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Paraguay Army Post Chaco War 1935 v.1.

0 December 2, 2001

Adrian J. English

Herewith some more Paraguayan ephemera, in this instance taken from copies of contemporary official documents still bearing the stamp "SECRETO" given to me by one of the surviving Paraguayan Chaco War leaders (O/C C.E. I and D.I. 6, post Armistice), Colonel Carlos Fernandez, whom I had the privilege to know in Buenos Aires, where he lived in exile, during the mid 1970s.

It is interesting to note (particularly in the context of today's bloated senior officer echelon) that all of the Paraguayan leaders in the Chaco War held ranks ridiculously inappropriate to the commands, which they occupied. Thus, Estigarribia (promoted full General only after the Paraguayan victory and Marshal only after his death) started of the war as a Lieutenant Colonel!

Throughout the conflict, Army Corps (normally the command of a Lieutenant General) were commanded by colonels, divisions (which normally merited the command of a Major General) by Lt. Colonels or even majors, regiments by majors or captains, battalions by captains or even lieutenants and companies by lieutenants or second lieutenants, platoons rarely being commanded by a commissioned officer.

Infantry and cavalry both fought on foot after the initial battle of Boqueron where water shortage forced the cavalry to slaughter their mounts. However, during the war, the organization of the cavalry (still retained after they became infantry another name) proved to be more suitable to the conditions under which they operated than that of the infantry.

Another peculiarity, which will be noted from the equipment allocations, is the absence of specialist military vehicles (e.g. ambulances) the standard vehicle being the 1.5 ton Ford, GM or REO truck. These seem to have served all purposes, from staff transport downwards, only the divisional, corps and army commanders having the luxury of staff cars although photographs exist of large tracked prime-movers, towing two or three trailers.

Yet another surprising feature of the post-Armistice army is the small allocation of SMGs; during the latter stages of the war, the average four-man patrol had two SMGs and two rifles.

1 DOS DE MAYO & R.I. 102 Machetes Division de Infantería No. 58 Shovels.278 Armament: 4 Mortars. 10 SMGs & 1099 Rifles Other Equipment: 1 Saloon Car. 3 Radio Transmitters.278 Armament:: 4 Mortars. training and logistic elements located east of the Paraguay River. 242 NCOs & 949 ORs – Total: 1. 52 Picks. 242 NCOs & 949 ORs – Total: 1.MGs. 1 Mechanical Workshop. 74 Lt. 8 Hvy MGs. 1 Telegraph. 60 Kms of Cable. 2 YTORORO (Camacho) & R. 1 Telegraph. Table of Organization and Equipment MAJOR UNITS & FORMATIONS Division de Infantería No. 1(HQ Camacho): R. command. 102 Machetes Division de Infantería No. 6 (HQ Capíirenda): R.Finally. 12 Field Telephones. 34 Axes. there were obviously. 28 Trucks. 1 Carpenter’s Workshop. 74 Lt. Even though it seems that no combat units were maintained in nuclear Paraguay during this period. 52 Picks. 3 Telephone Exchanges. 34 Axes. 3 Telephone Exchanges. 5 GENERAL DIAZ & R.C. 1 Carpenter’s Workshop.I. 2 (HQ Concepción?): R. 28 Trucks. 4 CURUPAYTY (Km 180 de Casado and Pto.I. 8 Hvy MGs. 10 SMGs & 1099 Rifles Other Equipment: 1 Saloon Car. 58 Shovels. 60 Kms of Cable. 1 VALOIS RIVAROLA .I. the attached orbat obviously refers to the forces maintained in the more-or-less immediate theatre of operations (in accordance with the 5.000 man limit imposed by the Armistice). 12 Field Telephones.I. Casado) Manpower: 87 Officers.MGs. 3 Radio Transmitters. 3 CORRALES) Manpower: 87 Officers. 1 Mechanical Workshop.

