|War memorial donated to Montese by the FEB|
The conquest of Mount Castello e Castenuovo
Between end of February and March 1945 Operation Encore was given the go-ahead destined to overcome the last German defense bulwarks along the Modena-Bologna Apeninnes. The offensive was put in the hands of the FEB and the American 10th Mountain Division. The Brazilians were given the task of protecting the right flank of the American troops and to launch the decisive attack on Mount Castello. Preceded by artillery fire, the Sampaio regiment managed to claim the peaks and to break down the German defenses. Meanwhile the 10th Division, flanked by Thunderbolt of the Brazilian aviation, occupied Mount Terminale, Monteforte, Sassomolare, Mount Grande d’Aiano and Mount Spe. After the conquest of Castelnuovo, at the hands of the Brazilian regiments, on 5 March the allied command declared the end of the offensive.The end of Operation Encore counted 240 dead, 1,382 wounded and 44 missing among the ranks of the FEB.
The liberation of Montese
In the days following the capture of Castelnuovo, the FEB was transferred to the left side of the American 10th Mountain Division, with orders to penetrate the Panaro Valley in direction of Montese and Zocca.
The high rises of Montello and Mount Buffone in particular, represented the heart of the German defenses in Montese. On April 14, 1945 with the start of the final offensive on the Gothic Line in the Apennines, the Brazilian attack was directed precisely on Montese. The bloody battle lasted four days and during the night between 18 and 19 September the defeated Germans retreated from Montello and Mount Buffone towards the plains.
To this day, many years after those events, strong feelings of gratitude and friendship bind Montese to the generous heart of the Brazilian people.