(Note: May seem a bit wank-ish)

«The US naval force there, "The South Pacific Station" consists of four unprotected ships(...)the Pensacola can make eight knots ; Alaska, eleven knots; the Lackawanna eight knots; and Adams eleven knots. None of those ships can reach or flee from the Almirante Cochrane or the Blanco Encalada. The whole squadron does not have enough strength to even compete with one of those ironclads, and does not have enough speed to avoid a lost confrontation(...)It is sure that in a conflict with that little nation, the United States would be helpless to resist the first attack (...) and Chile could impose tribute to the city of San Francisco or seal the Golden Gate as an iron wall.» - Benjamin W. Harris, 1882.

Chapter One: Nations in Conflict

Protected Cruiser Esmeralda, April 26, 1885.

"The bombing of Guayaquil will not happen in the presence of the Esmeralda! I have strict orders to not allow this." López had said to the people of Guayaquil when the United States of America had threatened to shell the city after a small incident where an American citizen's property had been destroyed by the Army, added to the condemnation by Ecuador of this aggression towards Colombia. López was smart, or so he thought himself to be. This was a way of putting the people of Ecuador in favour of Chile, after the capture of the Peruvian torpedo boat Alay on Ecuador's waters a few years ago. A few days ago, he had opened the letter with instructions from the Government.

"Do as you please. Santa María." The letter said, leaving the handling of the crisis in Panama to Juan Esteban López Lermanda, commander of the protected cruiser Esmeralda, the strongest warship of the Pacific.

López was, by no means inexperienced. He had served in 1866, against Spain. In 1879, against Peru. The Esmeralda was a fine ship and much better than the Blanco Encalada, ironclad that López had commanded under Admirals Williams Rebolledo and Riveros. He had received the Order of Saint Stanislaus from the Russian Empire after rescuing a Russian gunboat in the South.

His objective? To stop the annexation of the city of Colón, Panama province, Colombia at the hands of the United States.

López knew that there was a risk of war, but he was confident that the Chilean Navy would win. The giant of the north could have the advantage in manpower, but this was no advantage against Chile, half a world away from them.

This was a lesson learnt by Chile in the past war. Manpower means nothing if you don't control the sea. The past war, the barrier between armies was the Atacama desert. Here, other countries and the sea.

López knew little of their Navy, except that it was mostly from their Civil War, twenty years ago. A paltry opponent against the Chilean Navy, fresh off their win against Peru and Bolivia.

The Esmeralda was alone in Panama, but had very powerful backup in Chile. The Cochrane and the Blanco Encalada, the twin ironclads, armed with the superb Palliser shells since 1879 and the Huáscar, once an enemy ship, the nightmare of the Chilean Navy in 1879.

The Esmeralda. An important name. One that had definitely left a mark on Chilean history for eternity on that morning of May 21st. Where a decrepit wooden corvette held off an ironclad for over three hours and sank with its flag at the top. Now, López commanded a new Esmeralda.

That defeat had inflamed the passion of the people. Captain Prat did not surrender against a far superior enemy, fought to the bitter end and gave his life in the name of his fatherland. López's thoughts when they came to that battle were always bitter.

If the mist hadn't hidden the Huáscar and the Independencia while the Chilean Navy sailed towards Callao, leaving behind their two oldest ships, the Esmeralda and the Covadonga. A corvette that had served for twenty three years and a schooner that had been captured by the aforementioned corvette nineteen years ago. If the Navy had seen the Peruvian ironclads, the Peruvian Navy would have been devastated by the loss of Huáscar, Independencia, the transport Oroya and the traveling Peruvian President Prado. The war could have been over in one swift action. Of all the blunders made during those first months of war, that was the worst.

If the Esmeralda wasn't enough to stop the Americans' possible intentions of annexating the isthmus, the Chacabuco, the O'Higgins, the Magallanes, the Abtao, the Amazonas, the Pilcomayo and the Angamos would do. The torpedo boats were also highly dangerous, especially on blockades, like the one at Callao in 1881, but useless in open combat.