1 Radio Transmitter. 58 Shovels. 4 SMGs & 296 Rifles Other Equipment: 13 Trucks. 48 Shovels. MGs. 28 Trucks. 1 Mechanical Workshop. 35 Machetes R. 102 Machetes R. 3 Radio Transmitters. 48 Picks. 6 Field Telephones. 30 Axes. 20 Picks. 1 Telephone Exchange . MGs.A. 12 Lt. 8 Hvy MGs. 54 Lt. 3 Telephone Exchanges.Z. 4 Field Telephones. UNIT ORGANIZATION Divisional HQ (21 officers. 22 SMGs & 901 Rifles Other Equipment: 1 Saloon Car. 195 NCOs & 893 ORs – Total: 1. 1 NCO & 4 ORs – Total: 6) . 1 Radio Transmitter. 74 NCOs & 231 ORs – Total: 332 Armament:four 105 mm howitzers. 4 Lt.MGs. 34 Axes. 60 Kms of Cable. 1 Carpenter’s Workshop. 20 NCOs & 83 ORs – Total: 124) Divisional Staff (12 Officers. 12 Field Telephones. 1 NCO & 3 ORs – Total: 6) Field Park (1 Officer. 40 Kms of Cable. 52 Picks. 20 Kms of Cable.165 Armament: 4 Mortars.Manpower: 77 Officers. eight 75 mm guns. 1 GENERAL AQUINO Manpower: 21 Officers. 2 Telephone Exchanges. 6 SMGs & 295 Rifles Other Equipment:4 Trucks. 1 Telegraph. 8 NCOs & 17 ORs – Total: 37) Supply Section (2 Officers. 1 GENERAL BRUGUEZ Manpower: 27 Officers. 20 Shovels. 63 NCOs & 252 ORs – Total: 336 Armament: 2 Mortars. 72 Machetes. 2 Hvy. MGs. 24 Axes.

4 NCOs & 15 ORs – Total: 20) 2 Rifle Battalions (each 11 Officers. 1 NCO & 7 ORs – Total: 11) Field Post & Cryptographic Section (1 Officer. 22 NCOs & 84 ORs – Total: 110) Coy. 20 Trucks. 1 Telephone Exchange. 1 Telegraph. 4 Picks. 1 Radio Transmitter. 8 NCOs & 26 ORs – Total: 35) Pln.Transport Section (1 Officer. 20 Kms of cable. 2 NCOs & 26 ORs – Total: 29) Medical Section (3 Officers. 10 Axes. 1Mechanical Workshop. 1 Carpenter’s Workshop. HQ (1 Officer & 2 ORs – Total: 3) 3 Lt. 5 NCOs & 21 ORs – Total: 27) Armament: 2 Lt. 111 NCOs & 433 ORs – Total: 577): Regimental HQ (7 Officers. 2 NCOs & 5 ORs – Total: 8) Engineer Platoon (1 Officer. 2 SMGs & 99 Rifles Other Equipment: 1 Saloon Car. HQ (3 Officers. 10 NCOs & 47 ORs – Total: 60) Mortar Platoon (1 Officers. 46 NCOs & 174 ORs – Total: 231) Bn. MGs. 4 Field Telephones. 2 NCOs & 6 ORs – Total: 11) 2 Rifle Companies (Each 4 Officers. 5 NCOs & 23 ORs – Total: 35) Heavy MG Coy (3 Officers. HQ (1 Officer. 2 NCOs & 2 ORs – Total: 5) 3 Platoons (Each 1 Officer. 10 Shovels & 30 Machetes Infantry Regiment(33 Officers. MG Sections: (Each 2 NCOs & 6 ORs – Total: 8) 1 Rifle/Grenadier Section (2 NCOs & 6 ORs – Total: 8) .

18 SMGs & 401 Rifles Other Equipment: 4 Trucks. 12 Axes. 4 Field Telephones. 20 Kms of Cable. 4 Hvy MGs. 36 Lt. 4 Hvy. MG Secns. 4 Field Telephones. 1 Radio Transmitter. MG Sqn. 20 Kms of Cable.Armament: 2 Mortars. (3 Officers. 4 NCOs & 29 ORs – Total: 34) Troop HQ (1 Officer & 3 ORs – Total: 4) 2 Lt. 1 Telephone Exchange. 12 Axes. 3 NCOs & 9 ORs – Total: 13) 3 Troops (Each 1 Officer. 5 NCOs & 25 ORs – Total: 37 ): Hvy. 15 NCOs & 96 ORs – Total: 115 ): Squadron HQ (1 Officer. 1 Telephone Exchange. 24 Shovels. MGs. (Each 1 NCO & 6 ORs – Total: 7) 2 Rifle Secns (Each 1 NCO & 7 ORs – Total: 8 ): Armament: Mortars. 24 Picks. 18 Lt. 36 Machetes Cavalry Regiment (23 Officers. 64 NCOs & 377 ORs – Total: 464): Regimental HQ (7 Officers. 4 SMGs & 500 Rifles Other Equipment: 4 Trucks. 74 NCOs & 231 ORs – Total: 332) Regimental HQ (8 Officers. 24 Shovels. MGs. 36 Machetes Artillery Regiment(27 Officers. MGs. 24 Picks. (Each 4 Officers. 10 NCOs & 49 ORs – Total: 62 ): Mortar Troop (1 Officer. 4 NCOs & 15 ORs – Total: 20): 3 Sqns. 1 Radio Transmitter. 8 NCOs & 32 ORs – Total: 48) .

