Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Battle of Angamos

Today is a holiday in Peru - it's the anniversary of the Battle of Angamos. This was a naval battle that took place during the War of the Pacific in which one of Peru's greatest heroes, Adm. Miguel Grau, was killed. He was known as the Cabellero de los Mares - the Gentleman of the Seas - by his enemies for the way he always acted with honor during battle. He warned crewmen to leave ships before attacking, and rescued survivors from the seas. The Chileans were nearly as distraught at his death as the Peruvians.

The loss at Angamos - and the loss of Sr. Grau and his ship, the Huascar - was a turning point in the war of the Pacific. Without Grau to protect the coast, the Chileans had complete control of the seas, and the Chilean army was free to move up the coast.

So, today, let's raise a glass of Pisco for the man whose passing caused his enemies to mourn his loss. Viva el Cabellero de los Mares!
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