When the war turned into a total war, willing to intercept shipments of food and raw materials to England and the United States, the Nazis, without any formal declaration of war, undertook an underwater campaign in the Atlantic in which they attacked August 15-17, 1942, five Brazilian ships (Baependi, Itajiba, Araraquara, Aníbal Benévolo and Araras).
This attack forced the Brazilian government to abandon its neutrality. During the II Consultation Meeting of the American Chancellors, held in Rio de Janeiro in January 1942, the breaking of Brazil's diplomatic and commercial relations with Germany, Italy and Japan was announced. On August 22 Getúlio Vargas met the ministry for the declaration of war on Germany and Italy. General mobilization was initiated and steps were taken to increase agricultural production and the extractive industry of strategic raw materials.
The initial military contribution was not limited to providing the Northeast air and naval bases, which enabled the invasion of North Africa. The Brazilian Navy covered the South Atlantic merchant routes, protecting ships carrying strategic materials.
In mid-1944, under the command of General Mascarenhas de Morais, the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) left for Italy. The first rank of the FEB, under the command of General Zenobio da Costa, landed in Naples on July 16, 1944, where he was incorporated into the 5th US Army. He headed north, where the allied offensive between the Arno and Po rivers would develop. The expeditioners fought alongside the Allied forces in the battles of Camaiore, Monte Castelo, Castelnuovo, Montese and Fornovo. During the conflict the Brazilian Navy accompanied, providing coverage, over 3,000 merchant ships. The ashes of the 451 officers and squares killed in the conflict, including eight pilots from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), were transferred from Pistoia, Italy, to Brazil on October 5, 1960, and today they rest on the monument to the dead. of World War II in Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil was the only country in Latin America that participated directly in World War II. The Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) remained in Italy for about 11 months, of which almost eight on the front, in permanent contact with the enemy. On January 28, 1942, during the Third Conference of American Chancellors in Rio de Janeiro, the Government of Brazil announced the severance of its relations with Germany, Japan, and Italy, as a result of its international commitments to aggression against Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941). As a result of this act, Brazil entered a major military activity for the security and defense of its coasts, while at the same time ceding to the United States the use during the conflagration of its military bases - Belém, Natal, etc.
In August 1942 Brazil was involved in the conflicts of World War II when German submarines torpedoed defenseless Brazilian merchant ships. These cowardly attacks led the Government of Getúlio Vargas, on August 22, 1942, to recognize the existence of a state of war between Brazil and the Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Japan).
The Brazilian government sent a corps of soldiers to fight in Italy against the fascists.
FEB Boarding Towards World War II
FEB Soldiers Towards War II