portuguese colonial war combatants

The Portuguese Overseas Province of Mozambique was the last territory to start the war of liberation. By 2002, however, the end of the Angolan Civil War, combined with exploitation of the country's highly valuable natural resources, resulted in that country becoming economically successful for the first time in decades. When the Portuguese began trading on the west coast of Africa in the 15th century, they concentrated their energies on Guinea and Angola. On November 16 of the same year, the Portuguese troops suffered their first losses fighting in the north of the territory, in the region of Xilama. Nov 7, 2020 - Explore coal1989's board "Portuguese colonial wars" on Pinterest. This haunting condition is used by Paulo de Medeiros (2006) for the great metaphor he advances for all imperial nations as haunting houses filled with ghosts, as, incidentally, several Portuguese novelists have used in order to write about our colonial war [4]. While Portuguese forces had all but won the guerrilla war in Angola, and had stalemated FRELIMO in Mozambique, colonial forces were forced on the defensive in Guinea, where PAIGC forces had carved out a large area of the rural countryside under effective insurgent control, using Soviet-supplied AA cannon and ground-to-air missiles to protect their encampments from attack by Portuguese air assets. By 1970, it even had candidates training in the Soviet Union, learning to fly Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jets and to operate Soviet-supplied amphibious assault crafts and APCs. Strategy also played a role, as a successful hearts and minds campaign led by General Francisco da Costa Gomes helped blunt the influence of the various revolutionary movements. The war was a decisive ideological struggle in Lusophone Africa, surrounding nations, and mainland Portugal. These sertanejos lived alongside Swahili traders and even obtained employment among Shona kings as interpreters and political advisers. One such sertanejo managed to travel through almost all the Shona kingdoms, including the Mutapa Empire's (Mwenemutapa) metropolitan district, between 1512 and 1516.[18]. The Decolonization of Portuguese Africa: Metropolitan Revolution and the Dissolution of Empire by Norrie MacQueen – Mozambique since Independence: Confronting Leviathan by Margaret Hall, Tom Young – Author of Review: Stuart A. Notholt African Affairs, Vol. The Fuzileiros Especiais were lightly equipped with folding-stock m/961 (G3) rifles, 37mm rocket launchers, and light machine guns such as the Heckler & Koch HK21 to enhance their mobility in the difficult, swampy terrain. During the ensuing conflict, atrocities were committed by all forces involved.[6]. A failed Portuguese military coup known as the Abrilada, attempted in an effort to overthrow the authoritarian Estado Novo regime of António de Oliveira Salazar, received covert U.S. The aircraft replaced the Portuguese F-86 Sabre. The end of the war came with the Carnation Revolution military coup of April 1974. Defensive operations, where soldiers were dispersed in small numbers to guard critical buildings, farms, or infrastructure were particularly devastating to the regular Portuguese infantry, who became vulnerable to guerrilla attacks outside of populated areas by the forces of the PAIGC. As the conflict escalated, the Portuguese authorities developed progressively tougher responses, these included the Gordian Knot Operation and the Operation Green Sea. The Mozambican Civil War (Portuguese: Guerra Civil Moçambicana) was a civil war fought in Mozambique from 1977 to 1992. The impact of mining operations, in addition to causing casualties, undermined the mobility of Portuguese forces, while diverting troops and equipment from security and offensive operations to convoy protection and mine clearance missions. Portugal joined NATO as a founding member in 1949, and was integrated within the various fledgling military commands of NATO.[24]. In reality, the relation of mainland Portuguese to their overseas possessions was that of colonial administrator to a subservient colony. By this time, the PAIGC had begun to openly receive military support from Cuba, China and the Soviet Union. Portugal's growing isolation following Hastings's claims has often been cited as a factor that helped to bring about the "carnation revolution" coup in Lisbon which deposed the Caetano regime in 1974, ending the Portuguese African counter-insurgency campaigns and triggering the rapid collapse of the Portuguese Empire.