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La  Guerra Civil Parguaya 1922-1923

  Adrian J. English

The revolution of August 1904 which placed the Liberal Party in power in Paraguay began as a popular movement, but Liberal rule quickly degenerated into factional feuding between the Radicales and the Cívicos. The Radicales subsequently split into pro-Schaerer and pro-Gondra factions. Manuel Gondra, the leader of the latter group, won the presidential election of 1920, but Eduardo Schaerer, the leader of the defeated faction, worked to undermine him by forcing him to demand the resignation of his strongest supporter in the Cabinet, his Interior Minister José Guggiari.

When Gondra rejected this demand 30 armed Schaeristas occupied the police headquarters in Asunción on October 29th, 1921 and supported by the 250 man Prison Guard Battalion demanded Gondra’s resignation. Although Colonel Manuel Schenoni Lugo, the Director of the Military College, assured the President of his support and that of the troops under his command, Gondra nevertheless submitted his resignation to Congress in order to avoid bloodshed. Congress refused to accept the President’s resignation but he remained obdurate and a political crisis ensued when the Vice President, Félix Paiva, refused to assume the Presidency in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Congress then placed the Presidency in the hands of the mildly Gondrista Senator Eusebio Ayala, on a provisional basis, pending elections. This proposal was accepted by Schaerer, who believed that he could dominate and manipulate Ayala as interim President. A new crisis however occurred on the nomination of Colonel Adolfo Chirife, the former Minister for War and Marine and a rabid Schaerista, as presidential candidate, with the support not only of his own Liberals but also of the opposition Colorado Party, which virtually assured his election. Ayala responded by exercising his constitutional right to veto the law authorizing the election whereupon the Schaerista dominated Congress, which nevertheless did not possess the requisite two-thirds majority to overthrow a Presidential Veto, called on the Army to enforce the now invalid electoral law.

Initially only the IInd and IVth Military Zones, with their HQs at Paraguarí and Villarica and respectively commanded by the frustrated presidential candidate Colonel Chirife and Colonel Pedro Mendoza responded to this exhortation and rose in effective Rebellion against the authority of the President. These were subsequently joined by those of the Ist Military Zone at Concepción, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Francisco Brizuela and eventually by almost all troops outside the capital and its immediate environs,. Both the Colorado and Liberal Parties split with some members of each supporting the President and others the Insurgents who began to refer to themselves as the “Constitutional Army” and the situation rapidly escalated into a potential civil war.

 Country mapThe composition and deployment of the Army, with a total strength slightly in excess of 2500 at this time, was as follows:-

 Ist Military Zone: One cavalry squadron and a section of heavy machineguns at Concepción and small frontier detachments in Bella Vista, Pedro Juan Caballero, San Carlos and Capitán Bado.

 IInd Military Zone: One battalion of infantry, a company of heavy machineguns and a group of artillery, with two mountain batteries, in Paraguarí.

 IIIrd Military Zone: The Presidential Escort Squadron, a company of infantry and a section of heavy machineguns at Asunción; a company of engineers at Villa Hayes; and a squadron of cavalry at San Ignacio, in the south-west.

 IVth Military Zone: One battalion of infantry and a company of heavy machineguns in Villarica plus an independent infantry company and a section of machineguns in Encarnación.

 Vth Military Zone: Frontier detachments in Bahía Negra and Fuerte Olimpo and small garrisons in Fortines General Bruguez, General Resquín, General Delgado and General Aquino in the Chaco, totalling not more than 200 effectives in all. 

THE OPPOSING FORCES

 The “Constitutionalists” thus disposed of two full infantry battalions, plus an independent rifle company; a squadron of cavalry; two companies and two sections of heavy machine-guns, plus a group of mountain artillery with two batteries, totalling approximately 1700 effectives.

