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 US. 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 an eye on of sea lanes and incorporated 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 hundreds of thousands of guys useless at the battlefields. ultimately, the fighters remodeled their respective army institutions, developing a lot wanted, civilian-supported offer, transportation, and clinical devices. Chile finally prevailed. Bolivia misplaced its seacoast besides precious nitrate and copper deposits to Chile, and Peru used to be 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 bargains the definitive research of the conflict's naval and army campaigns. Andean Tragedy not just areas the warfare in an important overseas context, but additionally explains why this devastating clash ended in a Chilean victory. (20080801)
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Extra resources for Andean Tragedy: Fighting the War of the Pacific, 1879-1884 (Studies in War, Society, and the Militar)
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. 24 The general’s goals may have been laudable but not his judgment or sense of timing. Some contemporaries, not all of them Bolivian, have argued that Daza was well within his legal right to levy the surcharge on the Compañía de Salitres.
The Atacama, however, did contain vast reserves of nitrates, and it appeared in early 1879 that Chile would annex this Bolivian province. ”35 Thus, Daza’s declaration of war was a godsend: it gave Prado an excuse to declare war and crush Chile before its investors, capitalizing on the Atacama’s resources, could rival Peru’s domination of the nitrate market. ”36 In other words, Chile did not precipitate the conﬂict; Peru did. ”37 Other contemporary sources saw Prado’s declaration of war as the product of domestic forces.
The campaign to eradicate the last vestiges of Peruvian resistance became the conﬂict’s most difﬁcult, most savage, and most prolonged period of ﬁghting. Certainly the two-year battle against the irregular forces consumed Santiago’s resources and slowly sapped its determination. Fortunately for Chile, Peruvian resistance collapsed ﬁrst: the newly minted Chilean government of Miguel Iglesias signed a peace treaty with Lima in October 1883. Months later the threat of a Chilean invasion forced Bolivia to accept an armistice and end the war.
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