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Brazilian aircrafts raid on Monte Castello

February 21, 2010

Today is the 65th anniversary of one of the main campaigns ever promoted by the Brazilian Army and Air Force – the takeover of the inexpugnable fortress of Monte Castello, close to Bologna, in Northern Italy. World War II was in its final months and 25,000 Brazilian soldiers were sent to Italy fight alongside with the Allies to stop the German advances. Under the leadership of general Mascarenhas de Moraes, the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (Força Expedicionária Brasileira or FEB)  promoted a series of combined air raids and artillery and tank attacks.  Around 440 Brazilians died during the three-month operation.

Check this American propaganda that shows the Brazilian troops deployed in Italy in 1944.

You can also find really great pictures and operational reports of FEB’s campaign in Italy in my friend Keith Vizcarra’s 350th Fighter Group Blog. His effort to keep alive the memories of those who fought in WWII is remarkable. Another cool  source is Sentando a Pua!, a Brazilian website named after the air squadron motto, that might be translated as “Go for it!”.

Badge of the Brazilian air squadron

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2 comments

  1. Thank you Brazil!


  2. Well, this is a bit of a myth. FEB got it’s ass kicked a couple of times taking Mount Castello. Not because FEB sucked, mind, but because it WAS pretty much an unbreakable fortress.

    In the first attempt, FEB got pwned so bad they were actually pushed back 4 miles against ZERO German active opposition: artillery and a few machinegun posts were enough to throw FEB into a rout.

    Again, this isn’t really FEB’s fault: Germans on the neigboring mountain had a panoramic view of Brazilian deployments and could call in all the artillery they needed to break up any assaults.

    FEB finally took Monte Castello only after the elite 10th American Mountain Division had cleared the neighboring mountain of German artillery observers. That took a couple of months and a boat-load of Yank casualties, so nobody should think that this campaign was some sort of walk over.

    Still, it does highlight 5th Army incompetence that they’d send the green FEB up against an objective like Monte Castello. And it highlights the incompetence of the Brazilian general staff that they allowed this to happen.



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