Battle of Curupayty
The Battle of Curupayty was a key battle in the Paraguayan War. On the morning of September 22, 1866, the joint force of Brazilian and Uruguayan armies attacked Paraguayan fortified trenches on Curupaity; the Paraguayans were led by General José E. Díaz; this position was held by 5,000 men and 49 cannons, some of them in hidden places out of the attackers view. The Brazilian Navy gave support to the 20,000 assailants, but the ships had to keep some distance from the guns at the fortress of Humaitá, which led to the lack of accuracy and impact of the ship's fire; the navy's failure was crucial at the ground battle result. The Paraguayans were successful in misleading their foes: a trench drew most of the Brazilian fire, but the Paraguayan troops were located elsewhere. Around 20 percent of the 20,000 allied troops involved in the attack were lost; the utter failure resulted in the change of the Allied command. Paraguay's biggest success in the disastrous war was limited because its military leader Francisco Solano López did not counterattack the defeated Allies.
The battle of Curupayty was a sidenote and temporary success in what would become a near-extermination of the Paraguayan people. The 22 September attack started with a bombardment by Admiral Joaquim Marques Lisboa, Marquis of Tamandaré's fleet at 07:00 which lasted until noon, but with little effect. Participating in the attack were the ships Brasil, Tamandare, Belmonte, Pedro Affonso, Forte de Coimbra, the gunboats No. 1, 2, 3. Despite the firing of 5,000 bombs and shells, only one Paraguayan gun was damaged. Bartolomé Mitre warned that the Imperial fleet had finished his cannonade and assuming that the Paraguayan positions were to be destroyed, he ordered the advance; the right wing was composed of two columns of Argentinians, under the command of Gen. Emilio Mitre and Gen. Wenceslao Paunero; the left wing was composed of two columns of Brazilians under the command of Gen. Albino de Carvalho and Col. Augusto Caldas; the center Brazilians were commanded by Col. Lucas de Lima. Gen. Polidoro Jordão was to attack the Paraguayan defenses at Paso Gomez, along the Estero Rojas, with 20,000 Brazilians.
Gen. Venancio Flores was to take a cavalry force in a flanking movement against the Paraguayan's on the Allied right. Once the Allied soldiers had crossed two ditches, were reaching the top of the wall, they were within reach of the Paraguayan artillery; this inflicted heavy casualties amongst the Allied troops who were advancing in dense formations through the muddy terrain. Allied soldiers could not get close to the wall of the Paraguayan fort, with only 60 making it, who were soon killed. By 14:00, the attack was abandoned, by 17:00, the Allied army was back in Curuzu; the Allied offensive was halted for ten months, until July 1867. Cholera epidemics struck the area in March 1866 and September 1867. Open revolt against the war started in Argentina by January 1867, forcing President Mitre to send "The Army of Pacification" of 4,000 under Paunero's command. Disturbances in Uruguay forced the recall of Gen. Flores, subsequently assassinated. Robert L, Robert L.. Latin America's Wars: The Age of the Caudillo, 1791–1899.
Dulles, Virginia: Brassey's. ISBN 978-1-57488-451-7
Imperial Brazilian Army
The Imperial Brazilian Army was the name given to the land force of the Empire of Brazil. The Brazilian Army was formed after the independence of the country from Portugal in 1822 and reformed in 1889, after the republican coup d'ètat that created the First Brazilian Republic, a dictatorship headed by the army; the Imperial Army was created in the independence of Brazil in September 1822. Its origin dates back to the Portuguese-Brazilian troops who remained in Brazil under the command of Prince Pedro, Regent of the Kingdom of Brazil; when the Prince proclaimed independence and became the first Emperor of Brazil, troops loyal to his leadership formed the Imperial Army of the newly independent Empire. The Army was composed of Brazilians and foreign mercenaries. Most of its commanders were Portuguese officers loyal to Dom Pedro. Supporters of Brazilian Independence enlarged the Brazilian Army by forced enlistment of citizens, foreign immigrants and Brazilian slaves. Under Articles 102 and 148 of the Constitution, the Brazilian Armed Forces were subordinate to the Emperor as Commander-in-Chief.
He was aided by the Ministers of War and Navy in matters concerning the Army and the Navy—although the Prime Minister exercised oversight of both branches in practice. The ministers of War and Navy were, with few exceptions, civilians; the model chosen was the British parliamentary or Anglo-American system, in which "the country's Armed Forces observed unrestricted obedience to the civilian government while maintaining distance from political decisions and decisions referring to borders' security". During the 67 years of the monarchy's existence there were 76 ministers of the army; the National Army, or Imperial Army during the monarchy, was divided into two branches: the 1st Line, the Army itself. The military was organized along similar lines to the British and American armed forces of the time, in which a small standing army could augment its strength during emergencies from a reserve militia force. By 1824 the Army of the 1st Line included 24,000 men, who were disciplined and equipped just as well as European equivalents.