If something went poorly, many would wonder of why not sending Latorre, now Rear Admiral. Or Condell, who was commanding the Cochrane. Both highly popular with the people. Latorre proved his worth with the Magallanes in early 1879. He had succesfully held the Peruvian ships Unión and Pilcomayo away. Then, he repeatedly clashed with the Huáscar, a monitor far superior to the Magallanes. Then, commanding the Cochrane, he had captured the ship he had faced off against so many times. Condell, on the other hand, was the victor of Punta Gruesa, where with a small schooner, the Covadonga, he had defeated the mighty ironclad Independencia, the most powerful ship of the Peruvian Navy. Both had distinguished themselves in the face of danger. Latorre and Condell, classmates at the State's Navy School. Comrades, though not friends like Uribe, now Governor of Valparaíso and the late Captain Prat. The fact that Latorre, Condell, Uribe and Prat all came from the same class, from the same generation, said something of that particular group.

If it came to war, how could any side win without controlling the sea? With so many neutral countries, it would be a miracle if the United States made it past Mexico.

López dismissed these thoughts, the important matter was fulfilling his duty.

Protected Cruiser Esmeralda, Panama City, April 28, 1885.

"Commander! We are arriving!" A young ensign warned López of the impending arrival on Panama.

"Thank you, Ensign." López said, heading towards deck.

The ships there were: Three French ships, one carrying the insignia of the French Admiral on the Pacific, an English ship and two ships from the United States.

López called his second, Captain Antonio Marazzi. The reason an officer of Marazzi's rank was López's second was simple. Marazzi spoke the English tongue and quite well, actually. When added to his knowledge of laws and diplomacy, it made him a key asset.

"Mr. Marazzi, your thoughts?" López asked.

"We should learn what's the situation here, Commander." Marazzi replied.

"Of course." López said, ordering to go towards port to dock the ship.

The Esmeralda had been docked in Panama. Inmediately, they were greeted by a Frenchman. The Frenchman, according to the translator, was the French Admiral, Jules Duplaquel.

"Commander López, what brings a Chilean seaman all the way to Panama?" The Admiral said in French, then the translator spoke it in Spanish.

"I have been notified of a situation regarding the United States." López said.

"I see. Are you aware of the presence of the American troops in Colón?" Duplaquel asked López.

"I have heard rumors." López said.

"Then what are your orders, Commander López?" The Admiral asked López another question.

The Chilean sailors disembarked.

"Like the Americans took Colón, I do the same with Panama City, to keep order in Panama City, in the name of Chile, and in the name of Latin American union, I take possession of the city of Panama." He said.

"Commander, you should be careful, the Americans could attack you and your ship!" Duplaquel warned him.

"It would take me an hour to send them to the bottom of the sea!" López said. "While the Yankees don't leave Colón, neither shall I leave Panama City." He added.

A mere hour later, the Chilean flag flew beside the flag of Colombia.
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Isaac Beach

Ditto, there's been a lot of good discussion about the Chilean navy -especially in regards to the US'- recently and I wanna see how this develops.
«"Live with honor or die with glory, lads! Anyone who is brave, follow me!"» Bernardo O'Higgins, El Roble, 1813.

Chapter Two: Opposite Sides

Colón, Colombia, April 30, 1885. 13:00

Rear Admiral James Edward Jouett did not react well.

"What do you mean with Chile has taken over Panama City? They are supposed to stay in the South, not in Colombia!" Jouett said to Lieutenant Black, who had brought him the news.

"They say they will not leave until we leave Colón." Lieutenant Black say.

"Good luck. We'll stay as long as we bloody well like!" The Rear Admiral said to his subordinate.

Bowman McCalla interrupted. As the head of the marines, he had a very important say, but not more than Jouett, who commanded the squadron sent to Panama.

"Just out of curiosity, Lieutenant. What ship is the one that brought the Chileans?" McCalla asked.

"Considering the fact that they sent them here, very likely to intimidate us, I'd say either Blanco Encalada or Huáscar." Jouett said.

"With all due respect, sir, you're wrong." Lieutenant Black said.

"What? Did they send one of their miserable corvettes? Will they intimidate us with the goddamn Abtao?!" Jouett said, laughing. The poor condition of that particular ship was well known since the Lackawanna Conference of 1880.

"Sir, it's the Esmeralda." Black said.

"The Esmeralda?!" Jouett and McCalla exclaimed loudly.

