Brazil WWI camouflage
The First World War was truly a world-wide conflict. It started as a European battle. But several of the belligerents had large overseas co empires, often with big navies to match. A list of the countries that ultimately joined in the fight was large.
One of the later participants was Brazil. All of South America had kept out of the Great European War t the outset. But the German unrestricted submarine warfare campaign affected their maritime trade. In common with the rest of the world, the Brazilian ships became targets for the depredations of German U-boats. After three Brazilian ships had been sunk during the new undersea offensive Brazil made a momentous decision. War was declared against Germany in October 1917. This was nearly 6 months after the United States. Brazil was the only South American country to actively join the war. They took some of the same steps to protect their ships. That included camouflage painting. Here are some examples of Brazilian ships in disruptive camouflage from various sources.
First is SS Alfenos painted in what was described as a much modified US Type 4 design C.
Next is SS Alegrete in a pattern applied in Havre, France and sketched by an American Navy artist.
Here is the Brazilian SS Aracaju in New York painted in Type 9 design L.
Brazilian combat troops never reached the front. The Brazilian navy put together a squadron of several ships and dispatched them to Europe. They actually reached Gibraltar just before the armistice that ended the fighting. The Brazilian navy intended to send one of their dreadnought type battleships, Sao Paulo, as part of that squadron. But the ship was in a bad state of disrepair. She sailed to New York for a refit. The trip from Rio de Janiero took a month and a half during which 14 of her 18 boilers became unusable. What is interesting to me is that she was painted in an unusual camouflage pattern for this voyage. It was obviously done before she left, and I don’t know the colors or who designed the pattern, but the following picture shows the way it looked.
Sao Paulo never made it to the war zone at all. She was sold for scrap a few years later. She broke loose from her tow and sank in the Atlantic while being taken from Brazil to Europe.