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mercredi, 05 octobre 2011

U.S. Plan to Invade Brazil


U.S. Plan to Invade Brazil

Ex: http://xtremerightcorporate.blogspot.com/

Not many people know how close the United States came to invading, of all places, Brazil during World War II. Most know that Brazil did finally enter the war as one of the Allied nations and the Brazilian expeditionary force saw action in the later phase of the conflict in Italy against the forces of Nazi Germany and the Italian Social Republic. However, how Brazil came to that point is a sordid tale of diplomatic pressure and military threats against the Brazilian dictator President Getulio Vargas. Today, as with so many others, Vargas is labeled by historians as an example of a far-right dictator but actually moved from right to left and back again in terms of his policies. However, he did finally adopt elements of syndicalism and the “New State” idea first enacted in Portugal by their last great leader Prime Minister Antonio Salazar. President Vargas doubtlessly admired some of the principles of the fascist trend that was sweeping Europe but, more than that, he really had no desire to enter World War II and, as far as Brazilian national security went, was more concerned with Argentina than Germany or Italy. Vargas also had to be wary of taking sides since his army tended to favor the fascist powers while his air force and navy tended to favor the Allies.

The Roosevelt administration was very concerned about Brazil, mostly due to the wealth of natural resources available in the country. They claimed, naturally, that they were worried about Axis aggression against Brazil and South America -famously putting out a forged Axis “war plan” that, among other ludicrous lies, called for Axis forces, having conquered Africa, to jump the Atlantic gap over to Brazil. President Vargas, of course, knew that there was no more danger of Germany and Italy invading Brazil than of them invading Mars. However, he knew he had to keep on friendly terms with the United States which was a much more immediate threat and which, through the Monroe Doctrine, had long claimed all of the Americas as their exclusive sphere of influence. Vargas did such a good job at this that the State Department diplomats in Brazil reported to Washington that they really had no idea which side he was really on. FDR had his State Department strongly “suggest” that Vargas request U.S. military support to strengthen his defenses against possible German and Italian aggression.

Naturally, Vargas turned down this suggestion but later did request simply U.S. weapons and war materials, not for fear of Germany or Italy but for the real threat posed by Argentina. However, FDR’s War Department was hesitant to fulfill that request because they feared that FDR would invade Brazil and American forces would then have Brazilian troops using their own weapons against them. Still, despite the diplomatic pressure from FDR, President Vargas refused to let FDR dictate his foreign policy and he still wanted no part in FDR’s aggressive war to save the Soviet Union. Just this hesitation was deemed as being so outrageous by FDR that he had his military staff come up with the “Joint Basic Plan for the Occupation of Northeastern Brazil”. Keep in mind that this was the same President who had criticized Mussolini for invading Ethiopia (after being provoked), who had criticized Hitler for invading Scandinavia (after the British had mined Norwegian waters) and who had criticized the Japanese for occupying Manchuria even though the Republic of China did not even resist the incursion. Now, FDR was coming up with plans for an invasion of neutral Brazil which had no ties with the Axis and posed absolutely no threat to the United States simply because they refused to fall in behind him.

There is absolutely no doubt about this as, in addition to that contingency plan, an actual plan of attack was drawn up with specific military units assigned to the invasion. FDR approved “Operation Rubber Plan” on December 21, 1940 (before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and before the U.S. was even at war herself with Germany, Italy and Japan) which called for -without a declaration of war mind you- a naval bombardment of Brazilian coastal facilities to soften up shore defenses for an amphibious attack by the U.S. Marines. This would be followed by a formal invasion by the 1st and 3rd Marine Battalions from the 5th Marine Division, launched from a naval task force including the battleship USS Texas, the aircraft carrier USS Ranger, 12 troop transports and supporting vessels. The 9th Division, US Army, would then relieve the Marines and press forward the invasion to seize key Brazilian ports and airfields for American use. The 45th Army Infantry Division would be held in reserve in case unexpected resistance was met. All of these forces were in training for this operation and put on the alert to be ready to launch the attack within 10 days of President Roosevelt giving the “go” order.

President Vargas found out about this invasion plan in January of 1942 and, of course, had no choice but to immediately break off diplomatic relations with the Axis and he allowed 150 US Marines to occupy certain Brazilian airfields. Still, however, FDR was not satisfied and his plan for the invasion and occupation of Brazil was not officially set aside until May when Vargas signed the Brazilian-American Defense Agreement. Nonetheless, it was clear that Vargas was acting under extreme duress as he delayed as long as possible committing Brazilian forces to combat in a war which had nothing to do with his country at all. Nonetheless, eventually he was forced to declare war on the Axis and Brazilian troops were dispatched to the bitter fighting in northern Italy where they fought with great courage but were badly mauled by the Italian Monterosa Division. This was the victory which allowed Mussolini to return to Milan where the march to power of his Blackshirts had first begun. But, as far as Brazil was concerned, it was President Roosevelt rather than Mussolini who was the real aggressor and the real threat to their independence and national sovereignty.

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