Brazil at War

Brazilian troops in Torre di Nerone, near Monte Castello

We all know about the allied troops which consisted out of the US, British, Soviet, Australian , Indian and South African forces and there were others of course.

However one country that is always over looked as a supplier for troops during WWII is Brazil.

Roosevelt knew it was important to get the whole continent of America(North and South) involved in the efforts to fight the axis powers. He held several conferences . Although President Getúlio Vargas of Brazil did feel sympathetic to the idea of a totalitarian state, he himself was a dictator, he did eventually agree to join forces with the US against the axis powers.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas aboard USS Humboldt.

The Germans themselves has done quite a bit pushing Brazil to war, by attacking Brazil’s coast with U-Boats and sinking several ships killing over 600 of its citizens, including women and children.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Vargas decided to honor his nation’s commitments to the United States and, in January 1942, broke diplomatic relations with Germany, Japan, and Italy. Although it would take up to January 28,1943 before Brazil would commit to sending troops.

The Brazilian Expeditionary Force, or in Portuguese: Força Expedicionária Brasileira, FEB consisted of about 25,900 men from both the army and air force fighting alongside the Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theatre of World War II. This air–land force consisted of a complete infantry division, a liaison flight, and a fighter squadron.

The Brazilian Navy was not directly connected to the FEB it had already been engaging in battle with the Germany navy in the Atlantic since mid As a result of the Axis attacks, Brazil suffered nearly 1,600 dead, including almost 600 civilians and more than 1,000 of Brazil’s 7,000 sailors involved in the conflict. Brazil had assigned three destroyer escorts to protection of merchant traffic in the Atlantic, escorting 2,981 merchant ships in 251 convoys carrying over 14 million tons of supplies to the fighting forces. No ship escorted by the Brazilian Navy was lost to enemy action during the war. Its own merchant marine suffered the loss of 31 ships sunk and 969 crew members killed.

Brazilian Destroyer Marcílio Dias

The Brazilian FEB troops took 20,573 Axis prisoners, including two generals, 892 officers, and 19,679 others. Brazil was also the only South American independent state that would send ground troops to Europe

Brazilian soldiers greet Italian civilians in the city of Massarosa, September 1944.

The Battle of Monte Castello would mark the the Brazilian Expeditionary Force’s first contribution into the land war in Europe. The battle took place between November 24,1944 to February 21 ,1945.

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Sources

https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Monte_Castello

https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=109