4 NCOs & 21 ORs – Total: 26) Mortar Platoon (1 Officers. 2 Telephone Exchanges. 35 Machetes Engineer Regiment (21 Officers. MG Platoon (1 Officers. 4 NCOs & 15 ORs – Total: 20) 1 Battalion (11 Officers. 20 NCOs & 30 ORs – Total: 55) Battery HQ (5 Officers. 1 Radio Transmitter. 30 Axes. 4 SMGs & 296 Rifles Other Equipment: 13 Trucks. 4 Lt. 1 NCO & 4 ORs – Total: 7 ) 3 Batteries (Each 4 Officers. 15 NCOs & 55 ORs – Total: 74) Battery HQ (2 Officers. MGs. MG Section (1 NCO & 4 ORs – Total: 5) Armament:four 105 mm howitzers. 20 Picks. 46 NCOs & 188 ORs – Total: 245) . 3 NCOs & 2 ORs – Total: 10) Cartographic Section (5 NCOs & 10 ORs – Total: 15 ) Communications Section (1 NCO & 3 ORs – Total: 4 ) Observation Section (8 NCOs & 6 ORs – Total: 14) General Services (3 NCOs & 9 ORs – Total: 12) 1 Group (19 Officers. 9 NCOs & 28 ORs – Total: 45 ) Hvy. 20 Shovels. 66 NCOs & 199 ORs – Total: 228) Group HQ (2 Officers. 40 Kms of Cable. eight 75 mm guns.Survey & Observation Bty (5 Officers. 10 NCOs & 11 ORs – Total: 23) 2 Firing Sections (Each 1 Officer. 2 NCOs & 20 ORs – Total: 23 ) 1 Lt. 63 NCOs & 252 ORs – Total: 336) Regimental HQ (8 Officers. 6 Field Telephones.

2 SMGs & 210 Rifles Company: 9 Lt. (Each 1 Officers. 24 Axes. 12 Lt. 4 Field Telephones. 20 Kms of Cable. 2 Hvy. 36 Lt. 18 Lt. 2 NCOs & 8 ORs – Total: 13) 2 Companies (Each 4 Officers. MGs. MGs. 1 Telephone Exchange . 1 NCO & 3 ORs – Total: 5) 3 Plns. 4 SMGs & 500 Rifles Battalion: 18 Lt. MGs. MGs. MGs Cavalry Regiment: 2 Mortars. 72 Machetes Breakdown of Armament per Unit: Infantry Regiment: 2 Mortars. 6 SMGs & 295 Rifles Other Equipment:4 Trucks. 48 Picks. 18 SMGs & 401 Rifles . 22 NCOs & 90 ORs – Total: 116) Company HQ (1 Officer.Battalion HQ (3 Officers. MGs. MGs. (Each 1 NCO & 7 ORs – Total: 8) Armament:2 Mortars. MGs. 4 Hvy. 4 Hvy MGs. MG Secns. 1 NCO & 3 ORs – Total: 5 ) 2 Lt. 48 Shovels. 7 NCOs & 29 ORs – Total: 37 ) Platoon HQ (1 Officer. 1 Radio Transmitter. 1 SMG & 96 Rifles Platoon: 3 Lt. (Each 2 NCOs & 6 ORs – Total: 8 ) 2 Rifle Secns.

4 Lt. . 1 SMG & 68 Rifles Engineer Regiment: 2 Mortars. MG. 1 Radio Transmitter. 36 Machetes 4 Trucks. 36 Machetes . 6 SMGs & 99 Rifles Troop: 2 Lt. 1 Telephone Exchange. 12 Lt. MGs. 1 Lt. 20 Kms of Cable. MGs. MGs. 4 SMGs & 296 Rifles Group: four 105 mm howitzers. 4 Lt. 4 SMGs & 256 Rifles Battery: four 75 mm guns or 105 mm howitzers. 2 Hvy. 24 Picks. 24 Shovels. MGs. 6 SMGs & 216 Rifles Company: 6 Lt. 1 Radio Transmitter.Squadron: 6 Lt. 4 Field Telephones. 20 Kms of Cable. MGs. 12 Axes. 1 Telephone Exchange. eight 75 mm guns. 2 SMGs & 29 Rifles Artillery Regiment: four 105 mm howitzers. 24 Picks. 12 Axes. eight 75 mm guns. 3 SMGs & 103 Rifles 4 Trucks. 24 Shovels. MGs. 4 Field Telephones. MGs. MGs. . 6 SMGs & 295 Rifles Battalion: 12 Lt.