** World War II -- Brazil Italian campaign

Brazilian World War II Trends: Italian Campaign

Figure 1.--Brazil was the only Latin American country to commit combat forces to fight the Axis. Latin American wre almostly totaly unaware of what the NAZI race dimentia meant for their mixed race populations. Most in the region were only aware of NAZI anti-Semiitic policies which did not overly concern them. Here Brazilian soldiers of the Força Expedicionária Brasileira are entering Massarosa, near Lucca in Tuscany (northern Italy) (September 1, 1944). They were moving up to the front to ngge the Germans.

President Roosevelt at the Natal talks (January 1943) promoted the idea of Brazil committing combat troops to the War. He told President Vargas that he wanted him with him at the peace table. The resulting Força Expedicionária Brasileira (Brazilian Expeditionary Force--FEB) totaled about 25,700 men and women prepared by the Army and Air Force to fight with Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theatre. Tge decesion to comit cimbat troops abroad was a major departure in Brazilian military history. The FEB was the first Brazilian force commited overseas and participated in war outside South America. Brazil was the only South American country to actually commit troops during World War II. This air-land force fought in the Italian campaign (September 1944 to May 1945). The FEB made a valuable contribution in Italy. The Allies (American, British, and Canadaians) wanted to concentrate their available forces in northern Europe for the D-Day landings, liberation of France, and drive into the Reich. The FEB while a small force performed well. Brazilian participation today is a littleknown footnote of World War II. The FEB began to arrive in Italy just after the Allies reached Rome (July 1944). The Brazilian units received some training and more importantly American equipment and arms to replace their obsolete equipment. The FEB fought with the U.S. commnd, joining General Crittenberger's U.S. IV Corps (November 1944). The Brazilians joined what was a truly an international effort in Italy. The American forces included ethnic U.S. units, both the segregated African-American 92nd Infantry Division and the Japanese-American 442nd Infantry Regiment. British force was an Empire and European anti-NAZI effort, including Africans from various colonies, Canadians, Czechs, Greeks, Gurkhas, Indians, Italian partisans, Jews from Palestine, New Zealanders, Poles, Rhodesians, and South Africans. The Free French were also involved, including Algerians, Moroccans, and Senegalese. The FEB was commited to combat at Massarosa, Camaiore, Mount Prano, Monte Acuto, San Quirico, Gallicano, Barga, Monte Castello, La Serra, Castelnuovo di Vergato, Soprassasso, Montese, Paravento, Zocca, Marano sul Panaro, Collecchio and Fornovo di Taro. The Germans were battered, but still acompetent fighting force until Spring 1945 when Allied and Soviet armies began to pour into the Reich at which time their primary German concern was to get back home. The FEB took some 20,600 Axis prisoners, incluing two generals. The FEB suffered nearly 950 men killed. It was the country's first major foray in international affairs. The country is essentilly half of South America and began to play an increasingly important role in regional politucs.


Navigate the CIH World War II Sectiomn:
[Return to Main World War II Brazilian page ]
[Return to Main World War II Italian campaign page ]
[Return to Main World War II country page ]
[Return to Main Brazilian history page ]
[Return to Main World War II Latin American page]
[Biographies] [Campaigns] [Children] [Countries] [Deciding factors] [Diplomacy] [Geo-political crisis] [Economics] [Home front] [Intelligence]
[POWs] [Resistance] [Race] [Refugees] [Technology]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Return to Main World War II page]
[Return to Main war essay page]

Created: 5:13 PM 1/14/2015
Last updated: 5:13 PM 1/14/2015