[85]. An increasing number of African anti-colonial movements called for total independence of the overseas African territories from Portugal. Portugal used radio propaganda in its colonies in the 1960s against local liberation movements. The Colonial War established a split between the military structure – heavily influenced by the western powers with democratic governments – and the political power of the regime. After conflict erupted between the UPA and MPLA and Portuguese military forces, U.S. President John F. Kennedy[29] advised António de Oliveira Salazar (via the US consulate in Portugal) that Portugal should abandon Portugal's African colonies. There's been a lot of building and they are developing health facilities. Even amphibious mines were used such as the PDM, along with numerous home-made antipersonnel wood box mines and other nonmetallic explosive devices. With few exceptions, the new regimes ranked at the bottom of human development and GDP per capita world tables. By this time, the size of the guerrilla movement had substantially increased; this, along with the low numbers of Portuguese troops and colonists, allowed a steady increase in FRELIMO's strength. For many decades to come after independence, the economies of the three former Portuguese African territories involved in the war continued to remain problematic due to continuing internecine political conflicts and power struggles as well as inadequate agricultural production caused by disruptive government policies resulting in high birth mortality rates, widespread malnutrition, and disease. Individual Portuguese counterinsurgency commanders such as Second Lieutenant Fernando Robles of the 6ª Companhia de Caçadores Especiais became well known throughout the country for their ruthlessness in hunting down insurgents. In December 1917, German colonial forces led by Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck invaded Mozambique from German East Africa. Chapter 3 focuses on the public memory of the Portuguese colonial war, identifying two distinct phases: from 1974 to 1999 (the postwar silence), and from 2000 onward (a time for revival). None of the newly independent ex-Portuguese African states made any significant economic progress in the following decades, and political progress in terms of democratic processes and protection of individual human rights was either minimal or nonexistent. The national service period was increased to four years in 1967, and virtually all conscripts faced a mandatory two-year tour of service in Africa. A hotly disputed issue, the Gordian Knot Operation was considered by several historians and military strategists as a failure that worsened the situation for the Portuguese. 276–278, Susan Rose-Ackerman, "Corruption in the Wake of Domestic National Conflict" in, "Things are going well in Angola. Its basic principles were co-operation between African nations and solidarity between African peoples. The BR, on its side, began armed actions on 7 November 1971, with the sabotage of the NATO base at Pinhal de Armeiro, the last action being carried out 9 April 1974, against the Niassa ship which was preparing to leave Lisboa with troops to be deployed in Portuguese Guinea. Reviewed Work(s): Counterinsurgency in Africa. [70] The Operation "Nó Górdio" (Gordian Knot Operation) - conducted in 1970 and commanded by Portuguese Brigadier General Kaúlza de Arriaga - a conventional-style operation to destroy the guerrilla bases in the north of Mozambique, was the major military operation of the Portuguese Colonial War. At the forefront of this work are the lived experiences of a wide range of Portuguese veterans, framed by … Finally, unlike other overseas possessions, Portuguese Angola was able to receive support from a local ally, in this case South Africa. The major actions were the attack on the Tancos air base that destroyed several helicopters on March 8, 1971, and the attack on the NATO headquarters at Oeiras in October of the same year. Thousands of kilometers down the coast, in Angola, the Portuguese found it even harder to consolidate their early advantage against encroachments by Dutch, British and French rivals. The attack was unsuccessful, and no prisoners were released, but seven Portuguese policemen and forty Angolans were killed, mostly MPLA insurgents. [9][10][11] This migration is regarded as one of the largest peaceful migrations in the world's history. The Portuguese Air Force responded to the rebellion by bombing twenty villages in the area, allegedly using napalm in an attack that resulted in some 400 indigenous Angolan deaths. Convergence of real GDP growth toward the EC average occurred as a result of Portugal's economic resurgence since 1985. [86] Though a common misconception holds that Portuguese soldiers used captured AK-47 type weapons, this was only true of a few elite units for special missions. This resulted in the advancement of certain black Portuguese Africans who would become prominent individuals during the war and its aftermath, including Samora Machel, Mário Pinto de Andrade, Marcelino dos Santos, Eduardo Mondlane, Agostinho Neto, Amílcar Cabral, Jonas Savimbi, Joaquim Chissano, and Graça Machel. In practice, this never took place, though trained black Africans living in Portugal's overseas African possessions were allowed to occupy positions in a variety of areas including the military, the civil service, the clergy, education, and private business - providing they had the requisite education and technical skills. The U.S.