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Brazilian Expeditionary Force

// Information about Brazil and its military force (BEF) during the world war two.

Finally in the War
 
The first to embark were the men of the 6th Infantry Regiment, which was composed of men from states with military tradition in Brazil, such as Mato Grosso, which later split into Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio Grande do Sul, territories that during the war against Paraguay had been the scene of bloody battles between the two countries for doing the border with the same country. There were also men of São Paulo and other states in the Midwest, South and North of Brazil.
 
On the July 2nd, 1944 the Brazilian forces left for the theater of war, having arrived there on the 16th of that month, on board ship General Mann.
The men who landed in Italy did not know their destination and thought they would be sent to Africa, but his fate was in deed the Old Boot.
 
The first three regiments already mentioned were the 1st Expeditionary Infantry Division (EID) and the last two formed the Deposit of Staff, to replace the possible casualties. The five Embarkation Squadrons moved to Italy under the following conditions:
 
1st Embarkation Squadrons: on the July 2nd, 1944, by General Mann, under the command of General Zenóbio da Costa, having arrived in Naples on July 16th. Followed this General Mascarenhas de Moraes. 
Composition: Grade Advanced Headquarters 1st EID, the General Staff of the 1st ID of EID, the 6th Infantry Regiment; the 4th and 1st Co. Pel. of Mrt. the 11th Infantry Regiment; II / 1 ROAuR, 1st Company of the 9th BE; 1/3 of Sec Supr. Man and the 9th BE, 1st Pel. the Reconnaissance Squadron, the EXPLR Sec. Cmdo and elements of Sec. the 1st Broadcasting Co., the 1st Company of evacuation, the Pel. Treatment and Cmdo elements of Sec., All of the 1st Battalion of Health, the Maintenance Company, the Military Police Squad, a squad car, one of the Pel Sec. Serv. and elements of the Cmdo century. the 1st Quartermaster Company, and the elements attached to BEF 1st EID, the mail regulator, the Quartermaster Depot, the pay-office Still, war correspondents, Primary elements of the Hospital Service, Justice and the Bank of Brazil.
Effective: 5075 men, including official 304.
 
2nd Embarkation Squadrons: The September 22, 1944, by General Meigs , under the command of General Cordeiro de Farias, reaching Naples on October 6.
Composition: AD / 1st EID (Staff and Bia. Command), the 1st Infantry Regiment; I / 2 ROAuR; 9 BE (elements of the Dest. Cmdo., Co. Service and 2nd Co.); bulk of I ° Reconnaissance Squadron, 1st Cia Broadcasting (Extra Sec., a EXPLR Sec. Build and Sec.) 1st Battalion of Health (elements of the Dest. Cmdo., 1st Co. elements of Evacuation and Treatment Co. ), elements of Company Quartermaster; elements Depot Quartermaster; elements of the Services Postal and Justice; Company's Headquarters of the 1st EID; bulk of HQ 1st EID, Group 2 Supplemental Brazilian in Hospitals American; Group 3 Supplemental Brazilian American Hospitals, war correspondents and members of the Bank of Brazil. 
Effective: 5075 men, including official 368.
 
3rd Embarkation Squadrons: The September 22, 1944, by General Meigs, under the command of General Falconiere Olimpio da Cunha, reaching Naples on October 6.
Composition: 11 IR.; I / 1 ROAuR; I / 1 RAPC; 9 BE (Command and Co. Service, Dest. Health and 3rd Co.); Esq Liaison and Observation; 1st Battalion of Health (Dest. Cmdo ., Pel. Treatment and 3rd Co. Evac.) elements of the 1st Company Quartermaster; HQ 1st EID and Co. HQ, Depot Quartermaster, Music Band, Group 1 Supplemental Brazilian in Hospitals American, and Platoon for the burial.
Effective: 5,239 men, including 318 officers. The staff carried the 2nd and 3rd Squadrons Embarkation mounted to 10,375 men.
 
