The Second World War.....in South America

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by blonde_guy, May 5, 2010.

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  1. Recently I was reading a set of novels which touched, briefly, on the impact of the Second World War in South America. They mainly revolved around the OSS and such, so I thought again I would turn to my fellow Arrsers for discussion.

    Now as far as I know, Brazil were the only allied country from South America in WW2. Given the influence of Germany on certain militaries (you only need to look at their uniforms to know Jerry trained them!), to what extent was the Second World War fought in South America?
     
  2. I must admit I was surprised when I learnt Brazil had troops involved in the European campaign 25,000 according to Wikipedia also Mexico who sent a sqaudron of fighters to fight along the US in the Philippines campaign.
    As you say given the traditional facist influence in many South American countries surprising to say the least.
     
  3. Apparently there was a serious concern in 139/40 that German settlers in the Argentine would mount a quasi official invasion of the Falklands.

    Which would have been important because the ships which protected British shipping from the Plate Estuary against raiders had continual refueling problems. Every port from the West Indies to the Cape was neutral, which meant British ships could only refuel in each country only once every three months.

    Lacking the US Navy's growing expertise in high seas refueling, the RN had to station an oil tanker in Stanley and send ships down there one a time to refuel. Which was why the Cumberland was a thousand miles away from the action when the Graf Spee was intercepted.
     
  4. Hopefully not too off topic but where those novels by Alan Furst? If not, could you share what they were,always hunting for any sneaky beaky tales from that era.
     
  5. The Mexican Sqn was one of P47 Thunderbolts.
    There was an extensive article in The Aeroplane magazine say 3 years ago.
    john
     
  6. W.E.B Griffin (with William E. Butterworth IV) have written a series of Novels in the "Honor Bound" series involving the OSS in S America - enjoyable reading.
     
  7. Those are exactly what I was reading. Have read all his series, and find that although they are a bit formulaic (rich, socialite aviators being the main characters in most of them) the historic detail and context makes them fascinating reading.
     
  8. I used to work with a lady who's dad was an NKVD agent - in fact, the guy who organized the murder of Trotsky, Iosif Grigulevich. As well as doing wet jobs on 'enemies of the people,' Nadya told me he organized a group that put time-bombs in the cargoes going into German ships in Buenos Aires. A few days later, they'd leave port, but oddly enough they never docked in Kiel.
     
  9. The crew of the Graf Spee were "interned " in Argentina and some of the crew of HMS Exeter are in Stanley cemetary, Argentina did join the allies in March 1945, and a number of Anglo Argentines fought for the British. 164 sqn RAF had a number of Argantine pilots.
    Bolivia joined the Allies in April 1943
    Brazill, after looseing over a thousand men to U boat attacks, joined the Allies in August 1942 and did as mentioned send 25,000 troops and two airforce groups to fight in Italy, It was also part of one of the main cross Atlantic air routes, and did anti submarine patrols in the South Atlantic
    Chile declared war on Japan in 1945, but not Germany, but did no fighting
    Columbia Declared war against Germany in 1943 again because of U Boat attacks against it's shipping
    Costa Rica joined the allies on 8 Dec !941 as did Cuba, who's navy sank at least one U boat
    Ecuador joined the allies in 1945
    Mexico as mentioned above joined the Allies in May 1942
    Paraguay was an almost Nazi government but was forced to join the Allies in 1945 it was bribed by US with military aid
    Peru joined in 1945
    Uruguay after the Graf Spee incident stayed neutral untill 1945, but there was a Uraguian unit fighting with the Free French
    All the other countries were colonoys or under American influance
     
  10. Double post caused by hangover
     
  11. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    The RN were instrumental in developing replenishment at sea for the N Atlantic convoys and from civilian tankers. What thye lacked in the S Atlantic was a steady supply of merchant tankers to RAS with.

    As to war in the S Atlantic, one of the causes of Brazil entering the war on the Allied side was the extension of submarine warfare into their waters and the losses to Brazilian shipping and trade. The reason for the German shift to the south was because of heavy submarine losses in the N Atlantic.
     
  12. Web Griffins books are good t oread when you wish to turn the brain off.

    From 4th Marines in Shanghai to setting up coastwatchers to weather stations in the Gobi desert.

    His OSS stories are ok but no mention of the cunning plan to sabotage the Fray Bentos factory with laxatives.

    http://www.casahistoria.net/peronnazi.htm#2._The_Nazis_in_Argentina
     
  13. Apart from Brazil & Mexico no other nations actively fought then?

    What kind of support did the Germans receive?
     
  14. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Memory suggests that there were Brazilians at Cassino, as indeed just about every other country on the Allied side seem to have had a contingent. Or did I read that in Sven Hassel's history thereof?
     
  15. No thats quite correct apparently they also had a division present on the D Day landings ( well according to the History Channel documentry I watched)