Paraguayan Army Seal
|Active||Officially since 1811|
20.000 active personnel|
Vencer o Morir|
("To win or to die")
|Anniversaries||24 of July (Mariscal Lopez Birthday)|
War of the Triple Alliance|
Paraguayan People's Army insurgency
|Chief of the Paraguayan Army||GEN Darío Martin Cáceres Snead|
|José Félix Estigarribia Francisco Solano López|
The Paraguayan Army is an institution of the State of Paraguay, organized into three divisions and 9, and several commands and directions, went to war three occasions, in the War of the Triple Alliance (1864–1870) against Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, Chaco War (1932–1935) against Bolivia, and the ongoing Paraguayan People's Army insurgency.
- Maintaining the sanctity of the land borders of the Republic of Paraguay.
- To strengthen civil-military relations.
- Cooperate in emergency rescue and relief operations during disasters.
- Organize, compose and manage reservations.
- To organize, equip and train strength to face any domestic or international threat/
- Cooperate in activities to support the country's national development.
- To cooperate with scientific and technological development of the country.
Paraguay's army was formally established in 1811, the year of the country's independence. For the first several years of Paraguay's existence the commanders of the army, such as Fulgencio Yegros and Pedro Juan Caballero, formed the majority of the cabinet until 1814, when they were replaced by Dr. Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia, who installed himself as supreme dictator for life after a series of political clashes with Yegros. Francia removed all army personnel from the government and reformed the army, which was by now inept and corrupt. He limited the power of the army by declaring that no rank above captain could be achieved, and that after three years of service officers were to be retired. By 1816 there were no officers in the army who had fought at the Tacuari or the Paraguari. Francia's horse-grenadier guard company was the first new unit created and was to form the nucleus of the army. Each captain was given command of a branch of the service, which consisted of line infantry, light infantry, dragoons, chasseurs, hussars and artillery. The infantry, artillery and hussars were stationed in the capital Asuncion, and the rest of the army was stationed in outposts around the country to defend from attacks by Indians. The cavalry would go dismounted during peacetime, and were distinguished by the yellow aiguillette sewn onto their left shoulder. Although no formal wars were fought, conflicts with the Chaco Indians, particularly the sub-groups of the Guaykuru tribes, raged in the borderlands. The size of the army varied according to the magnitude of threat. In 1825 it was 5000 strong, but in 1834 it was only 649 strong. There was also a large number of militia troops, which usually numbered around 25,000.
After Francia's death in 1840, Carlos Antonio Lopez assumed power and modernized the army and expanded the navy. He opened an iron foundry at Ybycui that produced arms and bullets and also built up a railway system in the country to transport troops and materiel.
Following the succession of Lopez's son, Francisco Solano López, the army was expanded yet further until it was one of the largest in South America, consisting by 1864 of 44 infantry battalions, 46 cavalry regiments and four artillery regiments. In that same year Paraguay fought its first actual war against Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. Despite numerical superiority and initial success, the allies soon upped their game and Paraguay eventually found itself surrounded. Despite constant defeat on the field by the allies, the Paraguayans did not capitulate until Lopez had been killed in 1870, on the run with his 200 remaining men.
Presence in UN Missions
- Haiti (MINUSTAH)
- Cyprus (UNIFICYP)
- Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC)
- Chad Central African Republic (MINURCAT)
- Ivory Coast (ONUCI)
As of 2016, the Paraguayan Army had a total strength of 10,600 personnel, including 2,500 conscripts.
The Paraguayan Army is composed of Presidential Guard Regiment, two battalions (infantry and military police), an armored squadron and a battery of field artillery (plus the Mounted Ceremonial Squadron "Aca Caraya"). Their equipment includes three Argentine modified M4 Sherman tanks, four EE-9 armored cars, four EE-11 armored personnel carriers (APCs), three M-9 halftracks mounting 20mm guns and four M-101 105 mm howitzers. Arguably, this "flagship" of military rule is structurally and physically the strongest of the EP. The REP is an independent unit from other commands. The EP features two artillery groups (GAC 1–12 88 mm QF-25 and GAC 2–12 105mm M-101) and one antiaircraft artillery group (GAA 13 40 mm L 40/60, Oerlikon 20 mm cannons, and six M-55 4×12, 7.0 mm).
Six battalions of combat engineers, one communications battalion, one Special Forces battalion, seven regiments of infantry and six regiments of cavalry comprise the rest of the force. There is little organic aviation available to it.
Each corps has a weapons school run by its command. The logistical command manages and addresses materials, mobilization, health care, etc. The command of the Army Institute of Education administers three schools, commissioned and noncommissoned officers, a military academy and the CIMEFOR (a center for pre-military study that trains Reserve officers).
Each of the nine divisions that make up the three corps has one or two regiments of infantry or cavalry, its platoon of engineers, its communications section, military police units, etc.
