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Jose de San Martin
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Military Personnel
    (February 25, 1778-August 17, 1850)
    Born in Yapeyu, Argentina
    Fought with the Spanish army against France during the Napoleonic Wars
    Liberated Argentina (1816), Chile (1818) and Peru (1821) from Spanish rule
    General in chief of the Chilean army (1817-20)
    Protector of Peru (1820-22)
    He was described as humorless.
    During his first battle in South America, he was trapped beneath his horse when the horse was shot dead.
    He admitted, ‘I have a poor head for politics.’
    After a meeting with Simon Bolivar (1822), he resigned his political and military positions and went into exile in Europe, commenting ‘There is not enough room in Peru for Bolivar and me.’
    He successfully led an army of 5,000 through the Andes to Chile, a feat comparable to Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps.
    He led his forces in battle despite severe attacks of rheumatoid arthritis.
    He donated his personal collection of books to found the National Library of Peru.
    Argentina’s highest decoration is the Order of the Liberator General San Martin.

Credit: C. Fishel

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