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Drago arrived at Miranda in September , and Paraguayans had left once again.

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In January Col. The Brazilians withdrew from the area in April , moving their troops to the main theatre of operations, in the south of Paraguay. When the war first broke out between Paraguay and Brazil, Argentina had stayed neutral. The invasion of Corrientes and Rio Grande do Sul provinces was the second phase of the Paraguayan offensive. In order to support the Uruguayan Blancos , the Paraguayans had to travel across Argentine territory.

Wenceslao Robles to travel through the province of Corrientes. After this refusal Paraguayan Congress gathered at an emergency meeting on March 5, The declaration of war was sent on March 29, to Buenos Aires.

How did Paraguay Survive?

Following the invasion of the Corrientes Province by Paraguay on 13 April , a great uproar stirred in Buenos Aires as the public learned of Paraguay's declaration of war. My fellow countrymen, I promise you: in three days we shall be at the barracks. In three weeks, at the frontiers. The Treaty states that Paraguay is to be blamed on all the consequences of the conflict and has to pay all the debt of war , Paraguay has to remain without any fortress and military force.

Large portions of Paraguayan territories were to be taken by Argentina and Brazil at the end of the conflict, and the independence of Paraguay was supposed to be respected only for five years. The Treaty sparkled international outrage and voices favourable to Paraguay. Immediately Gen. Robles' troops took the city with 3, men, and a cavalry force of arrived the same day.

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Leaving a force of 1, men in the city, Robles advanced southwards along the eastern bank. Along with Robles' troops, a force of 12, soldiers under Col. Uruguaiana , to the south, was taken on 6 August with little resistance. On June 11, the naval Battle of Riachuelo the Brazilian fleet commanded by Admiral Francisco Manoel Barroso da Silva destroyed the powerful Paraguayan navy and prevented the Paraguayans from permanently occupying Argentine territory.

A separate Paraguayan division of 3, men that continued towards Uruguay under the command of Maj. The situation in Rio Grande do Sul was chaotic, and the local Brazilian military commanders were incapable of mounting effective resistance to the Paraguayans. The baron of Porto Alegre set out for Uruguaiana , a small town in the province's west, where the Paraguayan army was besieged by a combined force of Brazilian, Argentine and Uruguayan units. The naval battle of the Riachuelo was a key point in the Paraguayan War, it marked the beginning of the offensive of the Allies.

Letters From Battlefields of Paraguay (Richard Burton )

In subsequent months the Paraguayans were driven out of the cities of Corrientes and San Cosme , the only Argentine territory still in Paraguayan possession. By the end of the Triple Alliance was on the offensive. Its armies numbered 42, infantry and 15, cavalry as they invaded Paraguay in April. Yet, the Allied advance was checked in the first major battle of the war, at Estero Bellaco , on May 2, Porto Alegre [51] won the Battle of Curuzu , putting the Paraguayans in a desperate situation.

After the conference, the Allies marched into Paraguayan territory, reaching the defensive line of Curupayty.

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Trusting in their numerical superiority and the possibility of attacking the flank of the defensive line through the Paraguay River by using the Brazilian ships, the Allies made a frontal assault on the defensive line, supported by the flank fire of the battleships. The Allied leaders blamed each other for disastrous failure at Curupayty. Flores had left for Uruguay in September and was murdered there in The Brazilian government decided to create a unified command over Brazilian forces operating in Paraguay, and turned to the year-old Caxias as the new leader on 10 October The Marquess of Caxias assumed command on 19 Nov.

During this period Caxias trained his soldiers, re-equipped the army with new guns, improved the quality of the officer corps, and upgraded the health corps and overall hygiene of the troops, putting an end to epidemics. From October until July , all offensive operations were suspended. To aid the war effort, Caxias used observation balloons to gather information of the enemy lines. By Paraguay had lost 60, men to battle casualties, injuries, or disease.

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Women were entrusted with all support functions. Soldiers went into battle without shoes or uniforms. By December there were 45, Brazilians, 6, Argentinians and Uruguayans at the front. After the death of Argentinian Vice-President Marcos Paz , Mitre relinquished his position for the second, and final time on 14 January Resigned to frontal combat, Caxias ordered the so-called Piquissiri maneuver.

