Paraguay campaign

Paraguay Campaign
Part of Spanish American wars of independence
Campaña al Paraguay.jpg
Argentine forces crossing the Paraná River.
Date September 1810 – March 1811
Location Paraguay
Result Paraguayan victory. Paraguay achieved independence from Buenos Aires. [1] Months later, it would proclaim independence from Spain.
Belligerents
Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg United Provinces of the Río de la Plata Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Flag of Paraguay 1811.svg Paraguay
Commanders and leaders
Flag of Argentina (alternative).svg Brig. Gen. Dr. Manuel Belgrano Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Capt. Gen. Bernardo de Velazco
Flag of Spain (1785-1873 and 1875-1931).svg Flag of Paraguay 1811.svg Col. Fulgencio Yegros
Strength
Around 1,000-2,000 men [2]

Spanish Troops: around 1,500 men

Paraguayan Patriots: around 3,500 men
Casualties and losses
Around 500-1,000 men (killed, wounded and prisoners) Around 500-1,000 men (killed, wounded and prisoners)

The Paraguay campaign (1810–11) was the attempt by a Buenos Aires-sponsored militia, commanded by Manuel Belgrano, to win the royalist Intendency of Paraguay for the cause of May Revolution. In Paraguay it is considered as their War of Independence. [3] The first battles fought were the Battle of Campichuelo and Battle of Campo Maracana, in which Argentinians claimed victory. However, they were completely vanquished in the subsequent Battle of Paraguarí and Battle of Tacuarí. The campaign ended in a military failure and Paraguay broke its links with the Spanish crown just two months after Belgrano's withdrawal, starting its course towards full independence.

Actions of "la Primera Junta"

Three months after the creation of the Primera Junta, Manuel Belgrano was appointed Chief Commander of an army destined to gather support at Corrientes, Santa Fe, Paraguay and the Banda Oriental territories. A few days later his goal was made more specific: he must aim for Paraguay. The junta had been informed that the patriotic party was strong there, and a small army would suffice to take control. [4] Trusting such information, Belgrano moved towards Paraguay with two possible goals--to guarantee loyalty for the junta in Paraguay or promote a new government that would stay on friendly terms with Buenos Aires.

Belgrano headed north with nearly 200 men, expecting to gather more soldiers on his way to the Paraná River. Soldiers from the Blandengues regiments of San Nicolás and Santa Fe did join him en route, and later the junta sent reinforcements of another 200 soldiers. The army was welcomed by most of the population they encountered along the way, receiving donations and new recruits in most villages. Finally the small army grew to nearly 950 men, consisting of infantry and cavalry, divided into four divisions with one piece of artillery each. [5]