Thursday, 16 June 2022

The War of the Pacific: Another book to add to the collection

Over the years I have acquired a number of books about the War of the Pacific (1879 to 1883), and when I saw that Alan Curtis had written FROM THE ATACAMA TO THE ANDES: BATTLES OF THE WAR OF THE PACIFIC 1879-1883, I had to buy a copy.

The book has twenty-four chapters and twenty-four appendices(!). The chapter titles are as follows:

  1. The Road to War
  2. The Contending Forces
  3. The Battle of Calama
  4. The Battle of Iquique
  5. The Battle of Angamos
  6. The Pisagua Landing
  7. The Battle of San Francisco
  8. The Battle of Tarapaca
  9. The Battle of Los Angeles
  10. The Battle of Tacna
  11. The Assault on the Morro of Arica
  12. The Blockade of Callao
  13. The Battle of Chorrillos
  14. The Battle of Miraflores
  15. The First Battle of Pucara
  16. The Action at Acuchimay, Concepcion, Maracavalle and 2nd Pucara
  17. The Battle of San Pablo
  18. The Battle of Huamachuco
  19. The Fall of Arequipa
  20. The End
  21. Organisation of the Armies
  22. Artillery
  23. Uniforms
  24. Major Warships

The appendices are as follows:

  1. Chilean Forces at Pisagua
  2. Chilean Forces at Tarapaca
  3. Allied Forces at Tarapaca
  4. Peruvian Forces at the Battle of Tarapaca
  5. Chilean Casualties at Tarapaca
  6. Peruvian Casualties at Tarapaca
  7. Chilean Divisions January 1880
  8. Forces at the Battle of Los Angeles
  9. Second Army of the South (1880)
  10. Allied Forces at the Battle of Tacna
  11. Chilean Forces at the Battle of Tacna
  12. Chilean Losses at the Battle of Tacna
  13. Forces at the Storming of the Morro Arica
  14. Armies of the North and Centre
  15. Chilean Forces Landed at Pisco
  16. Chilean Casualties at the Battle of Chorrillos
  17. Chilean Casualties at the Battle of Miraflores
  18. Official Chilean Casualty returns
  19. Forces for the First La Brena Campaign
  20. Chilean Deployment in the Mantaro Valley May 1882
  21. Combined Armies of the North and Centre July 1883 (Peru)
  22. The Peruvian Army of Arequipa 1883
  23. Armies of the Final Campaign 1883
  24. Armies of the Final Campaign: The Bolivian Army 1883

The book also contains thirty-five black-and-white illustrations, seven colour plates, and fifteen battle maps.

As you might gather, this book is pretty well a wargamer's guide to the War of the Pacific, and for anyone who has an interest in wargaming wars in that era, this is a 'must buy'. One note of caution, however. As Trebian (the writer of the WARGAMING FOR GROWN UPS blog) mentions in his review of this book, there are few typos and no index.

It is worth noting that Trebian is the author of IT'S GETTING A BIT CHILE, an excellent set of rules for fighting the land battles of this war.

FROM THE ATACAMA TO THE ANDES: BATTLES OF THE WAR OF THE PACIFIC 1879-1883 was written by Alan Curtis and published in 2022 by Helion & Company as No.21 in their 'From Musket to Maxim 1815-1914' series (ISBN 978 1 914059-91-9).

IT'S GETTING A BIT CHILE: TABLETOP WARGAME RULES FOR LAND CONFLICT IN THE WAR OF THE PACIFIC 1879-1884 was written by Graham Evans and published in 2020 by Wargaming for Grown Ups Publications (ISBN 978 1 797 56040 3).


  1. Bob - Thanks for mentioning IGABC. In respect of Alan's book, I actually said it was blessedly short of typos, unlike most of my other Helions. My main beef with it was the absence of campaign map(s). It is probably best to read it with the relevant pages of the Osprey open beside it.

    1. Trebian,

      It was my pleasure to mention your excellent rules.

      I must admit to spotting a couple of typos, and Helion do have a bit of a reputation for poor proofreading. They need someone like Arthur Harman to proofread their manuscripts. He does mine … and does an excellent job.

      It certainly could have benefited from some campaign maps, but like you, I have access to suitable maps to have open when I am reading the book.

      All the best,


  2. Another period with which I am unfamiliar. On your recommendation I began my exploration of the Balkan wars, and a most enjoyable excursion it proved to be. I try to be open to learning new things and so I have ordered a copy along with its Getting a bit Chile. I'm looking forward to there arrival.

    1. There's battle reports and comments on rule development on my "Wargaming for Grown ups" blog. In the rules I recommend the 15mm Outpost range, but since then Pendraken have put out a really nice 10mm range that's worth looking at.

    2. Mark Cordone,

      The War of the Pacific fits very nicely into the transitional period between the ACW/FPW and Boer War. The uniforms are a real mix of French and Prussian styles, the ships are early ironclads, and the terrain is a bit different. Lots of potential for a straight re-fight or as a source of inspiration for imagi-nations.

      All the best,


    3. Trebian,

      I should have mentioned your excellent battle reports. Also, thanks for the suggestions for figure ranges.

      All the best,



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