While a squadron attacked Angostura, Caxias made the army cross to the west side of the river. He ordered the construction of a road in the swamps of the Gran Chaco along which the troops advanced to the northeast. Instead of advancing to the capital, already evacuated and bombarded, Caxias went south and attacked the Paraguayans from the rear in December, Weeks later, Caxias won a decisive victory at the bloody Battle of Lomas Valentinas and captured the last stronghold of the Paraguayan Army in Angostura. Martin T. On January 5 Caxias entered the city with the rest of the army.

By this time Caxias was ill and tired. On January 17 he fainted during a mass, relinquished his command on 18th and left for Montevideo on 19th. Very soon the city hosted about 30 Allied soldiers who for the next few months looted almost every building, including diplomatic missions of European nations.

Paranhos had to create a provisional government which could sign a peace accord and recognize the border claimed by Brazil between the two nations. On March 31 a petition was signed by leading citizens asking Allies for a Provisional government. This was followed by negotiations between the Allied countries who put aside some of more controversial points of the Treaty of the Triple Alliance and on June 11 an agreement was reached with Paraguayan opposition figures that a three-man Provisional government will be established.

On July 22 a National Assembly met in the National Theatre and elected Junta Nacional of 21 men which then selected a five-man committee to select three men for the Provisional government. Decoud was unacceptable to Paranhos, who had him replaced with Cirilo Antonio Rivarola. The government was finally installed on August 15, but was just a front for the continued Allied occupation. The Provisional government did not last. At the head of 21, men, Count d'Eu led the campaign against the Paraguayan resistance, the Campaign of the Mountain Range, which lasted over a year.

On March 1, , the troops of Gen.

Mark Knopfler - Postcard from Paraguay (Royal Albert Hall 2013)

Too weak to walk, he was escorted by his aide and a pair of officers, who led him to the banks of the Aquidaban-nigui River. Paraguay suffered massive casualties, and the war's disruption and disease also cost civilian lives.

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Some historians estimate the nation lost the majority of its population. The specific numbers are hotly disputed and range widely. A survey of 14 estimates of Paraguay's pre-war population varied between , and 1,, Because of the local situation, all casualty figures are a very rough estimate; accurate casualty numbers may never be determined. After the war an census recorded , inhabitants, of which , were female, 28, were male, and 86, were children with no indication of sex or upper age limit.

In the estimation of Vera Blinn Reber, however, "The evidence demonstrates that the Paraguayan population casualties due to the war have been enormously exaggerated". To establish the population before the war, Whigham used an census and calculated, based on a population growth rate of 1. Based on a census carried out after the war ended, in , Whigham concluded that ,—, Paraguayan people had survived, of whom only 28, were adult males. Of approximately , Brazilians who fought in the Paraguayan War, the best estimates are around 50, men died.

The high rates of mortality were not all due to combat. As was common before antibiotics were developed, disease caused more deaths than war wounds. Bad food and poor sanitation contributed to disease among troops and civilians. Among the Brazilians, two-thirds of the dead died either in a hospital or on the march. At the beginning of the conflict, most Brazilian soldiers came from the north and northeast regions; the change from a hot to a colder climate, combined with restricted food rations, may have weakened their resistance.

Entire battalions of Brazilians were recorded as dying after drinking water from rivers. Therefore, some historians believe cholera , transmitted in the water, was a leading cause of death during the war. Paraguayan women had a significant role in the Paraguayan War. During the period just before the war began many Paraguayan women were the heads of their households, meaning they held a position of power and authority. They received such positions by being widows, having children out of wedlock, or their husbands worked on peons. When the war began women started to venture out of the home becoming nurses, working with government, and establishing themselves into the public sphere.

When the New York Times reported on the war in they considered Paraguayan women equal to their male counterparts. Paraguayan women's support of the war effort can be divided into two stages. During the period of the war, peasant women became the number one producers of agricultural goods.

The second stage begins when the war turned to a more guerrilla form. At this stage the number of women becoming victims of war was increasing. Women helped sustain Paraguayan society during a very unstable period. Though Paraguay did lose the war, the outcome may have been more disastrous without women performing specific tasks.