4th Embarkation Squadrons: The November 23, 1944, by General Meigs, under the command of Colonel Mario Travassos, reaching Naples on December 7. He led the 1st Squadron of the Deposit of Staff BEF; Effective: 4,691 men, including 285 officers.

 
 
5th Embarkation Squadrons: The February 8, 1945, by General Meigs, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Iba Jobim Meireles, having arrived in Naples on 22 of the same month. He led the 2nd Squadron of the Deposit of Staff BEF.
Effective: 5082 men, including official 247.
 
With the exception of 111 soldiers, including 67 nurses, who traveled by air (Rio-Natal-Dakar-Naples) all the soldiers went to Italy via Ocean.
When they arrived in Italy, the Brazilians had to be re-equipped because the uniforms that the government offered was of poor quality and similar to the German uniform. Legend has it that when men came were booed by the Neapolitans, who threw stones and spat on by men, thinking that if they were German prisoners, even though their ranks blacks and mestizos. The misunderstanding was only broken when the flag was brought forward and the band started playing the national anthem.
 
On July 26th, 1944, authorized the relocation of the 1st Embarkation Squadron for the region of Tarquinia. On the night of August 5th, 1944 1st Embarkation Squadron was already concentrated in Tarquinia, where, after a fortnight, received arms and equipment of all kinds. That same day, were subordinate to the U.S. Fifth Army.
From 18th to 20th of August the 1st Embarkation Squadron moved from Tarquinia to Vada, which were 25 kilometers from the front of the Arno. Once installed, had to camouflage a huge vineyard. The final instruction period was three weeks.
 
The 1st Squadron was then sent to the valley of the Serchio, while newcomers from Brazil 2nd and 3rd Embarkation Squadrons, estimated in 10,000 men, reached the training area located in the Quinta Real in San Rossore. The 2nd and 3rd Embarkation Squadrons took thirty-five days to get all the supplies of war and the work of distribution to the Brazilian Services, who were only been completed on November 22, 1944.
The 4th and 5th Embarkation Squadrons, which formed the deposit Personnel of the BEF, left Brazil almost without instruction, reaching Italy respectively on December 7th, 1944 and February 22nd, 1945, one day after the victory of Monte Castello.
The advanced headquarters was installed in Porretta Terme.
 
To test the newcomers, Brazilians that had not yet gone through the baptism of fire, were sent to an area lying between the plains that border the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the picturesque Serchio valley, place considered calm.
On the night of September 15th, 1944 Brazilian troops replaced U.S. troops placed in a big front, on the left of the 1st Armored Division.
On September 18th, Brazilians conquered Camaiore and with the actions of September 19th, can frown upon the outposts of the famous Gothic Line. To reach the Monte Prano on September 26th, the Brazilian troops passed hard days. There are countless villages and towns that BEF freed, among them we can mention: Lucca, Borgo a Mozzano, Bagni de Lucca, Fornaci, Gallicano, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana.
 
Continuing its move to the North, along the aforementioned valley, the BEF posting occupied on the 6 of October localities of Fornaci and Coreglia Antelminelli. On October 11th Brazilians occupied Barga and more to the south, the town of Gallicano. On the morning of October 30th, despite the mud and rain, which has announced the winter, the BEF, in a first-time, hit the line, from where it would be launched to Castelnuovo, ideal spot to try to free the route 64 which gave access to Bologna, where supplies could be sent to the armies of the South of France, and for the displacement towards Austria and consequently to Berlin.
The Germans counter-attacked and repeatedly Castelnuovo changed ownership. In the assessment of commanders until the month of September, BEF made from 16th of September to 31st of October, 40 kilometers forward, captured 208 prisoners, some towns and factory accessories for airplanes, suffering 290 casualties (killed, wounded, injured and lost).
Concluded with such results the action of the General Zenóbio Costa as commander of Detachment BEF, since the arrival of most of the 1st EID was demanding his presence in the preparation of two Infantry Regiments (1st and 11th IR, who arrived the second and third levels respectively).
 
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Source:
Text from the Helton Costa work.
Check the published books (in Portuguese) from Helton and also available for download.


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