"Yes, sir." Black said, timidly.

"Fuck." Jouett said.

"Lieutenant Black, leave us." McCalla ordered.

"Yes sir." The young lieutenant said, leaving the room.

"Do you think we can defeat that monster, Bowman?" Jouett asked.

"Quite frankly, Admiral. No. I doubt we can outrun it either. Tennessee would fall prey easily. It's rather obsolete. It still uses sails. Galena would follow, with its nine and a half knots. Shenandoah might escape with a headstart, but I doubt it could escape for long." McCalla said.

"So, what are our choices?" Jouett said, asking for advice.

"Either we attack the Esmeralda and die. Or we leave Panama." McCalla said.

"If we attack, we're dead as soon as we're in range of the Esmeralda's weapons. If we leave, that would mean falling back against an inferior nation." Jouett said.

"An inferior nation with a much better Navy, Admiral." McCalla replied.

"If we left our marines here, prey to the batteries of the Esmeralda, it would be a disaster. Their Navy is inferior in numbers, but superior in quality." the Admiral said.

"Sadly, I agree." his subordinate said.

"McCalla. Will you follow me?" Jouett said.

"To battle? You ask me and my men to die." McCalla said, grimly.

"I prefer to die with honor than to live a coward, fleeing from this opponent, McCalla." Jouett said.

"It's suicide, sir. It would start a war." McCalla said.

"McCalla, our men are here. Many are eager to fight. Your lack of compliance will not stop me. Will you follow me, or shall I have you thrown to the brig for insubordination?" Jouett said, threateningly.

Bowman McCalla sighed.

"This is a rash decision, but if I have no choice on whether to die or not, I should at least do it with a sword on my hand instead of in the brig, dying when a shell from the Esmeralda hits it or going down with the ship." He said, non-enthusiastically.

USS Tennessee, USS Shenandoah and USS Galena sailed towards Panama City, with the intention of attacking the Esmeralda, with Jouett on the Shenandoah and McCalla on the Tennessee.

Protected Cruiser Esmeralda, April 30, Panama City, 17:05

"Steam to the east! Three steam columns to the east!" The lookout of the Esmeralda yelled.

López rallied his crew on deck.

"Lads! The enemy comes towards us, in greater numbers, but our ship will not give in so easily. This is the Esmeralda. Let that sink in, lads. That is one hell of an example to follow. Our Esmeralda will not surrender, much like Prat's. But ours will emerge victorious. Now, it is possible that they won't attack us yet. But if they do, remember to do your duty. Your duty to the ship, to the Navy and to the Fatherland. Long Live Chile!" López said.

The crew erupted in a roar, ready for everything.

The ships approached each other. The Esmeralda at three quarters of its speed.

Then, at 4 KM, the Shenandoah opened fire. The Tennessee followed two seconds after. The Galena was at the back, firing ten seconds after the Tennessee.

This opening shots warned the Esmeralda of the hostility of the ships. Fortunately, their aim failed. The Galena's shot hit the Esmeralda, but bounced off. The Tennessee narrowly missed the ship's deck. The Shenandoah's shot flew over the Esmeralda, doing no damage.

Their aim was not comparable to the aim of the Esmeralda's gunners. While new, they had learnt to use them quite quickly.

The Tennessee turned to starboard, presenting its port hull, preparing a broadside.

The Esmeralda aimed its six 6 inches cannons to the Tennessee and fired.

While not severely crippled, it had sustained some damage. The port hull of the Tennessee received four of the six shots. Not heavy damage, but still important damage.

The Shenandoah quickly made the run, speeding up to 15 knots, headed northwest.

The Galena tried to stop the Esmeralda, shooting at it, but the inexperience of the gunners played against them.

For half an hour the Shenandoah tried to escape, leaving the Galena as a wooden shield to stand against the power of the Esmeralda. The Tennessee had other problems to attend to. A shot from the Esmeralda had gone through the hull near the waterline. The sailors were desperately trying to stop water from entering the ship. McCalla, decided to scuttle the ship to prevent its capture and so he did. While the Esmeralda chased the Shenandoah with the Galena in between, the Tennessee moved to the nearest place from which they would be able to swim to the shore. The Tennessee sank by the hand of its crew, taking 114 souls out of 400 sailors with it.

