Portuguese Colonial War
Overview
 
The Portuguese Colonial War , also known in Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 as the Overseas War (Guerra do Ultramar) or in the former colonies
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 as the War of liberation
War of liberation
A War of liberation is a conflict which is primarily intended to bring freedom or independence to a nation or group. Examples might include a war to overthrow a colonial power, or to remove a dictator from power. Such wars are often unconventional...

(Guerra de Libertação), was fought between Portugal's military and the emerging nationalist movements in Portugal's African colonies
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 between 1961 and 1974, when the Portuguese regime was overthrown by a military coup
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

. It was a decisive ideological
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 struggle and armed conflict of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 in African (Portuguese-Africa and surrounding nations) and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an (mainland Portugal) scenarios.
Encyclopedia
The Portuguese Colonial War , also known in Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 as the Overseas War (Guerra do Ultramar) or in the former colonies
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 as the War of liberation
War of liberation
A War of liberation is a conflict which is primarily intended to bring freedom or independence to a nation or group. Examples might include a war to overthrow a colonial power, or to remove a dictator from power. Such wars are often unconventional...

(Guerra de Libertação), was fought between Portugal's military and the emerging nationalist movements in Portugal's African colonies
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 between 1961 and 1974, when the Portuguese regime was overthrown by a military coup
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

. It was a decisive ideological
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 struggle and armed conflict of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 in African (Portuguese-Africa and surrounding nations) and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an (mainland Portugal) scenarios. Unlike other European nations, the Portuguese Estado Novo regime did not leave its African colonies, or the overseas provinces (províncias ultramarinas) as those overseas territories were officially called since 1951, during the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1960s, various armed independence movements became active in these Portugal-administered territories, namely in Angola
Angola (Portugal)
Angola is the common name by which the Portuguese colony in southwestern Africa was known across different periods of time...

, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea was the name for what is today Guinea-Bissau from 1446 to September 10, 1974.-History:...

. During the war, several atrocities were committed by all forces involved in the conflict. The decolonization
Decolonization
Decolonization refers to the undoing of colonialism, the unequal relation of polities whereby one people or nation establishes and maintains dependent Territory over another...

 and independence of several African states after the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Invasion of Goa
Invasion of Goa
The 1961 Indian annexation of Goa , was an action by India's armed forces that ended Portuguese rule in its Indian enclaves in 1961...

 by Indian Armed Forces
Indian Armed Forces
The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. They consist of the Army, Navy and Air Force, supported by three paramilitary forces and various inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command.The President of India is...

 and the Santa Maria hijacking
Santa Maria hijacking
Contrary to popular belief, the Santa Maria hijacking is not "piracy" because it does not fit the international definition of piracy involving an attack of one vessel on another for private ends...

, as well as the achievements of the African-American Civil Rights Movement, were also signs of the so called "Winds of change
Winds of Change
Winds of Change is a fantasy novel by Mercedes Lackey. It is the second book in the Mage Winds Trilogy, in order between Winds of Fate and Winds of Fury. The book was first released in August 1994.- Synopsis :...

" supporting and giving context to the emergence of independence movements in Portuguese Africa.

Throughout the war period Portugal faced increasing dissent, arms embargoes and other punitive sanctions imposed by most of the international community. The combined guerrilla forces of the MPLA, the UNITA
UNITA
The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola is the second-largest political party in Angola. Founded in 1966, UNITA fought with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the Angolan War for Independence and then against the MPLA in the ensuing civil war .The war was one...

, and the FNLA, in Angola, PAIGC in Portuguese Guinea, and FRELIMO in Mozambique, succeeded in their 13-year-long pro-independence rebellion through guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 and terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

, when low-ranking elements of the Portuguese Armed Forces staged a military coup at Lisbon in April 1974. The Portuguese Armed Forces' Movimento das Forças Armadas
Movimento das Forças Armadas
The Movement of the Armed Forces was an organisation of lower-ranked left-leaning officers in the Portuguese Armed Forces which was responsible for the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974, a military coup in Lisbon which ended the corporatist New State regime in Portugal, the Portuguese...

 overthrew the Lisbon government in protest of ongoing wars that seemed to have no military end in sight, as well as in rebellion against the new Military Laws that were to be presented next year (Decree Law: Decretos-Leis n.os 353, de 13 de Julho de 1973, e 409, de 20 de Agosto). The revolutionary Portuguese government removed its overseas military forces and agreed to a quick handover of power for the nationalistic African guerrillas.

The end of the war after the Carnation Revolution
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

 military coup of April 1974 in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 resulted in the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Portuguese citizens plus the military personnel of European, African and mixed ethnicity from the newly-independent African territories to Portugal. Over 1 million people left these former colonies, predominantly Angola and Mozambique, the largest overseas provinces by then. This migration is regarded as one of the largest peaceful migration
Human migration
Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Historically this movement was nomadic, often causing significant conflict with the indigenous population and their displacement or cultural assimilation. Only a few nomadic...

s in the world's history. Devastating civil wars followed in Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

 and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

, which lasted several decades and claimed millions of lives and refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s. The former colonies faced severe problems after independence. Economic and social recession
Recession
In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity. During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way...

, Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 totalitarianism
Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

, corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

, poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

, inequality
Economic inequality
Economic inequality comprises all disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income. The term typically refers to inequality among individuals and groups within a society, but can also refer to inequality among countries. The issue of economic inequality is related to the ideas of...

 and failed central planning eroded the initial revolutionary fervour. A level of social order
Social order
Social order is a concept used in sociology, history and other social sciences. It refers to a set of linked social structures, social institutions and social practices which conserve, maintain and enforce "normal" ways of relating and behaving....

 and economic development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

 comparable to what had existed under Portuguese rule became the goal of the independent territories.

Portugal had been the first European power to establish a colony in Africa when it captured Ceuta
Ceuta
Ceuta is an autonomous city of Spain and an exclave located on the north coast of North Africa surrounded by Morocco. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies on the border of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta along with the other Spanish...

 in 1415; it became one of the last to leave. The former Portuguese territories in Africa became sovereign states, with Agostinho Neto
Agostinho Neto
António Agostinho Neto served as the first President of Angola , leading the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the war for independence and the civil war...

 in Angola, Samora Machel
Samora Machel
Samora Moisés Machel was a Mozambican military commander, revolutionary socialist leader and eventual President of Mozambique...

 in Mozambique and Luís Cabral
Luís Cabral
Luís Severino de Almeida Cabral was the first President of Guinea-Bissau. He served from 1974 to 1980, when a military coup d'état led by João Bernardo "Nino" Vieira deposed him...

 in Guinea-Bissau as the heads of state.

Age of Discovery

When the Portuguese began trading on the west coast of Africa, in the 15th century, they concentrated their energies on Guinea
Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea was the name for what is today Guinea-Bissau from 1446 to September 10, 1974.-History:...

 and Angola
Angola (Portugal)
Angola is the common name by which the Portuguese colony in southwestern Africa was known across different periods of time...

. Hoping at first for gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, they soon found that slaves were the most valuable commodity available in the region for export. The Islamic Empire
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 was already well established in the African slave trade
African slave trade
Systems of servitude and slavery were common in many parts of Africa, as they were in much of the ancient world. In some African societies, the enslaved people were also indentured servants and fully integrated; in others, they were treated much worse...

, for centuries linking it to the Arab slave trade
Arab slave trade
The Arab slave trade was the practice of slavery in the Arab World, mainly Western Asia, North Africa, East Africa and certain parts of Europe during their period of domination by Arab leaders. The trade was focused on the slave markets of the Middle East and North Africa...

. However, the Portuguese who had conquered the Islamic port of Ceuta
Ceuta
Ceuta is an autonomous city of Spain and an exclave located on the north coast of North Africa surrounded by Morocco. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies on the border of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta along with the other Spanish...

 in 1415 and several other towns in current day Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 in a Crusade against Islamic neighbours, managed to successfully establish themselves in the area. But the Portuguese never established much more than a foothold in either place. In Guinea, rival Europeans grabbed much of the trade (mainly slaves) while local African rulers confined the Portuguese to the coast. These rulers then sent enslaved Africans to the Portuguese ports and forts in Africa from where they were exported. Thousands of kilometers down the coast, in Angola, the Portuguese found it even harder to consolidate their early advantage against encroachments by Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 rivals. Nevertheless the fortified Portuguese towns of Luanda
Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

 (established in 1587 with 400 Portuguese settlers) and Benguela
Benguela
Benguela is a city in western Angola, south of Luanda, and capital of Benguela Province. It lies on a bay of the same name, in 12° 33’ S., 13° 25’ E...

 (a fort from 1587, a town from 1617) remained almost continuously in Portuguese hands. As in Guinea, the slave trade became the basis of the local economy in Angola - with raids carried ever farther inland to procure captives that were sold by African warriors after one of many interethnic skirmishes was resumed. More than a million men, women and children were shipped from here across the Atlantic. In this region, unlike Guinea, the trade remained largely in Portuguese hands. Nearly all the slaves were destined for Brazil
Colonial Brazil
In the history of Brazil, Colonial Brazil, officially the Viceroyalty of Brazil comprises the period from 1500, with the arrival of the Portuguese, until 1815, when Brazil was elevated to kingdom alongside Portugal as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves.During the over 300 years...

