The independence war in 1823 acquired some stability, however, at the beginning of the new year of 1824 an event took place that shocked the patriotic forces politically and militarily: there was the handover of the Castles of Callao to the realistic forces.
In effect, on February 4, 1824, the 11th Battalion of the Andes, stationed in Callao, unhappy with the lack of payment of their salaries, rose up in rebellion, and delivered the Castles of Callao to the Spaniards, allowing the royalists recover their positions in that port and in the capital, as evidenced by the command exercised by Brigadier José Ramón Rodil in those fortresses in Chalacas since March 1, and the one exercised by Monet in Lima at the end of February.
Faced with such a fact that endangered the independence of the country, the Congress terminated the government of President Bernardo de Torre Tagle, and granted absolute powers to the liberator Simón Bolívar, who immediately ordered that Admiral Guise "penetrate the bay of Callao and take as many ships as possible, sinking those that could not be extracted from the anchorage "(Ortiz Sotelo: 1993, 87) with the objective of preventing the strengthening of the realistic fleet.
Vice Admiral Guise, as soon as he received the order on February 15, sailed from Huanchaco at dawn the following day aboard the frigate "Protector" (his flagship). When he arrived in Callao on the 17th, he tried to reprimand the commander-in-chief of the Río de la Plata in the Castillo of Independence by receiving a negative response to his request, which led him to decide to attack that port. The attack took place in the early morning of the 25th of the same month when Lieutenant Commander Robert Biset Addison (commander of the "Protector") and Hipólito Bouchard, together with 56 sailors, tried unsuccessfully to rescue the "Guayas" and "Santa Rosa" frigates ", Due to the absence of winds in the bay, opting to burn them.
The fire of these two ships was extended to another six, causing great damage to the realistic fleet, which did not stop worrying Guise because he was aware of his precariousness in food, water, ammunition and payments for his crew, and that from Chiloé (Chile) reinforcements could arrive for the Spaniards, as happened, in fact, on September 12 of that year, when the ship "Asia" with its 72 guns arrived at Callao, and the brig "Aquiles" with its 20 pieces of artillery lead by Commander Roque Guruceta.
Also, the Peruvian squadron, made up of the frigate "Protector" and the schooner "Macedonia", was strengthened with the arrival of the Colombian naval force consisting of the corvette "Pichincha", the schooner "Guayaquileña" and the brig "Chimborazo", commanded by Captain Thomas Wrigth.
Thus, the two squads clashed on October 7 when Guise ordered his ships to enter the Callao harbor. The ship "Asia", the corvette "Ica", the brigs "Aquiles", "Pezuela" and "Constante" came out to meet him. Against this background, the Vice Admiral gave the order to sail the open sea to form a line of combat, while the Spaniards formed theirs. Despite not being able to form such line due to the lack of coordination of "Pichincha" and "Guayaquileña", Guise determined to take the offensive, being followed by the "Macedonia" and the "Chimborazo", that soon was out of combat.
Finally and after battling with bizarre, the result of the combat did not favor either of the two squads, however, we must rescue the demonstrated attitude of the Peruvian sailors who despite their disadvantageous situation, behaved at the height of the circumstances, allowing to continue with the blockade of the port of Callao, and thus neutralize the mobility of the realists.
A day like today a group of men, the crew of the Huáscar monitor under the command of the Knight of the Seas Grand Admiral of Peru Mr. Miguel Grau Seminario, were protagonists of one of the most memorable and glorious Naval Battles of those who have memories in maritime history of the nations.
That heroic epic begins on September 30, 1879, when the Naval Division, composed by the Huáscar monitor, the Union corvette and the Rímac transport, sails south in demand of Iquique, where they arrive on October 1st. That day, the Huáscar under Grau and the Union led by García y García headed south again to continue entering Chilean coasts, an activity that thanks to the skill and expertise of our Grand Admiral and his crew had given good results, Given that after more than 6 months of war against a powerful adversary, he had denied them control over the sea.
Faced with this situation, which was inconceivable for the Chileans and that led to the replacement of his Naval High Command, the new commander-in-chief of his squad, Admiral Riveros devised plans for the capture of Huascar, the nightmare of Chilean sailors. Thus, the enemy squadron is divided into two divisions, the first integrated by the battleship Blanco Encalada, the schooner Covadonga and the armed transport Matías Cousiño; the second by the Cochrane, the corvette O'Higgins and the gunship Loa; They sailed to Arica on October 2, arriving there on the 4, not finding our ships, they then knew that they were venturing into its shores. It is so that both divisions separate to sail towards the south, the first stuck towards the coast and the second one on the high seas. The Chilean plan consisted in corralling the Huáscar and the Union taking advantage of the greater speed of the ships of the second division and cutting them the retreat.
