Chaco war weapons causes consequences end winner

Chaco War

The confrontation between Bolivia and Paraguay over the intervention of the Boreal Chaco. In this article we will make you aware about the Chaco war.

Date 1932-1935.
Place Chaco Boreal (Paraguay and Bolivia zone).
Belligerents Paraguay vs. Bolivia.
Outcome Paraguay victory.

The Chaco War was a confrontation between Bolivia and Paraguay, due to the intervention of the Boreal Chaco region, which took place between September 9, 1932 and July 21, 1935 .

Among the main causes of the war is the dispute over the access to the sea and certain border and territorial problems caused by the oil industry.

The Chaco War is considered the most important offensive in South America during the course of the 20th century , since it lasted 3 years and caused numerous deaths, disappearances, diseases and lack of food.

As a result of this war there was a setting of limits that favored Paraguay, together with the signing of a Peace Treaty by both countries, on June 12, 1935.

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Weapons Used in the War



  • Browning M1911: bought by Bolivia;
  • Browning M1903: most numerous pistol of Paraguay, bought from 1927;
  • Browning M1910: in Bolivian service;
  • Luger Model 1906: bought by Bolivia from 1912;
  • Mannlicher M1905: bought by Paraguay;
  • Mauser C96: bought by Bolivia prior to the war;
  • Smith & Wesson Military & Police;
  • Walther PP: in Bolivian service


  • Argentine Mauser Model 1891 (also known as Modelo 1895): bought by Bolivia;
  • Argentine Mauser Model 1909: some covertly supplied to Paraguay;
  • FN Model 30: bought by both sides;
  • Haenel Model 1909 carbine: bought by Paraguay;
  • Lee–Metford: in Paraguayan service since 1904;
  • Mauser Model 1895 (Mauser Modelo Chileno): used by Paraguay;
  • Mauser Model 1907: acquired by both Bolivia and Paraguay;
  • Mauser Standardmodell rifle, supplied to both sides;
  • Oviedo Model 1927, Spanish low-quality copy of the Mauser Model 1907 produced for Paraguay;
  • Oerlikon SSG36: antitank rifle bought by Bolivia;
  • Vz.24: bought in large numbers by Bolivia, many captured by the Paraguayans;
  • vz. 33: used by Paraguay.

Submachine guns

  • Vollmer VMP-30: bought by Bolivia, some captured by Paraguay;
  • Bergmann/Haenel MP 28.II: bought by Bolivia, some captured by Paraguay;
  • Bergmann MP35: bought by Bolivia. There may be a confusion with the similar-looking MP 28;
  • Steyr Solothurn S1-100: bought by Bolivia, some captured by Paraguay;
  • Suomi KP/-26 and KP/-31: imported by Bolivia, in small numbers;
  • Thompson submachine gun: dubious claim that a few have been imported by Paraguay,other sources explain some were bought by Bolivia
  • ZK-383.

Machine guns 

  • Browning Commercial MG38 and MG40: bought by both Bolivia and Paraguay;
  • Lewis gun: used by Bolivia;
  • Madsen machine gun: in service with both sides;
  • Vickers machine gun (Types C, E and F): bought by Bolivia;
  • Vickers–Berthier light machine gun: bought by Bolivia;
  • ZB vz. 26 and ZB vz. 30: bought by Bolivia.

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Causes and consequences of Chaco war


Some of the causes that originated the Chaco war are the following:

  • The confused distribution of territories and border strips, inherited from the colonial era in South America, which caused the discontent of some nations.
  • The territories of the Gran Chaco, acquired by Paraguay after the War of the Triple Alliance , were the subject of disputes between neighboring nations.
  • The signing of failed Peace Treaties between Bolivia and Paraguay , since always one of the two nations was not satisfied with the resolutions.
  • Due to the War of the Pacific , Bolivia lost its access to the sea , which prompted it to seek new alternatives through the Chaco Boreal area.
  • Interest in the alleged oil wells located in the Boreal Chaco area were a subject of dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay, two nations with a weak economy.


The consequences that resulted from the Chaco war were as follows:

  • The signing of a Peace Treaty in 1938 in Buenos Aires, where approximately 230,000 square kilometers of the territory were recognized for Paraguay and, for Bolivia, access to the Paraguay River together with the town of Puerto Casado.
  • A large number of those killed in action, missing, prisoners of war and sick from infections contracted during the conflict.
  • Later, in 2009, the presidents of both nations signed a definitive boundary agreement in Buenos Aires , called “Act of compliance and execution of the 1938 Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Boundaries between Bolivia and Paraguay.”
  • Economic investments during the war, added to malaria and lack of water, caused a  serious crisis for both countries .

End of the Chaco war

The Chaco war came to an end in 1935 , due to discontent on the part of both populations and the constant pressure to end the war, mainly from the Bolivian people and the American nations.

On June 12, 1935, a peace protocol was signed in Buenos Aires between the two nations (Bolivia and Paraguay) in which the cessation of the war was formally established.

Finally, after long negotiations, the 1938 Peace Treaty was signed, which sought to definitively set the boundaries between the two nations . However, it was not until April 27, 2009 when the final agreement was finally signed that made clear the establishment of the limits.

Who won the Chaco war?

After 3 years of battle, the result of the war was the victory of Paraguay. There the Peace Treaty was established and the territorial limits for which they had fought so much were established.

The disputed territory was divided as follows: na fourth portion would be three – quarters Bolivia and 3 servings would be Paraguay. Likewise, a strip on the banks of the upper Paraguay River was assigned to Bolivia, which gained access to the sea.

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