Talk:Paraguayan War

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Working on editing[edit]

First round through, trying to improve organization and English, from a non-specialist in this area.Parkwells (talk) 15:22, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Likewise, I've found myself going through this article, with an eye toward improving its readability and organization.

- Zulu Kane (talk) 16:43, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Good luck, trying changing the name of the article to the common English Language name of the War of the Triple Alliance, and ask yourself why this article is kept at a fringe name as used in Brazil but few other places. WCMemail 17:10, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Casualties[edit]

The following currently begins the Casualties section:

At the end of the war, with Paraguay suffering severe shortages of weapons and supplies, López reacted with draconian attempts to keep order, ordering troops to kill any combatant, including officers, who talked of surrender.[1] Paranoia prevailed in the army, and soldiers fought to the bitter end in a resistance movement, resulting in more destruction in the country.[1]

This subject matter seems more appropriate to some other section, probably about the later stages of the war. Or is it already covered there?

- Zulu Kane (talk) 16:53, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm wondering about something I have not seen discussed in any casualty estimates. Most estimates seem to be calculated by taking a pre-war population figure and subtracting a post-war population figure. Paraguay lost significant amounts of territory in this war. Therefore, surely a post-war Paraguayan census would not include any population still living inside that lost territory. But that doesn't mean those people are all dead; that post-war population would presumably be included in any Argentinian or Brazilian census figures. So, it seems plausible that this territorial loss of population might account for the most extreme casualty estimates.

I presume (or hope) that the more scholarly estimates cited did attempt to factor in this territorial loss. But I don't have access to those papers.

It goes without saying, that even the most moderate casualty estimates represent a catastrophic loss for Paraguay. I do not mean to minimize the tragedy. I'm simply curious about the wildly different estimates.

- Zulu Kane (talk) 17:27, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Those sound like plausible factors, however, I don't recall a source that gives an analysis of the population loss due to territorial annexations. Much of the lost territory lacked large population centers. If you have, or come across, a reliable reference which explains the different figures, then that would be a valuable addition. • Astynax talk 19:01, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
What caused the death of most of the Paraguayan population were not mass exterminations caused by allied armies. The Paraguayan society and economy collapsed entirely. Solano López first removed all men from the farms, leaving the economy essentially at the hand of women, which meant less workforce available. As the allied armies advanced, Solano Lopez ordered those same women to withdraw and destroy everything behind. Women, elderly and children were forced to walk through jungles without aid and clear destination, hundreds of thousands dying in the process. --Lecen (talk) 19:53, 18 May 2014 (UTC)