  

Group of Rebel officers – Colonel Chirife is fourth and Lt. Colonel Brizuela fifth from left    © Amancio Pampliega

 The President could call on only a single company of infantry and a section of heavy machineguns; the Escort Squadron; another squadron of cavalry; a company of engineers and the cadets and faculty of the Military College, totalling approximately 600 in all, plus the 250 man Navy with the 150 ton gunboat ADOLFO RIQUELME (in fact, an armed yacht, mounting two 3 inch guns and used as a training ship); the 180 ton patrol craft (armed tug) TRIUNFO; and the 80 ton patrol craft CORONEL MARTINEZ  (another armed tug) – each mounting a single 3 inch gun -   as its only effective units.  

THE FIRST REBEL OFFENSIVE 

The Insurgents, led by Colonel Chirife,  initially massed at Paraguarí on May 27th being joined by large numbers of civilian sympathizers and delayed for almost two weeks - marked by futile peace negotiations which included an  offer by President Ayala to withdraw his veto of the controversial electoral law -  before commencing a slow advance on Asunción, pausing at Luque. By the morning of June 9th the Rebel forces had reached the outer suburbs of the capital where they were detained by entrenched Loyalist forces numbering only about 600 regular troops and an indeterminate number of civilian volunteers, which surprisingly included about 1000 members of the predominantly anarcho-syndicalist Marine Workers Union, the mobilized civilian elements being largely officered by the faculty and cadets of the Military College.  

 

 Theatre of Operations – June 1922 

Despite a series of ferocious but costly attacks, which were partly successful in some areas, the Insurgents were eventually forced slowly back towards Paraguarí on June 14th, fighting delaying actions at Pirayú and Yaguarón, their morale having suffered severely at the failure of what should have been the easy conquest of the capital and which was due, at least in part, to an almost complete lack of efficient logistic support, a problem which was to plague them throughout the conflict.

THE WAR TAKES TO THE AIR 

Military aviation now made its appearance in Paraguay, both sides using a few aircraft, mostly flown by foreign mercenary pilots. 

Although a flying school had been established at Nú Guazú in 1920 no aircraft had yet been acquired and the Loyalists were the first to form an air arm when Francisco Cusmanich, a Paraguayan citizen living in Buenos Aires, who was a qualified pilot, offered his services to President Ayala, bringing with him an Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 bomber-reconnaissance aircraft and a British mechanic and pilot named Sydney Stewart. The aircraft arrived in dismantled condition on June 1st, 1922 aboard the Argentine steamer “San José” and was transferred to Ñu Guazú where it was assembled by its pilots. During the middle of June the Government also contracted another pilot/mechanic, Sergeant Nicolá Bo, a veteran of World War I who had been a member of the Italian air mission in Argentina. Bo contracted several other mercenary pilots in Argentina and brought with him six additional aircraft: a single S.P.A.D. Herbemont S.XX fighter, two S.A.M.L. A.3 reconnaissance aircraft, two Ansaldo SVA 5 fighter-bombers and a single Ansaldo SVA 10 bomber, all of which were concentrated at Nú Guazú.  

Having carried out a test flight over Asunción, the Armstrong Whitworth carried out its first sortie in the afternoon of June 28th when it dropped pamphlets over Paraguari urging the revolutionaries to re-consider their actions or suffer the consequences. These were ignored and the same aircraft bombed the revolutionary positions on the following day, but without effect.  

 The Loyalist Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8  © Renato Angulo 

Five days later, on July 3rd, the Armstrong Whitworth launched another attack when it dropped three bombs on the revolutionary positions at Paraguarí. Continuing the mission, three stationery railway wagons were observed at a point between Cerro León and Pirayú and machine-gunned until the Loyalist aircraft ran out of ammunition. Unfortunately, instead of the supplies and munitions for the Rebel forces which they were assumed to contain, these wagons housed prisoners, members of the Paraguarí garrison who had refused to join the Insurgents, many of whom were either killed or wounded. 

