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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 20:26 pm 
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Location: Cannes, Southern France
Real Name: Mahfoud
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The Brazilian Expeditionary Force or BEF (Portuguese: Força Expedicionária Brasileira, or FEB) was a force about 25,700 men and women arranged by the Army and Air Force to fight alongside the Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theatre of World War II. Brazil was the only independent South American country to send troops to fight in the Second World War.

This air-land force fought in Italy from September 1944 to May 1945, while the Brazilian Navy as well as the Air Force also acted in the Atlantic Ocean from the middle of 1942 until the end of war. During the eight months of the Italian campaign, the Brazilian Expeditionary Force managed to take 20,573 Axis prisoners, consisting of two generals, 892 officers and 19,679 other ranks. During the War, Brazil lost 948 of its own men killed in action across all three services during the Italian campaign.


Brazil's participation alongside the Allied powers in World War II was by no means a foregone conclusion, even though Brazil (along with Italy, Japan and Romania, for example) had supported the Entente in World War I. Then Brazilian participation (1917-1918) was primarily naval, although it did send a regiment to the Western Front. The Brazilian navy and air force played a role in the Battle of the Atlantic after mid-1942, but Brazil also contributed an infantry division that entered combat on the Italian Front in 1944.
As in 1914, Brazil in 1939 maintained a position of neutrality, trading with both the Allies and the Axis Powers, while the quasi-Fascist policies of Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas (in office, 1930-1945 and 1951-1954) indicated a leaning[citation needed] toward the Axis powers. However, as the war progressed, trade with the Axis countries became almost impossible and the US began forceful diplomatic and economic efforts to bring Brazil onto the Allied side.
At the beginning of 1942 Brazil permitted the US to set up air bases in return for the offer by the United States to encourage the formation of an iron-industry Companhia Siderurgica Nacional in Brazil. The US bases were located in the states of Bahia, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte, where the city of Natal hosted part of the U.S. Navy's VP-52 patrol squadron. In addition, US Task Force 3 established itself in Brazil; this included a squadron equipped to attack submarines and merchant-vessels attempting to trade with Japan.
Although Brazil remained technically neutral, this increasing cooperation with the Allies led the Brazilian government to announce at the Pan American States Conference in Rio on 28 January 1942 its decision to sever diplomatic relations with Germany, Japan, and Italy.
As a result, from the end of January to July 1942, German U-Boats sank 13 Brazilian merchant vessels. In August 1942, U-507 sank five Brazilian vessels in two days, causing more than 600 deaths:
On August 15, the Baependy, traveling from Salvador to Recife, was torpedoed at 19:12. Its 215 passengers and 55 crew members were lost.
At 21:03, U-507 torpedoed the Araraquara, also traveling from Salvador towards the north of the country. Of the 142 people on board, 131 died.

Seven hours after the second attack, the U-507 attacked the Aníbal Benévolo. All 83 passengers died; of a crew of 71, only four survived.

On August 17, close to the city of Vitória, the Itagiba was hit at 10:45, with a death toll of 36.
Another Brazilian ship, the Arará, traveling from Salvador to Santos, stopped to help the crippled Itagiba, but ended up as the fifth Brazilian victim of the German submarine, with a death toll of 20.
In all, 21 German and two Italian submarines caused the sinking of 36 Brazilian merchant ships, involving 1,691 drownings and 1,079 other casualties. The sinkings were the main reason that led the Brazilian government to declare war against the Axis.

Berlin Radio pronouncements led to increasing nervousness among the Brazilian population. So unlike 1917, in 1942 it seemed that the Brazilian government did not want war. However, in the then capital, Rio de Janeiro, the people started to attack German businesses, such as restaurants. The passive position of the Vargas government proved untenable in the face of public opinion. Ultimately, the government found itself with no alternative but to declare war on Germany and Italy on August 22, 1942.

Command :

The Brazilian 1st Division of the BEF fought with the 15th Army Group under Field Marshal Harold Alexander (later succeeded by General Mark Clark), via the U.S. Fifth Army of Lieutenant General Mark Clark (later succeeded by Lieutenant General Lucian Truscott) and the U.S. IV Corps of Major General Willis D. Crittenberger. The entry for the Gothic Line order of battle provides the overall order of battle for the Allied and German armies in Italy.

