Tuyutí, Battle of

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Tuyutí, Battle of

Battle of Tuyutí, a major engagement of the War of the Triple Alliance (1864–1870) that took place on 24 May 1866. After the crossing of Argentine and Brazilian forces into Paraguayan territory earlier in the year, the Allied commander, General Bartolomé Mitre, assembled a force of some 35,000 men to drive the Paraguayans from their entrenched positions at the fortress of Humaitá. As these units moved northward through the marshes, the Paraguayans prepared a strong defensive line at Tuyutí, a small area of relatively high ground several miles below the fortress. At the last moment, Marshal Francisco Solano López, the Paraguayan commander, abandoned his defensive strategy in favor of a frontal attack, deploying 22,000 troops, in hopes of catching the Allies off guard. The planned dawn attack never materialized, however, and the Paraguayans were delayed until noon, which gave the Allies time to prepare impressive defenses of their own, especially on their left flank. The resulting carnage was terrible: the Paraguayans lost about 6,000 men and the Allies about 8,000 before the battle subsided at 4 pm.

The inability of the Paraguayan cavalry to achieve an envelopment of the Allied rear decided the contest in favor of the Allies, whose exhausted forces were unable to capitalize on their victory. López managed to continue active operations around Humaitá for another two years.

See alsoMitre, Bartolomé; War of the Triple Alliance.


Charles J. Kolinski, Independence or Death! The Story of the Paraguayan War (1965).

Leandro Aponte Benítez, Hombres … armas … y batallas de la epopeya de los siglos (1971), pp. 181-182.

Additional Bibliography

Bethell, Leslie. The Paraguayan War (1864–1870). London: Institute of Latin American Studies, 1996.

Leuchars, Chris. To the Bitter End: Paraguay and the War of the Triple Alliance. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Marco, Miguel Angel de. La Guerra del Paraguay. Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1995.

Whigham, Thomas. The Paraguayan War. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002.

                            Thomas L. Whigham