On July 5th a flight of Loyalist aircraft consisting of the Armstrong Whitworth and an Ansaldo SVA 5 again dropped leaflets on Rebel positions at Pirayú, Paraguarí and Yaguarón  

Loyalist Aviators Bo and Cusmanich pose in their SVA 10 Aircraft© Antonio Sapienza 

Three days later the same two Loyalist aircraft carried out another sortie over Paraguari, the Armstrong Whitworth this time carrying four bombs to drop on the Rebel HQ. Both aircraft took off simultaneously but the Ansaldo, piloted by Bo, suffered mechanical problems and landed again almost immediately. Stewart, in the Armstrong Whitworth, continued on his mission but on being met by a hail of ground fire over Pirayú was obliged to take evasive measures during which the aircraft burst into flames and exploded, the wreckage falling near Pirayú railway station from which the badly burnt remains of its crew were recovered by Loyalist cavalry, taken to the town of Ypacaraí and from there sent by train to Asunción where they were buried the following day amidst scenes of public emotion.

An  SVA 5 fighter-bomber of the type operated by both sides      © Renato Angulo

The Rebels’ attempts at forming an air arm had been initially frustrated. They had finally managed to contract an Italian pilot in Argentina, Sergeant Angelo Pescarmona, who like Bo, was a veteran of World War I. However Pescarmona, who took off for Paraguay from Buenos Aires on July 15th, flying an Ansaldo SVA 5, had to make a forced landing in the vicinity of Concordia. Taking off once again, he suffered additional problems when the aircraft lost all power and was destroyed in an attempted forced landing at Santo Tomé, although the pilot escaped unharmed. 

THE LOYALIST COUNTER OFFENSIVE 

Following the repulse of the Rebel attack on the capital, the government had formed two all-arms groups of about 1500 men each, commanded respectively by Major José Julián Sánchez and Captain José Félix Estigarribia and each organized initially in two and later three infantry battalions, a cavalry squadron, a battery of artillery and a company of heavy machineguns, plus a section of telegraphists and supply and medical services. These were referred to as “Destacamento I” (comprising the newly raised 2nd and 3rd Infantry Battalions, subsequently joined by the 5th) and “Destacamento II” (made up initially of the new 1st Infantry and 4th “Engineer” Battalions – the latter based on the peacetime Engineer Company -  joined later by the  6th, Infantry Battalion). The Loyalist troops, which were now both more numerous and better organized than their adversaries, gradually pushed the Insurgents back along the line of the railway. 

Following the loss of the towns of Pirayú and Yaguarón, to the Loyalists, despite a minor victory over a small Loyalist detachment at Villa Florida, the position of the main rebel base at Paraguari had become untenable and Colonel Chirife embarked the bulk of his troops on railway wagons on July 14th,  and began a retreat  in the direction of Villarica.   

The Loyalist forces, under the overall command of Colonel Schenoni, continued their advance against stubborn resistance until SapucaÍ fell to them, without firing a shot, on July 23rd. The following day, after two hours of combat, Ybitimí also fell to the Loyalists whilst the main body of the rebel force fled in trains eastwards towards the river Tebicuary-mí, taking their artillery and machineguns with them.  

Theatre of Operations – July 1922 

On July 27th the Loyalists broke through strongly entrenched rebel positions at Itapé and the rebels once more retreated along the line of the railway towards Salitre Cué which fell to the Loyalists on July 30th. On July 31st unopposed Loyalist forces entered Villarrica in triumph. 

Rebel guerrillas had also been active in the centre of the country, the cavalry squadron of Estigarriba’s Destacamento II, commanded by Captain Luís Irrazábal, being sent northwards to deal with them. On August 2nd this force dispersed rebel guerrillas at San Estanislao although later the same day the Loyalists were in turn attacked by strong forces of irregular rebel cavalry. Other activity in this area seems to have consisted mainly of relatively minor skirmishes. 

THE WAR IN THE AIR CONTINUES

In July Colonel Chirife had finally managed to hire several pilots in Argentina who brought with them to Paraguay three Ansaldo SVA 5s and a single SVA 10. Operating from an improvised base at Caí-Puente (Coronel Bogado), to the north-west of Encarnación, the Rebels also carried out reconnaissance and bombing missions against Loyalist positions and within a short while aircraft of both sides met in aerial combat.

