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“El terror de la costa chilena ha sido el Huáscar”, informó la prensa extranjera tras el combate de Angamos

Investigación Ítalo Sifuentes Alemán 06/10/2021

Presentamos aquí la transcripción de los cuatro artículos noticiosos que, en igual número de países y publicaciones, aparecieron publicados a las 48 horas de capturado el Huáscar por los marinos chilenos que lo abordaron, ello luego que el almirante Miguel Grau y otros valientes peruanos murieron por las bombas que cayeron en las instalaciones de este monitor, precisamente cuando se encontraba en el territorio boliviano de Punta de Angamos, en Antofagasta, actual Chile.

La Guerra del Pacífico se cobró grandes bajas humanas, lo cual fue resentido no solo por el Perú sino también por ciudadanos de otros países neutrales que, a través de los medios de comunicación, manifestaron sus opiniones y sentires. La noticia les había llegado por el servicio de cable. Ese día, el 8 de octubre de 1879, Grau pasó a la inmortalidad según informaron las notas periodísticas que, más de 140 años después de publicadas, siguen vigentes. 

Desde Estados Unidos, el 10 de octubre de 1879, la edición del Herald, fechada en New York, refirió lo siguiente: “no se necesita haber estado al lado del Perú en la infortunada guerra de Sudamérica, para lamentar que el gallardo Huáscar haya sido capturado por los chilenos”. 

Por su parte, desde Inglaterra, el Times informó el 10 de octubre de 1879, fechado en Londres, que el monitor peruano “ha sido por varios meses el terror de la costa chilena. Al mando de un hábil y valiente oficial, y tripulado por hombres excelentes, el Huáscar ha sido siempre un formidable adversario”.

Desde Argentina, La Tribuna informó el11 de octubre de 1879, fechado en Buenos Aires, que “Grau murió, pero no ha muerto en la memoria de los argentinos el nombre de ese gran titán de los mares. El Huáscar, la pesadilla de la escuadra chilena; Grau, la pesadilla de los chilenos, inseparables eran, el navío y el Contralmirante. La estrella polar de Grau era la victoria, y antes de rendirse, prefería la muerte”.

La publicación Estrella de Panamá, el11 de octubre de 1879, desde la capital de este país, refirió que “la noticia de la captura del Huáscar anunciada ayer 10, de Londres, por cable, causará dolor en muchos pechos, hasta en los que simpatizan con Chile. El denodado buquecito parecía tener vida encantada, por la impunidad con que había llevado a cabo las numerosas y arriesgadas empresas a que con frecuencia lo llevaba su valiente Comandante… Puede decirse que hasta ahora el Huáscar ha sido el protagonista en la campaña de una y otra parte, y el único elemento de actividad en la historia de la guerra”.

Estas cuatro informaciones están incluidas en la publicación “Miguel Grau”, editada por la Marina de Guerra del Perú en diversas ediciones que aparecieron de 1978 a 1984 con ocasión del Sesquicentenario del Natalicio del Gran Almirante Miguel Grau. De 444 páginas, la obra es el resultado de exhaustivas investigaciones de la marina peruana que no solo permiten conocer la biografía de Grau, sino buena parte de la historia de esta gloriosa institución.

Presentamos aquí las transcripciones de las cuatro informaciones periodísticas extranjeras:  

Periódico Herald: “No se necesita haber estado al lado del Perú en la infortunada guerra de Sudamérica, para lamentar que el gallardo Huáscar haya sido capturado por los chilenos. Algo que parecía buena suerte, pero que probablemente no era sino competencia en su manejo, ha colocado repentinamente a este buque entre los famosos que han surcado las aguas americanas. Ninguna empresa era demasiado grande ni demasiado pequeña para él. Que mantenga su antigua reputación, ahora que se halla en otras manos, es muy dudoso, porque comandantes tan hábiles como Grau no hay muchos. Herald. New York, 10 de octubre de 1879”.

Periódico Times: “El Huáscar es un buque histórico, figurando en todos los combates navales en el curso de la guerra; ha bombardeado las poblaciones de los chilenos (solo las fortificadas), perseguido y capturado los buques transportes y ha sido por varios meses el terror de la costa chilena. Al mando de un hábil y valiente oficial, y tripulado por hombres excelentes, el Huáscar ha sido siempre un formidable adversario. Times. Londres, 10 de octubre de 1879”.

Periódico La Tribuna: “Grau murió, pero no ha muerto en la memoria de los argentinos el nombre de ese gran titán de los mares. El Huáscar, la pesadilla de la escuadra chilena; Grau, la pesadilla de los chilenos, inseparables eran, el navío y el Contralmirante. La estrella polar de Grau era la victoria, y antes de rendirse, prefería la muerte. Cruzaba por su imaginación una idea que pudiera en la práctica dar buenos resultados a sus planes y sin titubear la aceptaba, por más peligros que encontrara para realizarla. ¡A Antofagasta!… fritó un día, y se dirigió allí donde los buques chilenos se habían estacionado… En la obscuridad se deja ver un resplandor; era la alarma que cundía. El rayo de la guerra fulminaba tremendo sobre los buques chilenos y la corona de la victoria sino a posarse sobre las sienes de Grau. Hechos como este pueden citarse muchos consumados por su intrépido marino. Honor a él. ¡Gloria eterna a los vencidos de Mejillones! El pueblo argentino, que ha seguido con la simpatía más entusiasta los hechos gloriosos de Grau, quiere dedicar a su memoria el postrer tributo. La Tribuna. Buenos Aires, 11 de octubre de 1879”.

Periódico Estrella de Panamá: “La noticia de la captura del Huáscar anunciada ayer 10, de Londres, por cable, causará dolor en muchos pechos, hasta en los que simpatizan con Chile. El denodado buquecito parecía tener vida encantada, por la impunidad con que había llevado a cabo las numerosas y arriesgadas empresas a que con frecuencia lo llevaba su valiente Comandante. Por otra parte, su Comandante el valeroso Contralmirante Grau había logrado la admiración de todos, sin exceptuar la de los enemigos menos obsecados. No dejaba en pos de sí poblaciones indefensas incendiadas ni destruía vidas ni propiedades innecesariamente; su conducta ha sido siempre la de un marino pundonoroso y la de un cumplido caballero. Puede decirse que hasta ahora el Huáscar ha sido el protagonista en la campaña de una y otra parte, y el único elemento de actividad en la historia de la guerra. Estrella de Panamá. Panamá, 11 de octubre de 1879”.

La foto que acompaña este artículo es del archivo del Congreso de la República del Perú. 

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