Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

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nuyt
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by nuyt » 22 Apr 2009 08:45

I think this weapon may have been the Oerlikon model L of which Bolivia bought 8 pieces in 1927, see here:
http://www.network54.com/Forum/330333/t ... lothurn%29

It's highly unlikely that Solothurn sold any guns to Bolivia.

One other option could be the H.I.H. (Ehrhardt) 20mm. Stocks of this weapon may have been floating around with arms traders in the early 30s after the collapse of the HIH Siderius company.

alcantur
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by alcantur » 22 May 2009 17:38

Hi Nuyt
Your opinion about Solothurn not providing such guns to Bolivia is refuted by the docuemented military purchases Bolivia made after the first combats at the Chaco War. In fact, Solothurn sold a batch of S1-100 9mm submachineguns to Bolivia between 1932-1934. By historical bolivian military information, seems like some 20mm guns may have been included, at least in the initial negotiations for such purchase. No documents were found about the final outcome of the negotiations, but the S1-100 arrived and were used by bolivian army, along with other european SMGs. The Solothurn 20mm gun was being considered for replacing SEMAG-Becker/Oerlikon 20mm guns in the role of main AA/AT guns, as Paraguay succeeded capturing several of them, as well as 2 bolivian Vicker tanks (one type A, one type B). Paraguay was also successful bombing bolivian supply chains in the north east of Chaco region, nearby Bahia Negra.
At least 2 of the (still not confirmed brand) 20mm AT guns are still stored at Viacha's military warehouse in operational conditions (along with an unknow amount of single and twin-cannon 20mm guns in all conditions), another one is exposed in a museum at Paraguay, and another one was being restored for display in bolivian military museum. Once I can get pics i'll post them here.

alcantur
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by alcantur » 22 May 2009 18:02

Confirmed the "identity" of bolivian 20mm AT gun. I just got a
phone call from a friend currently working at the Military Museum.
He inspected the gun under restoration and confirmed it was
manufactured by the Swiss Oerlikon. Being a variant of the 20mm
L model, with a different mounting unit. I hope I can get a pic
soon.

He also got more information from bolivian military historians
about the quantity of the purchases of 20mm guns; by 1932 Boliva
had:

12 SEMAG-Becker 20mm AA gun
16 Oerlikon 20mm AA twin-cannon gun (at least 8 are still in
operative conditions)
10 Oerlikon 20mm AT gun (not less than 2 still in operative
conditions)

According to his sources, it seems like an additional batch of not
less than 6 Oerlikon guns of both types was purchased between
1933 ad 1935. No official records were kept of that purchase as it
has been done through obscure gun brokers. Negotiation of
Solothurn contract ended with the solely purchase of the batch of
SMGs, as the price quoted for the 20mm guns were around 40%
higher than the one got for Oerlikon guns.

nuyt
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by nuyt » 22 May 2009 18:46

Hi Alcantur, excellent info. The Oerlikon deliveries I mentioned are until 1930, in 1931 Bolivia ordered a lot of stuff at Oerlikon too, but my source gives no details (Peter Hug's book on Swiss exports).
Looking forward to the pictures!

Kind regards,
Nuyt

alcantur
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by alcantur » 25 May 2009 17:40

Historically seems like Bolivia has purchased a lot of Oerlikon twin-cannon 20mm AA guns from L and K models, not less than 156 units are recorded, being at least 56 of the L type, being purchased before 1936.
A lot of the Oerlikon material were captured by Paraguay during Chaco War, some remained in service with Paraguayan army, but some (14) of the captured Model L 20mm guns were sold by Paraguay in 1937 to the Spanish Republica, and were used by the North's Army DCA unit, one were still on display at the Military Museum if Montjuic castle in Barcelona by 2007.
At least 40 Model L were still operative with the air defense of the Bolivian Air Force in 1940. an unknow quantity is still operative along with the Model K.

James A Pratt III
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by James A Pratt III » 09 Jul 2009 20:42

According to Latin Ameriacan Wars Volume 2 The Age of the Profestional Soldier 1900-2001 by Robert Scheina which has a chapter on this war On tanks:
The Bolivians had 3 Vickers 6 ton tanks 2-2 turret and 1-1turret. One was knocked out on 4 July 1933 by a Krupp 75mm and the turret is on display in the army museum in Asuncion. The other 2 were captured on 11 December 1933 while the crews were resting. I think I saw a picture of a 2-turret example on display somewhere in Paraguay somewhere on the net. The 2 Carden LLoyd Mk VIbs were withdrawn do to mechanical problems. Thee Bolivians did use 1 FT-17. This book is quite good on this war and the other wars, coups, revolutions ect south of the border.

meta_physic
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by meta_physic » 23 Jul 2009 17:36

I have a CZ Mauser with the Bolivian Seal. In very nice, functional condition (about 85% - 90%). Anyone have an idea of what I should insure this for? Consulted the blue book but it is not help. Also, I can't find these things listed anywhere.