The Navy had meanwhile initiated a blockade of the Upper Paraná, the Paraguayan bank of which remained under Rebel control. Encarnación, which was the only major port held by the Insurgents and their main supply conduit from the outside world, had been bombarded ineffectually during the third week in June by the Loyalist gunboat ADOLFO RIQUELME which was forced to withdraw after suffering some damage from a Rebel shore battery and the capture of a landing party. This was the only recorded major involvement of the Paraguayan Navy during the conflict although its three operational vessels remained in the Upper Paraná at least until August 1st when a rebel SVA 5 bombed them without effect.  

Loyalist Gunboat ADOLFO RIQUELME     © Paraguayan Navy

 During the month of August Bo and various other members of the nascent Loyalist air force moved their aircraft to Villarrica, the new HQ of the Loyalist forces. From there they carried out a series of reconnaissance and bombing missions against Rebel positions with the SPAD-Herbemont S.XX. During the same month two other Italian airmen, Carlo Paoli and Cosimo Damiano Rizzotto, the latter of whom had been an Italian ace during World War I, when he had shot down five enemy aircraft, offered the Government their services which were eagerly accepted. Rizzotto brought with him a Breguet XIV bomber which had been purchased by the Paraguayan Government in Buenos Aires, carrying out various reconnaissance and bombing missions against Rebel positions. Flying on August 25th this aircraft suffered a cracked propeller with a subsequent fire in the engine. Rizzotto managed to make an emergency landing and although the aircraft was destroyed, miraculously he emerged unharmed. However, having had enough of the Paraguayan civil war he now returned to Argentina.

 By now the Government had also availed of the services of another British airman, Lieutenant Patrick Hassett, a veteran of the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. On September 5th, 1922, a Rebel SVA 5 flew over the Loyalist camp at Salitre-Cué at an altitude of some 2000 metres, descending later to drop several bombs. Immediately a Loyalist SVA 5, piloted by Lieutenant. Hassett,  took off to give chase to the Rebel aircraft. The subsequent dog-fight was not only the first of the conflict but also the first air-to-air combat in South America. Hassett loosed off several volleys at the Rebel aircraft, the pilot of which decided to break off the action, setting off for the Rebel base at Cangó (General Artigas).

The following day another Rebel SVA 5 appeared over Salitre-cué, strafing and dropping bombs. Hasset  took off once more and both aircraft engaged in combat. The Rebel pilot proved to be much braver than his colleague of the previous day, firing at Hassett, but without managing to shoot him down. Hassett, carried out evasive manoeuvres, managing to place himself in an advantageous position over his enemy whom he wounded and who had to break off the combat, making a forced landing in a woodland clearing near the Rebel positions at Cangó, in which the aircraft suffered serious damage.

On September 25th another aerial combat took place between SVA aircraft of both sides in the region of Isla Alta. A few days earlier a Rebel SVA 5 had flown over this area with the intention of locating and bombing a Loyalist mobile battery of Vickers naval guns mounted on rail trucks. The government side had deliberately located this battery in a clearly visible position to act as bait and when the enemy aircraft appeared Loyalist aircraft were lying in wait. As soon as the Rebel SVA appeared the train began to move and Bo took off, also in an SVA 5, attacking the Rebel aircraft from above. The enemy pilot jettisoned his bombs as soon as he saw Bo and abandoned his mission after receiving several hits from his attacker’s machine-guns. Bo pursued the enemy until he ran out of ammunition, whereupon he decided to return to Isla Alta.

During the following months several more encounters took place between the aircraft of both factions, the Rebels soon learning to respect their adversaries who were clearly more experienced. Combat therefore became increasingly rare, the Rebel aircraft usually fleeing and abandoning their missions as soon as Loyalist aircraft appeared. This superiority permitted the Loyalist air force to carry out numerous reconnaissance and bombing missions with relative impunity.

