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Chaco: South Americas WW1 (1932-1935)

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  • Chaco: South Americas WW1 (1932-1935)

    The Chaco War (Spanish:Guerra del Chaco) is the biggest modern conflict in South America during 1932 to 1935. Bolivia was led by the German General Hans Kundt who had a larger, better equipped army. Paraguay led by Marshal jose Felix Estigarribia and White Russian Generals had less men but sucessfully fought back. Both sides were using British equipment such as Bren LMG's (the Czech ZB26 predecessor) Vickers MGs and British Tanks. Outdated WW1 aircraft were also used, 20 years before everyone were using jet fighters.

    To this day, the trenches of both sides still stand in the chaco region as well as the hollow trees used for snipers. A memorial also marks the battle. There are still chaco veterans of both sides still alive today.

    Documentary:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSnlGllMzok

    In the hell of Chaco (1932 B&W film):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOp-xQpITlc

    Music Video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01NF3sKVAiw

  • #2
    The Road of Death in Bolivia was built by Paraguayan POWs during the Chaco War

    The Yungas Road is legendary for its extreme danger.

    In 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank christened it as the "world's most dangerous road". One estimate is that 200-300 travelers are killed yearly along the road, or one vehicle every two weeks. The road moreover includes Christian crosses marking many of the spots where such vehicles have fallen.

    Upon leaving La Paz, the road first ascends up to around 5km, before descending to 1079 ft (330 m), transitioning quickly from cool altiplano terrain to rain forest as it winds through very steep hillsides and atop cliffs.

    The road was built in the 1930s during the Chaco War by Paraguayan prisoners. It is one of the few routes that connects the Amazon rainforest region of northern Bolivia, or Yungas, to its capital city. However, an alternative, much safer, road connecting La Paz to Coroico is nearing completion.

    Because of the extreme dropoffs, single-lane width, and lack of guardrails, the road is extremely dangerous. Further still, rain and fog can make visibility precarious, the road surface muddy, and loosen rocks from the hillsides above


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    • #3
      Looks like a nice place to take a mountain holiday. Beautiful country, but deadly.

      On a more serious note, the politics of both countries had been going down the tubes in the past decade and then the Great Depression struck. This triggered the usual extremist reaction.... it must be because of our neighbours! Why this war was ever fought is a mystery.

      Politically, except for the capitals, even today, most people in Bolivia speak Aymará, while the only 80% of Paraguayans speak Spanish compared to 90%of the population speaking Guaraní.
      Last edited by Nickuru; 22 Dec 12, 05:45. Reason: syntax
      When looking for the reason why things go wrong, never rule out stupidity, Murphy's Law Nº 8
      Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana
      "Ach du schwein" a German parrot captured at Bukoba GEA the only prisoner taken

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      • #4
        Human beings are the only creatures who are able to behave irrationally in the name of reason.

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        • #5
          Thank you for an interesting and unique post, Cutaway.
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nickuru View Post
            Looks like a nice place to take a mountain holiday. Beautiful country, but deadly.

            On a more serious note, the politics of both countries had been going down the tubes in the past decade and then the Great Depression struck. This triggered the usual extremist reaction.... it must be because of our neighbours! Why this war was ever fought is a mystery.

            Politically, except for the capitals, even today, most people in Bolivia speak Aymará, while the only 80% of Paraguayans speak Spanish compared to 90%of the population speaking Guaraní.
            The discovery of oil deposits on the Andean plains led to speculation that the northern territories of the Gran Chaco Boreal may be rich in petroleum reserves. Foreign oil companies soon became involved in exploration of the region with Standard Oil supporting Bolivian interests and Shell Oil backing Paraguay.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ITALICA ONE View Post
              The discovery of oil deposits on the Andean plains led to speculation that the northern territories of the Gran Chaco Boreal may be rich in petroleum reserves. Foreign oil companies soon became involved in exploration of the region with Standard Oil supporting Bolivian interests and Shell Oil backing Paraguay.
              Have not the oil companies been the most blissful, peaceloving and humanitarian on the planet? they would sell their grandmothers for a groat (1/8th of a penny) the mothers for a farthing (a quarter of a penny and the rest of their family to a slave market.

              What you are suggesting is that this was an oil company war. Makes sense; one of the Tintin books I read while learning French, had a scene of an arms dealer selling to one country in the morning, and then to their nextdoor neighbour in the afternoon. Where is the puking symbol?
              When looking for the reason why things go wrong, never rule out stupidity, Murphy's Law Nº 8
              Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana
              "Ach du schwein" a German parrot captured at Bukoba GEA the only prisoner taken

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              • #8
                Click on 'more' to see the full set.

                Originally posted by Nickuru View Post
                ... Where is the puking symbol?
                Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

                Questions about our site? See the FAQ.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nickuru View Post
                  Have not the oil companies been the most blissful, peaceloving and humanitarian on the planet? they would sell their grandmothers for a groat (1/8th of a penny) the mothers for a farthing (a quarter of a penny and the rest of their family to a slave market.

                  What you are suggesting is that this was an oil company war. Makes sense; one of the Tintin books I read while learning French, had a scene of an arms dealer selling to one country in the morning, and then to their nextdoor neighbour in the afternoon. Where is the puking symbol?
                  The Chaco War was not entirley an oil war, once both american companies realized these two countries were going to be involved in a long drawn out war they backed off. But it was too late by then both countries were on a total war footing, and they both believed the land was rich in petroleum. Ive been to a few battlesites in Paraguay and talked a plenty to every old man and woman i could find about the war.

                  Any way enough of war, I wish everyone good tidings and cheer, Merry Christmas everyone.

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