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 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 watch over of sea lanes and integrated 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 fighters made over their respective army institutions, developing a lot wanted, civilian-supported offer, transportation, and scientific devices. Chile eventually prevailed. Bolivia misplaced its seacoast besides invaluable 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 locations the battle in an important overseas context, but in addition explains why this devastating clash ended in 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)
These had to be improvised. Imports and domestic arms industries allowed Chile, Peru, and Bolivia to provide their armies with weapons and ammunition. None of the belligerents possessed organizations capable of providing the armed forces technical services. Since they lacked the organic organizations to supply logistical support, they privatized the war effort: they rented telegraph lines and railroads and transport, and they appealed to the public for ﬁnancial and technical support as if supporting the military were a volunteer hospital or public charity.
41 The French army, which in 1870 learned ﬁrsthand not to launch massed assaults, would also have to relearn the painful lesson, at great cost, during the First World War. The South American countries, at least, had an excuse for not assimilating the most modern military theory: since these nations were at different stages in the process of modernization than their European or North American counterparts, they lacked the intellectual training and infrastructure of the more modern societies. 42 Eventually, all the combatants, not just the Peruvian and Bolivian governments, recognized they had to restructure their institutions, including their armed forces.
34 Curiously, few have studied what inspired Peru to honor the 1873 treaty. Prado, it must be remembered, could have legally refused to enlist in Daza’s anti-Chile crusade. And given Lima’s wretched economy and the potential for political unrest, he would have been well advised to remain neutral. But some have also found an economic motivation undergirding Prado’s decision to go to war. ” Initially, Prado did not have to fear that Chileans exploiting their domestic salitreras could challenge Peru’s nitrate cartel: the mines of Taltal and Aguas Blancas, located in Chile’s north, simply did not produce enough nitrates.