Rule, Bolivia, by the seas!


Flag of the Navy of Bolivia


If you talk about the Navy of Bolivia, then you will be suspected of either problems with geography or problems with your head as a whole. However, oddly enough, the Navy of Bolivia, a landlocked country, in principle, does not just exist, but even brought the strength of sailors to 5000. This is probably one of the most powerful fleets among countries that do not have access to the sea surface. And the very original name of the Navy of Bolivia for the Russian ear is perceived as something grandiose - Armada Boliviana.

The stolen dream of the sea


In fact, behind the pretentious "Armada Boliviana" lies an old complex of territory loss. Until 1883, Bolivia not only had access to the Pacific Ocean, but also operated several ports on the 400-kilometer strip of the coast. The end of Bolivia’s oceanic dreams was laid by the Second Pacific War, also known as the Navy War, because the conflict broke out solely on the basis of the struggle for the right to extract natural resources, in this case, saltpeter.


Map of Bolivia before the war

Bolivia, united with neighboring Peru, opposed Chile. As a result, Bolivia lost the war, having lost simultaneously with access to the ocean large south-western territories. The defeat was so painful for the country's Navy that it is still on the Bolivian flag fleet in the lower right corner a lone star flaunts, symbolizing the memory of the Bolivians about the lost territory and the vastness of the ocean.

Another reminder of the phantom pain of the lost territory is the country's national holiday without sea open spaces - Sea Day, celebrated every year on March 23. On this day, of course, the navy also takes part in the celebrations. For the most part, this is a sad day for the Bolivians, because, as you know, countries that do not have serious international influence often have huge ambitions. Even schoolchildren take part in the Sea Day parade, in which from childhood they bring up the spirit of revenge and return to the Pacific coast.

The beginning of a new "fleet"


A peculiar beginning to the modern Bolivian fleet was laid back in 1939, when the army command realized the need for the availability of watercraft in the country strewn with rivers for the prompt delivery of military units to a particular area. Therefore, in the city of Riberalta, at the confluence of the Madre de Dios into the Rio Beni, the School of Mechanics and Navigation was founded. It is worth noting that from the first days one of the goals of schooling was the formation of “marine self-awareness” among cadets. Another evidence of hopes for access to the ocean.

Rule, Bolivia, by the seas!

The official foundation of the future Navy took place in January 1963, when the "military forces of rivers and lakes" were formed. There are plenty of rivers and lakes on the territory of Bolivia, and the country is forced to share the large alpine lake Titicaca with its former ally - Peru. In the beginning, the new “forces” consisted of four American boats with 1800 personnel. "Sailors" almost all were picked up from simple infantry units. Soon, the painful syndrome of loss of access to the sea prevailed, and the “forces of rivers and lakes” were renamed Armada Boliviana.

At the moment, the Bolivian fleet is armed with 70 to 160 different vessels, including inflatable motor boats and non-self-propelled boats for the transport of quick reaction groups. The backbone of patrol vehicles are Boston Whaler boats, which in fact are just motor boats, and boats purchased in China from type 928 YC. The fleet also has eight assault boats, several transports, hospital ships, a training ship, etc.


Orlando Mejia Heredia Mage

The fleet includes the marine corps, naval military police and even aviation, the basis of which are light-engine aircraft of the American company Cessna. The Navy special forces are somewhat different: the naval intelligence service, a diving training center, a quick reaction group and the Blue Devils special unit.

This invincible armada was commanded by Admiral Palmiro Gonzalo Yarjuri Rada, who graduated from the Bolivian Navy Naval Academy with a warrant officer degree in December 1986. But after the coup he was removed from command. Now the head of the fleet is Orlando Mejia Heredia Meige.

Return to the ocean


The revanchist sentiment in Bolivia associated with the loss of the coast is more than strong. Therefore, in 1992, the country's leadership signed a contract for a 99-year lease of a five-kilometer strip of coast with Peru, i.e. with a former ally. The project received a very symbolic name "Boliviamar". However, at that moment Bolivia never received a direct access to the sea. Various interstate disagreements and interventions of a third party - Chile, which would never want to allow the defeated party any hope for a true fleet, interfered.