In October 1922, two Rebel pilots deserted, together with their SVA 5s, fleeing to the Argentine frontier town of Ituzaingó. This left the Rebels with only two aircraft but not for long as in November, Loyalist troops captured intact the remaining Rebel SVA 5 which was incorporated into the Loyalist air force. The last surviving Rebel aircraft, an SVA 10, remained grounded due to lack of spare parts and inadequate maintenance and was also eventually captured. With this the Rebel air force ceased to exist.

British mercenary pilot Patrick Hassett      © Antonio Sapienza

REBEL DEFEAT AT ENCARNACION 

Insurgent resistance at Cangó and Isla Alta had collapsed during the last week in October and by the beginning of November the Rebels had been pushed backwards towards Encarnación where after several skirmishes they dug in to fixed positions in the vicinity of Caí Puente Coronel Bogado), some 30 kms to the north-west of the city. 

 Colonel Schenoni (centre) at Cangó       © Arturo Bray 

By the second week in November the Loyalist forces, which now included a 190 mm naval gun, mounted on a railway, wagon, had reached the outer perimeter of the Rebel defences at Caí Puente. While the Sánchez Detachment, supported by this powerful weapon, tied down the defenders of Caí Puente the Estigarrbia Detachment, setting out from Isla Alta before dawn on November 13th, carried out a 90 km forced march in an arc through densely wooded country around the Rebel right flank to fall on Carmen del Paraná, 13 kms to the rear of the main insurgent positions, late in the evening of the following day, taking the defenders completely by surprise and throwing them into confusion. By 8 PM Carmen del Paraná was in the hands of the Loyalist troops.  

However, while Estigarribia’s force now menaced the rear of the main enemy positions at Caí Puente his own rear was also threatened by the garrison of Encarnación which included two pieces of artillery. Dividing his forces in two he managed to outflank the defenders of the city, dispersing the Rebel garrison and causing panic in the main body of the Insurgents when he attacked their rear. Nevertheless, the following day the Rebels had reorganized sufficiently to carry out a vigorous counter-attack. They were however now surrounded and outnumbered. On November 16th the main insurgent redoubt at Caí Puente was taken by frontal assault and although dispersed the surviving defenders were able to exfiltrate through gaps in the Loyalist cordon and regroup to retreat north-westward, through densely wooded country, with the intention of falling on the relatively undefended capital.   

The Theatre of Operations October/November 1922 

Loyalist forces, rushed there by rail, intercepted the rebels at Paraguarí, deflecting their advance on Asunción and forcing them northwards towards the town of Piribebuy, the scene of a major battle during the Triple Alliance War. After a day of intense fighting in the streets of Piribebuy, with heavy losses on both sides, the Rebels were finally dislodged and retreated in the direction of Caaguazú. Following an overnight halt at Barrero Grande, they continued to withdraw through San José de los Arroyos towards Coronel Oviedo, their leader Colonel Chirife having grandly declared “I am going to the north to ignite the country so as not to permit Dr. Ayala to govern peacefully”. 

The victorious but seriously mauled Loyalist army remained at Piribebuy for several days before taking up the pursuit of the retreating Insurgents whom they pushed back beyond Caaguazú, inflicting a resounding defeat upon them at Yhú, 50 kms to the north, after which their army virtually disintegrated, the survivors fleeing westwards to regroup to the north of Carayaó. 

For the next two months, the bulk of the Loyalist forces remained in fixed positions in the vicinity of Villarica and stretching from Coronel Oviedo to Carayaó, a single company of infantry, commanded by Captain Arturo Bray, being sent by river to Tucurupucú (Hernandarias) on the Upper Paraná which they found sacked and looted, the Insurgents having fled over the border into Brazil abandoning a single spiked Krupp 75 mm mountain howitzer. 

Captain Bray (centre) at Caí Puente    © Arturo Bray 

During the last months of 1922, the Loyalist air force had continued to carry out operations against the retreating Rebel forces although many of its aircraft by now showed signs wear and tear. By February 1923, only one SVA 5, an S.V.A 10, the two SAML A.3s and the single SPAD S.XX remained in flying condition. 

