The Chaco Air War 1932-35

The First Modern Air War in Latin America

Antonio Sapienza

A compelling account of a neglected but intense air campaign of the interwar period.
Publication date:
February 2018
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Illustration :
over 200 ills, mostly b/w, colour maps & aircraft profiles
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781911512967

Dimensions : 297 X 210 mm
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• Never published before pictures
• All dogfights detailed exhaustively
• Colourful maps and charts
• Main aircraft colourful profiles

The Chaco War was probably the first "modern” conflict in Latin America where military aviation was widely used in all roles. Bolivia, as the reader will find out, had a very powerful military air force, but unfortunately for them and luckily for Paraguay, its high army command did not take advantage of it. On the other hand, the Paraguayan Commander-in-Chief, General José Félix Estigarribia used military aviation to help him defeat the enemy on the ground, and the result was clear: the Bolivians were expelled from the Chaco after three years of war.

Previous publications have focused on the Chaco Air War with the aircraft technical details and almost no information on aerial operations, which is this book's centrepiece. All dogfights and bombing missions mentioned are detailed including crews, aircraft, serials, places and outcomes. The book also describes how both military air forces were organized, how pilots and aviation mechanics were trained, how and where aircraft were purchased and many other unpublished before details.

The maps included in the book will help the reader have an idea of where aerial operations took place, both combatants air bases, Bolivia's plan to conquer the whole region and how the Paraguayan Army finally expelled the enemy out of the Chaco. The text is supported by a large number of photographs, and specially commissioned colour profile artworks from modelers.


This engaging, informative and at times enthralling account concentrates on the aerial campaign almost exclusively, rather than analyse aircraft capabilities. Many of the period photographs have never been published previously, yet these provide vital insight into how this war was fought.
Airfix Model World

This book should provide readers with an understanding of the Chaco War, and an interesting look at the first use of Air power in the Americas. There is plenty here from those interested in not just conflicts in the air, but Latin American wars as well. Highly Recommended.

This is something very different for Flightpath readers, and highly recommended.
Flightpath Magazine

The author is the Paraguayan Air Force's official historian and thus well qualified to cover a conflict which remains little known outside Latin America. He managed to interview a number of participants while they were still alive and has also assembled an impressive collection of unpublished photographs from private and Paraguayan official collections.
Scale Aviation Modeller International