Bolivian Navy Parade

Finally, in 2010, the project was implemented. True, in a somewhat truncated form. The strip of the "Bolivian" coast was an absolutely deserted unequipped territory without the slightest hint of any roads or other infrastructure. But the warships of Bolivia received the right to freely enter the Ilo port of Peru on the rivers. But the government paid much more attention not to the native fleet, but to trade and tourism projects.

The then president, Evo Morales, shared truly Napoleonic plans. He hoped to build a port, hotel in the new "Bolivian" territory and open a free trade zone. A little later, however, it was announced the construction of a naval school, where they would train fleet officers. In honor of these events, a very peculiar monument was even installed on the deserted coast.


At the same time, all this time Chile in every possible way impeded the realization of the dream of Bolivian sailors to return to the "big water". The stumbling block was the results of the aforementioned Second Pacific War. This regional war for resources has acquired for Chileans and Bolivians no less significance than the Great Patriotic War for us. Bolivia, which bombarded international courts demanding not only to calm the enemy, but also to return the seized territory to them, was not inferior.


Bolivians on Boliviamar

After the coup that overthrew Morales, the situation around the Boliviamar hung. Actually, like an international court. Will Bolivian “children's” fleet ever plunge into the “adult” ocean pool? Who knows, if you recall the number of military coups in South America, which have become almost a tradition ... And no one guarantees that turbulent coup flows will not begin in Chile itself.
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  1. Slug_BDMP 19 March 2020 18: 15 New
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    Timchasovo occupied territory ...
    1. kjhg 19 March 2020 18: 56 New
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      Are you talking about Crimea? Forget and tell your children that they should not have hopes in vain. Crimea came to you by mistake, which history corrected and returned the peninsula to its true owner - Russia.
      1. Slug_BDMP 19 March 2020 20: 09 New
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        You mistook me for a Ukrainian; they haven’t insulted me for a long time.
        Although it's my fault, I forgot to put a smiley face.
        1. kjhg 19 March 2020 20: 30 New
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          Quote: Slug_BDMP
          You mistook me for a Ukrainian; they haven’t insulted me for a long time.
          Although it's my fault, I forgot to put a smiley face.

          Judging by the minuses, I didn’t understand you alone request
          1. Slug_BDMP 19 March 2020 21: 01 New
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            Daladna! Somehow I’ll survive.
      2. tihonmarine 19 March 2020 20: 33 New
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        Quote: kjhg
        Are you talking about Crimea? Forget and tell your children that they should not have hopes in vain.

        And if they have hopes, they will become the second time for Bolivia.
    2. Ryaruav 19 March 2020 19: 29 New
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      don't speak bird
    3. paul3390 19 March 2020 19: 38 New
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      To the pain of a Ukrainian type, the fleet resembles ...
      1. tihonmarine 19 March 2020 20: 37 New
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        Quote: paul3390
        To pain, the Ukrainian type of fleet resembles.

        Are you talking about that unarmed Ukrainian boat that the entire Black Sea Fleet of Russia dispersed?
        1. paul3390 19 March 2020 20: 52 New
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          Yeah .. And half drowned .. laughing
  2. Amateur 19 March 2020 18: 55 New
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    At the moment, the Bolivian fleet is armed with 70 to 160 different vessels, including inflatable motor boats и non-self-propelled watercraft for transporting quick response teams.

    An ideal sample for pan-legged brothers fellow fellow
  3. Paul Siebert 19 March 2020 18: 56 New
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    And no one guarantees that turbulent flows of coups will not begin in Chile itself.

