About 3,000 armoured vehicles 1925-2016.



Roots of the Brazilian Army

It could be said that the composite forces with local mercenaries and Portuguese fighting the Dutch and French in the beginning of the 17th century were an ancestor of the future Brazilian Army, largely a creation connected with the independence of Brazil in 1822. All along the 19th century these forces changed in composition and organization but were largely forged by wars: The Independence war which lasted until 1825, the Equator Confederation (1824) war, Cisplatine War (1825–1828), Malê Islamic uprising (1835), Cabanagem, Sabinada, Balaiada and Praieira Revolts (1835–1849), the Ragamuffin War (1835–1845), the Platine (1851–1852), Uruguayan (1864–1865), and Paraguayan Wars (1864–1870), the Naval Revolt (1893–1894), the Federalist War (1893–1895) and the War of Canudos (1896–1897), the Acre Revolution (1899–1903) and the Contestado War (1912–1916).

The battle of Caseiros, part of the Platine War (1852).

The XIXth century saw the army divided into two branches, the 1st lines infantry (regular) and the 2nd line militias and orderlies. Under Emperor Pedro I and the 1820, the regular army numbered 24,000 as well equipped and trained as any European Army. Cadets, future officers were trained at the Academia Militar de Agulhas Negras which was also an engineering school.The new liberal government reduced the standing Army y fear of the return of the Monarchy and other reasons and created a loyal National Guard in 1831. Many rebellions in local provinces soon occurred, making clear the deficiencies of the army and it was reformed in 1845. In particular the old Military College was widened and doubled. The emphasis was put on a better training for officers. By 1857 at the ever of the the Platine War against Argentina, it was 37,000 strong and proved itself by winning the war. However deficiencies were put in light during the Uruguayan and Paraguayan wars. The National Guard was neglected whereas the regular Army was enhanced with the addition of the Fatherland Volunteer Corps in 1865. Tactics and equipments were modelled after the Prussian Army, and it proved itself during the very long Paraguayan war inside the triple alliance.

Brazil in WW1

Although the country was not at peace (Contestado movement), following the USA Brazil declared war on the central powers, and sent three small military groups in France. After some training they were attached to the French Army and took part in some engagements in 1918. It was nevertheless a valuable experience for the Brazilian Expeditionary Force that saw also tanks in action for the first time. Situation however was turbulent in the 1920s and 1930s. The new conservative government backed by the Army crushed a Constitutionalist Revolt in 1932 and prevented a communist and fascist (1935 and 1938) coup d’états. However a military dicatorship was in place by 1937. Brazil had a few tanks, of the French ww1 FT type, of which the pruchased was arguably the work of Captain José Pessôa Cavalcanti de Albuquerque. he was also the officer in command of the 1st tanks company.

Brazil in WW2

By August 1942, after German and Italian submarines sunk many Brazilian merchant ships, the government formally declared war to the axis, with popular support. The Força Expedicionária Brasileira (FEB) was then created to join the allies. It was sent to the Italian front, 25,000 strong and lef by general João Baptista Mascarenhas de Morais, fully equipped with the US Army although the bulk of the forces were made of infantry (some organic tanks batallions with M4 Shermans and M3 Stuart though).

The BEF liberating the Italian city of Massarosa, Spring 1945 offensive.

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The Brazilian army (wikipedia)
Cutia and first Brazilian tanks (pdf)

Tanks and AFVs of the Brazilian Army

Brazilian FT

The first 12 Brazilian “carros de asalto” were acquired in 1921, saw action in the rebellion of 1924 and the revolution of 1932, and in service until the 1950s (for training).

M3 Stuart

(1944). These tanks were in service with the BEF throughout Italy and until the surrender of the axis. Shipped backed in Brazil they were kept in service until the 1970s where they were partly modernized by the Bernardini company (see later).

M4 Sherman (Cavalry day, 2012)

M41 Walker Bulldog

Bernardini X1A2

Meet the Brazilian Bernardini X1A2, the last of a series of quite radical modifications made to the M5 Stuarts used by the Brazilian army.
30 were produced/converted in the early ’80s, and they were practically all-new vehicles.

Bernardini MB-3 Tamoyo (prototype)

The most ambitious project of the company, unveiled in 1983. It was armed with a French 90 mm high velocity gun.
It was an M41 Walker Bulldog-based tank and the programme was initially named “X-30”. In 1978, the first prototype were rolled out, still fitted with the 76mm M32 rifled gun. Bernardini also tested its own own 76mm M32 BR-3. Another prototype featuring Bernardini’s 40 cal. 90mm rifled gun (Tamoyo I/II), while in 1987 the last variant Tamoyo III featured the 52 cal. 105mm rifled gun. They were also new sights, a new FCS Ferranti Falcon, complete with sensors, a digital ballistics computer and a laser rangefinder. A layer of Composite material modules were added on the original RHA hull. It was propelled by a brand new powerplant, the V8 diesel 500 hp Saab-Scandia DSI-14, or 730 hp Detroit 8V-92TA in option. Despite all its promises, including interesting modernization contracts for all M41 operators, the project was abandoned and wrecked the company financially.

EE T1 Ososio (prototype)

The EE-T1 Osorio was a quite effective MBT, at $3,840,261.00 USD apiece. At 42.9 short tons it was still relatively light, but was armed with the 120 mm GIAT G1 smoothbore gun(second prototype) or the 105 mm L/52 L7 rifled gun (first prototype), and 2 cal.50 heavy HMGs. It was protected by a potent combination of composite modules mixing aluminum/steel, carbon fibers, and ceramics. It was also fast at 26 hp/tonne (Power/weight) with a reliable German 12-cylinder MWM TBD 234 Diesel (now Caterpillar Energy Solutions GmbH) engine which gave 1,100 hp, for a top speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) and 550 km range. Its hydropneumatic suspensions were also a modern and effective solution. But generous hopes are often recalled by reality. The EE-T1 P1 was unveiled in 1985, followed by the P2 in 1986, both successful in tests.

Charrua XMP-1 – tracked amphibious armoured personnel carrier. Prototype built 1984.
EE-3 Jararaca
EE-9 Cascavel
EE-11 Urutu
EE-T4 Ogum – Light tracked reconnaissance vehicle.
EE-T1 Osório Main battle tank (modern)
MB-3 Tamoyo Main battle tank (development of M41 Walker Bulldog).
Bernardini X1A – rebuild of M3 Stuart light tank with new armour, engine, suspension and 90 mm gun.
Bernadini X1A2 – new build derivative of X1A tank. At least 30 built 1979–1983 for Brazilian Army.
Astros II MLRS Multiple rocket launcher
GUARÁ Avibrás 4×4 light armoured car
VBL (inbrafiltro) 4×4 light armoured car
AV-VU4 AM medium 4X4 armoured car
AV-VBL Heavy 4×4 armoured car
EE-17 Sucuri