The Brazilian Air Force component was itself under the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force.

The BEF headquarters functioned as an administrative headquarters and link to the Brazilian high command and War Minister General Eurico Gaspar Dutra in Rio de Janeiro. General Mascarenhas de Moraes (later Marshal) was the commander of the BEF with General Zenóbio da Costa as commander of the division's three regimental Combat Teams ("RCT") and General Cordeiro de Farias as commander of the Artillery.

The BEF was (theoretically) organized as a standard American infantry division, complete in all aspects, down to its logistical tail, including postal and banking services. The maneuver units were the 1st, 6th and 11th Regimental Combat Teams, each of about 5,000 men in three battalions plus supporting units, with each battalion consisting of four companies each.

The campaign :

Preparations :

Soon after Brazil declared war, it began to mobilize an expeditionary force to fight in Europe. At that time, Brazil was a country with a traditionally isolationist foreign policy, a population largely rural and illiterate, an economy focused in the export of commodities, and lacking an infrastructure in industry, health and educational systems that could serve as material and human support to the war effort that a conflict of that dimension required. And an action plan that could circumvent this situation (like the Calogeras Plan of previous world war) was out of question, since many Brazilian military officers didn't saw with good will some unavoidable internal consequences resulting of an Nazi-Fascist defeat in Europe, as an increase for democratic demands by population. After all, Brazil was living under an military regime, that was openly authoritarian since 1937, and that had flirted with the Nazi-fascist regimes until 1941. Brazil was thus precluded from pursuing a line of autonomous action in the conflict, and found it difficult to take even a modest role in it.

Faced with the governmental' passivity and unwillingness, a plutocrat of mass media of that time, Assis Chateaubriand, even came to negotiate with U.S. officials stationed in Brazil, for creation of an expeditionary army division, composed of volunteers of all Latin America, which would be financed by him, led by a Brazilian General, and trained by American officials. This initiative was aborted by Brazilian government in early 1943.

It took almost two years for Brazilian government gather a force of one Army Division with 25,000 men (replacements included), compared with an initial declared goal of a whole Army Corps of 100,000, to join the Allies in the Italian Campaign.

Arrival in Italy :

On July 2, 1944 the first five thousand BEF soldiers, the 6th Regimental Combat team, left Brazil for Europe aboard the USNS General Mann, and arrived in Italy on July 16. They disembarked in Naples, where they waited to join the US Task Force 45. They disembarked without weapons, and as no one had arranged barracks, the troops stood around on the docks. At the time this caused controversy in the Brazilian media.

In late July, two more transports with Brazilian troops reached Italy, with three more following in September and November 1944, and February 1945.
The BEF dedicated its first weeks in Italy to acquiring the proper equipment to fight on Italian terrain, and to training under American command in as much as the preparation in Brazil, despite the 2 years interval since the declaration of war, had proved obsolete. Although, among the veterans of that campaign there is a consensus that only combat is able to adequately prepare the soldier, regardless of the quality of training received earlier. In August, the troops moved to Tarquinia, 350 km north of Naples, where Clark's army was based.
The Brazilians joined what was a multinational hodgepodge of forces.

The American forces included the segregated African-American 92nd Infantry Division and the Japanese-American 442nd Infantry Regiment. British Empire forces included New Zealanders, Canadians, Indians, Gurkhas, Black Africans, Jews and Arabs from the British Mandate in Palestine, South Africans, units of exiles — Poles, Greeks, Czechs, Slovakians, as well as anti-fascist Italians, also served under British command. The French forces included Senegalese, Moroccans and Algerians.[10][11] In November 1944, the BEF joined General Crittenberger's U.S. IV Corps.
The Germans made much of the political aspect of the presence of the Brazilian force in Italy. They targeted propaganda specifically at the Brazilians.In addition to leaflets, the Germans provided an hour-long daily radio broadcast in Portuguese from Berlin Radio called "Hora AuriVerde" (GoldenGreen Hour).

