“Operation Drumbeat”

Today in History, July 19, 1942:

Admiral Karl Donitz is forced to call off “Operation Drumbeat”, recalling Nazi U-Boats assigned to the American coast.

In the months after America’s entry into the war, there were no convoys along the coast and coastal cities did not engage in “black outs”. This meant merchentmen sailing the American coastline were sillouetted by city lights, making them easy targets.

Donitz ordered the long range submarines he had at hand to attack merchant shipping along the coast, and they sank 297 merchantmen by June.

The Americans finally got a convoy system in place, utilizing destroyers and patrol craft. As it became increasingly difficult for U-Boats to prey on US merchants, and as the patrol craft began taking the fight to the Nazis, Donitz called his subs off, sending them back to the North and Mid-Atlantic.

Brazil Attacks!

Today in History, April 17: 1945 – After a three day battle, Montese, Italy is liberated by…Brazilian Army forces. The Brazilians fought valiantly against German Nazis to gain control of the Italian city. It had been a long trek to this point. When the war started, Brazil, led by an almost fascist leader, was “neutral”. After several Brazilian ships were sunk by U-Boats, the Brazilian public made it impossible for the government to remain neutral…Brazil first cut off diplomatic relations with the Axis powers, and then declared war on them. The Brazilian Army, Air Force, and Navy fought primarily in the Italian campaign.