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  • James Houser

Paraguayan War Maps - Finally!

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

The maps are finally done. Only reason they took so long is that the program was self-destructing more often than Francisco Solano Lopez's battle plans.

First off, welcome to South America, 1864, where the borders are made up and the points don't matter.

Most of you are probably looking at Paraguay, which is a bit bigger in 1864 than it will be in 1870. But they're not the only country about to undergo a border adjustment. See where Bolivia has a connection to the sea? Yeah, they're gonna lose that to Chile in 1884. After that, Paraguay and Bolivia can be landlocked buddies! Yay!

NEXT: the eponymous Rivers of Destiny

Oh, this is a great way to draw these borders. Good job Spain and Portugal. This DEFINITELY makes sense.

AND HERE is the main area where this war will be taking place. Aside from Paraguay's invasion of Mato Grosso in 1864, and subsequent (failed, miserable, infamous) Brazilian attempts to recapture it overland, almost all the action will take place south of Asuncion and north of Buenos Aires, along the Parana, Paraguay and Uruguay Rivers.

Note the locations of Corrientes and Entre Rios provinces, an area called the Argentine Littoral or "Mesopotamia" (literally between the rivers). These are critical real estate in the first phase of the war.

FINALLY, an up-close look at our protagonist/antagonist country, the deeply strange little Republic of Paraguay. Highlighted are the major border disputes as well as some key towns and fortresses...note especially the fortress of Humaita, a key strategic objective for much of the war.

FINALLY, the Paraguayan invasion of Mato Grosso, the first campaign of the Paraguayan War, November 1864-January 1865. A Paraguayan victory, but an empty one; while they gained many resources and armaments, the distraction of time and commitment of resources cost them any effective intervention in the Uruguay campaign...and incurred the unyielding wrath of Brazil and Emperor Pedro II.

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