'''The War of the Triple Alliance''' (1864-1870) was fought between Paraguay and an alliance of Argentina, Uruguay and the Empire of Brazil. It was a conflict with more deaths than any other in the history of Latin America, with estimates of 90,000-100,000 deaths on the alliance and circa 300,000 Paraguayans, both soldiers and civilians.There are a lot of speculations of the war’s motives, including British economic interests in the region, after-colonialism effects and expansionist goals of Paraguay’s dictator Francisco Solano López.

Brazil was getting too involved in Uruguay’s internal politics and eventually invaded it, making Paraguay declare war on Brazil. When López tried to pass through the province of Corrientes, Argentina declared war on Paraguay and the three countries forged an alliance to fight López’s regime. This turned the tide of the war; Paraguay's army, despite having some victories against Brazil in the beginning, devolved into guerrilla warfare in its own territory. The war only ended with López’s death.

The war ended catastrophically for Paraguay, having lost almost 90% of the male population, territory and had a political vacuum filled by military governments (Paraguay had its first democratic elections in '''''1993''''', more than a century later). Brazil and Argentina had an increase of public debt that took decades to pay, but it brought Brazilians slaves’ freedom (they were freed to fight in the war). Uruguay, on the other hand, was finally free of its neighbors’ meddling (kind of), but still had its own internal problems.

!!Tropes set during the war:

