Chile 1973, The Other 9/11...

...The Downfall of Salvador Allende, Helion & Company, via Casemate Books

Title:  Chile 1973, The Other 9/11

Author: David Francois

Publisher:  Helion and Company

ISBN:  978-1-912174-95-9

Another paperback format book in the Latin America at War series from Helion Books.  Once again, despite recognising one or tow names from past news, I find it really interesting to read more details about the events surrounding those old news stories.  Living in Europe, perhaps we rather overlook the events in places such as Chile and South America in general.

he book begins with an introduction that sets out the background to the geography of Chile, the Andes mountains to the East and the Atacama desert to the North.  Mineral deposits provide the valuable resource that underpins the economy.  In the early 20th Century  we get the context of the rise of Socialism around the world.  In particular of course there is the Cold War between Soviet Russia and America, revolution in Cuba and the Vietnam war.  It leads up to the rise of Salvador Allende to be President of Chile in 1970, gaining power peacefully, through democratic elections.  President Nixon in the USA was opposed to a Socialist Government in the Americas and he encouraged the CIA to work to get Allende replaced.  Economic unrest within Chile then built up during 1971-73.  It leaves chapter 3 to give the background to the relationship between the Chilean armed forces along with the Far-Left politics.  This leads to chapter 4, dealing with the plotting of a Coup.  Chapter 5 then tells the story of the events of the Coup which took place on 11 September 1973 that resulted in the downfall of Allende, and on a date (9/11) that was of course to be associated with another significant historical event in the years to come.  Chapter six considers what resistance there was to the coup.  That leaves the final chapter 7 to give details of the New Regime, with a Junta under General Pinochet and a period of repression within Chile that led to violent opposition and finally his surrender to a bad situation and eventually a return to democracy.

The text is interesting and provides a very readable account and context to what happened and throughout the book, it is well illustrated with archive photos, maps and some fine colour profiles of armoured vehicles and aircraft which modellers in particular will like.  I like this series of Latin America at War series from Helion, and have learnt a lot.

Distributed by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.

Robin