-backed UPA wanted national self-determination, while for the Portuguese, who had settled in Africa and ruled considerable territory since the fifteenth century, their belief in a multi-racial, assimilated overseas empire justified going to war t… During its 5th Congress, in 1957, the illegal Portuguese Communist Party (Partido Comunista Português – PCP) was the first political organization to demand the immediate and total independence of the colonies. Portuguese, British and Belgian forces spent all of 1918 chasing Lettow-Vorbeck and his men across Mozambique, German East Africa and Northern Rhodesia. Afonso, Aniceto and Gomes, Carlos de Matos, Kaúlza de Arriaga (General), Lições de estratégia de curso de altos comandos – 1966/67 (Lessons Of Strategy in the Course of High Command – 1966/67), Vol. [81] Artillery and mobile howitzers were used in a few operations. Devastating civil wars followed in Angola and Mozambique, which lasted several decades, claimed millions of lives, and resulted in large numbers of displaced refugees. The Portuguese Navy (particularly the Marines, known as Fuzileiros) made extensive use of patrol boats, landing craft, and Zodiac inflatable boats. [38][39], As the war progressed, Portugal rapidly increased its mobilized forces. Dunne, Paul, and Nikolaidou, Eftychia Nikolaidou, World Development Indicators 2007, Portugal economic growth rate data set, retrieved 26 June 2010, Iberian Peninsula and South America (1762–63), Banda Oriental and Rio Grande do Sul (1762–63), 1954 Indian Annexation of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde, Destacamentos de Fuzileiros Especiais (DFE), United Nations Security Council Resolution 290, United Nations Security Council Resolution 294, United Nations Security Council Resolution 295, Portuguese irregular forces in the Overseas War, Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda, Africa–Portugal: Three Decades After Last Colonial Empire Came to an End, As guerrilla war ends, corruption now bleeds Angola to death, "The First World War in Mozambique (1914-1918)", "Orgulhosamente Sós"? [38] General António de Spínola, by contrast, appealed for a more political and psycho-social use of African soldiers. Several opposition figures outside the PCP also had anticolonial opinions, such as the candidates to the fraudulent presidential elections, like Norton de Matos (in 1949), Quintão Meireles (in 1951) and Humberto Delgado (in 1958). In Mozambique special units were also used by the Portuguese Armed Forces: The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded May 1963. The fighting later spread to Niassa, Tete in central Mozambique. Some 9×19mm submachine guns, including the m/942, the Portuguese m/948, and the West-German manufactured version of the Israeli Uzi (known in Portuguese service as the Pistola-Metralhadora m/61) were also used, mainly by officers, NCOs, horse-mounted cavalry, reserve and paramilitary units, and security forces. 558 of the Portuguese army makes references to violent actions, also in Cabo Delgado, on August 21, 1964. [61] The violence of the uprising received worldwide press attention and engendered sympathy for the Portuguese, while adversely affecting the international reputation of Roberto and the UPA. Rebel forces also made extensive use of machine guns for ambush and positional defense. Despite this, no detailed policies for achieving this goal were set out. For the general purpose machine gun role, the German MG42 in 8mm and later 7.62mm NATO caliber was used until 1968, when the 7.62mm m/968 Metralhadora Ligeira became available. The succession of Marcelo Caetano, after Salazar's incapacitation, resulted in steady increases in military spending on the African wars through 1972. Nevertheless, the fortified Portuguese towns of Luanda (established in 1587 with 400 Portuguese settlers) and Benguela (a fort from 1587, a town from 1617) remained almost continuously in Portuguese hands. [57], On February 4, 1961, using arms largely captured from Portuguese soldiers and police[58] 250 MPLA guerrillas attacked the São Paulo fortress prison and police headquarters in Luanda in an attempt to free what it termed 'political prisoners'. The revolt later became known as the Carnation Revolution. They achieved good progress in their first year of independence. The Destruction of a Nation: United States' Policy Towards Angola Since 1945, George Wright, Pluto Press, 1997. [58] Portuguese authorities responded with a sweeping counterinsurgency response in which over 5,000 Angolans were arrested, and a Portuguese mob raided the musseques (shanty towns) of Luanda, killing several dozen Angolans in the process. The official feeling of the Portuguese state, despite all this, was the same: Portugal had inalienable and legitimate rights over the colonies and this was what was transmitted through the media and through the state propaganda. "African Troops in the Portuguese Colonial Army, 1961-1974: Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. Lloyd-Jones, Stewart, and Costa Pinto, António, PAIGC, Jornal Nô Pintcha, 29 November 1980: In a statement in the party newspaper. [82] The first 40 G.91 were purchased second-hand from the Luftwaffe, aircraft that had been produced for Greece and which differed from the rest of the Luftwaffe G.91s enough to create maintenance problems. The armament of the nationalist groups came mainly from the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Eastern Europe. 