At the end of the war of Independence, the Brazilian Armed Forces were well organized and equipped. This occurred because the Emperor supported the Army. Army officers' training was completed in the Imperial Military Academy, although it was not obligatory for personnel to study there to advance in the profession. Personnel from the infantry and cavalry branches only needed to study the disciplines of the 1st year and 5th year. Engineers and artillerymen were obliged to study the complete course, which resulted in their branches being considered the most prestigious. However, if they preferred and cavalrymen were allowed to study the disciplines of the 2nd year. In 1845 the Military College was divided into two-halves: one half retained the name "Military College" and the other half became the Central College. A new reform on 6 September 1850 improved the quality of the officers of the Imperial Army. From on, progression in a soldier's military career would occur through antiquity and academic resume, beyond a clear preference for the personnel who completed the Military College over the ones who did not.
On 20 September 1851, the conservative cabinet created a branch of the Military College in Porto Alegre. The Porto Alegre college location provided courses in infantry and cavalry, including disciplines taken from the 1st and 5th years of study; the National Guard was reorganized in the same month and became subordinate directly to the Minister of Justice, instead of to the locally elected Judges of Peace. In 1874 the Polytechnical College of Rio de Janeiro was created from the Military School; the new college focused on the provision of civil engineering courses. For the 1873–74 fiscal year, the Government allocated about 27 percent of the budget for the Army and the Navy; the Empire declared war against the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata in 1825 because that nation was aiding the secessionist revolt of the Brazilian province of Cisplatine. The Argentine and the Cisplatine secessionist troops made use of guerrilla tactics that prevented the much stronger Brazilian Army from delivering an overwhelming blow against its enemies.
By the end of the conflict more than 8,000 Brazilians had died and the esteem associated with a career in the military declined. The resulting withdraw led to the independence of Cisplatina, which became Uruguay, was the only war not won by Brazil in its independent history. In the aftermath, the military blamed the Emperor for not being able to convince the Parliament to allow more financial aid to purchase equipment and provisions, while the liberals, on the other hand, considered the monarch responsible for the high costs of the conflict. Pedro I's ab
The Paraguay River is a major river in south-central South America, running through Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina. It flows about 2,621 kilometres from its headwaters in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso to its confluence with the Paraná River north of Corrientes and Resistencia; the Paraguay's source is south of Diamantino in the Mato Grosso state of Brazil. It follows a southwesterly course, passing through the Brazilian city of Cáceres, it turns in a southward direction, flowing through the Pantanal wetlands, the city of Corumbá running close to the Brazil-Bolivia border for a short distance in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. From the city of Puerto Bahia Negra, the river forms the border between Paraguay and Brazil, flowing due south before the confluence with the Apa River; the Paraguay makes a long, gentle curve to the south-southeast before resuming a more south-southwesterly course, dividing the country of Paraguay into two distinct halves: the Gran Chaco region to the west, a uninhabited semi-arid region.
As such the river is considered the key geographical feature of the country with which it shares its name. Some 400 kilometres after flowing through the middle of Paraguay, at the confluence with the Pilcomayo River and passing the Paraguayan capital city, Asunción, the river forms the border with Argentina, flowing south-southwesterly for another 275 kilometres before it reaches its end, joining with the Paraná River; the Paraguay River is the second major river of the Rio de la Plata Basin, after the Paraná River. The Paraguay's drainage basin, about 1,095,000 square kilometres, covers a vast area that includes major portions of Argentina, southern Brazil, parts of Bolivia, most of the country of Paraguay. Unlike many of the other great rivers of the Rio de la Plata Basin, the Paraguay has not been dammed for hydroelectric power generation; this makes it an important shipping and trade corridor, providing a much-needed link to the Atlantic Ocean for the otherwise landlocked nations of Paraguay and Bolivia.
It serves such important cities as Concepción in Paraguay and Formosa in Argentina. The river is a source of commerce in the form of fishing, provides irrigation for agriculture along its route; as such it provides a way of life for a number of poor fishermen who live along its banks and make the majority of their income selling fish in local markets, as well as supplying a major source of sustenance for their families. This has created issues in large cities such as Asunción, where poverty-stricken farmers from the country's interior have populated the river's banks in search of an easier lifestyle. Seasonal flooding of the river's banks sometimes forces many thousands of displaced residents to seek temporary shelter until the waters recede from their homes; the Paraguayan military has been forced to dedicate land on one of its reserves in the capital to emergency housing for these displaced citizens. The river is a tourist attraction for its beauty; the Paraguay River is the primary waterway of the 147,629-square-kilometre Pantanal wetlands of southern Brazil, northern Paraguay and parts of Bolivia.
