Battle of Estero Bellaco

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Battle of Estero Bellaco
Part of the Paraguayan War
Date May 2, 1866
Location Ñeembucú Department, Paraguay
Result Allied victory
Flag of Paraguay.svg Paraguay Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina

 Empire of Brazil

Flag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay

Commanders and leaders
Paraguay General José E. Diaz
Paraguay Colonel Elizardo Aquino
Uruguay General Venancio Flores
Empire of Brazil General Osorio
6,000 to 7,000 men
4 cannons
At least 5 battalions of infantry, 1 battery of rifled artillery and the 6th division of the Allied army
8,000 total troops
Casualties and losses
  • 3,000 killed
  • 2,500 wounded
  • 300 prisoner
  • 1,200 - 2,000 killed
  • 1,500 wounded

The Battle of Estero Bellaco was one of the bloodiest battles of the Paraguayan War (1865–1870), with the Republic of Argentina, the Empire of Brazil and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay banded together against the Paraguayan government of Marshal Francisco Solano López.

This battle took place on May 2, 1866. The Paraguayan army lost 2000 men and 300 were taken prisoner by the troops of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.

The Battle[edit]

On April 16, 1866, Brazilian troops crossed the river under Marshal Osorio and settled at Fort Itapirú. Then the same day, General Flores crossed in front of the First Army Corps Argentina and Uruguay infantry division. The next day did Paunero troops. General Flores, positioned in Estero Bellaco, was attacked on May 2 by a force of 6000 men Paraguayan four pieces of artillery. The Paraguayans almost overwhelmed the Argentine troops, in complete confusion until they were aided by twelve legions of booking.

On May 2, 1866, Marshal Lopez ordered an offensive reconnaissance south of Estero Bellaco, to prevail the location of the opponent. Allied forces entered Paraguayan countryside. The enemy army retreated without resistance. All predicted next successful and secure. Following in the footsteps of troops Lopez, moved by the royal road Humaitd, until, without difficulty, the South Bellaco Estero, camped near which the vanguard, consisting of four battalions Uruguayans, Brazilians four battalions, four pieces of artillery Some regiments of cavalry and two hundred riders riograndense the particular escort General Flores. In all, seven thousand men of the three weapons. The position of Flores forces was as follows, at the time:

The Brazilians cited four battalions were encamped behind a smooth blade. The 7th Battalion, which was the most advanced, protected the four pieces of artillery, 1 regiment. A half mile to the rear were the 21 and 38 bodies "Fatherland Volunteers". The Uruguayan battalions April Twenty, Florida, Independence and Freedom occupied the left of the imperial troops.

At noon, when the Allies were given to devour the ranch, the Paraguayans did burst through the three steps of Estero, sweeping the outposts of the vanguard. The Paraguayan cavalry thrust planted at first the confusion between Brazilian forces and oriental again remade battalions and regiments and received timely reinforcements, was rejected along with the bodies of infantry engaged in the operation.

Indeed, when the vanguard of the allied army had been defeated, Colonel José Hedwig Diaz, commander of the Paraguayan troops, wanted to go further still. Instead of ordering the withdrawal immediately, since the aim of the operation had been completed, were engaged in a reckless pursuit, to crash into the bulk of the Allied army. And had to withstand the pressure of all the power of the moving opponent. Across the Estero, Diaz scuppered a bypassing of the Brazilian troops, tried by Step Cider, twice rejecting the bayonet, forcing them to flee.

Location of Estero Bellaco[edit]

This estuary is located in the Ñeembucú Department, Paraguay, bordering the river of the same name.

Coordinates: 27°11′00″S 57°53′00″W / 27.1833°S 57.8833°W / -27.1833; -57.8833