Pikysyry maneuver

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Pikysyry maneuver
Part of the Paraguayan War
Passagem do Chaco, oil on canvas by Pedro Américo
Date 21 December 1868
Location Formosa province, Argentina
Result Allied victory

 Empire of Brazil



Commanders and leaders
Paraguay Francisco Solano López
United KingdomGeorge Thompson
Empire of Brazil Marquis of Caxias
ArgentinaGeneral Juan Andrés
2,000 men[1]:95 8,000 men[1]:95
Casualties and losses
600 killed, 200 captured[1]:95

The Pikysyry maneuver was a tactic used by Brazilian marshal Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Duke of Caxias, during the Paraguayan War to outflank the Paraguayan southern defense line along the stream of Pikysyry consisting of 142 gun platforms along a line 9.1 km long, built by the British engineer Lt. Col. George Thompson. Just to the north were the batteries of Angostura, protecting the River Paraguay. Marshal Caxias decided to attack from the Paraguayan rear by constructing a 10.7 km road on the Chaco side of the river starting at Santa Theresa.[1]:88-91


War in Paraguay: Engagement at Chaco (Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization, Vol. XII, nº 617, 24/10/1868).

On 11 Oct. 1868, 1,122 men under the command of Lt. Col. Antonio Tuburcio landed near Santa Theresa on the west side of the Paraguay River. An additional 2,925 infantry, 327 pontoniers, 198 artillermen and 94 cavalry were landed and overall command for building the road was the responsibility of Lt. Col. Rufino Galvao of the Engineers. The road was constructed of palm tree trunks. On 27 Nov. Marshal Caxias moved his headquarters to the Chaco side of the river. By early Dec., the road had been completed to Santa Helena and 19,000 Allied troops were ready to cross over to San Antonio.[1]:90

Battle of Pikysyry[edit]

After the successful Battle_of_Ytororó and Battle of Avay, the Allied army was ready to capture the Paraguayan defenses at Pikysyry. A column of 2,700 men under Gen. João Manuel Mena Barreto mounted a flanking movement while troops under Gen. Gelly y Obes made a simultaneous feint to the front. The 21 Dec. attack was a complete surprise to the Paraguayans.[1]:95


Some 500 Paraguayans escaped to Angostura and another 200 to Lomas Valentinas.[1]:95


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hooker, T.D., 2008, The Paraguayan War, Nottingham: Foundry Books, ISBN 1901543153

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