Carnaval de Tambobamba

Carnaval de Tambobamba

martes, 26 de julio de 2011

Campaign of Lima

Campaign of Lima

Infantry regiment of the Chilean Army, formed in Lurín, south of Lima, in January 1881

After the campaign of Tacna and Arica, the southern departments of Peru were in Chilean hands, and the allies armies were smashed, so for the Chilean government there was no reason to continue the war. However, public pressure as well as expansionist ambitions pushed the war farther north.[21][22] The defeated allies not only didn't realize their situation, but despite the empty Bolivian treasury, on 16 June 1880 the National Assembly voted in favour of a continuation of the war and on 11 June 1880 was signed in Peru a document declaring the creation of theUnited States of Peru-Bolivia.[23]

This forced both the Chilean government and its high command to plan a new campaign with the objective to obtain an unconditional capitulation at the Peruvian capital city.[24]

The Chilean forces would have to confront virtually the entire male population of Lima defending prepared positions and supported by a formidable collection of the coastal guns of Lima, located within a few miles of the capital's arsenal and supply depots.[1](p258-259) President Pierola ordered the construction of two parallel lines of defenses at Chorrillos and Miraflores a few kilometers south of Lima. The line of Chorrillos had 10 miles (16 km) long, lying from Marcavilca hill to La Chira, passing through the acclivities of San Juan and Santa Teresa[1](p276-). The Peruvian forces were approximately 26,000 men strong between Arequipa and Lima.[25]

"The Third Fort" by J. Dellepiani, one of the Peruvians strongholds in Miraflores

A small Chilean force went ashore nearPisco, approximately 200 miles (320 km) south of Lima, and the mass of the army disembarked in Chilca only 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Lima.

On January 13, 1881 the 20,000[26] Chilean troops charged 14,000[26] Peruvian defenders in Chorrillos. During the Battle of Chorrillos, the Chileans inflicted a harsh defeat to the Peruvian army and eliminated the first defensive line guarding Lima. Two days later, on January 15, 1881, after the triumph in theBattle of Miraflores the Chilean army entered Lima.

After the battle there were fires and sackings in the towns of Chorrillos and Barranco.

[edit]Occupation of Lima

Chilean army entering Lima.

During the occupation of Lima, Chilean troops systematically pillaged Peruvian public buildings, turned the old University of San Marcos into a barracks, raided medical schools and other institutions of education, and stole a series of monuments and artwork that had adorned the city.[27] As war booty, Chile confiscated the contents of the Peruvian National Library in Lima and transported thousands of books (including many centuries-old original Spanish, Peruvian and Colonial volumes) to Santiago de Chile, along with much capital stock. In November 2007 3,778 books were returned to the National Library of Peru.[28]

[edit]Occupation of Peru

Chileans troops entered Lima on 17 January 1881.[1](p296). The Peruvian dictator Nicolás de Piérola retreated from the capital to try governing from the rear area, and he still refused to accept Chile's demand for territory and indemnity.[29]

In absence of a Peruvian president who was willing to accept their peace terms, on February 22, 1881, the Chileans allowed a convention of Peruvian "notables" outside of Lima that elected Francisco García Calderón as president. Garcia Calderón was allowed to raise and arm two infantry battalions (400 men each) and two small cavalry squadrons to give more legitimacy to the provisional government.[4](p173)

The commander of the Chilean occupation, Vice-admiral Patricio Lynch, set down his military headquarters in the Government Palace of Peru in Lima. After the confrontations in San Juan and Miraflores, Peruvian Colonel Andrés Avelino Cáceres decided to escape to the central Andes to organize and reinitiate the Peruvian resistance to the Chilean occupation army from within the mountain range. This would come to be known as the Campaign of the Breña or Sierra, which organized abundant acts of rebellion in Lima and eventually organized a widespread Peruvian resistance.[30][31]

Meanwhile, in Chile the new administration under the command of Domingo Santa Maria pushed for an end to the costly war.

[edit]Letelier's expedition

In February 1881, the Chilean forces under the command of Lt. Col. Ambrosio Letelier started the first Expedition, with 700 men, to defeat the last guerilla bands from Huánuco (30 April) to Junín. After many losses the expedition achieved very little and came back to Lima in early July[1](p309-), where Letelier and his officers were court-martialed because they illegally diverted money into their own pocket.[32]


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