To the Bitter End: Paraguay and the War of the Triple by Christopher Leuchars

By Christopher Leuchars

The conflict of the Triple Alliance used to be one of many longest, least remembered, and, for considered one of its contributors, such a lot catastrophic conflicts of the nineteenth century. the choice of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay to visit struggle opposed to Paraguay in may well 1965 has typically been considered as a reaction to the raids by way of the headstrong and tyrannical dictator, Francisco Solano Lopez. whereas there's a few fact to this view, as Lopez had attacked cities in Argentina and Brazil, the phrases of the Triple Alliance signed that very same month show that the incentive of those countries, at the very least, was once to redraw the map of their prefer, on the cost of Paraguay. That the ensuing clash lasted 5 years earlier than Lopez was once defeated and his nation absolutely on the mercy of its associates used to be a tribute to the heroic resistance of his humans, in addition to to the inadequacies of the allied command.The army campaigns, which came about on land and at the rivers, usually in appalling stipulations of either weather and terrain, are tested from a strategic point of view, in addition to throughout the reports of standard squaddies. Leuchars seems intimately on the political factors, the process the clash as seen from either side, and the tragic aftermath. He brings to mild an episode that, for all its next obscurity, marked a turning element within the improvement of South American diplomacy.

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Additional resources for To the Bitter End: Paraguay and the War of the Triple Alliance (Contributions in Military Studies)

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In an explosion of popular indignation, the coat of arms was torn from the Paraguayan consulate, along with a picture of Lopez, and both were thrown into the river. Excited crowds gathered outside Mitre's house, in a mixture of fervor and anger, demanding swift action. "3 He was, however, considerably less confident than these words suggest. His main worry was over the likely reaction of Urquiza, who had a strong influence with the other provinces and who might be after revenge. Fortunately for Mitre, Urquiza was a more subtle opponent who was aware that he held the balance of power.

Once Lopez informed him of his intention to cross Corrientes, Urquiza started to backtrack and sent a representative. Julio Victorico, to Asuncion to dissuade him. He also showed his correspondence with Lopez to Mitre, as proof of his loyalty. When Lopez discovered that he could no longer rely on Urquiza, he angrily ended his conversation with Victorico with the portentous words, "then, if they provoke me. "2 Whatever his motives for moving an army across Corrientes, he now knew that it would probably lead to war with Argentina and that he could not count on the loyalty of Urquiza.

10 While these remarks seem superficially bellicose, they are also indicative of a defensiveness and a desire not to be pushed around. By themselves, they are not evidence that Paraguay was looking for a war, and, besides, the second remark was made four days after the Brazilians, in contravention of all international law, had invaded Uruguay. Berges, in fact, had every reason to be bullish, for in January 1864 a general decree of mobilization had been issued. Such was the organization and control of the government in Paraguay that recruits began flooding in immediately—some 5,000 by the middle of February.

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