a history of being a big spender. But in addition to funding normal government services, the president also hoped to develop the nation’s littoral, as well as to ﬁnance a railroad that would link the altiplano with the Paciﬁc Ocean.