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"Battle of Tuyuti, 1866 (Animated battle)" Topic

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411 hits since 30 Aug 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2017 9:11 p.m. PST

"….This battle possesses two characters, one of myth and one of reality. The myth of the battle should not be read as falsehood but as events of remarkable nature. The battle has been described as "a series of charges and counter-charges, a Latin American version of Waterloo" (Williams, 2000: 61), an incredible compliment. The Paraguayans had fought so bravely despite all their disadvantages "to the extent that the story ran around the allied armies that they had been fed brandy laced with gunpowder" (Leuchars, 2002: 134). Even Osório admitted the Paraguayan attack was in fact "magnificent" (Williams, 2000: 61). Numerous stories of heroism on both sides are well-documented and engrained within accounts of the battle.

The harsher reality is that the battle was still a battle, a violent collision of two deadly forces. For all the stories of heroism, many are quite gruesome, such as the image of Paraguayan soldiers "casually munching biscuits while their legs were being amputated" (Leuchars, 2002: 127). Williams relays eyewitness accounts of a "swamp of blood" and that months later, "the stench of death was still almost suffocating" (2000: 64).

There is considerable debate regarding the consequences of the war from the Paraguayan point of view. The more well-known argument is that there was no purpose for Paraguay to instigate a war and that López was a megalomaniac dictator. The other argument is that the war actually did benefit Paraguay, eventually at least, and that López was a hero. Leuchars makes an argument for this lesser-known claim…"
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