The Brazilian Armed Forces is the largest in Latin America, with about 330,000 active duty troops, and 1,340,000 in reserve. They descended from the Portuguese Army troops that defended Brazil during their rule. They curbstomped the Dutch in Brazil in 1648 and was considered to be the founding date of the Brazilian Army. However, in the early 19th century, the Brazilians, fed up with Portugal, rebelled and the Portuguese Brazilian units joined with them at their War for Independence. It wasn't as bloody as those of Mexico's but still bloody nonetheless. Brazil later fought with Argentina at the Platine War of 1851-2 over Uruguay and Paraguay. When the latter country's dictator went Ax-Crazy and attacked Brazil in the Paraguayan War in the 1860s, they, with the Argentines and Uruguayans bled the Paraguayans dry and almost killed the entire adult male Paraguayan population. It also had to deal with some monarchist remnants with the War of the Canudos (1893-1897). They crushed the monarchists with a heavy price; the monarchists defeated three military expeditions sent against them by the republicans. Most of the rebels probably didn't even know who was the president, and generally just wanted to find a calm place in the middle of the Brazillian Northeast and pray in peace. Brazil entered both World Wars at the side of the Allies. In the latter war, some 23,000 Brazilian troops distinguished themselves in Italynote , not to mention the Brazilian air units that fought alongside the Americans. Brazil was, like other Latin American nations, coup-prone. Then the Cold War ended. The end of the monarchy by Pedro II was engineered by an army coup with elements of the landowners who feel bad about their slaves being emancipated by the Emperor. The latest bout was in 1964 when the army accused then-President Goulart of being a closet Dirty Communist. This theory is far-fetched beyond belief, and seen by the vast majority of Brazilians as an excuse to establish a military dictatorship that lasted to 1985. Thus, in the past 50 years, the only army that ever attacked Brazil was its own. After that, the military retired from politics after a referendum to restore democracy. Sane people hope they stay retired. Brazil also had a weapons industry, which nearly collapsed in the 1980s. Brazil conscripts men from the age of 18. Service is voluntary for women, and yes, many of the women in the Brazilian military are Action Girls. There are - thankfully for those that don't want to join the Military - relatively few openings in the army, however, so the "conscription" tends to boil down to a guy in a uniform asking if you want in or not and releasing you due to "excess contingent" if you don't.