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Rear-Admiral Patricio Lynch
Rear Admiral Patricio Javier de los Dolores Lynch y Solo de Zaldívar (Valparaisomarker December 18, 1825 - May 13, 1886) was a Chileanmarker naval officer, and one of the principal figures of the later stages of the War of the Pacific. Nicknamed the "Last Viceroy of Peru" and the "Red Prince", he is regarded as a Chilean hero.

Early years

Lynch was born in the port of Valparaisomarker, Chilemarker, the son of Estanislao Lynch y Roo, a wealthy merchant resident in Chile, and of Carmen Solo de Zaldívar y Rivera. His father, Estanislao Lynch y Roo, a former Colonel in the Army of the Andes, had settled in Chile from Argentina and was a grandson of Patrick Lynch, an emigrant from Galwaymarker to Buenos Airesmarker in the 1740's.

Entering the navy in 1837, at the age of 13, he took part in the Naval Battle of Socabaya (1838), during the War of the Confederation that led to the fall of Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz. Next, he sought a wider field, and saw active service in the First Opium War on board the Britishmarker frigate Calliope. He was mentioned in despatches for bravery, and received the grade of midshipman in the Royal Navy.

Returning to Chile in 1847, he became lieutenant. Seven years later he received the command of a frigate, but was later relieved of his command for refusing to allow arrested political suspects on board. The Chincha Islands War saw him again employed, and he was successively maritime Prefect of Valparaiso, colonel of National Guards, and finally captain and minister of marine in 1872.

War years

At the beginning of the War of the Pacific, Lynch was a Naval Commander. He asked for a position in the navy, but was refused due to the opposition of his fellow officers. He retaliated by asking for a position in the Army, but instead was named as Commander General of Transports, where he was able to show his great abilities as an organizer. In the 1880, he led a raid against northern Peru to gather ransom payments from business and sugar plantation owners, that has become known as the "Lynch Expedition". This has been the main source of controversy about his record. On one side it is viewed as a brilliant military operation while on the other is viewed as a destructive pillage of defenceless civilian targets.

During the "Lynch Expedition", he recruited chinese peons who worked in the haciendas, and was able to convince them to join the army as an auxiliary force, thanks to the Chinese he had learned in the Opium War.

In the final campaign that led to the capture of Lima, he participated in the battles of Chorrillos and Miraflores (January 1881), in which he led first a brigade (as colonel) and afterwards a division under General Baquedano. His services at the battle of Chorrillos led to his appointment as Supreme Military and Political Commandant of Perumarker in 1881.

During the time he was Commander of the Army of Occupation, his action in deporting the acting Peruvian president Francisco Garcia Calderon to Chile, excited considerable comment by many Peruvian aristocrats, and the active opposition of the US government that almost led to a military conflict with that country. He returned to his own country in 1883 after the Treaty of Ancon was signed.

Later years

Promoted to Rear-admiral, in 1884 he was designated as Chilean plenipotenciary minister (ambassador) to Madridmarker. His mission was to negotiate a definitive peace treaty with Spain to end to the Chincha Islands War. Taking sick, he asked for leave to return to Chile. He died at sea on the return trip, off the Tenerife coast, on May 13, 1886.


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