Sunday, March 08, 2009

When Snakes Start Smokin'

Why didn't anyone ever mention to me Brazil had troops fighting in WW II? The full list of Allies is pretty impressive but some of 'em just stood and cheered and offered basing facilities. Brazil, on the other hand, got in the fight despite delays so long that folks started to mock 'em using a colloquial expression, "Snakes will take up smoking before our guys are in the war." ...Which, of course, resulted in the BEF adopting the smoking snake as their emblem, followed by the meaning of the phrase turning right around once they'd got over to Europe and shown what they could do. Real life, still way better than the movies.


Turk Turon said...

Interesting! There are still some obscure episodes from WW2. Brazilian fighter pilots? Wow.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and Italian U-boats on the high seas. Brazil had a huge Japanese population, and the success of the Tiger underground that controlled Brazil's ports is probably what prompted Warren to lock up all Japanese.

It is a small miracle that Brazil did not come into the war on the other side. A larger miracle is that their Allied participation was not completely neutralized before leaving home. It was a nest of intrigue that bore the smlking snake.

Anonymous said...

It is common knowledge that the Brazilians were dropped behind German lines to set up steakhouses and dance academies across Greater Dutchland to sap the German will to fight.

Anonymous said...

Tall and tan and lean and lovely
The Girl From Ipanema came walking
And as she passed
Each one she passed
Said "Ach."