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 United States. The warfare 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 watch over of sea lanes and integrated one of many first examples of using naval torpedoes. On land, huge armies utilizing the main sleek weapons—breech-loading rifles, Gatling weapons, and steel-barreled artillery—clashed in battles that left millions of fellows lifeless at the battlefields. ultimately, the combatants remodeled their respective army institutions, growing a lot wanted, civilian-supported offer, transportation, and scientific devices. Chile finally prevailed. Bolivia misplaced its seacoast in addition to worthwhile 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 assets of the nations concerned, William F. Sater deals the definitive research of the conflict's naval and army campaigns. Andean Tragedy not just locations the warfare in an important foreign context, but additionally explains why this devastating clash led to a Chilean victory. (20080801)
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Additional info for Andean Tragedy: Fighting the War of the Pacific, 1879-1884 (Studies in War, Society, and the Militar)
Hence the president lacked the economic as well as military means to prosecute a war with Argentina. With Daza making menacing noises to the north, the Moneda wanted to avoid ﬁghting on two fronts: Pinto offered to strike a deal with the Argentines. Fortunately, Buenos Aires, also suffering economically, backed away from its harsh words and authorized its consul in Chile, Mariano Sarratea, to settle the dispute before both sides stumbled into war. The Argentine diplomat and Alejandro Fierro, Pinto’s foreign minister, could not decide upon a permanent border, but on 6 December 1878 the two men agreed that both Argentina and Chile would control the strait pending a ﬁnal resolution to the boundary question.
Later La Paz raised other units containing at least another two thousand men. Thus, more than 1 percent of Bolivia’s male population served in its army. Peru’s Army of the South, which numbered approximately nine thousand, when taken in conjunction with the twenty-one thousand troops defending Lima, represented more than 2 percent of its population. This ﬁgure, moreover, does not include the soldiers garrisoning positions in the north of Peru. In short, these wars signiﬁcantly impacted on the male inhabitants of both sides.
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. Logically, the approximately 135 Bolivians, almost all poorly armed civilians, should have made some token show of resistance and then either surrendered or ﬂed.
Andean Tragedy: Fighting the War of the Pacific, 1879-1884 (Studies in War, Society, and the Militar) by William F. Sater Ph.D. MA AB