"Jouett, that traitor!" was something that a Tennesee sailor heard McCalla scream after the scuttling of the Tenessee.

The Galena was an annoyance to López. He had spent twenty minutes chasing the Shenandoah, but the Galena, although slower, had blocked his way to the Shenandoah.

López gave up on the chase of the Shenandoah. It had a headstart that the Esmeralda wouldn't recover until the night. Instead, he chose to focus on the Galena.

Five minutes later, the Galena took a wrong turn, allowing gunner José Muñoz(no one else has disputed this) to be attributed the crippling of the Galena with a shot that disabled the engines.

The Chilean sailors boarded the Galena, taking control of it and capturing 164 sailors, who had surrendered.

Half an hour later, with the return of the Esmeralda and the captured Galena, the Tennessee sailors would follow their comrades from the Galena to imprisonment.

The cost for this battle would be catastrophic for the United States Navy. 736 men, on 3 ships. 450 captured. 185 dead. 74 wounded.

For the Chilean Navy, this meant that another ship was needed in case someone decided to come back and attack the Esmeralda, ship that had suffered merely 8 dead and 5 wounded. The ship sustained only very minor damage, but needed reinforcement.

Message sent by wire from López to Valparaíso:

Esmeralda attacked on April 30. STOP. USS Galena. STOP. USS Tennessee. STOP. USS Shenandoah. STOP. Galena captured. STOP. Tennessee scuttled. STOP. Shenandoah escaped. STOP. Request another ship and a regiment of soldiers. STOP. López.

This help came two weeks later in the form of Blanco Encalada and the 1st Regiment of Line 'Buin'.

During these two weeks, Esmeralda had been repaired somewhat. Galena had been renamed Triunfo.

Ministers Aniceto Vergara of Chile and Cornelius Logan of the US discussed it with the governments of the other's countries.

Chester A. Arthur had been led to believe that Esmeralda had provoked the ships of the US Navy. He demanded indemnizations for the families of the dead, the return of Galena, the return of the prisoner sailors and compensation for Tennessee.

Domingo Santa María, instead, had received López's message and casted the blame on Rear Admiral Jouett, who would arrive to San Francisco on May 9, 1885. He demanded the imprisonment of Jouett and compensation for the families of the dead sailors.

Jouett had blamed Captain López, saying that he had opened fire first.

Commander López, on the other hand, had sent the statements of Bowman McCalla to Santiago via wire to Valparaíso. McCalla recognized that the plan initially was to attack the Esmeralda with three ships and blamed Jouett.

Colombia had taken the matter seriously and supported Chile's position. They had sent a small part of their army, 2,500 men led by General Rafael Reyes.

Ecuador had voiced its support to the Chilean Government.

Meanwhile, Domingo Santa María only worried about Argentina. Having to give up Patagonia in 1881 to avoid Argentina from joining Peru and Bolivia against Chile had hurt. Peru had a civil war to deal with and Bolivia needed time to put itself back together. Of all the neighboring countries, only Argentina was a threat at the moment.

On May 18, the United States declared war on Chile. On May 22, Chile declared war on the United States and on May 26 and 29, the governments of Colombia and Ecuador declared war against the United States.
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Wait... South America (which at the time was on its Battleship arms race) ganking the United States?

I need to see how this goes!
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If Argentina joins the US, I can see Chile losing fairly easy.

If Argentina doesn't join, the US will NEED to win naval supremacy to win the war.

If Argentina does join, potentially get ready for Brazil to side with Chile, which in turn may cause Venezuela to side with America (every South American country pretty much has border disputes with each other during this time). So in all likelihood, prepare yourselves for a GREAT SOUTH AMERICAN WAR!

In regards to the cause of the war though, did the US admiral really have the authority to do that (I'm a little skeptical that he would have)?
In regards to the cause of the war though, did the US admiral really have the authority to do that (I'm a little skeptical that he would have)?

I suspect it would depend on what his orders were. If they were to protect American interests in the area then I think it would be within his authority to act the way he did.
«"Commander, what do you plan?" "To seek the enemy, even if it hides in a cave, because I'm old, sick, poor and I seek to leave my family the honor of having died in the battlefield." "If that's the case, here you have your secretary!"» Eusebio Lillo and Admiral Galvarino Riveros, 1879.

