By Gabriele Esposito, Giuseppe Rava
The Pacific conflict used to be the climax of the decades-long Wars of Liberation, and is among the most vital conflicts in South American heritage. After successful their independence from Spain in 1825, Peru and Bolivia grew to become separate countries - yet over the subsequent years repeated makes an attempt to re-unite them have been pissed off through the neighboring powers, quite Chile.
By the 1870s Chilean army superiority and expansionist regulations exploded into complete scale clash. This publication examines the troops, uniforms and kit utilized by forces on all 3 aspects of the clash and lines the occasions of the conflict from the early naval blockades to the full-scale amphibious landings undertaken through the Chilean forces. The battle resulted in overall victory for Chile, and that country's emergence thereafter as 'the Prussia of South America', whereas it fee Peru a profitable province, and Bolivia its outlet to the Pacific coast.
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Additional resources for Armies of the War of the Pacific 1879-83: Chile, Peru & Bolivia
White canvas haversack (invisible here), and white-metal canteen. (Drawing by benedetto esposito) Weapons At the outbreak of the war the majority of the Bolivian infantry were armed with old percussion or even flintlock muskets. The exception were the Colorados, who had been issued the excellent Spanish 11mm M1871 Remington rolling-block rifle. During 1879 a total of 3,000 Remingtons were purchased, and all three regular battalions received them. Another common weapon (especially for National Guard units) was the M1866 Snider-Enfield rifle, and any Comblain rifles that might be aquired from the Peruvians were gratefully received.
The rifle is an M1874 Gras. C3: Guardsman, National Guard Battalion Antofagasta, 1879 This unit was formed in Antofagasta soon after the Chilean occupation of the city, being recruited mainly from Chilean workers in the nitrate mines. The battalion never went to war; it remained in garrison in the occupied province of Antofagasta, but also served as a source of combat replacements. It wore captured Prussian-style Peruvian Pickelhaube helmets; these had been confiscated by Chilean customs officers and were originally worn by the National Guard Bn Chacabuco, but when that unit adopted the képi its helmets were given to the Antofagasta Battalion.
Another cavalry unit with an unusual history was the Cazadores del Rímac. On July 23, 1879 the Chilean transport ship Rímac was captured by the Peruvian vessels Huáscar and Unión near the port of Antofagasta. It was transporting the cavalry regiment Carabineros de Yungay, with a total of 258 men and 215 horses plus quantities of weapons, ammunition, and equipment. This capture was used to equip a new Peruvian cavalry regiment, formed on March 26, 1880; these Cazadores del Rímac received the excellent horses, weapons, and uniforms of the Carabineros de Yungay.
Armies of the War of the Pacific 1879-83: Chile, Peru & Bolivia by Gabriele Esposito, Giuseppe Rava