The Battle of Arica, also known as Assault and Capture of Cape Arica, was a battle in the War of the Pacific. It was fought on 7 June 1880, between the forces of Chile and Peru.
The Chilean forces, commanded by Pedro Lagos, made a huge frontal infantry assault with 4.000 men against the the heavily fortified Cape of Arica which was defended by 1.600 men under the command of Francisco Bolognesi.
Bolognesi ordered to land mines all over the cape and made a pledge to fight until the last cartridge. Seeing the difficult terrain, the cape is 139 meters high and with a very steep slope, and the strong peruvian fortifications the chilean officers predicted a long siege who could long, at least, 3 days. But when the chilean troops, mostly enrolled miners, realized that the peruvians defenders planted land mines see this as an dishonorable and cowardly attitude by their enemies and, in a moment of fury of an unidentified soldier yell: “To the Cape, boys!”, causing a mass assault. The Chilean officers had nothing to do but to follow their soldiers in a frenetic race for the summit. The infantry had to run up the hill facing the Peruvian men commanded by Colonel Bolognesi. Quickly the Chilean assault degenerated into a confusing pandemonium marked by the explosion of mines placed by the Peruvian defenders and the use of bayonets and corvos, a type of blade used in Chile, instead of their firearms by the asaulters. The defenders were overrun and annihilated. in only 55 minutes.