The headline is correct although I’m referring to World War Two.
In one his brilliant moves, Hitler went before his boot-licking toadies in the Reichstag on 11 December 1941 and declared war on the United States. He forgot to mention this to the German military high command who heard about on the radio.
After Hitler’s speech, Colonel Jodl, one of Hitler’s military adjutants, phoned Colonel Warlimont, Chief of the War Plans Division of the German General Staff. “Warlimont,” said, “do you know that the Fuhrer has declared war on America?” Long pause. “Yes,” said Warlimont, “we heard it on the radio during lunch and we could not be more surprised.”
The United States returned the favor on 11 December 1941 followed on that day by Haiti, Cuba, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. The next day Honduras and Salvador came through. They couldn’t do much and didn’t send any troops but the Americans wanted them to declare war on Germany so they did. Mexico, Panama and Brazil declared war on Nazi Germany in 1942.
(source: World War Two: A Military History by Jeremy Black)
Shoulder patch of the Brazilian Expeditionary Forces in World War Two
Of all of these countries, only Brazil sent troops to Europe in return for massive American military assistance through Lend-Lease. Once trained, 25,000 Brazilian troops were sent to fight under Allied command in Italy. They fought in Italy and took part in the long and bloody slog up the Italian peninsular. The major battle they participated in was the Battle of Monte Castello, a bitter fight against entrenched German troops which lasted from 25 November 1944 to 22 February 1945.
Mexico sent troops to the Philippines where they fought against the Japanese on Luzon
(Photo courtesy of US Army and the NARA)
German General Otto Freter Pico, Commander of the 148 Infantry Division, and General Mario Carloni surrendering to Brazilian FEB after the battle of Fornovo di Taro.
(photo in the public domain. Author unknown.)
Lest We Forget:
948 Brazilian soldiers, sailors and airmen
gave their lives in the fight against Nazi tyranny.
an article by a scholar in field, Professor Frank D. McCann of the University of New Hampshire can be found here:
Brazil and World War II: The Forgotten Ally.
What did you do in the war, Zé Carioca?