    Will La Moneda be stormed again?
    Chile will not survive this second time ...
    But for now, Bolivia is conducting joint exercises with Independence.
    Since both fleets are inflatable! laughing
  4. Blacksmith 55 19 March 2020 18: 57 New
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    Thank you, I have not heard not only about the Second Pacific, but also about the first. You need to look in the internet.
    1. cat Rusich 19 March 2020 20: 17 New
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      Recall the Chuck war of 1932-1935 between Bolivia and Paraguay. Short description: oil was found in western Paraguay (Gran Chaco land), Bolivia declared Chaco its land and attacked Paraguay. Bolivia lost, on the side of Bolivia there were about 120 Germans of WWI veterans, on the side of Paraguay 80 Russian WWII veterans (for the Russians - the Second World War).
      1. voyaka uh 19 March 2020 22: 53 New
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        No one fights so cruelly among themselves as the countries of South America.
        Absolutely crazy people.
        After liberation from the yoke of Spain and Portugal, young states
        began, redrawing the borders, literally exterminating each other. sad
        1. cat Rusich 19 March 2020 23: 06 New
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          Football War - between Salvador and Honduras from July 14 to 20, 1969 El Salvador - 700 dead, including civilians and 4 aircraft, Honduras - about 1200, including civilians. Football in Latin America is more than football.
  5. lwxx 19 March 2020 19: 03 New
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    Something theirs flag reminds something. AND! Tolirast banner wassat
  6. mavrus 19 March 2020 19: 30 New
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    But the author did not tell the most interesting about Bolivia.
    Bolivia was formed in 1825.
    Yes, in its history there were the 2nd Pacific and Chak Wars.
    Che Guevara died in Bolivia.
    But Bolivia’s uniqueness is not in this ...
    Wikipedia writes best of all about this: "1971 - August 21, a military coup takes place (187th in a row since 1825), led by Colonel Hugo Banser Suarez."
    Just think about it: the 187th military coups in 146 years !!!
    But that is not all. This Suarez sat in the dictators of Bolivia until 1978 (as much as 7 years!), Then he was thrown out ... But in 1997 he was elected president of Bolivia ... (he presided until 2001, died in 2002)
    But here is what can be read in the history of this country: "1999 - the water supply system was privatized, water prices were inflated to the limit, it is forbidden to collect rainwater, a series of mass protests and riots took place"
    Bolivia is a unique country.
    1. tihonmarine 19 March 2020 20: 43 New
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      Quote: mavrus
      Bolivia is a unique country.

      And she is on the territory of the American continent, and the brothers from the North want to help them in tone, but the independent one, which is located 7000 kilometers from the states, thinks that the American brothers will help her. Well, really, like a Sharia movie about Konotop.
  7. Catfish 19 March 2020 20: 23 New
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    All this caused a smile, because I immediately remembered the “fleet” of the great Anchuria from “Kings and Cabbage” O * Henry. smile
    1. Gato 19 March 2020 22: 16 New
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      "fleet" of great Anchuria

      Similarly. With one yacht and a crazy captain. Barefoot guards, a replaceable head by the statue of the president and the promise of a gramophone to each family were also remembered from the film of the same name. Revised the film in 2014.
  8. garik77 20 March 2020 00: 47 New
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    Quote: tihonmarine
    Quote: kjhg
    Are you talking about Crimea? Forget and tell your children that they should not have hopes in vain.

    And if they have hopes, they will become the second time for Bolivia.

    Perhaps this will end, as if sugsovye not puffed up ..
  9. xomaNN 20 March 2020 12: 14 New
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    But Austria, having lost its fairly powerful Navy after the First World War, calmly and evenly “smokes a pipe”. DO NOT bother. A rich history of his fleet shows in the Vienna War Museum. By the way, quite successfully the Austrian fleet "hollowed out" Italian adversaries. am

    It was with pleasure that he examined the armored dreadnoughts of the Dual-Empire.
  10. Petrol cutter 22 May 2020 23: 19 New
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    To the proud Bolivian comrades, I would strongly recommend contacting the SZ Sea to discuss the construction of all kinds of speed boats.
    Boats based on the Vulture, which is typical ... They give a very large platform. For installation, then. ..
    The Soviet ship was however.