On the same day, continuing with its mission, the Peruvian Naval Division arrived in Sarco, south of Huasco, capturing the Chilean schooner Coquimbo, dispatching it to Arica. On day 5, always sailing to the south, they arrive at Coquimbo not finding enemy ships, continuing then to Tongoy a few hours from Valparaíso. Grau had already learned of the departure of the Chileans and therefore prefers not to risk going further south, undertaking the return to the north. On the 6th and 7th Huáscar suffers damage to its machines, carrying out repairs on the high seas. Overcome the problems, in the early morning of October 8 to 01.00 hours arrived at the port of Antofagasta free of Chilean ships, continuing its defeat to the north. At 03.00 there were fumes coming from the north, initially thinking that they were merchants, but in order to avoid them if they were Chilean ships, Grau ordered to sail to the west and then to the north; but the plan of Riveros was put in march and was so that the fumes initially seen when leaving Antofagasta corresponded to the ships of the first division that undertook hunting to our ships and after three hours of sailing to all machine, the Peruvians manage to mock to the enemy leaving them 8 miles to the height of Punta Tetas.
Later, at 07.15, sailing northwards, three more fumes can be seen from the northwest, which were those of the second Chilean naval division that sailed on an intercept course towards ours. Grau became aware of this new situation and understood that the siege that the enemy tended to him would be difficult to avoid, since Huáscar's speed and artillery power were amply surpassed by those of the Chilean battleships. Then he decided to continue north in order to try to pass Punta Angamos. Then, evaluating the situation, he gave orders to García y García to save his ship, since sacrificing the Union, the only ship of value apart from Huáscar, would be an error.
Knowing that the confrontation was inevitable, Grau presented battle and took the initiative, making the first shot at 09.40 to the Cochrane that was 1000 yards away and thus began the match at the height of Punta Angamos. The Chilean battleship took advantage of its gait and then started firing, forcing, when making a target in the Huáscar, to govern with rigging.
At 09.50 am in the heat of battle a projectile hit the tower where Admiral Miguel Grau was, causing death to him and his assistant Lieutenant Diego Ferre. At that precise moment it was when the greatest sailor of the continent passed to immortality.
But the fight continued. The alive spirit of Grau stayed between his, the Huáscar did not surrender: Commander Elías Aguirre assumed the control; the fight became increasingly difficult and the Chilean first division also engaged in combat with the monitor. The enemy with his powerful artillery demolished little by little the Peruvian ship, that lost the government because of a broadside. Aguirre fell dead, the Commander, Lieutenant Commander Carvajal was seriously wounded, Lieutenant Rodriguez fell dead too, Lieutenant Palacios was wounded, who with a shattered jaw did not leave his post and Lieutenant Santillana was hit by the submachine gun; the staff also did not give up and fought until the end.
The Huáscar, although without government, continued firing, tried to spur Blanco Encalada without results. Finally, after an hour and ten minutes of unequal battle, with the artillery already disabled by enemy fire, with the ship unable to maneuver and decimated its crew, by express order of the last to assume the command of Huáscar Lieutenant Pedro Gárezon, it was ordered to open bottom valves to sink the ship and when this was done, with 4 feet of water in the bottoms, the enemy boarded the ship and after dominating the exhausted crew but with morale and pride held high, they took it as prey. At the moment of approaching Huáscar the first Chilean boat, the Peruvian officers were on the deck because moments before they had thrown their swords into the water so as not to hand them over, shouting out loud one of them "The Peruvians do not give up".
Gentlemen: The story of this fight, the most heroic page of our naval history that causes respect and admiration to everyone, including the sailors and people from Chile, should make us reflect on the current challenge facing our country, which is to continue the task of national development for which our fellow sailors, like Grau and his crew, have not hesitated to offer their lives. Let us prove that the sacrifice of our heros under the light of our Grand Admiral Miguel Grau has not been in vain. Peru does not surrender.
Day of the Creole song
Day of the Creole song
The National Congress of Bolivia
Declares "National Hero" Admiral Miguel Grau.
Hero of the Pacific War
Commander Elias Aguirre, Hero of the Pacific War, is born in Chiclayo
The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies
The Senate and Chamber of Deputies promote the Ensign Manuel Elías Bonnemaison, survivor of the "Huáscar" Monitor, to the high class of Rear Admiral of the Navy.
Signing the Transfer of B.A.P. "Ferré" to the fleet of the Peruvian Navy
In Korea, signing the Transfer of B.A.P. "Ferré" to the fleet of the Peruvian Navy
Launched to the sea two raft of "Kon Tiki II" Expedition
In the Shipyards of Sima-Peru launched to the sea two raft of "Kon Tiki II" Expedition
National Grief Day is declared and Rear Admiral Miguel Grau is tributed
National Grief Day is declared and Rear Admiral Miguel Grau is tributed, the same Honors that correspond to the Presidents of the Republic.
Rear Admiral Eduardo Carrasco Toro is born, Major Cosmographer of the Peruvian Viceroyalty.
Creation of the Grau House Museum
CREATE THE ADMIRAL GRAU MUSEUM HOUSE IN PIURA, PROPERTY WHERE THE ANGAMOS HERO WAS BORN
In Lima, Plaza Grau
The Monument a Grau is inaugurated, by the Spanish sculptor Victorio Macho
Launched in EE.UU. the B.A.P. "Abtao"
The Submarine B.A.P. "Tiburón" then renamed "Abtao" is launched in EE.UU.
The United Nations Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the United Nations Charter. On this date we reflect on what we can and should do in favor of peace, development and human rights.