Yesterday morning, desperate for something to write about, I tapped the "Today In History" section of Wikipedia, and noticed that it marked the 132nd anniversary of the Battle of Topata, more of a skirmish really, that kicked off the War of the Pacific, which was an odd little war fought between Chile on one side and Peru and Bolivia on the other over who would control a godforsaken swath of coastal desert that contained nothing of value except massive deposits of bird crap and a handful of dumpy little seaports, one of which had the scenic-sounding name of "Clamville".
Unfortunately, without those seaports, Bolivia had no ocean access, and bird crap was its primary export, and so when a tax & tariff squabble erupted with Chile to the south, a full-scale Kinetic Military Action soon followed. Peru tried to intervene for peace, kind of like the US did in Europe in 1915, and with about as much success, getting sucked into the fighting on Bolivia's side.
Because the war was being fought over a desert layered like hell's own bean dip with a geological epoch's worth of bird droppings and saltpeter, most of the first part of the war was fought at sea, and included several early ironclad duels, many featuring the ironclad Huáscar, which started the war as one of the Peruvian navy's most powerful ships but, like often happens to Italy, was occupied and forced to change sides. It ended up the war helping the Chilean navy drive the Peruvians from the ocean and blockade their ports.
The war ended poorly for Bolivia, who lost all their beachfront property, but the Huáscar is still afloat, preserved by the Chilean navy as a museum ship; one of the few pre-Dreadnought era warships still in existence.