President Eusebio Ayala resigned due to ill health at the beginning of 1923 being replaced by his Finance Minister Eligio Ayala (no relation). The bulk of the apparently victorious Loyalist forces were now concentrated between Paraguarí and Ypacaraí where they were reviewed by the new President. Major Sánchez having been evacuated to Asunción, due to illness, the field command of the Loyalist forces had temporarily devolved on Estigarribia, who had been promoted Major following the victory at Carmen del Paraná.

President Ayala congratulates Major Estigarribia after the Loyalist victories at Carmen del Paraná and Caí Puente   © Tomás de los Santos 

Despite massive desertions, the apparent disintegration of their army in the north east and the loss of their miniscule air force, the Rebels were as yet by no means a spent force as they demonstrated by occupying Villarica, which was now virtually undefended, on March 18th, 1923, in the beginning of a surprise new offensive, having regrouped yet again in the Cordillera de Amambay during the previous three months.  

They now began once again to advance towards the capital and scored an unexpected victory when they intercepted and virtually wiped out a Loyalist supply train of 20 wagons, protected by 500 troops with two pieces of artillery, under the command of Captain Juan B. Ayala, as it forded a stream at Pañetey, near the village of  Unión, en route from San Pedro to Caryaó, where the bulk of the Loyalist forces were now encamped. The survivors were saved from complete annihilation only by the arrival of elements of Esitigarribia’s Destacamento II. 

Shortly after this the Rebel leader, Colonel Chirife, fell ill with pneumonia, and died at Itakyry, near Hernandarias, on May 18th, 1923 whilst on the first stage of the tortuous journey towards Posadas, in Argentina, for the medical treatment which was not available within the ranks of the rebel army. Command of the Rebel troops now devolved on Colonel Pedro Mendoza as they began a forced march on Asunción in what was now a desperate attempt to occupy the capital. 

Although much diminished in numbers, the remnants of the “Constitutional Army”, having lost contact with their adversaries at Molinas Cué,  continued to advance on the capital through heavily wooded country which enabled them to avoid contact with the Loyalist forces, troops of the opposing armies often passing within 50 metres without being aware of each other’s presence, and advanced somewhat circuitously through Carapeguá, Itá and San Lorenzo towards Asunción. 

Theatre of Operations March to  July 1923 

Whilst the bulk of the Loyalist forces, taken in by a ruse which made it appear that the Rebels were still concentrated in the vicinity of Carayaó, engaged in a futile pursuit northwards of an enemy force which had in fact managed to outflank them and advance southwards, the virtually undefended capital was abandoned by the government who fled northwards by river, carrying the contents of the national treasury with them 

The Insurgents, led by Lieutenant Colonel Brizuela, advanced against only limited resistance, mainly from the police force of the capital, reaching the centre of the city by the evening of July 9th. The following day, with victory apparently in their grasp the Insurgents were undermined by their old nemesis, defective logistic support and ran out of ammunition and had to retreat in the face of a resolute counter-attack, coincidentally as the Loyalist forces from the north arrived at the outskirts of Asunción, taking them in the rear. Rebel morale, always fragile, now collapsed completely and with it the uprising.  Colonel Brizuela led a remnant of the Insurgent army to Villeta where they stacked their weapons before crossing the river to exile in Argentina. 

Loyalist Forces enter Asunción     © Arturo Bray 

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 

In addition to the aircraft already referred to, both sides sought additional arms and equipment during the conflict, the Loyalists acquiring 2500 Mauser rifles and 12 Maxim machine-guns, all in the non-standard 7mm calibre, from Chile whilst the Insurgents obtained a further 1500 Mausers in the standard 7.65mm calibre, from various sources. Attrition of equipment was however extremely heavy and only 4091 Mauser rifles and carbines of assorted models and calibres, 26 assorted machine-guns and 17 pieces of artillery remained at the end of hostilities.