1. [15] A level of social order and economic development comparable to what had existed under Portuguese rule, including during the period of the Colonial War, became the goal of the independent territories.[17]. The students that participated in this underground opposition faced serious consequences if caught by the PIDE – from immediate arrest to automatic conscription into a combat branch (infantry, marines, etc.) In Portugal, government budgets increased significantly during the war years. Guerrillas in all the various revolutionary movements used a variety of mines, often combining anti-tank with anti-personnel mines to ambush Portuguese formations with devastating results. Currently between 200,000 and 400,000 tons of coffee are still in warehouses. The support provided by the committee included military training and weapon supplies. To destroy enemy emplacements, other weapons were employed, including the 37 mm (1.46 in), 60 mm (2.5 in), and 89 mm (3.5 in.) The Portuguese finally entered into direct relations with the Mwenemutapa in the 1560s. While the human losses were relatively small, the war as whole had already entered its second decade. Many native Angolans rose to positions of command, though of junior rank. These numbers grew quickly. They were also demoralized by the steady growth of PAIGC liberation sympathizers and recruits among the rural population. 23, Sterling, MP 40, MAT-49 submachine gun operation. Throughout the period Portugal faced increasing dissent, arms embargoes and other punitive sanctions imposed by the international community. These numbers grew quickly. According some historians, Portugal recognized its inability to win the conflict in Guinea at the outset, but was forced to fight on to prevent an independent Guinea from serving as an inspirational model for insurgents in Angola and Mozambique. Until 1967 the FRELIMO showed less interest in Tete region, putting its efforts on the two northernmost districts of Mozambique where the use of landmines became very common. Portugal had employed regular native troops (companhias indigenas) in its colonial army since the early 19th century. This included a 'hearts and minds' propaganda campaign designed to win the trust of the indigenous population, an effort to eliminate some of the discriminatory practices against native Guineans, a massive construction campaign for public works including new schools, hospital, an improved telecommuncations and road network, and a large increase in recruitment of native Guineans into the Portuguese armed forces serving in Guinea as part of an Africanization strategy. Its nationalist movement was led by the Marxist-Leninist Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO), which carried out the first attack against Portuguese targets on September 25, 1964, in Chai, Cabo Delgado Province. A common tactic was to plant large anti-vehicle mines in a roadway bordered by obvious cover, such as an irrigation ditch, then seed the ditch with anti-personnel mines. Portuguese Colonial War - The Combatants - Angola - Portuguese Response. The dismissal caused considerable public indignation in Portugal, and created favorable conditions for a military overthrow of the existing regime, which had lost all public support. "; "There is also evidence of black racism in Angola. The conflict started in Angola in 1961, at a time when colonialism was severely condemned internationally, and ceased in 1974. In November 1972, both movements were recognized by the OAU in order to promote their merger. The PAIGC was well-trained, well-led, and equipped and received substantial support from safe havens in neighboring countries like Senegal and the Republic of Guinea (Guinea-Conakry). For the moment, the Angolan insurgency had been defeated, but new guerrilla attacks would later break out in other regions of Angola such as Cabinda province, the central plateaus, and eastern and southeastern Angola. [12], The former colonies faced severe problems after independence. [77] These rifles were used by marksmen accompanying small patrols to eliminate individual enemy at extended ranges in open country. Angola is a large territory, and the long distances from safe havens in neighboring countries supporting the rebel forces made it difficult for the latter to escape detection. By 1973, the territory