* TheAlliance: Or rather, [[RuleOfThree The Triple Alliance]].
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Francisco Solano López. Fearless leader against more powerful nations backed by imperialism or madman bent on conquering without thinking of his people?
* ApocalypseHow: Class 1 for Paraguay. It lost almost 50% of the population and 90% of the male population.
* ArmyOfThievesAndWhores / RagtagBunchOfMisfits: The bulk of the brazilian army was composed of slaves sent to fight in place of their owners and poor white citizens who didn't have any slaves to send in their place.
* BadassBeard: Practically everyone. The main ones being: Paraguayan ruler Francisco Lopez, Paraguayan warhero Pedro Diaz, Argentinian commander Bartolomé Mitre, D. Pedro II Emperor of Brazil, The Duke of Caxias, Deodoro Fonseca,
* BadassFamily: The Fonseca Family was a renowed military family, remarkable for more than ten members of that family fighting in the war.
* BadassGrandpa: The Duke of Caxias was pushing 65, but still leading his soldiers from the front lines.
* BadBoss: Solano Lopez towards the end of the war [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement at least]], since he started putting old men and boys into the military with even less adequate supplies than the other combatants, began acting erratically in command, and started shooting anybody who so much as voiced that Paraguay's only chance to survive was to make peace.
* BattleCry: "[[PreAssKickingOneLiner Those who are true Brazilians, follow me!]]" shouted by the Marquis (later Duke) of Caxias when he charged alone the Paraguayans during the the Battle of Ytororó.
* BayonetYa: The main weapon of choice, in both sides.
* BigBadassBattleSequence: Many battles qualify, but The Battle Of Tuyuti qualifies in spades: it is, to this day, the largest land battle ever fought in South America.
* BrokenBase: Regarding Francisco Solano. Not only in Paraguay, but in the other countries too.
* TheCavalry: The Brazilian Cavalry served as this for the Allied Forces many times.
* TheChessmaster: The Duke of Caxias, A.K.A [[RedBaron The Iron Duke]]. Commander of the Allied forces on the latter part of the war, described as a [[TheStrategist military genius]], he played a mean game of XanatosSpeedChess outmaneuvering the Paraguayan forces at every turn. In particular, his "Piquissiri Maneuver" is legendary.
* ChildSoldiers: Sadly, not only children but old people too were dragged into the Paraguayan army at the end of the war.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: At the Battle Of Riachuelo (the most important nautical battle of the war, fought for the control of the most important river), the brazilian side was trapped by Paraguayan forces and losing badly. [[FourStarBadass Admiral Barroso]], in this moment of desperation, had an idea: ''[[RefugeInAudacity to ram his ship in the paraguayan ones]]''. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome The movement sunk four paraguayan warships and turned the tide of the battle]], ensuring Allied victory.
* CulturedWarrior: Bartolomé Mitré was a writer.
* CurbStompBattle: Firstly deployed by the Paraguayans on the Brazilians on the first year of the war, but from the moment The Alliance was formed onwards, the Paraguayans suffered ''[[HumiliationConga a lot]]'' of those.
* DecisiveBattle: The aforementioned Battle of Riachuelo: It was the most important water route on that region, whoever won the battle, controlled the river and so gained the nautical advantage. With the absolute destruction of the Paraguayan fleet, the Allied Forces had total control over the river and pretty much won the War on the nautical side.
** On land, the [[BigBadassBattleSequence Battle of Tuyuti]]: The devastating losses of men and the strategic defeat sealed the fate of the paraguayan army, and what followed was a string of defeats.
* DidntSeeThatComing: Lopez suffered from this a lot in the later stage of the war. In particular, The "Piquissiri Maneuver" executed by The Duke of Caxias, which managed to perfectly avoid the bulk of the paraguayan forces and emerge straight on its rear. This lead to disastrous defeats that only further solidified the Paraguayan defeat.
* [[EatTheDog Eat The Horse]]: At one point, the Paraguayans had to eat their horses to survive.
* EnemyMine: Argentina and Brazil were very antagonistic toward each other, but they decided to forge an alliance to fight their common enemy.
* FourStarBadass: On the paraguayan side, José E. Diaz was known for his bravery and heroics on the War (and for being responsible for one the few Paraguayan victories in the latter stage of the war), while on the Allied side, The Duke of Caxias.
* FollowTheLeader: Lopez was greatly inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte's campaigns, and modelled both his war politics and himself after the man.
* FreudianTrio: The Triple Alliance: [[SmugSnake Bartolomé Mitre]] (The Id), [[TheChessmaster The Duke of Caxias]] (The Superego), [[TheKirk Venancio Flores]] (The Ego)
* GatlingGood: Deployed mostly by the Allied forces.
* GeneralFailure: Col. Camisao of the Allied Forces, responsible for the absurdly [[DidntThinkThisThrough badly plotted]] initial invasion of Paraguay, which resulted in numerous casualties and the known Retreat from Laguna where the Allied Forces were forced to retreat.
* GloryHound: Lopez is often considered such.
* GondorCallsForAid: The formation of the Triple Alliance went somewhat like this, with Brazil assembling the aid of Argentina and Uruguay.
* GrayAndGrayMorality: Like most wars.
* TheGreatestHistoryNeverTold
* HonorBeforeReason: Lopez had a serious case of this. Refusing to surrender even though his country was going to Hell in a handbasket and his defeat was certain, and when he was finally cornered by soldiers (see LastStand for more details) he refused to surrender and charged to his death, even though he was absurdly outnumbered AND he was assured he would be spared if he surrendered.
* HopelessWar: From the point of view of the Paraguayans. Things looked promising at first, but got worse in ridiculous proportions. Historians agree that Paraguay had no chance to win this war in any way whatsoever.
* LastStand: Francisco Solano Lopez, ruler of Paraguay, died charging against his captors and screaming "[[FamousLastWords I die with my nation.]]". If it qualifies as a LastVillainStand is [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement another matter entirely]].
