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Battle of Angamos 2023: Date, History, Facts about Peru

During the Pacific War, naval combat occurred during the Battle of Angamos. It was contested at Punta Angamos on October 8, 1879, between Chile and Peru.

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The Battle of Angamos, also known as “Combate naval de Angamos,” is commemorated on October 8. The conflict occurred during the naval phase of the Pacific War in 1879. Captain Juan Jose Latorre and Commodore Galvarino Riveros of the Chilean navy encircled and captured the ironclad ‘Huáscar,’ commanded by Rear Admiral Miguel Grau Seminario, who was slain in action. After the combat, the wounded Peruvian navy was unable to prevent the invasion of its territory. The ‘Huáscar’ was repaired and served under Chilean flag until decommissioning; it is now a floating museum in the port of Talcahuano.

The background of Battle of Angamos

During the Pacific War, naval combat occurred during the Battle of Angamos. It was contested at Punta Angamos on October 8, 1879, between Chile and Peru. The conflict was the culmination of a five-month naval campaign in which the sole objective of the Chilean navy was to eliminate its Peruvian counterpart. Two armored frigates under the command of Captain Juan José Latorre and Commodore Galvarino Riveros Cárdenas attacked and subsequently captured the Peruvian monitor ‘Huáscar,’ which was commanded by Rear Admiral Miguel Grau Seminario.

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Following the loss of the warship Independencia at Punta Gruesa, Seminario attempted to challenge the outnumbered Chilean fleet by employing a harassing strategy to inflict as much harm as possible while avoiding a full-scale engagement. Admiral John Williams Rebolledo was ordered to capture Seminario and pursue him along the coast in all circumstances. His failure to do so cost him his commission, and Riveros replaced him. At Punta Angamos, he employed a different strategy to encircle Seminario. After falling into a trap set by Riveros and Latorre, Seminario was constrained to show aggression, ordering the corvette ‘Unión’ to flee to Peru.

On the Almirante Cochrane, Latorre was the initiator of combat. Seminario was slain in action as his ship, Huáscar, was bombarded for nearly two hours by Armstrong-type cannons armed with armor-piercing projectiles; Huáscar could only cause minor damage to the Chilean ironclads with regular, extended shots. His flagship, however, continued the battle even as Riveros engaged her with the Blanco Encalada. The Huáscar was boarded and captured after being bombarded for nearly three hours, rendering it incapable of continuing the fight.

The Chilean navy achieved total victory, solidifying its position as the war’s dominant force. It allowed for the early November invasion of the Tarapacá department to be prepared. The dominance of the Chilean navy off the Pacific coast was crucial to the success of the subsequent land campaigns across the Atacama Desert, which culminated in the fall of Lima in January 1881. The Huáscar was repaired and served under Chilean flag until decommissioning; it is now a floating museum in the port of Talcahuano.

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Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan is a Commerce graduate who loves to write on general and trending topics.

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