Chapter Three: Of Alliances and Comrades

Santiago, La Moneda, June 9, 1885.

Domingo Santa María did not trust his counterpart from the other side of the Andes. Julio Roca was unreliable. But, he was better than Avellaneda and Sarmiento. Avellaneda at least kept himself neutral, but prepared the ground for Roca's government to ask the Chilean Government to renounce its claim to Patagonia. Sarmiento called himself a friend of Chile but planned for an Argentina-Bolivia-Peru war against Chile in 1873. Only the rushed departure of Almirante Cochrane from England, without most of its armour, but with its weapons ready stopped this alliance. The trust in Peru's navy to defeat the Chilean Navy in 1873 was the cornerstone of the coalition. The departure of Cochrane killed this alliance before war was declared. However, Cochrane was so incomplete it had to be sent back to England the following year.

"Can I trust you to support us, President Roca?" Santa María asked.

"You ask us to attack the Americans?" Roca asked.

"I ask you to defend your waters against the Americans. Leave it to our navy to stop them in the Pacific." Santa María said.

"Their navy is mostly Pacific based. What would we get in return?" The president of Argentina asked.

"Much more than what you would get by killing the natives of Patagonia." Santa María said in reference to Argentina's 'Conquest of the Desert'.

"Or the ones in Araucanía, President Santa María." Roca shot back a well aimed barb at the 'Pacification of the Araucanía' of 1883.

"Fair enough. Do we have an agreement?" Santa María asked.

"For now." Roca said.

Both presidents shook hands. Their meeting was swiftly interrupted.

"Mister President! Six years ago, I told your predecessor, Anibal Pinto that he would receive help from me and my family. The Cousiño family offers its help to Chile once again." the voice of a woman said.

"Madam Cousiño, the government of Chile graciously accepts your help." Domingo Santa María adressed Isidora Goyenechea-Cousiño, the richest woman in South America and possibly, the world. Although she was 49, she still kept a strong mind. In 1879, she had offered the steamer Matías Cousiño to serve as the Navy's coal supplier. Coal from Lota. The source of the fortune of the Cousiño family.

If Matías Cousiño had started the fortune of the family, his son Luis continued the road after his father's death in 1863, helped by his wife, Isidora Goyenechea, the daughter of Matías Cousiño's partner, Ramón Goyenechea. When Ramón died, shortly, Matías Cousiño married the widow of his partner, Luz Gallo. In 1873, Luis Cousiño died as well, leaving the fortune in the hands of Isidora.

Ten minutes later, from the balcony of La Moneda emerged three figures. Santa María in the middle, Roca to the right and Madam Cousiño to the left. A crowd had gathered near La Moneda and cheered at Santa María, Roca and Madam Cousiño.

"Long Live Chile!"

"Long Live Argentina!"

"Long Live Colombia!"

"Long Live Ecuador!"

"Long Live Madam Cousiño!"

"Long Live President Santa María!" This was astonishing to the President of Chile, as over the years he had turned unpopular for the people that elected him. He raised his hand. The crowd became silent.

"People of Chile! Over the years, our young nation has isolated itself from the world, but we have proved to be dangerous when provoked by our enemies. Now, a powerful nation strikes at us, then demands us for compensation! We will not allow this! If before, we isolated our country from the world, it is time that we show them the meaning of our country's motto. By Right or Might! We have the right, it is time for us to show them we have the might too! But, my countrymen, we do not stand alone. The governments of Colombia and Ecuador have already declared war. Our friend President Roca of Argentina has agreed to have our back. Six years ago, we protected our people from the tyrant Daza. Now it falls to Chile and its allies to protect South America from the Yankee! To arms, Chile! In the hut or the mansion, to arms! In the north or the south, to arms! Long Live Chile!" Santa María said.

The crowd cheered.

Valparaíso, June 3, 1885.

"Admiral! News from the north!" A corporal from the Talca Batallion said to Admiral Domingo Toro Herrera. An army man, of the rank of Colonel, who had been named Admiral because of peacetime, had presented his resignation hours ago.

