The event, here in Brazil , became known as the Battle of Campo Grande. In the episode, which took place between 1865 and 1870, Paraguay faced the armies of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. According to historical data, about 300,000 Paraguayans died during the event. The battle lasted exactly five years. In it, the country lost half of the population, 80% of the dead were men.
Certainly, subsequently, such data were questioned or denied. In the book American Genocide: The Paraguayan War by journalist José Chiavenato, the confrontation is recognized as the bloodiest conflict in Latin American history. The work was published almost four decades ago.
According to historical records, the battle was fought exactly on August 16, 1869. Paraguay, during the confrontation, was basically represented by children and adolescents. After 150 years of the event, in memory of the combatants, the Paraguayan government inaugurated a monument in the city of Eusebio Ayala. The impact of the war on the country was so strong that the date turned to Children’s Day in Paraguay.
According to Chiavenato’s work, when the Paraguayan Army was practically exterminated, leading figures from the Armies of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay came to accept the fact that the war was over.
General Luis Alves de Lima e Silva, future Duke of Caxias, who led the Brazilian troops in Paraguay was one of them. In contrast, the reality was different. As described in Chiavenato’s book, the war would come to an end only with the death of Paraguay’s president, Marshal Francisco Solano López.
As a form of resistance, Solano López recruited younger and younger soldiers. As Barbara Potthast, professor of Iberian and Latin American history at the University of Cologne in Germany, reports, some soldiers were between 13 and 16 years old.
It is believed that the children did not go to the front. Most were responsible for transporting materials, for example.
Solano López, during the battle, was lucky. The marshal managed to escape with life from some ambushes. Their last escape was four days before the battle of Acosta “u. In short, before the battle of Acosta ” u, as a strategy, the Paraguayan army split into fleets. However, the troop in which the marshal was was reached by Brazilian soldiers.
There was no choice but to fight. According to Professor Potthast, in the confrontation, the children and youth served as a kind of barrier. This factor facilitated the escape of the marshal, who advanced to the north with the rest to find the rest of the troops.
With the troops gathered, then the battle of Acosta begins. “U. The confrontation took place near the city of Eusebio Ayala, right in the center of Paraguay. On the one hand, 20,000 Brazilians. On the other, the Paraguayans, with 3 5,000 soldiers, including 6 to 15 year olds, also accompanied the group.
The battle began in the morning and ended about 10 hours later, with few casualties on the Brazilian side and almost no survivors on the Paraguayan side. Before the war, Paraguay was an economic powerhouse in South America. In addition, it was a country independent of European nations.