Historia y Arqueologia Marítima
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La Revolucion Paraguaya de 1904
Por Adrian J. English- Basado en recortes de diarios de EEUU de la época.
The Revolution of 1904 brought an end to thirty years of continuous rule by the Colorado Party and placed the Liberals in power for the following three decades, even though these were to be marred by internecine strife between various factions of the Liberal Party, notably in 1908, 1911, 1912 and 1922-23.
The successful Liberal revolution was made possible largely through the activities of a secret committee, based in Buenos Aires, the capital of the Argentine Republic. A key part in this was played by Manuel J. Duarte, who with others, had been sent by the Paraguayan Government to study in Argentina’s Escuela Naval in 1891. Having risen to the rank of Commander in the Argentine Navy, Duarte occupied the important position of Secretary of the Argentine Naval Arsenal.
The Paraguayan Government had acquired the merchant steamer SAJONIA, for the transport of fruit from Asunción to Buenos Aires and unwisely had placed a Liberal supporter, Captain Ildefonso Banegas, in command of it. Coincidentally, this vessel was anchored off the port of Buenos Aires during the first week of August 1904.
On the night of August 4th, a launch left the Naval Arsenal carrying aboard it Commander Duarte and six other plotters. Shortly afterwards they came alongside the SAJONIA and boarded it, being welcomed by Captain Banegas.
The SAJONIA sailed for La Plata where it embarked the remaining members of the Liberal expeditionary force, together with 3000 Lee-Metford and 1300 Gras rifles, with 3000 rounds of ammunition; 12 Vickers-Maxim machine-guns; six Vickers Model 1887 and six Krupp 75mm mountain guns, with 1000 rounds of ammunition, plus eight 3 inch Vickers landing guns. With its crew now numbering 70 the SAJONIA then set sail for Paraguayan waters.
Having received intelligence of the departure of a mysterious armed vessel from La Plata and apparently bound for Paraguay, the Colorado President, Colonel Juan Antonio Escurra, declared a state of siege throughout the Republic on August 8th .
At this time, the national Army comprised a single battalion of infantry, a regiment of cavalry and a regiment of artillery with a number of independent garrisons in the north-east of the country and the Chaco and a total strength of approximately 1500. The Navy had only two small vessels, the TENIENTE HERREROS and the ITAIPU, neither of which was capable of confronting the SAJONIA. Accordingly, the Government armed the merchant vessel VILLARICA to meet the presumed threat.
The VILLARICA and SAJONIA met off the southern Paraguayan town of Pilar on August 11th, the VILLARICA being the first to open fire, Nevertheless, within 30 minutes, the SAJONIA had reduced its adversary to a wreck.
Combat on land continued for five months, terminating in the acknowledgement of defeat by the Government on December 12th, 1904 and the end of 14 years of Colorado rule.
Este sitio es publicado por Carlos Mey - Martínez - Argentina