The campaign :

The BEF achieved battlefield successes at Massarosa, Camaiore, Monte Prano, Monte Acuto, San Quirico, Gallicano, Barga, Monte Castello, La Serra, Castelnuovo, Soprassasso, Montese, Paravento, Zocca, Marano su Panaro, Collecchio and Fornovo.
The first missions the Brazilians undertook were reconnaissance operations to the end of August. Brazilian troops helped to fill the gap left by divisions of the Fifth Army and French Expeditionary Corps that left Italy for Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France.

On September 16, the 6th RCT took Massarosa. Two days later it also took Camaiore and other small towns on the way north. By then, the BEF had already conquered Monte Prano, and taken control of the Serchio valley without any major casualties. After having suffered its first reverses around Barga city, and after the arrival of the 1st RCT at the end of October, the BEF was directed to the base of the Tuscan North Apennines where it would spend the next months facing the harsh winter and the resistance of the Gothic Line.

Allied forces were unable to break through the mountains over the winter and an offensive by German and Italian divisions to the left of the BEF sector, against the US 92nd Infantry Division, required the assistance of the 8th Indian Infantry Division to be refrained.
Between the end of February and beginning of March 1945, in preparation for the Spring offensive, the Brazilian Division and the U.S. 10th Mountain Division were able to capture important positions on the Apennines, which deprived the Germans of key artillery positions on the mountains, whose effective fire had since the fall of 1944 blocked the Allied path to Bologna.
In the US Fifth Army's sector, the final offensive on the Italian Front began on April 14, after a bombardment of 2,000 artillery pieces; an attack carried out by the troops of US IV Corps, commenced by the Brazilian Division took Montese. After the 1st day of the Allied offensive,the Germans, without much effort, had stopped the main attack of the IV Corps led by the US 10th Mountain Division, causing significant casualties among the troops of that US division, the Germans mislead to think that the BEF's raid over Montese using M8 armoured cars and Sherman Tanks could be the real main Allied objective on that sector, which lead them to shell the Brazilians with 1,800 artillery rounds from the total of 2,800 used against all 4 Allied divisions in that sector during the days of the combat for Montese[14] when they tried unsuccessfully to take Montese back from Brazilians. After that, the breaking of the Germans' lines to the North by forces of IV Corps became unavoidable.[15] On the right, the Polish Division, from the British 8th Army, and the U.S. 34th Infantry Division, from Fifth Army, entered Bologna on 21 April.
On 25 April the Italian resistance movement started a general partisan insurrection at the same time as the Brazilians troops arrived at Parma and the Americans at Modena and Genoa. The British 8th Army advanced towards Venice and Trieste.


German General Otto Fretter-Pico, Commander of the 148th Infantry Division, and General Mario Carloni surrendering to Brazilian FEB – Italy, 1945.
At the battle of Collecchio, the Brazilian forces were preparing to face fierce resistance at the Taro river region from the retreating German-Italian forces of the region of Genoa/La Spezia that had been set free by troops of the 92nd US Division. These Axis troops were surrounded near Fornovo and after some fighting surrendered. On April 28, the Brazilians captured more than 13,000 men, including the entire 148th Infantry Division, elements of the 90th Panzergrenadier and the Italian 1st 'Italia' Bersaglieri Division.
This took the German Command by surprise as it had planned for these troops to join forces with the German-Italian Army of Liguria to counterattack against the Fifth Army. Fifth Army had advanced, as is inevitable in these situations, in a fast but diffuse and disarranged way uncoordinated with air support, and had left some gaps on its left flank and to the rear.

The Axis forces had left intact many bridges throughout the Po River to facilitate a counter-attack. The German Army Command was already negotiating a truce in Caserta, and hoped that a counterattack would improve the conditions for surrender. The events in Fornovo disrupted the German plan, as much by the disarray of their troops as by the delay it caused.[16] This, added to the news of Hitler's death and the fall of Berlin to the Red Army, left the German Command in Italy with no option but to accept the demand for the unconditional surrender of its troops.


In their final advance, the Brazilians reached Turin and then on 2 May they joined up with French troops at the border in Susa. That same day brought the announcement of the end of hostilities in Italy.


The Air Force :


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The 1oGAVCA (1st Fighter Group/1º Grupo de Aviação de Caça) was formed on December 18, 1943. Its commanding Officer was Ten.-Cel.-Av. (Aviation Lieutenant Colonel) Nero Moura.