"Corporal, I might not be Admiral tomorrow. I presented my resignation." Toro Herrera said.

"It's important. News from Peru." the corporal said.

"Peru? What is it?" the Commander of the Navy asked.

"General Iglesias. He informs that the Civil War there has ended. General Cáceres is dead. His faction disbanded." The corporal informed Toro Herrera.

"Thank you, Corporal..." Toro Herrera said.

"Martínez, sir." The man said.

"These are important news, Martínez. Not a word to anyone else. I'll inform Minister Antúnez of War and Navy. Understood?" He said.

"Yes sir!" Martínez said, leaving the room.

Half an hour later, Minister of War and Navy Carlos Antúnez knew of the situation in Peru.

"Good riddance. Iglesias finally did what we couldn't do in Huamachuco." Antúnez said.

"Minister...my resignation?" He asked.

"Accepted, of course. We are at war and your services are best suited in Spain right now." Antúnez said.

"Spain, why would...Lynch. You're naming Lynch as Admiral." Toro Herrera said.

"I am not. I have resigned as well. Consider this my final act before I'm replaced by Vergara." Antúnez replied.

"Why would you resign, Minister?" The former Admiral asked the minister.

"I am needed as well. In Brazil, Mr. Toro Herrera. We will need the Empire of Brazil on our side if we are to achieve superiority on the Pacific and the Atlantic." Antúnez said.

"Of course." He said. Brazil was necessary for Chile to win the Atlantic.

"The President is sending me and Lastarria to Brazil to support Gana." Antúnez said.

"Good luck." Toro Herrera said.

"Likewise." Antúnez said.

Valparaíso, May 28, 1885.

"So, Rear Admiral, your orders?" Jorge Montt asked Juan José Latorre.

"Jorge, we've known each other for twenty seven years, no need for such formalities now. This is an unofficial meeting." Rear Admiral Latorre said.

"Alright. What brings you here, Juan José?" Montt asked.

"You know the state of our navy and what would happen in a war against the Americans, such as the current one." Latorre said.

"We would win, as long as we ensured superiority on the Pacific and stop the Americans from getting to Cape Horn." Montt replied.

There was a knock on the door.

"Perfect. Just in time." Latorre said.

The door was opened by Montt's wife, Leonor.

"Luis, Óscar, Carlos, what brings you here?" Leonor asked Luis Uribe, Óscar Viel and Carlos Condell.

"Rear Admiral Latorre asked us to come here." Condell said, stepping in.

The three seamen joined Montt and Latorre.

"Couldn't you call them to your home?" Montt asked.

"I don't want to get in trouble with Julia." Latorre said.

Condell and Montt laughed.

"One master in a house is enough." Condell pointed out with a smug grin.

"Juan José is the Rear Admiral, but his wife apparently outranks him." Viel said.

"Shut up, Carlos. I have the wife jokes about you saved in my mind since 1877." Latorre said.

"Don't we all?" Uribe asked.

"Yes, I recall a few." Montt said, referencing the marriage of Condell in 1877, to Matilde Lemus, who was 16 at the time. Condell was 31.

Condell stopped laughing.

"I brought you here for a serious matter. Excluding López, who is in Panamá, Señoret on the Pilcomayo and Sánchez, who is on the Blanco, we are the most part of the Chilean Navy commanders. I need to know if anyone would prefer to stay on Chile and not sail to Panama." Latorre said.

There was a silence.

"Juan José, as your friend, I say, we fought against Spain and Peru. The United States? Another day at the office." Montt said.

"Do all of you think that?" Latorre asked.

The word 'Yes.' was said by all of the commanders present.

"Perfect. Then I must inform you that I will be leaving in the Amazonas with the 6th Regiment tomorrow. I'll wait for you in Panama." Latorre said.

"Good. Now all of you get the fuck out of my house." Montt said.
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«Always victorious, never defeated.» Chilean Army motto.

Chapter Four: Quality over Quantity

Rio de Janeiro, June 27, 1885.

"Mr. Lastarria, it's good to have you here on Brazil again." Pedro II of Brazil said to former Ambassador José Victorino Lastarria.

"Thank you, Your Excellency, it's good to be back." Lastarria said.

