General Manuel Baquedano Gonzalez Case Study

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2.1 Chile

2.1.1 General Manuel Baquedano Gonzalez

The Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army, Gen. Erasmo Escala, resigned his commission due to constant arguments with War Minister Rafael Sotomayor. The latter appointed General Manuel Baquedano Gonzalez, a Peru-Bolivian Confederacy war veteran, who had the sympathies and respect of the soldiers as his successor.

Baquedano was only 15 years old and still at school when the War against the Peru-Bolivian Confederacy began, but he left his studies to join the Army. He participated in the decisive Battle of Yungay in 1839. His actions motivated his promotion to Lieutenant on the field at the age of 16.

When the war ended, he returned to Chile to complete his formal military training.
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Lagos had begun his training in the Military Academy. During his first years, he proved to be a hard worker and a very good student. One of his superiors proposed that he would be promoted to second lieutenant, leading to the start of his military career in November 1850.

Defending national authority, he took part in the revolutions of 1851 and 1859. He also participated in the campaigns to occupy the Araucania, specifically in 1859 and 1868. It was in this context that he developed his strategic sense and his tactics, which were highly useful in the campaigns of the War of the Pacific.

When the last conflict arose, Lagos was appointed to command the Santiago regiment. He trained his troops with the sole purpose of fighting the war. He became chief of staff for the operations in the north. He strongly disagreed with Erasmo Escala who was the Commander in Chief at the time. That is why he submitted his resignation to the Minister of War during the campaign, Rafael Sotomayor. Before long, he resumed his work serving in the north as First
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He was born in Lima on November 4, 1816. His father was an Italian musician. He attended the Seminary of Arequipa until he was 16, when he had to start working in a commercial company after the death of his father.

He joined the Army as a National Guard volunteer during the conflict against Bolivia in 1853. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and named the second in command in “Libres de Arequipa” battalion in 1854. Under the command of Castilla, head of the constitutionalist troops, he challenged José Rufino Echeniques government, reason that made him Castilla’s adjutant after their victory in “La Palma” (1855).

As the chief of the First Artillery Brigade, he departed against the “Vivanco” revolution in Arequipa (1858), where he was wounded in one leg. He was promoted to Colonel, rank he worn during the conflict against Ecuador

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