The group had 350 men, including 43 pilots. The group was divided into four flights: Red ("A"), Yellow ("B"), Blue ("C"), and Green ("D"). The CO of the group and some officers were not attached to any specific flight. Unlike the BEF's Army component, the 1oGAVCA had personnel who were experienced Brazilian Air Force (Portuguese: Força Aérea Brasileira, or FAB) pilots. One of them was Alberto M. Torres, who had piloted a PBY-5A Catalina that had sunk U-199, which was operating off the Brazilian coast.
The group trained for combat in Panama, where 2o Ten.-Av. (Aviation Second Lieutenant) Dante Isidoro Gastaldoni was killed in a training accident. On May 11, 1944, the group was declared operational and became active in the air defense of the Panama Canal Zone. On June 22, the 1oGAVCA traveled to the U.S. to convert to the Republic P-47D Thunderbolt.

On September 19, 1944 the 1oGAVCA left for Italy, arriving at Livorno on October 6. It became part of the 350th Fighter Group of the USAAF, which in turn was part of the 62nd Fighter Wing, XXII Tactical Air Command, of the 12th Air Force.

The Brazilian pilots initially flew from 31 October 1944, as individual elements of flights attached to 350th FG squadrons, at first in affiliation flights and progressively taking part in more dangerous missions. Less than two weeks later, on November 11, the group started its own operations flying from its base at Tarquinia, using its tactical callsign Jambock. Brazilian Air Force stars replaced the white U.S. star in the roundel on the FAB Thunderbolts. The 1oGAVCA started its fighting career as a fighter-bomber unit, its missions being armed reconnaissance and interdiction, in support of the US Fifth Army, to which the FEB was attached.

On April 16, 1945, the U.S. Fifth Army started its offensive along the Po Valley. By then, the strength of the Group had fallen to 25 pilots, some having been killed and others shot down and captured. Some others had been relieved from operations on medical grounds due to combat fatigue.


The Group disbanded the Yellow flight and distributed the surviving pilots among the other flights. Each pilot flew on average two missions a day.[citation needed]


On 22 April 1945, the three remaining flights took off at 5-minute intervals, starting at 8:30 AM, to destroy bridges, barges, and motorized vehicles in the San Benedetto region. At 10:00 AM, a flight took off for an armed reconnaissance mission south of Mantua. They destroyed more than 80 tanks, trucks, and vehicles. By the end of the day, the group had flown 44 individual missions and destroyed hundreds of vehicles and barges. On this day the group flew the most sorties of the war; consequently, Brazil commemorates April 22 Brazilian Fighter Arm Day.


In all, the 1oGAVCA flew a total of 445 missions, 2,550 individual sorties, and 5,465 combat flight hours, from 11 November 1944 to 6 May 1945. The XXII Tactical Air Command acknowledged the efficiency of the Group by noting that although it flew only 5% of the total of missions carried out by all squadrons under its control, it accomplished a much higher percentage of the total destruction wrought:
85% of the ammunition depots
36% of the fuel depots
28% of the bridges (19% damaged)
15% of motor vehicles (13% damaged)
10% of horse-drawn vehicles (10% damaged)

The Navy :

Having the Suez Canal blocked and the necessity to go beyond to the Far East, Germany used the Atlantic Ocean to maintain its supply of material necessities. The cargo included caoutchouc (unrefined rubber) from Malaya; key medicines such as quinine; and metals used in small quantities for high-quality steel alloys, such as tin, bismuth and copper. In return, Japan needed mercury and high-quality optical glass. Both nations were also interested in blueprints of each other's military technologies. The trade was conducted via long-range submarines through the South Atlantic and Indian oceans.
The Axis tried to block the transport of material logistics to the United States and the supply of Great Britain, initiating a policy of sinking commercial ships in the Atlantic.
As a result of the Axis attacks Brazil suffered nearly 1600 dead, including nearly 500 civilians and more than 1,000 of Brazil's 7,000 sailors involved in the conflict. The navy losses included 470 sailors of the merchant navy and 570 sailors of the military navy, a total of 36 ships sunk by the Germans, and more than 350 dead in three accidental sinkings.[18][19]
The main task of the Brazilian Navy was, together with the Allies, to ensure the safety of ships sailing between the Center and South Atlantic to Gibraltar. The Brazilian navy conducted 574 operations that protected 3,164 merchant ships; German U-boats were only able to sink three ships. In the fight against German submarines, Brazilian frigates and submarines used sea mines and depth charges. According to German documents, the Brazilian Navy attacked German submarines a total of 66 times.
A total of nine known U-boats were destroyed along the Brazilian coast. Those were: U-164, U-128, U-590, U-513, U-662, U-598, U-199, U-591, and U-161.

