Thomson Porto Mariño, Manuel Tomás (1839–1880)

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Thomson Porto Mariño, Manuel Tomás (1839–1880)

Manuel Tomás Thomson Porto Mariño (b. 1839; d. 1880), Chilean military leader. He entered the Chilean navy during the early 1850s. During the war against Spain (1865–1866) he commanded the captured Spanish warship Covadonga and served as its captain during the Battle of Abtao (7 February 1866), the only battle between opposing fleets. During the early days of the War of the Pacific (1879–1883), Thomson commanded the Esmeralda, Abtao, and Amazonas. In September 1879 the Amazonas was dispatched to the Atlantic to intercept the fast Peruvian transport Oroya but failed to find the enemy. On 22 December the Amazonas captured the Peruvian torpedo launch Alay at Ballenitas in northern Peru. In late January 1880 Thomson was given command of the former Peruvian seagoing monitor Huáscar, which had been captured at the battle of Angamos (8 October 1879). The Huáscar took part in the attack on Arica on 27 February 1880. While engaging the Peruvian coastal monitor Manco Capac, Thomson attempted to maneuver between the Manco Capac and the Peruvian shore batteries in order to deprive the enemy of its anchorage. At a critical moment the Huáscar's engine failed, and the ship became an easy target. The Huáscar was hit by a large-caliber shell and Thomson was killed instantly.

See alsoChile, War with Spain .


Rodrigo Fuenzalida Bade, Marinos ilustres y destacados del pasado (1985).

Additional Bibliography

Rodríguez González, Agustín Ramón. La Armada Española, la campaña del Pacífico, 1862–1871: España frente a Chile y Perú. Madrid: Agualarga, 1999.

                                    Robert Scheina

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Thomson Porto Mariño, Manuel Tomás (1839–1880)

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