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The Forgotten Army that Saved the Allies in WWII
Author:Gary Neeleman, Rose Neeleman
Dimensions:9" x 6"
Photos:57 b/w photos
Publisher:Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
The Rubber Soldiers were an army of 55,000 men from the Brazilian northeast, who were sent to the Amazon basin to harvest rubber for the Allied War effort under an agreement between Brazil and the US. Approximately 26,000 of these men died in the Amazon of malaria, yellow fever, and other jungle afflictions. Many of the original tappers are still alive, now in their late nineties, and living in slums in major Amazonian cities, still awaiting compensation. This book proves the US did pay for the rubber, contrary to common belief in Brazil that they did not. The book also shows that the Allied air bases on Brazil's northeastern coast were critical in defeating the Germans in North Africa, and containing the German U-boat effort in the south Atlantic. This aspect of WWII has rarely been reported and yet it may have been one of the most important events of the war.