The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland and is dependent upon waters provided by the Paraguay River. Owing to its importance as a navigable waterway serving Brazil and Paraguay, the river has been the focus of commercial and industrial development. In 1997 the governments of the nations of the La Plata Basin proposed a plan under the Hidrovia Inter-Governmental Commission agency to develop the rivers into an industrial waterway system to help reduce the costs of exporting goods from the area, in particular the soybean crop that the area has embraced; the plan entailed constructing more hydroelectric dams along some of the waterways, along with a massive effort to restructure the navigable waterways—most notably the Paraguay River—through dredging of the waterway, rock removal and channel restructuring. Studies indicated that the proposed river engineering of the Paraguay would have a devastating impact on the Pantanal wetlands. An effort by the Rios Vivos coalition to educate people on the effects of the project was successful in delaying the project, the nations involved agreed to reformulate their plan.
The final plan is still uncertain, along with the effect it will have on the Pantanal and the ecology of the entire Río de la Plata basin. The controversy over whether or not the project will have a disastrous effect on the local ecology, as well as the potential economic gains, continues to this day; the Paraguay River basin includes several distinctive habitats, ranging from clear waters such as Rio da Prata near Bonito in the upper part to the sediment-rich Bermejo River in the lower part. The suspended load of the Paraguay River is about 100 milligrams per litre before the inflow of Bermejo, but rises to about 600 milligrams per litre after. Directly after the inflow of Bermejo River, the pH of the Paraguay River may reach up to 8.2. The typical pH of the Paraguay River is 6.3 -- 7.9 in the lower part. The peak of the flood season in the Paraguay River is delayed 4—6 months compared to the peak of the rainy season due to t
Battle of Corrientes
The Battle of Corrientes was an episode occurred at the beginning of the Paraguayan War, in the second stage of the Paraguayan offensive, after the Invasion of Mato Grosso, at the beginning of 1865
Battle of Acosta Ñu
The Battle of Acosta Ñu or Campo Grande was a battle during the Paraguayan War, where, on August 16, 1869, between the Triple Alliance and Paraguay. The 3,500 poorly armed Paraguayans boys between nine and 15 years old, old men and wounded combatants, confronted 20,000 Brazilian veteran soldiers. In the middle of 1869, the Paraguayan Army was on full retreat and Asunción was under allied occupation. Francisco Solano López, the Paraguayan president, refused to surrender and retreated to the hills, vowing to keep fighting to the end; the Brazilian commander Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Duke of Caxias suggested that the war was militarily over, but Pedro II, the Brazilian emperor, refused to stop the campaign until López surrendered. Caxias resigned and was replaced by the Emperor's son-in-law, Luís Filipe Gastão de Orléans, Count of Eu. Count d'Eu and the main Allied troops advanced and took Caacupé on August 15, though López had moved to Caraguatay. In an attempt to block the Paraguayan Army from retreating to Caraguatay, the Count of Eu sent the 2nd Corps via Barrero Grande, while the 1st Corps pursued López.
The Allied troops met the rearguard of the Paraguayan forces at Acosta Ñu on August 16. The battle started at 0800. Acosta Ñu is a vast plain of 12 km2, ideal for the Brazilian cavalry; the initial charge was led by the Allied 1st Corps infantry, supported by artillery. As the Paraguayans retreated across the Yagari River, the 4th Cavalry Brigade made a right flanking movement. Meanwhile, the 2nd Corps reached the Paraguayan rear. Children were said to clung to the legs of Brazilian soldiers amidst the raging battle, pleading for mercy, only to be decapitated without hesitation. Once all flanks collapsed, the wounded children tried to flee the battlefield alongside their relatives, yet the Brazilian commander ordered his cavalry to cut the retreat and set the battlefield ablaze, including the field hospital. Large numbers of children died because of these actions; the battle of Acosta Ñu/Campo Grande is depicted in the famous painting Batalha de Campo Grande by Pedro Américo, in the book Recordações de Guerra e de Viagem by famous Brazilian writer Visconde de Taunay, who took part in the battle.
In Paraguay, Children's Day is celebrated on August 16. It is a national holiday to commemorate the memory of the children who lost their lives in the Battle of Acosta Ñu/Campo Grande
The Paraguayan War known as the War of the Triple Alliance and the Great War in Paraguay, was a South American war fought from 1864 to 1870, between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, the Empire of Brazil, Uruguay. It was the bloodiest inter-state war in Latin America's history, it devastated Paraguay, which suffered catastrophic losses in population: 70% of its adult male population died, according to some counts, it was forced to cede territory to Argentina and Brazil. According to some estimates, Paraguay's pre-war population of 525,000 was reduced to 221,000, of which only 28,000 were men; the war began in late 1864, as a result of a conflict between Paraguay and Brazil caused by the Uruguayan War. Argentina and Uruguay entered the war against Paraguay in 1865, it became known as the "War of the Triple Alliance"; the war ended with the total defeat of Paraguay. After it lost in conventional warfare, Paraguay conducted a drawn-out guerrilla resistance, a disastrous strategy that resulted in the further destruction of the Paraguayan military and much of the civilian population through battle casualties and diseases.