Thanks,

Albert

alcantur
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by alcantur » 24 Jul 2009 23:53

In fact, Latin American Wars Vol 2 by Robert Scheina has some errors or mistakes needing to be corrected:

The Bolivians did have 3 Vickers 6 ton tanks but they were 1-2 turret (Type A armed with machine guns) and 2-1turret (Type B armed with a 47mm cannon and a coaxial machine gun).
One Type B was knocked out on 4 July 1933 by a direct hit from a Krupp 75mm, was abandoned by its crew, an latelly was blown up by bolivian zappers to prevent it from being captured and used; its turret was on display in the army museum in Asuncion until it was returned to Bolivia in 1994. The other 2 tanks were captured on 11 December 1933 by an ambush set up by the Cavalry Regiment 7 (RC.7 San Martin, formed by argentinian volunteers)while both units were trying to break across paraguayan lines. The tanks were immovilized by cutting down quebracho trees around them as the moved together slowly along a 'picada' (a narrow path surrounded by trees and vegetation). the hard and flexible wood of the quebracho prevented them from moving forward or backwards. The heat inside the vehicles (more than 50C) forced the crews to surrender after trying to resist the approaching forces using their machine guns for about 2 hours.
The single turret tank was later sold to the Spanish Republic by Paraguayan government, while the other remained on display as a war trophy until 1994 when it was returned to Bolivia.
The 2 Carden LLoyd Mk IV (also known as Mk VIb) tankettes were lost in action, one damaged by machine gun fire at Nanawa surroundings and the other got stuck in a paraguayan trench while trying to breach into Nanawa fort supporting an infantry assault.
Bolivia had one demonstration unit of the FT-17, but this tank was never deployed in the conflict area.

alcantur
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by alcantur » 15 Sep 2009 20:22

News about antitank guns in Chaco War:
Bolivia purchased a small batch of Solothurn S18-100 20mm antitank guns in 1934, maybe in response to the capture of 2 vickers tanks in Campo Via. I got acces to one picture of such gun in the hands of a bolivian soldier.

Georgik01
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by Georgik01 » 12 Nov 2009 03:20

My father late Cnl. Edwin Caspary (1913-1990) fought in the Chaco war (1932-35). He entered the war as a young cadret. He traveled by train La Paz-Villazon then by truck Villazon-Tarija-Entre Rios and by foot Entre Rios-Villamontes. He fought in Nanawa, Gondra, Bullo and being captured in Campo Via. By foot marched to Asuncion, Paraguay and escaped his captors to be sent back to the front till the end of hostilities. The Bolivian army faced tremendous logistical problems because of the lack of roads and transportation. On the other hand, a high percentage of Bolivian soldiers from the Altiplano region faced immense disadvantage because of the unknown environment. Thery never being in the jungle. Because of the Chaco's arid environment most Bolivian soldiers died of thirst than fighting the enemy. Food arrived at any time full of flies and some days it never came. Although they had boots comparing with Paraguayan soldiers that fought bare foot Bolivian uniform was inadequate to the climate. None of the armies used steel helmets and instead used cloth hats. Bolivian soldiers lacked even machetes which was of common use by the Paraguayan army. At the officer level most Division commanders never before attended High Command and Staff School because the country did not have one like Paraguaay that sent their High Command officers to study in France prior to starting hostilities. in other words, Paraguayan High Command officers were militarily better instructed and prepared. Bolivians had good instruction up to the regiment or tactical level but not to command great units. It explain the strategic failures and finally losing the war. In spite of the disadvantages Bolivian soldiers fought with tenacity and galantry. In several of the military actions my father described how he used the platoon that he commanded. Most of his soldiers were from the jungle region of Beni and Santa Cruz and captured many prisoners and killed many enemy soldiers during the assaults and ambushes. It was a bloody war because of oil interests between Standard Oil and Shell. Hope both countries will enjoy an eternal friendship.

Animal
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by Animal » 23 Nov 2009 21:34

Georgik01 wrote:My father late Cnl. Edwin Caspary (1913-1990) fought in the Chaco war (1932-35). He entered the war as a young cadret. He traveled by train La Paz-Villazon then by truck Villazon-Tarija-Entre Rios and by foot Entre Rios-Villamontes. He fought in Nanawa, Gondra, Bullo and being captured in Campo Via. By foot marched to Asuncion, Paraguay and escaped his captors to be sent back to the front till the end of hostilities. The Bolivian army faced tremendous logistical problems because of the lack of roads and transportation. On the other hand, a high percentage of Bolivian soldiers from the Altiplano region faced immense disadvantage because of the unknown environment. Thery never being in the jungle. Because of the Chaco's arid environment most Bolivian soldiers died of thirst than fighting the enemy. Food arrived at any time full of flies and some days it never came. Although they had boots comparing with Paraguayan soldiers that fought bare foot Bolivian uniform was inadequate to the climate. None of the armies used steel helmets and instead used cloth hats. Bolivian soldiers lacked even machetes which was of common use by the Paraguayan army. At the officer level most Division commanders never before attended High Command and Staff School because the country did not have one like Paraguaay that sent their High Command officers to study in France prior to starting hostilities. in other words, Paraguayan High Command officers were militarily better instructed and prepared. Bolivians had good instruction up to the regiment or tactical level but not to command great units. It explain the strategic failures and finally losing the war. In spite of the disadvantages Bolivian soldiers fought with tenacity and galantry. In several of the military actions my father described how he used the platoon that he commanded. Most of his soldiers were from the jungle region of Beni and Santa Cruz and captured many prisoners and killed many enemy soldiers during the assaults and ambushes. It was a bloody war because of oil interests between Standard Oil and Shell. Hope both countries will enjoy an eternal friendship.
Neither side wore helmets? Was it because of the climate or because they didn't have them available?

alcantur
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by alcantur » 25 Nov 2009 23:07

Bolivia did considered to include helmets in the Vickers contract, but after the shortage casused by the crack of 29 the helmets were removed from the purchase order as they were considered not necessary. Also the weather conditions of the Chaco may have caused them to be unusable.

Sturm78
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by Sturm78 » 11 Jul 2010 12:17

Hi all,

I found on Ebay this image taken during the Chaco War. I think 7.65mm Vickers MG

Regards Sturm78
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Peter H
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Re: Gran Chaco War- Bolivian And Paraguayan Military Forces

Post by Peter H » 13 Jul 2010 04:08

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