The War of the Pacific

April 5, 1879 – October 20, 1883

Chile vs Bolivia & Peru

Guerra del Pacífico





Nov 8 President of Chile Anibal Pinto Garmendia sends a diplomatic note to 38 year old Bolivian dictator Gen.Hilarion Daza protesting tax increase on Chilean company operating in the Atacama desert - Chile had tactitly recognized Bolivian control of the desert in return for Bolivia's promise not to raise taxes on Chilean companies there.. Gen.Daza,faced with bankruptcy, uncreases taxes. None of the three nations is prepared for an offensive war Bolivia has population of 2 million with 2,000 regulars, Peru has a population of 2.7 million and 8,000 regulars. Chile has a population of 2.5 million and 8,000 soldiers. Chile is the richest and mostern moderized of the three. Chile has two modern English built ironclads, the Almirate Cochrane and the Blanco Encalada, which Peru and Bolivia cannot match.



Feb 10 Chile severs diplomatic relations with Bolivia


Feb 14  Chilean squadron sails north to Antofagasta with Col. Emilio Sotomayor and 200 marines tp stop Bolivia from auctioning off impounded properties of the Chile Nitrate Co. The small Bolivian garrison retreats.


Feb 20  Gen.Daza learns of Chilean attack, reqests from ally Peru in secret


March 1 Bolivia declares war on Chile Peru offers to mediate


March 23 Col. Sotomayor defeats a Bolivian militia force at Calama. Chilean warships occupy Cobija


April 5  Chiean Adm. Juan Williams Rebolledo is order to attack the main Peruvian naval base at Callao in a preemptive strike. The Admiral blockades the Iquique instead, hoping to draw the Peruvians out to battle. Last Bolivian forces are driven from Atacama desert.


May 16  Criticised for inactivity, Adm.Williams leaves corvette Esmeralda and gunboat Covadonga off Iquique and sails to attack Callao. 45 year old Peruvian Adm.Miguel Grau sails to relieve Iquique.


May 21 Naval Battle of Iquique. Grau appears off Iruique with 1,130 ton turreted flagship Huascar and 2,000 ton ironclad Independcia. The Independcia runs aground and is shelled into a wreck by the Covadonga . The Huascar  rams the Esmeralda , sinking her and killing her captain, who is shot down after jumping on the Huascar  . Grau sails to Callao for refit., after sailing past Adm.Williams squadron which has sailed north to pursue him.


July 9 Grau sails from Callao, surprises Chilean blockade at Iquique and captures a Chilean shipand latter a Chilean frigate. Grau captures Chilean troop transport Rimac . Grau then shells Antofagasta ,Huasco,Coquimbo and Tongoy. Adm. Williams resigns, replaced by Adm.Galvarino Rivera.  Peru carry supplies to Gen. Juan Buendias' military build up at Tarapaca.


Oct 7  Naval Battle of Angamos Huascar and 1,150 wooden corvette Union  battle five Chilean warships, including the powerful Cochrane . Grau is killed by salvo from the Cochrane. The Huascar is captured.


Oct 26 Chilean Gen. Erasmo Escala and 8,000 take the then Purevian port of Pisagua ( piss water named after nitrate ladden water there ). Peruvian and Bolivian defenders fall back along railroad line. Peruvian Gen. Buendia gathers 10,000 man force in conjunction with a 7,000 Bolivian force to attack Escala.


Nov 19 Battle of San Francisco  Advanced units of the Chilean arny comes into contact Peruvian and Bolivian troops.Chileans throw up defences at San Francisco. Chilean Krupp artillery, directed by Prussian officers who were veterans of the Franco-Prussian War decimated the troops from Peru and Bolivia. Daza's main army fails to unite with the Peruvians due to lack of supplies. Peruvians retreat toward Tarapaca..


Nov 27 Battle of Tarapaca A Chilean force overtakes retreating Peruvian army at Tarapaca and launches a frontal assult. The Chileans are pushed back. Iquique falls to Chilean army.


Dec 18 Peru's President's Prado government is overthrown while he is away in Europe trying to raise funds for the war. Dr.Nicolas de Pierola becomes preident.


Dec Daza is overthrown in a coup directed by Col. Eliodoro Camacho, Gen. Narciso Campero made president.






Feb 12,000 man strong Chilean army under Gen. Manuel Baquedano leaves Iquique sails to Pacocha to advance inland to attack the main Peruvian concentration at  Tacna. Chilean fleet blockades nearby port of Arica. Baquedano hopes to draw the larger Peruvian and Bolivian force into open battle where he can use his superior weaponary.


March 22 Battle of Cuesta de los Angles Baquedano's army overcomes a 2,000 man strong Peruvian force dug int at Cuesta de los Angles after suffering heavy losses.


May 22 Battle of Tacna  Baquedano masses 8,500 Chilean troops to attack the Bolivian army atop a hill commanded by the new president of Bolivia. Chileans overtake hill . Chileans loss 2,00 to the Peru's and Bolivia's 3,000.


June 7 Battle of Arica Assult made on Arica. 2,000 Peruvian defenders led by Bolognesi 'fight to the last cartridge.'



Jan 13  Battle of Chorrillos-Miraflores 24,000 Chileans under Baquedano attack Peruvian strong hold of Chorrillos. Chileans overwhelm defenses despite heavy losses. 5,000 Peruvians prepare last line of defense outside of Lima.


 International diplomats arrange temporary cease-fire and peace negotiations at resort town of Miraflores. Fighting breaks out and diplomats run for their lives. Last Peruvian defense swept away.


Jan 17 Chilean troops enter Lima. Peruvian president De Pierola retreats to interior .


Jan 18 Peruvian port and naval base town of Callao surrenders.


March 12 rival Peruvian government under Francisco Garcia Calderon starts negotiations with Chile.


Sept 28 Peace conference set up by United States. Military Gov. of Lime, Gen.Lynch orders Pres.Calderon placed under arrest.


Oct 1 Peruvian troops mutiny, Adm.Montero declares himself president as does Caceres.. De Pierola resigns and goes into exile.Peruvian guerrilla activity unable to dislodge Chileans in nitrate rich region.





Oct 20 Peruvian war hero Iglesia procliams himself president, negotiates peace with Chile. Treaty signed ending hostilites. Bolivia only signs after being threatened with invasion. Chile annexs nitrate rich Atacama and Tarapace provinces. bolivia access to sea cut off.


Aug Chile removes last occupying forces


Aug 27 Caceres attacks Lima, civil war in Peru, Iglesias driven from office.






The Land War

 The Battle of Arica  

 The march on Lima

 Death of Juan Fanning

Occupation of Peru

Long-term consequences of the wa


War of the

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