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"Disaster off Punta Arenas 1881 " Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2017 3:52 p.m. PST

"Chile's Punta Arenas, on the Brunswick Peninsula, to the northern side of the Strait of Magellan, is probably the most southerly city in the world. It was originally established as a penal colony by the Chilean government in 1848 to assert sovereignty over the Strait – at the expense of Argentina, which had similar ambitions. The Chilean claim was finally accepted in a treaty between the two countries in 1881. Through the nineteenth century, and up to the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, this waterway was of the highest importance as it allowed passage from the South Atlantic to the Pacific while bypassing Cape Horn. Developments on the Pacific coasts of both North America and South America led to very high levels of traffic through the strait and as such the area assumed greater geopolitical importance than it possesses today

It was at Punta Arenas that one of the Royal Navy's most significant peace-time disasters occurred in 1881 when the steam sloop, HMS Dotterel, was destroyed there by internal explosion. The significance of this event was that it was possibly the first in a long series of internal explosions that were to destroy warships in many navies in the next forty years. Many of the ships involved were very large units. France was to lose two battleships – Iena and Liberté – in the years before World War 1 and during this conflict Britain was to lose several major units – including a modern battleship, HMS Vanguard. Japan was also to lose two capital ships to explosions during the war, as did Italy, which lost the modern battleship Leonardo di Vinci. One explosion – that which destroyed the USS Maine in Havana harbour in 1898 – was to have a major influence on world history. Wrongly blamed on a mine laid by the Spanish authorities, this accident was a trigger for the Spanish-American War, which was decisive in setting the United States on the path to global superpower status…"
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Personal logo vtsaogames Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2017 6:50 a.m. PST

Interesting just how many of the old warships blew up without any combat.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2017 10:13 a.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed the reading my friend.


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