You are not logged in.

Dear visitor, welcome to WesWorld. If this is your first visit here, please read the Help. It explains in detail how this page works. To use all features of this page, you should consider registering. Please use the registration form, to register here or read more information about the registration process. If you are already registered, please login here.


Wednesday, March 19th 2008, 9:20pm

My take on the Brazilian Army

My take on the Brazilian Imperial Army to try to help the more land combat minded member of the site. Feel free to discuss with ideas.

Following Frywulf organization a little deeper, this is my understanding of the size of that force circa 1935, the start of the AB-SAE War. The Imperial Army is composed of six armies, each composed of two divisions-a cavalry brigade-a regimento sentinela-a Grupo Especial Servico-a heavy artillery regiment-support, service and command units-a tank battalion except for certain exceptions like the 1st Amazon Brigade in the 4th Army Region, the lack of tanks in the 4th, 5th and 6th armies, the lack of cavalry in some armies and the 1st Army having two tank battalions. IMO each Army gets after mobilization from a couple of infantry brigades in the jungle regions to maybe two to three divisions in the more populated areas.

IMO the idea of a regimental size Grupo Especial Servico is too much for the period so it should be reduced to a company size and more as being a local scout unit while the sentinel regiments could be the Brazilian attempt to copy the German stormtroopers of WW1. Also the main battle rifle must likely is still the Mauser in the standard OTL Brazilian round with maybe machine guns like the Zb-26 or the Madsen being the light ones and copies of the Maxim the heavy one.

In regard to tanks is what I have in doubt. What it could have being the must likely source of weapons for them? IOTL they purchased Italian and German equipment plus the staple of the world at the time, the Ft-17 tank. Any ideas of what they should have?

Any other ideas?

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "perdedor99" (Mar 19th 2008, 9:21pm)


Thursday, March 20th 2008, 2:25am

I completely agree on the Grupo Especial Servico. The sentinel regiments could easily be paramilitary border guards.

No reason to change the rifle (the 1908 Mauser in 7 x 57mm), and the machineguns (light and medium) make perfect sense. BARs in 7 x 57mm would be another option, purchased from FN-Browning in Belgium.

FT-17s are the most likely answer for Brazillian tanks: made in large numbers, widely exported, pretty easy to maintain and crew. More recently, Vickers 6 Ton or copies thereof would make sense,


Friday, May 30th 2008, 4:40am

Actually every field army has six divisions standing, which forms the I Corp of every army. II and III Corps are reserve units, each also with six divisions.

On the GES, keep in mind that as you move up the chain the support units get larger. On a divisional level you're talking a company, on the corp level you're talking a battalion, on the field army level you're talking a regiment, and on the army group level you're talking roughly a division.

I'll have to iron out a complete order of battle for the EIB at some point.


Friday, May 30th 2008, 1:51pm

The problem is that "special service" units just don't exist at this time period. They didn't come into existence until partway through WWII. Now, it's possible that after a year or two of the South American War some might be formed, but before it? Unlikely.


Friday, May 30th 2008, 9:41pm

That's not true at all. There were several "irregular" units formed by men taken from regular units during the American Revolutionary War and Civil War. For example, the standing orders for the 75th Ranger Regiment date from the original ranger unit (can't remember the name) formed during the ARW. Many of the so-called "revolutionary ideas" of WWII are nothing of the kind, just modern takes on tactics and strategies taken from those two time periods.


Friday, May 30th 2008, 9:57pm

And don't forget that in OTL, the Boers introduced the world to the term "kommando". Might not make such a splash without the Boer War, but the concept is definitely there. You can also pull special operations from the Italian Navy's frogmen, or Germany's WWI infiltration tactics, or the developing airborne tactics.


Friday, May 30th 2008, 10:30pm

The problem is that while units were formed in previous wars for special purposes, they didn't last, and most definitely were not commonplace in any army in the 1930s, which is where the criticism comes from. Far too modern (not to mention awfully commonplace even for a modern army). If you look at the official history of the 75th Rangers (see here: ), you'll see that while they take certain things from their long-ago predecessors such as Roger's Rangers of the French & Indian wars, there were no such units in the US Army during peacetime until after the Korean War (and, even then, they only became a permanent part of the US Army's TO&E in 1974).

Once war breaks out, sure, some of these units get formed, but most armies will be lucky to field a single regiment for their entire army (quite likely as separate battalions or companies rather than under a single regimental headquarters).


Saturday, May 31st 2008, 12:23am

But you have to look at why the US and European countries didn't keep special units during peace time. The reason is fairly simple, they had/have no constant threats to them. Brazil most certainly does, even in peace time. That's incentive enough to keep special units standing, especially for a nation that absolutely relies on its army for its survival.


Saturday, May 31st 2008, 1:37am

Not true, look at any of the European continental powers - all of them were/are more threatened by land-based neighbors than Brazil is (even in WW), but how many "special" units did they have under arms before the outbreak of WWII? Very few, if any. Germany, for example, formed a special unit (Battalion Ebbinghaus) for use in the Polish campaign, but once Poland was conquered the battalion was disbanded (some of it's men would serve in the later Brandenburg Regiment).

Additionally, note the size of the Brandenburg Regiment: that's the size of German special forces during WWII. Yes, the Regiment was later expanded into a Division, and even into a Panzer Grenadier Division, but by that time it was no longer being used as special forces, but instead as a line formation, usually serving in a fire-brigade or anti-partisan role (though some parts of the Division were still specialists and were used for special operations, like the invasion of Kos),

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Hrolf Hakonson" (May 31st 2008, 1:46am)


Saturday, May 31st 2008, 2:37am

My point was that its was all theoretical and nebulous between actual wars. Relatively speaking both WWI and WWII developed quickly. Brazil has a single absolutely defined enemy and several possibles, all more powerful on the seas. So not only do they have to look to their land assets, but they have to look to unconventional means to exert power and given the Exercito breathing room while it brings itself up to its full wartime strength (108 divisions.) Given the Empire's early anti-slavery bias, the WesWorld Brazil looked very hard at the unconventional tactics of the Union and Confederate armies during the ACW and formed units around those tactics.

Like I said, I'll post orders of battle at some point and then I think you'll get to see the whole picture.