Brazil - Military Communications
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History of Military Communications in Brazil
By:  Adler Homero Fonseca de Castro

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Pombal1.jpg - “Group of officers and a priest pose for a portrait, Navy Hospital, Asuncion, Paraguay” (1869). Behind the officers there is a Corporal of Marines, tending a carrier pigeon cage. This is the earliest photo relating to the use of a “communication device” by Brazilian troops, taken during the Paraguayan war of 1864-1870.

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PirotechniaIV.jpg – “handheld” signal rocket projector, navy model 1872. (Though baptized as a “handheld” device, it could not be used so, unless the operator did not care for his own safety!). Up to the end World War II the main communication device available for the company/battalion commander here was the stick rocket, like the ones used in World War I. Brazilian troops fighting in Italy were equipped like a normal US infantry division, though.

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1brigada1.jpg  -  “Wireless telegraph station of the 1st Strategic Brigade (reception), without date or place”. However, the 1st Strategic Brigade was located in Rio de Janeiro and was created in 1908. This uniform was replaced in 1916, so dating the picture to before World War I (I think). I believe that this is a picture taken at the great maneuvers of 1908, but I can not be sure.

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Guarapuava1.jpg  - Guarapuava Radio station, 1924. The officer at the right of the operator is the chief of the transmission service at the station, Captain Amaro. Guarapuava is in Paraná State, and the picture was taken from November 1924 to march 1925, during the pursuit operations of the rebels of 1924 revolution.

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2004_0512_135315aa.jpg – This is the standard, model 1938, carrier pigeon carriage. It is part of the Museu de Armas Ferreira da Cunha Collection.


Signaling By Signal Lamp

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Signaling by lamp. They do not have a special caption, they are a part of an photo article on army communication in 1940 (there are others, with radios, telephones, loudspeakers and so on).

The source is “Vida Doméstica Magazine”, special issue on the Brazilian army, 1940. The number of the photo is the page number in the magazine.

The only photo I can identify is  p142a, which shows president Vargas (the one with the dark suit) during a visit to the Army Communication Material Factory. From Adler Homero Fonseca de Castro

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The other images are from the “Vida Doméstica Magazine, of 1940” on the section on communications or the 1940 maneuvers, though I do not know how a loudspeaker could be used in combat. The photos of equipment not in use are from the Army Communication Material Factory, in Rio.

 I collect images like these, as I am curator of small arms at one of the Army Museums in Rio (Museu Militar Conde de Linhares). It has a reasonable collection of electronic communication devices and I intended to mount an exhibition with them, but it is hard to get money for this (they are not weapons and the museum is a weaponry museum). - From Adler Homero Fonseca de Castro



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