Battle of Iquique

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Sinking of the Esmeralda during the battle of Iquique

The Battle of Iquique was a naval battle during the War of the Pacific between the Chilean corvette La Esmeralda and the Peruvian monitor Huáscar. The battle took place in 1879 off the coast of Iquique.

The Esmeralda blocking the Peruvian port of Iquique (today Chilean) and was an old corvette with poor maintenance against the Huáscar monitor, a much newer ship.

The battle was won by Peru and the Chilean Captain Arturo Prat died, he is now remembered as the maximum naval hero of Chile and every 21st of May his Heroic and Patriotic act is remembered.

The Captain of the Huáscar was Miguel Grau who is remembered as the Gentleman of the seas for his chivalrous act of saving the remaining Chileans and sending Prat's wife a letter and his stuff.

Prat and Grau knew each other from the Chincha Islands War (1864-1866) where Chile and Peru were allied against Spain.