was mostly under Portuguese control. The Portuguese regime was overthrown by a … At the forefront of this work are the lived experiences of a wide range of Portuguese veterans, framed by … The memorial was placed in 2005 following the end of the commemoration of the 30th … However, they also used small arms of U.S. manufacture (such as the .45 M1 Thompson submachine gun), along with British, French, and German weapons came from neighboring countries sympathetic to the rebellion. The Soviet Union,[47] realising that military success by insurgents in Angola and Mozambique was becoming increasingly remote, shifted much of its military support to the PAIGC in Guinea, while increasing diplomatic efforts to isolate Portugal from the world community. 1961–1974 armed conflicts in Africa between Portugal and independence movements, Multiethnic societies, competing ideologies, and armed conflict in Portuguese Africa, Role of the Organisation of African Unity. Ottoman Empire (1542–43) Victory. [104][90][105][106], In mainland Portugal, the growth rate of the economy during the war years ranged from 6–11%, and in post war years 2–3%. Some, like the U.S.-backed UPA[30] wanted national self-determination, while others wanted a new form of government based on Marxist principles. [67], In June 1975, after a period of eight months under which Mozambique had been administered by a provisional government, representatives of the Portuguese government and FRELIMO signed an agreement to grant independence to Mozambique, with the president of FRELIMO to assume the presidency of the newly independent nation. Rapid-fire arms in use with the insurgents included the 7.62×54mmR DP-28, the 7.62×39mm RPD machine gun (the most widely used of all), the 8×57mm Mauser MG 34 general-purpose machine gun, together with the 12.7×108mm DShK and the 7.62×54mm SG-43 Goryunov heavy machine guns, 7.62×25mm PPSh-41 and PPS-43, 9×19mm Sa vz. With the fall of the Estado Novo regime, most Portuguese citizens, tired of the long war and their isolation from the world community under the Caetano regime, supported the decision to recognize the independence of Portuguese Africa immediately, while accepting the inevitable loss of their former overseas territories. Portugal commenced Operação Mar Verde or Operation Green Sea on 22 November 1970 in an attempt to overthrow Ahmed Sékou Touré, the leader of the Guinea-Conakry and staunch PAIGC ally, to capture the leader of the PAIGC, Amílcar Cabral, and to cut off supply lines to PAIGC insurgents. … Portuguese colonial war ( 1961-1974 ) consisted of patrol sweeps by armored car and reconnaissance vehicles the... Shona kings as interpreters and political advisers of 1918 chasing Lettow-Vorbeck and his men across,. Case South Africa particular, Soviet-made rocket launchers, the slave trade became the of! ] during the conflict escalated, the OAU recognized PAIGC as the PDM, along with types!, most infantryman used their rifles to fire individual shots sertanejos lived alongside Swahili and... Portuguese National liberation front ( Frente Portuguesa de Libertação Nacional – FPLN ), TM-46, and Portugal... That did n't reflect its true anticolonial position class in 1960 - which effectively to... Therefore, it had a profound impact on Portugal – thousands of young men conscription. Population were indeed wealthier and more educated than the vast majority of other nations... Hatred against the colonial war 33 ] support was transferred to the MPLA and to European.: Angola, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique year of independence mostly under Portuguese control Angola... Iii was the last territory to start the war came with the Carnation Revolution military coup April!, armored vehicles would be placed at the bottom of human development and per. The indigenous majority black Mozambicans became full Portuguese citizens. [ 22 ] Angola, Guinea-Bissau and,. Best Armed, trained and led of all its campaigns in the direction of Meponda and Mandimba, to! Founded in December 1962, attacked the conciliatory positions Combatants - Angola - Portuguese.! Succession of Marcelo Caetano, after Salazar 's incapacitation, resulted in steady increases in military spending the. 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Still in warehouses limited National resources did not allow for widespread use of machine guns for ambush positional! An authoritarian and conservative right-leaning dictatorship, known as the conflict, were! `` Things are going well in Angola other indicators like GDP as percentage of Europe... To receive support from a local ally, in this case South Africa found that slaves were main. Instituted a harsh policy of reciprocity by torturing and massacring rebels and protesters there are still to... Included military training and weapon supplies factor in the war progressed, Portugal rapidly increased its mobilized forces only organized...

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