Sunday, 19 July 2015

Viva el Paraguay!

As the American Civil War rolled towards its conclusion at Appomattox in early 1865 another war had broken out far to the south. The second bloodiest conflict in the history of the Americas involved Paraguay taking on the Empire of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. This slightly lopsided affair was the brain-child of Paraguayan President Francisco Solano Lopez and would see the population of his country reduced from somewhere around half a million people to 160,000. Losing 60-70% of your population is a pretty impressive record of incompetence even by 20th Century dictator standards.
The conflict has always intrigued me, and earlier this year I bought some figures from Freikorps to game the period. Her is the first painted unit, some Paraguayan militia:
Tough Guarani peasants who don't need trousers!
The Paraguayans quickly ran out of proper uniforms - loincloths and chiripa kilts replacing trousers in many cases.
A close up of some of the spear armed soldiers making up numbers.
The Paraguayan troops were incredibly brave, but often ill-equipped. They relied on their cavalry to break the enemy with a charge at the beginning of the battle, something that it continually failed to do. The infantry fought resolutely and suffered horrendously. Their victories tended to come from prepared positions, echoing the way that warfare was evolving around the world.
Figures are Freikorps 15s from QRF.

Nate

8 comments:

  1. Don't know much about this war...except that you've done an excellent work!

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    1. Thanks Phil. It is a really interesting conflict. The Osprey MAA title Armies of the War of the Triple Alliance is a great introduction.

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  2. What a fabulously original unit of troops.

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    1. The esoteric nature of the conflict is one of the things that draws me to it.

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  3. An excellent looking unit, from a very interesting period. Love the poor spear armed chaps. I bet the painting the ribbons around the hats were a pain?

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    1. Thanks ray, and yes, that was a bit painful to accomplish. Interestingly they weren't ribbons, but the colours were painted onto the shako itself. One of the spear armed chaps is meant to be so poor he's picked up an unpainted shako from somewhere, but it just looks like I got lazy and couldn't be bothered painting it.

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