There have been a number of questions asked here, such as this question, or this question. The first question asked about how to find the authors of peer reviews. The second discussed the benefits of anonymity of peer review. However, I have been unable to find a question address the antecedent issue: why is peer review anonymous?
What are the historical reasons behind this practice? Was peer review always anonymous? What are the benefits behind anonymous peer reviews? Has the academic community learned from previous experiences that anonymous peer review is the best sort of process?
It also seems like a few journals as analyzed in this article (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-08250-2) performed open peer review with a sizable proportion of authorship of peer reviews also providing their identities (8.1%). In this paper the authors suggested that anonymity protects individuals from retaliation. It would seem to me that if all of a sudden all peer review were public, attempts at retaliation would be easy to identify and address. However, with the current state of the review process, one could sometimes guess at the author of a negative review and secretly retaliate. How has the academic community overall arrived at general acceptance of anonymous peer review?