Brazil vs Germany

July 8 2014

England vs Germany in 1966 was, at some level, a reenactment of the war. France vs Germany was, perhaps, for some, even in 2014. Brazil vs Germany will, one assumes, have no historical charge to it, but Brazil did declare war on Germany and Italy on August 22 1942.

Increasing cooperation with the Allies had led the government to announce at the Pan American States Conference in Rio on January 28 1942 a decision to sever diplomatic relations with Germany, Japan and Italy, though Brazil remained technically neutral.

As a result, 21 German and two Italian submarines sank 36 Brazilian merchant ships. 1,691 Brazilians drowned, and there were 1,079 other casualties. Berlin Radio pronouncements made the population increasingly nervous. Ultimately, the government declared war.

The Brazilian Navy and Air Force acted in the Atlantic from the middle of 1942 until May 1945.

Brazil was the only independent South American country to commit ground troops in any theatre. It sent an Expeditionary Force to Italy, which lost a thousand people across all three services between September 1944 and May 1945.

Brazil had also declared war on Germany in 1917, and sent troops to Europe, and nearly sent them to fight the Turks in Mesopotamia. Was it the only South American combatant then as well?

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In 1943 Villa-Lobos wrote an Invocação em defesa da pátria for soprano, choir and orchestra on a text by Manuel Bandeira.

Orchestre national de la Radiodiffusion française, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Chorale des Jeunesses musicales de France, Maria Kareska, recorded 1956:

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