- Presidential Guard Regiment with its base in Asuncion
- 1st Army Corps (Curuguaty)
- Infantry Division 3
- Infantry Division 4
- Cavalry Division 3
- 2nd Army Corps (San Juan Bautista)
- Infantry Division 1
- Infantry Division 2
- Cavalry Division 2
- 3rd Army Corps (Mariscal Estigarribia)
- Infantry Division 5
- Infantry Division 6
- Cavalry Division 1
- Special forces command (Cerrito)
- One Special Forces battalion and one Special Forces school.
- Army Artillery command (Paraguari)
- Two artillery groups and one anti-aircraft group, one artillery school.
- The Infantry School and the Infantry Training Battalion.
- Army Command of engineers (Tacumbu)
- One school and six battalions.
- Command of communications (Tacumbu)
- One school and one battalion.
- Army Training and Doctrine Command
- Operates the Marshal Lopez Military Academy, three military schools, and a noncommissoned officers' academy.
- Army logistic command (Asuncion)
- The logistic command manages and addresses materials, mobilization, health care, etc.
|M4 Sherman||Medium tank||United States||3|
|M3 Stuart||Light tank||United States||10||10 operational as at 2014, 4 more in storage|
|M9 Half-track||Armored Personnel Carrier||United States||23|
|EE-9 Cascavel||Armored car||Brazil||28||Upgraded in Brazil in 2008.|
|EE-11 Urutu||Armored Personnel Carrier||Brazil||12|
|M.Benz Atego||Tactical Truck||Brazil|
|M.Benz 1414/51||Tactical Truck||Brazil|
|MAN 630||Tactical Truck||Germany||100||Upgraded in Germany in 1994|
|MAN KAT1||Tactical Truck||Germany||20||ordered in 2013|
|Engesa EE 25||Tactical Truck||Brazil||5?||maybe not operational|
|Ford Cargo 17-22||Tactical Truck||Brazil||+78|
|Ford Ranger||utility vehicle||Argentina||19|
|Land Rover Defender 130||utility vehicle||United Kingdom||96|
|Land Rover Defender 110||utility vehicle||United Kingdom|
|Agrale Marrua||utility vehicle||Brazil||17|
|Chevrolet S10||utility vehicle||Brazil||104|
|Mitsubishi L200||utility vehicle||Brazil||+11|
|ARGO 8×8||amphibious all-terrain vehicle||Canada||12|
Artillery pieces and mortars
|M101 howitzer||howitzer||United States||20/26||105 mm|
|Ordnance QF 25-pounder||howitzer||United Kingdom||12||87.6 mm|
|7.5 cm FK 38 Krupp||howitzer||Germany||12||75 mm, in reserve.|
|Bofors 75 mm Model 1934||mountain gun||Sweden||6/12||75 mm, in reserve.|
|M20 recoilless rifle||recoilless rifle||United States||?||75 mm|
|Brandt mle 27/31||mortar||France||80||81 mm|
|M30 mortar||mortar||United States||8||107 mm|
|M-120 120 mm||mortar||United States||38||120 mm|
|60 mm Mortar||mortar||Spain||42||60 mm|
|M1A1||Anti-aircraft artillery||United States||10||90 mm|
|Bofors 40 mm L/60||Towed anti-aircraft artillery||Sweden||13||40 mm|
|Oerlikon 20 mm cannon||Anti-aircraft artillery||Switzerland||20||20 mm, some mounted in vehicles.|
|Oerlikon GAI- BO1 20 mm||Anti-aircraft artillery||Switzerland||3||20 mm|
|M3 Half-track||half-trackarmored personnel carrier||United States||3||Armed with 20 mm cannons|
|M40||United States||106 mm. Recoilless rifle||06|
|M20||United States||75 mm. Recoilless rifle||31|
|M18 recoilless rifle||United States||57 mm. Recoilless rifle||32|
|Bazooka M-20||United States||recoilless rocket antitank weapon||136|
|M72 LAW||United States||Anti-tank rocket launcher||80||First Delivery|
The stars worn by Army and Air Force lieutenants (Sub-Teniente, Teniente, Teniente 1ro) and captains are silver in color. The ones worn by the Major, Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel are gold. The army officers branch is denoted by the color of circular pads under the stars, which is also the same color used for the chevron. Red denotes branches such as Infantry and Artillery, while Cavalry is denoted by a pink. A darker red denotes support branches such as Engineering Corps, Communications, and Intelligence. Green means Supply and Transportation, while purple is reserved for the Medicine Branch. Generals' special chevron consists of a woven depiction of the olive and palm found in the national emblem in gold threads.
As in the case of the army officers, the army enlisted branch is denoted by the color of their chevrons and bars. The colors and meanings are the same as the ones explained above.
- IISS (2012), p. 398
- de Cherisey, Erwan (29 December 2015). "Paraguay keeping M3 Stuart, M4 Sherman tanks in service". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
- IISS (2012), p. 399
- Works cited
- International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (2012). The Military Balance 2012. London: IISS. ISSN 0459-7222.