* MajorlyAwesome: Deodoro Fonseca, the future first president of Brazil, was a renowed soldier with many honors with a ChestOfMedals.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: A Brazilian soldier called Francisco Lacerda was nicknamed "Chico Diabo". It roughly means "Frank [[{{Satan}} Devil]]". He was the one to finally kill Lopez, for once.
* OnlyYouCanRepopulateMyRace: After the war male Paraguayans were in high demand. The Catholic Church in Paraguay even allowed men to take multiple wives to rebuild the population.
* OrcusOnHisThrone: A great deal of mocking by the Allied forces was aimed at Lopez' tendency to basically stand in Humaitá giving oders through the entire later stage of the war, instead of leading his troops like the Allied leaders.
* OutGambitted: One could say the entire latter stage of the War was a BattleOfWits between Lopez and The Allied Command: He was trying to make the war as costly as possible for them (both in econonic and men terms), forcing them to back off and let him keep the territory he invaded. However, The Duke Of Caxias caught up on his strategy and developed maneuvers (Like the Piquissiri Maneuver mentioned above) to avoid every single drawback he designed, avoiding as much losses as possible and increasing the costs for the Paraguayan side. Result: It was still a very costly war, but not nearly as Lopez hoped. And doubly as costly for him.
* ThePurge: While this had been a fixture of Paraguayan political life for decades, Solano Lopez started it in earnest towards the end of the war. Which unsurprisingly did not do his already failing war effort or his country any favors...
* RammingAlwaysWorks: The Amazonas, the Brazilian Flagship, during the Battle of Riachuelo, used its bow to ram Paraguyan ships (even though the ship wasan't designed for ramming).
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure / TheGoodKing : Dom Pedro II tried to conduct the war as honorably as he could, ordered surrender when the losses were too great and had multiple diplomatic meetings with Lopez (all of them resulted in failure, but he gets points for trying). He was also the one who proposed freeing slaves who fought in the war (he was campaigning for their freedom for a few decades).
* RedBaron: Duke Of Caxias, The Iron Duke. He was also known as "The Peacemaker".
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Prince [[WarriorPrince Gaston, Count of Eu]], son-in-law of Emperor Pedro II, was the Brazilian commander-in-chief from 1869 until the end of the war in 1870.
** Dom Pedro II, Emperor of Braazil, also went to the battlefront with his troops, and while he did not see any battles, he personally coordinated the troops, stood within firing range of the paraguyan forces and slept in the campaign tents.
* SanitySlippage: The war wasn't good for Lopez's mental health. As the war went on, he became increasingly more paranoid and suspicious of betrayal among his peers (which, to be fair, is not a entirely unlikely assumption, since he was losing badly), and had a lot of his men executed out of sheer paranoia. Including his two brothers and his two brothers-in-law.
* ScrewTheRulesItsTheApocalypse: A mild example--in the Catholic Church, polygamy is outlawed. However, so few Paraguayan men were left when the dust settled the Pope lifted the ban.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: In the final year of the war, the Marquis (Later Duke) of Caxias left Paraguay without warning, disobeying the orders of his commanders. According to Caxias, he'd have died if he stood there any longer, considering his [[BadassGrandpa age]] and [[DentedIron health]], one can understand why.
* TheSiege: The Paraguayan fortress of Humaitá (Nicknamed the "South American Sevastopol") was sieged by Allied forces for two whole years.
* SmugSnake: Argentine president Bartolomé Mitre. He was convinced that Paraguay would be defeated in less than a year because their army was made of mostly mestizos (mixed-race people), believed that Brazil could never win the war without his help because of their large black population and had plans to invade and annex the weakened Uruguay after defeating Paraguay, but could never carry them out because the war extended beyond his presidency and because of the mounting debt.
* TiredOfRunning: Lopez, after spending the entire later stage of the war in what can be described as a game of cat and mouse with the allied forces (him being the mouse), suddenly decided against escaping his country, and stopped at Cerro-Corá with his forces, making there his LastStand.
* UndyingLoyalty: Most of the Paraguyan army had this towards Lopez, and so did the population at first, but as the war dragged on, he became much less well-seen.
* WarIsHell: Both sides endured Hell. Paraguayans were driven to near extinction by the bloody conflicts, Allied Forces were plagued by numerous painful diseases in Paraguayan soil besides the battles itself.
** WarIsGlorious: Not from the point of view of the soldiers, but the legendary heroics of the Brazilian army renewed the brazilian patriotism and gave the military a much stronger role into politics, which eventually led to a revolution that installed the first Republic. TropesAreNotBad ?
* TheWoobie: If you know something about the region’s history, you’d know Uruguay was bullied by its neighbors all the time. In this war, it was almost a puppet state for Brazil.
* WinYourFreedom: The Brazilian Empire promised freedom to any slaves who fought in the War. [[BittersweetEnding Some of them got it, some of them didn't]].
* YoungFutureFamousPeople: Several Brazilian military officers who fought in the conflict would play a greater role in national politics in the late 19th century.
* YouShallNotPass: Attempted by the paraguayan commander Pedro Duarte at the Battle of Jataí, he led one last cavalry charge in a last-ditch effort to stop the Allied forces from advancing, but his horse was shot from underneath him, his forces slaughtered and he was eventually convinced to surrender.
* ZergRush / WeHaveReserves: Employed by both sides in different periods of the War, with varying results. In Paraguay's case, this could be seen as a Deconstruction: The War ended with 90% of the male population wiped out, proving why this strategy can be devastating.

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!!Depictions in fiction
* A Brazilian Heavy metal Band called Armahda has a song chronicling the Battle of Itororó (in which Duke of Caxias charged alone ahead of his troops) called "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DDAVv4hC10 The Iron Duke]]"

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