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Tacna War
Peru War





South America


Chilean Victory

  • Treaty of Lima
  • Tacna still under Chilean control
  • Moquegua for Chile
  • War Reparations

Flag of Chile Chile

Flag of Peru 1825 Peru


President Luis Barros B.
Gral. Francisco Diaz V.
Gral. Juan Ortiz Vega
Gral. Pedro Charpin
Gral. Carlos Ibañez del Campo
Gral. Bartolomé Blanche
Col. Pedro Vignola
Col. Marcial Urrutia
Lt. Col. Oscar Escudero

President Augusto Leguía
Gral. Oscar Benavides
Col. Luis Miguel Sánchez
Col. Eluy Ureta
Col. Gustavo Jimenez




Casualties and Losses



The Tacna War (also called as the Second War of the Pacific) was a military conflict between the Republic of Chile and the Republic of Peru over the disputed territory of Tacna and that took place between 1928 and 1930.


Tacna Conquer by Chile

Tacna after the Chilean victory in the Battle of Tacna during the War of the Pacific (1880)

During the War of the Pacific, Chilean forces occupied great part of the south territory of Peru, including Tacna. The hostilities between both countries ended with the sign of the Treaty of Ancón in 1984, which between things established that the provinces of Tacna and Arica would stay under chilean control for 10 years, after which a plebiscite would be realized to decide the fate of both territories. However, this referendum never took place.

During more than 30 years, the governments of Peru and Chile tried several negotiations to solve the matter, without achieving much success. At the same time, Chile initiate a process for Chilenizar the provinces of Tacna and Arica, and in this way to gain the support of the population.

After the First World War, the intervention of the government of the United States was required to help to solve the matter, but did not also manage to advance much.

In addition, nationalistic groups arose in Peru and Chile that they started causing many violence in the dispute territories, complicating the negotiations.

However, the situation started worsening in the middle of the 20s, when Peru governed by the President Augusto Leguía, began to suffer an economic crisis that mean an increase in the popular dissatisfaction. It, added to the pressures to the Peruvian government not to lose the territorial dispute, prevented it from reaching with Chile a definitive compromise.

For other side, Chile also experience a crisis in his political system, but this, only lasted one year, and it managed to be overcome thanks to the promulgation of a new constitution and the arrival to the government of a candidacy agreed by all the political sectors.

For 1928, after the last attempts of mediation, the government of Leguía come to the determination that to declare the war to Chile was the only way of solving the dispute and take out to Peru of the increasing crisis that was experimenting.


Peru declare the war to Chile on October 8, 1928.

Movilización EP

Movilization of the Peruvian Army

Peruvian Occupation of Tacna

The Peruvian forces invaded Tacna territory, taking for surprise to the Chilean troops there, and managing to capture the city after approximately two days of fight.

After finding out about the Peruvian assault, the Chilean Army was mobilized. The troops in the zone took defensive positions to the south of the locality, resisting one week until that the biggest numbers of enemy soldiers forced them to move back towards Arica.

Siege of Arica

After the surprise in Tacna, the chilean generals ordered a retreat of most of the forces towards Arica, where they organized the defense of the city. Meanwhile, forces of Peru attacked and occupied the town of Putre after has beat to the Chilean troops quartered there. Arica was surrounded by the army and the Peruvian navy on November 1, and in spite of being overcome in numbers, the Chilean troops managed to reject the first Peruvian assaults, while reinforcements from Iquique little by little were coming. The siege of the city, for more than four weeks, without the Peruvian troops could break the enemy defense

Battle of Iquique

From their positions within the province of Tarapaca, the Peruvian military organized a drive toward the coast, supported by the Navy. The idea was first to completely isolate Arica and then bring about the capture of the port of Iquique. Operations began in mid-December. On land, the Chilean troops withstood the fierce onslaught of Peru, while at sea, the Chilean and Peruvian navies fought near the harbor of Iquique. Despite being ahead of the Peruvian Navy in the early hours of the battle, the Chilean navy achievement then turn the tables and get the sinking of the bulk of the enemy fleet, although the ships were a lot of damage. With the defeat in Iquique, Peru ground attack was soon repulsed, and the forces had to retreat to previous positions.

Naval Battles

Photography of the Naval Battle in Iquique

Chilean Counter-Offensive

And during the War of the Pacific in 1879, the result of the naval campaign again defined the course of the war. Without its navy, the siege of Peru to Arica began to weaken and the end of January 1929, the Chilean Army organized a major offensive to drive out Peruvian Tarapacá. Once done, he arrival of more units from southern Chile, allowed the final counter-attack launched from Iquique allowing release Arica from the Peruvian siege. For the month of March, the Peruvian army back to Tacna and organized their defense, as the government of Leguia began experimenting early reviews product of these early setbacks in the war. The Chilean campaign to recover Tacna, began a week later and was led by General Carlos Ibanez del Campo. Again, the amount of Peruvian troops defending outnumbered those in Chile, however, Ibanez gradually wear down the defenders, to get completely surround the city and forced its surrender on 12 June.

Fall of Arequipa

After regaining Tacna and Arica, the Chilean government offered peace in exchange for these provinces, but the government of Leguia said no, while the Peruvian forces organized a new attack on Tacna. However, the action failure and Chilean troops took the opportunity to continue the progress towards Arequipa. The battle for the city began on 11 July and lasted almost three weeks until achieving the Chilean Army to occupy the place. It was the confrontation that cost more lives so far, especially of civilians.

Great Battle of Lima

After several months of war, and unable to achieve a cessation of hostilities, the Chilean government of Luis Barros Borgoño decided to continue military operations to reach Lima. The march of the Chilean Army to Peruvian capital was extremely difficult due to the effective organized defenses in southern Peru, despite the difficult situation the government was plunged product failures in Arica and Tacna. The numerical superiority continued to be the main advantage of the Peruvian forces, but slowly, several cases of desertion began to appear, affecting the organization and performance within the military battalions. By late 1929, began the so-called Great Battle of Lima, which made its debut the new Chilean Air Force, bombing the city's defenses.

City After Attack

Lima after the battle

The fighting took place mainly on the outskirts of Lima, and extended until January 3, 1930, when finally the last of the Peruvian Army garrison surrendered to the Chilean forces. Shortly before the fall of Lima, Peru's President Augusto Leguia moved to the city of Huacho, where he planned to subsequently move the seat of government to the north. However, while there, part of a regiment revolted with the intention of deposing him and arrest him. Leguía refused and the soldiers fired, killing him. A few hours later, with the arrival of other troops, the uprising was crushed

Peruvian Surrender

After Leguía's death, a group of politicians and military men shaped rapidly a provisional Junta of government. After stating the serious losses suffered up to this moment, especially during the battle in Lima, the Junta decided to accept a peace with Chile for ends of January, 1930. Nevertheless, the decision was not respected by some Peruvian troops that continued the hostilities against the Chilean forces until middle of July. Finally, the peace between both countries was signed the day of October 16, 1930, after which the Chilean troops left the ocuppied territories.


With the sign of the Treaty of Lima, Chile still has with the sovereignty of the dispute territories, Tacna and Arica, besides receive the department of Moquegua and a monetary compensation of twelve million American dollars.