The alternate to-ing and fro-ing of Loyalists and Rebels along the line of the Asunción-Encarnación railway and the subsequent manoeuvring of the opposing armies, often in close proximity, without making contact or even being aware of each other’s presence, only falls into perspective in the context of a heavily wooded and under populated country with an area (without the Chaco, the ownership of which was still contested between Paraguay and Bolivia) almost 25% larger than that of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Wales and a population, at that time, not much greater than 800,000. 

Although it had its tragic-comic aspects, such as the rebels running out of ammunition as final victory was in their grasp (something which was to be repeated in the 1947 Civil War, 25 years later), the conflict had been as bloody and divisive as any civil war and it almost destroyed the economy of a country which had not yet recovered from the disastrous Triple Alliance War, half a century earlier. It did however serve as  training ground for most of the leaders of the Chaco War, which broke out a decade later, almost all of whom had served on one side or the other in the recent Civil War. Amongst these, Estigarribia, whose tactical genius had first been displayed at the battle of Carmen del Paraná, was to lead the Paraguayan army to victory over its more numerous and better equipped adversary whilst Brizuela, who had the doubtful distinction of leading the final, ill fated, rebel attack on the capital, in 1923, subsequently returned from years of exile in Argentina to become a brilliant divisional and later corps commander in the war against Bolivia Despite his somewhat inglorious involvement in the Civil War, as the only Loyalist leader to suffer a major defeat at the hands of the Insurgents, J.B. Ayala went on to become Chief of Staff of the Paraguayan Army in the immediate pre-Chaco War period and the architect of the Army’s smooth and efficient transformation from a peace to a war footing during the mobilization of 1932. He also played a prominent part in the defence of Nanawa during the Bolivian offensive of the following year. Amongst other prominent military leaders during the Chaco War, Francisco Caballero Alvarez, Nicolás Delgado, Carlos Fernández, Rafael Franco and Luís Irrazábal were all blooded during the fratricidal conflict of 1922-23. Amongst political leaders, Eligio Ayala, as President from 1923 to 1928, was responsible for the acquisition of almost all the modern equipment of the Paraguayan Armed forces at the outbreak of the Chaco War whilst Eusebio Ayala, who had returned to the Presidency in 1932, was Paraguay’s political leader throughout the conflict with Bolivia, earning the title of “El Presidente de la Victoria”.

SOURCES 

There is a prolific bibliography of the Civil War of 1922-23 (also referred to as “The Rebellion of Colonels Chirife and Mendoza”), most of it long out of print. The above brief and necessarily superficial study is based principally on the following:- 

Angulo, Renato. LA AVIACIÓN EN LA REVOLUCIÓN DE 1922 (unpublished).

ANUARIO DE LA ACADEMIA DE HISTORIA MILITAR DEL PARAGUAY, Vol. IV, Asunción 1991.

Bray, Arturo. ARMAS Y LETRAS (Vol 1), Asunción 1981.

New York Times, The. MORE FIGHTING IN PARAGUAY – REBELS DRIVE OFF A GOVERNMENT GUNBOAT, June 24th, 1922.

Pampliega, Amancio. FUSIL AL HOMBRO, Asunción 1982.

Ramos, Alfredo. SEMBLANZAS MILITARES (2 Vols), Asunción 1987.

Rivarola, Vicente. MEMORIAS DIPLOMATICAS,Vol I, Buenos Aires 1953.

Santos, Tomás de los. EFEMERIDES DE LA REBELION DE LOS CORONELES CHIRIFE Y MENDOZA (2 Vols), Asunción 1923.

Sapienza, Antonio. LA AVIACIÓN EN LA REVOLUCIÓN DE 1922 EN PARAGUAY. Air & Space Power, No.2, 2006.

- LA CONTRIBUCIÓN ITALIANA EN LA AVIACIÓN PARAGUAYA, Asunción 2007.

Seiferheld, Alfredo M. ESTIGARRIBIA  - VEINTE AÑOS DE HISTORIA PARAGUAYA, Asunción 1982. 

 

Este sitio es publicado por Carlos Mey -  Martínez - Argentina