"Why don't we get right into business, gentlemen?" The Emperor of Brazil asked the Chilean envoys, Domingo Gana Cruz, Carlos Antúnez and José Victorino Lastarria.

"That would be the best, Your Majesty." Gana said.

"Alright. Your alliance against the Americans. I am somewhat concerned about including Argentina in it." Pedro II said.

"Well, Your Excellency, against the Americans, we need all the help we can get and Argentina's navy is vital to controlling the Atlantic." Antúnez said.

"As well as Brazil's, Your Excellency." Lastarria said.

"The alliance against the United States needs control of the Pacific and the Atlantic. Brazil has always been a friend of Chile." Gana said.

Pedro II of Brazil considered his options.

"So, it's either stay neutral and risk being against this alliance in the near future, two countries of this have claims on territory that belongs to my country, join your alliance and fight the United States, who are half a world away or join them and get attacked on two fronts, by four countries. One of which is a neighbor I am not particularly fond of." The Emperor of Brazil said.

"If you need us to leave so that you can make the decision, just say the word." Lastarria said.

"I have no choice, do I? It's either attack them or get attacked, either now or later." Pedro II said.

"So?" Antúnez asked.

"It's war. I shall join your alliance." The Emperor said.

The three men knew they had suceeded.

Washington D.C, May 20, 1885.

"Mr. President." The captain said.

"Captain Mahan." Grover Cleveland said.

"I trust you know the motive of my visit." Alfred Thayer Mahan said.

"Yes. Let's get straight to it." Cleveland said.

"Alright. Why did you declare war?! The Esmeralda could easily destroy our weakest ships in two hours. No ship of ours is able to fight off the Chilean ironclads. Huáscar is the weakest of the ironclads and yet it's stronger than any ship of ours." Mahan said.

"Secretary of War Endicott says we can defend ourselves in port against any ship, including the Esmeralda." Cleveland said.

"Bullshit. I was in Lima in 1881. Have you heard of the Angamos?" Mahan asked.

"I can't say that I have." Cleveland replied.

"If you knew, you would have known that the Angamos was blocking Callao with the Chilean Navy and had enough range to bomb Lima. 8 kilometers. That's more range than our ships' cannons. And Callao was probably the best defended port in the Americas." Mahan explained.

"So you ask us to give up to that small worm-shaped country?!" Cleveland asked.

"I urge you to use diplomacy and end this before this turns into a massacre." Captain Mahan implored the President of the United States.

"I will not. We will not cede. How could our nation be considered a power if we surrender to a small South American country?" Cleveland asked.

"If I will not be able to sway your mind, I ask for you to give me back the Iroquois." Mahan said.

"Good luck, Captain Mahan. The Iroquois shall be in San Francisco." Cleveland said.

Panama City, June 16, 1885.

Juan José Latorre disembarked with the 6th Line Regiment 'Chacabuco' and was received by Captain López.

"Hello, Rear Admiral Latorre." López greeted Latorre.

"Captain López." Latorre said.

"Any other men coming behind?" López asked.

"Marine Infantry, Marine Artillery and Talca on Itata, Lamar, Huanay and Angamos." Latorre said.

"Who are with them?" López asked.

"Pilcomayo, Chacabuco and Magallanes." Latorre asked.

"So it's Esmeralda, Blanco, Pilcomayo, Chacabuco, Amazonas, Angamos and Magallanes in Panama." López said.

"Haven't you heard? Argentina has joined us." Latorre said.

"Argentina? That's new." López said.

"Surprised me too. Heard it on Guayaquil." Latorre said.

"How did that go?" López asked.

"Greeted us like goddamn heroes." Latorre said, smiling.

"Remember me to pass by when all this is done. That sounds amazing." López said.

"I'll remind you." Latorre said.

"Thank you." López said.

"Where's Sánchez?" Latorre asked.

"Checking out the Esmeralda." López replied.

"Ah, the Esmeralda. That ship is a beauty." Latorre said.

"It's a fine ship." López said.

"Best ship in the Americas, or so they say." Latorre said.

"It had a good baptism of fire. Give the gunners some time and they'll shell every ship on the West Coast of the United States. Every. Last. One. Of. Them." López said.

