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Battle of Fornovo di Taro

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The Battle of Fornovo di Taro was the last battle fought by the Brazilian Expeditionary Forces during the Second World War.

Attack at FornovoEdit

While the northeast and northwest of Fornovo contingent of the 1st RI and 11 RI blocked the possible outputs of the enemy, the 6th IR Colonel Nelson de Melo preparing attack Fornovo with the help of two batteries of artillery, of reconnaissance squadron, an engineering company and a U.S. company of tanks.

On the morning of April 28 Zenobio phoned Mascarenhas, who was in Montecchio, proposing that another battalion was launched to fight, to help the 6th IR. Mascarenhas, based on its assessment of the situation of castle, stated that this additional battalion would not be necessary. Therefore, the movement of siege and raid was conducted by three battalions, as previously planned.

The main offensive was triggered by Major Gross, who advanced to the region of Collecchio, in the south. When he was 6 km from Fornovo, met serious opposition, resisting violent counterattacks, at 9 o'clock on the 28th, and 1 am on the 29th.

Meanwhile, within walking distance of Fornovo, the 3rd Battalion of Major Silvino, and Reconnaissance Squadron Captain Pitaluga attacked by Southwest. Wondolowski writes: "The Brazilians, very determined, they were crushed all German attempts to break the siege." You can also add that the Brazilians have had to send troops to Piacenza and a pocket to North Cremona and thus did not need all their strength for the mission to block Highway 62.

Vicar Negotiates German SurrenderEdit

On the afternoon of April 27, a day before the offensive against Fornovo, Maj. Lamb West persuaded the vicar of a village to take the suggestion of the Germans to surrender. The priest walked 6 km to Respício near Fornovo, then talked with German officers. Asked about the power and the location of the Brazilian forces, the vicar said that the Germans were surrounded and had to surrender.

One of the oldest of these officers, who improve their Italian during a period when they served as Ambassador Germany in Rome asked the vicar to obtain in writing the conditions for the surrender and return to them.

As a result, on the morning of 28th, very early, before it closed in the attack of 6 RI, [Nelson de Mello, wrote an ultimatum of unconditional surrender, and through Castelo Branco, Requested approval of Mascarenhas by its terms.

The vicar took this ultimatum to the Germans and returned with a message, signed by Major Kuhn, Chief of Staff of the 148th Division, saying that the answer would be given after consultation with his superiors.

The SurrenderEdit

While the Germans postponed the decision, the 6th IR proceeded according to plan. Then, at 10:30 pm, after which the men of
General German Brazil

Generals Otto Fretter-Pico and Mario Carloni surrendering to the FEB after the Battle of Fornovo di Taro.

Gross repulsed strong counter-attack enemy, Major Kuhn and two other German officers crossed the line from Brazil to negotiate details of the surrender. Gross led them to the headquarters of the 6th IR in Collecchio.

Nelson de Melo, knowing that the mission of the three Germans had been authorized by the commander of Division 148, General Otto Fretter-Pico, Went quickly to talk to Montecchio Mascarenhas. This ordered Brayner and Castle who got along with the German negotiators. Therefore, in the rain, the two officers were taken to Colecchio.

Castelo Branco describes: "a room of a country villa, I was introduced to three German officers of the General Staff of the Division. They asked for surrender terms. We said it could only be unconditional. They talked to military honor and principles of humanity. .. and accepted the surrender!

"There are several thousand men, two generals and so on. As a result the terms imposed at the meeting of Collecchio, which lasted all night, which were modified only by the insistence that Mascarenhas put down their arms immediately (to April 29 and not 30), the first Germanic Division to capitulate in Italy surrendered to the Brazilians.

"Nothing less than 14 779 Germans and Italians became prisoners in two nearby fields, installed by the Brazilians. The German General Otto Fretter-Pico and General Italian Mario Carloni were escorted to Florence by General Falconiere and General Zenobio, who delivered them to the 5th U.S. Army, along with six million liras also taken by the Brazilians. "

In a fight, on the outskirts of Fornovo five Brazilians were killed and about 50 were injured. What had been achieved was remarkable in military operations: the surrender of a German and an Italian division to a single Allied Division, Brazil.

See alsoEdit

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