• Senior Lieutenant Colonel Derrick Chew and Colonel Hiroaki Murakam

    Senior Lieutenant Colonel Derrick Chew and Colonel Hiroaki Murakam

  • Rear Admiral Mark Campbell, Ambassador of Peru Luis Quesada and Captain Victor Novoa

    Rear Admiral Mark Campbell, Ambassador of Peru Luis Quesada and Captain Victor Novoa

  • Edward Sellars and the Ambassador of Brazil Rubem Correa Barbosa

    Edward Sellars and the Ambassador of Brazil Rubem Correa Barbosa

  • Air Commadore Anker Brodersen and Sue Brodersen with Colon el Scott Gills

    Air Commadore Anker Brodersen and Sue Brodersen with Colon el Scott Gills

  • Captain Apichai Sompolgrunk, Captain Pedro Ramirez-Quevedo and Lieutenant Commander Rowena Gaffney

    Captain Apichai Sompolgrunk, Captain Pedro Ramirez-Quevedo and Lieutenant Commander Rowena Gaffney

  • Daniel Reategui, Eric Barco and Yuri Pacheco

    Daniel Reategui, Eric Barco and Yuri Pacheco

  • Captain Stew Holbrook and Fernando Delcastillo

    Captain Stew Holbrook and Fernando Delcastillo

  • Jorge Trujillo and Clara Morilla

    Jorge Trujillo and Clara Morilla

  • Karen Rybertt, Eveliea Huicochea, Maria Laencina, Maria Teresa Cisneros de Davila and Marian TricArico

    Karen Rybertt, Eveliea Huicochea, Maria Laencina, Maria Teresa Cisneros de Davila and Marian TricArico

  • Evelia Huicochea and Colonel Martinez Parra

    Evelia Huicochea and Colonel Martinez Parra

Peru's Navy Day Commemoration

24 October 2014

Peru’s Navy was established in 1821 and for that they have a Navy Day celebration and a long weekend holiday to commemorate the significant Battle of Angamos on 8 October 1879 during the War of the Pacific. Not our War in the Pacific, that of course came later, and the Peruvian Navy did a little bit of reconnaissance for us later in that theatre, so I haven’t mixed my sea stories in a quaffing of rum and singing of shanties because there was an earlier battle in the not so peaceful Pacific in 1879 between Chile, Peru and Bolivia and Peru’s most famous admiral, Miguel Grau held off the superior force of the Chilean Navy on board his ship Huascar for six months before his death and the capture of the ship.

Of course in time honoured fashion the Chileans used that unique ironclad ship for subsequent batttles and still have it as a floating museum   And don’t be bothered with the current state of the west coast of South America and send me emails to say that Bolivia is not on the coast because it was, but isn’t now as Chile acquired it. But what was fun about getting my information in perspective was to know that the 1821 establishment date for the Peruvian Navy was for their War of Independence when action was seen by this fledgling company of sailors using captured Spanish ships. Get you equipment where you can I guess!

Win some lose some, these battles are unlikely to make any Australian curriculum but if you’re ever in South America its handy to know their heroes and their traditions and their proud naval history, but for the celebration at the Embassy of Peru it was a mix of the many naval representatives of former foes and current friends and plenty of the Peruvian Pisco Sours, empanadas and ceviche. Any excuse for that.