"Sometimes I miss being a captain, out there." Latorre said.

"Reminds you of the war, doesn't it?" López asked.

"Yes, good times." Latorre said.

"Overwhelming for me. Williams overrid my authority all the time. Sir, our cannons are pointing to our sides, the Huáscar is ahead, we'll never hit them. I said fire, commander López! Then five minutes later the old man would nag me about not being able to catch the damn ship. The Blanco could give thirteen knots at its best. The Huáscar gave eleven at its best. Sure, the Coles tower was better than everything on the Blanco, but it couldn't do anything if we chased them and fired the batteries at them where the tower couldn't hit the Blanco. You on the other hand, held off the Huáscar with a 110-pounder and a 70-pounder cannon." López said.

"And a metric ton of seamen with rifles." Latorre said.

"Now, you're Rear Admiral and a hero to the entire nation. From Tacna to Magallanes." López said.

"Wait until you return. I'm talking about a damn parade through the city of Valparaíso." Latorre said.

"You mean Lynch like parades?" López asked.

"Exactly. Like Lynch's." Latorre said.

"Alright, Rear Admiral, let's focus on the task at hand and then we focus on parades." López said with a smirk.

"I agree. Let's give the United States the taste of defeat." Latorre said.

"Always victorious." López said.

"Never defeated." Latorre finished the sentence.

"As much as the Army like to brag about not losing any wars, they have the best motto." López said.

Munich, June 8, 1885.

The Chilean major had been assigned in the German Empire. Now, with the news of the war of his country against none other than the United States, he had asked to be reassigned. To the battlefront. He was a veteran of the War against Peru and Bolivia. He had seen action with the artillery in Tacna, Chorrillos and Miraflores. He had signed for the Army in 1879, at the age of twenty four. Now, he was thirty. His request to be reassigned had been accepted.

(Mystery character. If someone can guess who it is, you are amazing. Hint: December 21, 1907.)
As crazy as it sounds, the Chileans might actually be able to achieve a short term victory over the US in a naval war in Panama. This was the lowest ebb of the US navy while the Chilean Navy seemed to be at its peak. It will humiliate the US, but if the US decides they aren't going to make a settlement in Panama straight away and decide to fight it out, Chile is screwed. Blockading San Francisco and shelling the US West Coast cities will only enrage the US and make them determined to push Chile's face into the dirt. Therefore, I have to seriously question the sanity of the foreign policy decision makers in Santiago. Its one thing to win in Panama, but to actually try and attack the US mainland is something else entirely. It will be a national disaster for Chile.

Furthermore, even if it does manage to get a settlement in its favor from the US, this would be nothing short of a long-term foreign policy disaster to antagonize the United States, and if there are any wars in Latin America you can bet that the US will stop at nothing to arm Chile's enemies and bring ruin to that country.
For the first time in this thread, replying to posts. Should've done it earlier.

As crazy as it sounds, the Chileans might actually be able to achieve a short term victory over the US in a naval war in Panama. This was the lowest ebb of the US navy while the Chilean Navy seemed to be at its peak. It will humiliate the US, but if the US decides they aren't going to make a settlement in Panama straight away and decide to fight it out, Chile is screwed. Blockading San Francisco and shelling the US West Coast cities will only enrage the US and make them determined to push Chile's face into the dirt. Therefore, I have to seriously question the sanity of the foreign policy decision makers in Santiago. Its one thing to win in Panama, but to actually try and attack the US mainland is something else entirely. It will be a national disaster for Chile.

Furthermore, even if it does manage to get a settlement in its favor from the US, this would be nothing short of a long-term foreign policy disaster to antagonize the United States, and if there are any wars in Latin America you can bet that the US will stop at nothing to arm Chile's enemies and bring ruin to that country.

Latorre and López are just saying stuff for shits and giggles. Latorre is second in the line of command. The first place is on his way from Spain. Patricio 'the Red Prince' Lynch.

Both men are well aware about the effect of shelling the mainland. They learned that when the Huáscar was the damn boss of the South Pacific in May-October 1879.

Wait... South America (which at the time was on its Battleship arms race) ganking the United States?

I need to see how this goes!

The battleship arms race started on the 1890s. It peaked with the dreadnoughts in the 1910s.