The guerrilla war lasted 14 months until President Francisco Solano López was killed in action by Brazilian forces in the Battle of Cerro Corá on 1 March 1870. Argentine and Brazilian troops occupied Paraguay until 1876. Estimates of total Paraguayan losses range from 21,000 to 200,000 people, it took decades for Paraguay to recover from demographic losses. Since their independence from Portugal and Spain in the early 19th century, the Empire of Brazil and the Spanish-American countries of South America were troubled by territorial disputes. All nations in the region had lingering boundary conflicts with multiple neighbors. Most had overlapping claims to the same territories; these issues were questions inherited from their former metropoles, despite several attempts, were never able to resolve them satisfactorily. Signed by Portugal and Spain in 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas proved ineffective in the following centuries as both colonial powers expanded their frontiers in South America and elsewhere.
The outdated boundary lines did not represent actual occupation of lands by the Portuguese and Spanish. By the early 1700s, the Treaty of Tordesillas was deemed all but useless and it was clear to both parties that a newer one had to be drawn based on realistic and feasible boundaries. In 1750, the Treaty of Madrid separated the Portuguese and Spanish areas of South America in lines that corresponded to present-day boundaries. Neither Portugal nor Spain were satisfied with the results, new treaties were signed in the following decades that either established new territorial lines or repealed them; the final accord signed by both powers, the Treaty of Badajoz, reaffirmed the validity of the previous Treaty of San Ildefonso, which had derived from the older Treaty of Madrid. The territorial disputes became worse when the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata collapsed in the early 1810s, leading to the rise of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Historian Pelham Horton Box writes: "Imperial Spain bequeathed to the emancipated Spanish-American nations not only her own frontier disputes with Portuguese Brazil, but problems which had not disturbed her, relating to the exact boundaries of her own viceroyalties, captaincies general and provinces."
Once separated, Argentina and Bolivia quarreled over lands that were uncharted and unknown. They were either scarcely settled by indigenous tribes that answered to no parties. In the case of Paraguay with her neighbor Brazil, the problem was to define whether the Apa or Branco rivers should represent their actual boundary, a persistent issue that had vexed and confused Spain and Portugal in the late 18th century; the region between both rivers was populated only by some indigenous tribes that roamed the area attacking nearer Brazilian and Paraguayan settlements. There are several theories regarding the origins of the war; the traditional view emphasizes the policies of Paraguayan president Francisco Solano López, who used the Uruguayan War as a pretext to gain control of the Platine basin. This caused a response from the regional hegemons Brazil and Argentina, who exercised influence over the much smaller republics of Uruguay and Paraguay; the war has been attributed to the after-effects of colonialism in South America, with border conflicts between the new states, the struggle for power among neighboring nations over the strategic Río de la Plata region and Argentine meddling in internal Uruguayan politics, Solano López's efforts to help his allies in Uruguay, as well as his presumed expansionist ambitions.
Before the war Paraguay had experienced rapid economic and military growth as a result of its protectionist policies that had boosted the local industry. A strong military was developed because Paraguay's larger neighbors Argentina and Brazil had territorial claims against it and wanted to dominate it politically much like they did in Uruguay. Paraguay had recurring boundary disputes and tariff issues with Argentina and Brazil for many years during the rule of Carlos Antonio López. In the time since Brazil and Argentina had become independent, their struggle for hegemony in the Río de la Plata region had profoundly marked the diplomatic and political relations among the countries of the region. Brazil was the first country to recognize the independence of Paraguay, in 1844. At this time Argentina still considered it a breakaway province. While Argentina was ruled by Juan Manuel Rosas, a common enemy of both Brazil and
Battle of Tatayibá
The Battle of Tatayiba was a cavalry engagement between a Paraguayan force led by future President Bernardino Caballero and a Brazilian force led by the Duke of Caxias. The Brazilians, outnumbering the Paraguayans nearly 3 to 2, were victorious. A trap was set by the Brazilian cavalry in order to stop the daily sorties by Lt. Col. Caballero's Paraguayan cavalry. Hiding their main force in the woods, a few Brazilians lured the Paraguayan cavalry on a three-mile chase; the Paraguayans were surrounded at Tatayiba, with only a few making it back to Humaitá. Caballero was promoted to Col. and a medal ordered for his survivors