Aftermath :

The bodies of the soldiers buried in the BEF cemetery in Pistoia were later transferred to a mausoleum in Rio de Janeiro. Marshall Mascarenhas de Moraes had proposed and promoted the construction of the mausoleum and it was inaugurated on July 24, 1960. It covers an area of 6,850 square meters.
Brazil's participation in World War II was more extensive than its participation in World War I. During World War II, Brazil provided a meaningful tactical and strategic contribution. Still, the FEB/BEF was just one of the 20 Allied divisions in the Italian Front. Furthermore, although the division played an important part in the sectors in which it operated, none of these sectors were the main one on that Front, which was, after the German retreat to the north of Rome, the East of the country near to Adriatic Sea, under the responsibility of the British 8th Army forces. Besides, the Italian Front had become secondary for both sides after D-Day and the invasion of Southern France.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_ ... nary_Force


Party on FRENCH . Sorry

Uniformes : Petit guide réalisé à l'aide du livre Osprey consacré au Corps Expeditionnaire Brésilien et de diverses lectures .

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D'une façon générale , les troupes brésiliennes combattant au sein des troupes alliés perçoivent une tenue américaine conservant les effets et uniformes brésiliens pour les tenues de sorties et cérémonies .

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Au brésil , l'uniforme national cotoie des effets américains :

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A la vue des photos observées et de la documentation , il semblerait que la principale tenue du corps expeditionaire brésilien au sein des alliés est l'ensemble treillis HBT 1943 avec patch brésiliens .

Au niveau de l'armement , un bon nombre de fusils springfield 1903 sont observés ce qui laisse à penser qu'il était répandu au sein des forces brésiliennes .


Troupes brésiliennes en Europe :

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 19:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 19:32 pm
Posts: 56
Location: aylesbury
Real Name: paul groves
Group: der windhund 116th panzer division
Hi, that you in the flying jacket? Really like it. I've put stuff on the FEB on this forum before. I have infantry/ mp impression I do. Quite a lot about the FEB on Facebook worth a look.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 20:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:23 am
Posts: 98
Location: Cannes, Southern France
Real Name: Mahfoud
Hi , yes it's me :)

Thank you for your words and apologies for my bad english i'm french


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 19:32 pm
Posts: 56
Location: aylesbury
Real Name: paul groves
Group: der windhund 116th panzer division
I'm sure your English is better than my French! Always good to find others doing FEB.. Have you managed to collect many FEB items?
Paul


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 18:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 14:22 pm
Posts: 67
Location: São Paulo - Brazil
Real Name: Sidnei
Group: GPRH "Dogs of War" - Brazil
hy Mahfoud,

I'm a brazilian reenactor and our group have the honour of reenact some important moments of the history of our beloved Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB as in portuguese), which includes the Brazilian 1st Fighter Group and the Army Cooperation Squadron.
Much of the equipment used by FEB in Italy was supplied by US Army and USAAF, however the uniforms (and some battle dress) were brazilian made.
Seeing the pictures from your brazilian air force uniform I was pleased with the ammount of realism and details. Just one little mistake (that was really normal also here in Brazil) is that for the "flak explosion" at "Senta a Pua" badge. In fact, the "flak" was introduced to the badge after the end of the war.
If you'd like to know our group see us at:
www.dogsofwarbrasil.com.br
Best regards
Sid


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 19:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 14:22 pm
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Location: São Paulo - Brazil
Real Name: Sidnei
Group: GPRH "Dogs of War" - Brazil
Our group impressions of 1st 8razilian Fighter Group (I'm the big guy in the middle)

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One photo for further reference:

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 13:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:09 am
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Location: Kent
Group: 4th Dorsets Living History Group
That last photo is interesting. It is taken in Pisa in front of the Leaning Tower.

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