. In Mozambique, reached in the 15th century by Portuguese sailors in order to discover a maritime spice trade
Spice trade
Civilizations of Asia were involved in spice trade from the ancient times, and the Greco-Roman world soon followed by trading along the Incense route and the Roman-India routes...

 route, the Portuguese settled along the coast and made their way into the hinterland as sertanejos (backwoodsmen). These sertanejos lived alongside Swahili
Swahili people
The Swahili people are a Bantu ethnic group and culture found in East Africa, mainly in the coastal regions and the islands of Kenya, Tanzania and north Mozambique. According to JoshuaProject, the Swahili number in at around 1,328,000. The name Swahili is derived from the Arabic word Sawahil,...

 traders and even took up service among Shona
Shona people
Shona is the name collectively given to two groups of people in the east and southwest of Zimbabwe, north eastern Botswana and southern Mozambique.-Shona Regional Classification:...

 kings as interpreters and political advisors. One such sertanejo managed to travel through almost all the Shona kingdoms, including the Mutapa Empire's (Mwenemutapa) metropolitan district, between 1512 and 1516. By the 1530s, small groups of Portuguese trader
Merchant
A merchant is a businessperson who trades in commodities that were produced by others, in order to earn a profit.Merchants can be one of two types:# A wholesale merchant operates in the chain between producer and retail merchant...

s and prospector
Prospecting
Prospecting is the physical search for minerals, fossils, precious metals or mineral specimens, and is also known as fossicking.Prospecting is a small-scale form of mineral exploration which is an organised, large scale effort undertaken by mineral resource companies to find commercially viable ore...

s penetrated the interior regions seeking gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

, where they set up garrisons and trading posts at Sena and Tete
Tete
-External links:* *...

 on the Zambezi River and tried to gain exclusive control over the gold trade. The Portuguese finally entered into direct relations with the Mwenemutapa in the 1560s. However, it was also in the coastal strip that the Portuguese traders and explorers settled permanently with more success and would establish strongholds safe from their main rivals in East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

 - the Omani Arabs, including those of Zanzibar
Zanzibar
Zanzibar ,Persian: زنگبار, from suffix bār: "coast" and Zangi: "bruin" ; is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja , and Pemba...

.

Scramble for Africa and the World Wars

Portugal's colonial claim to the region was recognized by the other European powers during the 1880s, during the Scramble for Africa
Scramble for Africa
The Scramble for Africa, also known as the Race for Africa or Partition of Africa was a process of invasion, occupation, colonization and annexation of African territory by European powers during the New Imperialism period, between 1881 and World War I in 1914...

, and the final boundaries of Portuguese Africa were agreed by negotiation in Europe in 1891. At the time Portugal was in effective control of little more than the coastal strip of both Angola and Mozambique, but important inroads into the interior had been made since the first half of the 19th century. In Angola, construction of a railway from Luanda
Luanda
Luanda, formerly named São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda, is the capital and largest city of Angola. Located on Angola's coast with the Atlantic Ocean, Luanda is both Angola's chief seaport and its administrative center. It has a population of at least 5 million...

 to Malanje
Malanje
Malanje is the capital city of Malanje Province in Angola with a population of approximately 222,000. Nearby is the spectacular Calandula waterfalls, 85 km from the city. These falls are 105 metres high and their great width makes them the main tourist attraction in the region. It is a...

, in the fertile highlands, is started in 1885. Work begins in 1902 on a commercially more significant line from Benguela all the way inland to the Katanga region, aiming to provide access to the sea for the richest mining district of the Belgian Congo. The line reaches the Congo border in 1928. In 1914, both Angola and Mozambique had Portuguese army garrisons of around 2,000 men, African troops led by European officers. With the outbreak of the World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1914, Portugal sent reinforcements to both colonies, because the fighting in the neighbouring German African colonies would probably spill over the borders into its territories. After Germany declared war on Portugal in March 1916 the Portuguese government sent more reinforcements to Mozambique (the South Africans had captured German South West Africa in 1915). These troops supported British, South African and Belgian military operations against German colonial forces in German East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

. In December 1917, German colonial forces led by Colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck invaded Mozambique from German East Africa. Portuguese, British and Belgian forces spent all of 1918 chasing Lettow-Vorbeck and his men across Mozambique, German East Africa and Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia was a territory in south central Africa, formed in 1911. It became independent in 1964 as Zambia.It was initially administered under charter by the British South Africa Company and formed by it in 1911 by amalgamating North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia...

. Portugal sent a total of 40,000 reinforcements to Angola and Mozambique during the World War I. By this time the regime in Portugal has been through two violent transitions, from monarchy to republic in 1910 and then to a military dictatorship after a coup in 1926. The effect of these changes in Angola is a tightening of Portuguese control. In the early years of the expanded and estabilized colony, there was a continuation of the almost endemic warfare between the Portuguese and the various African rulers of the region, as were endemic warfare between the various African rulers. A systematic campaign of conquest and pacification was undertaken by the Portuguese. One by one the local kingdoms were overwhelmed and abolished. By the middle of the 1920s the whole of Angola is under control. There was no longer slavery in Portuguese Africa, but the plantations were worked on a system of paid but forced African labour composed by the large majority of ethnic Africans who did not have resources to pay their taxes and were considered unemployed by the authorities. After the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and the first decolonization events, this system gradually fell into disuse. However, paid forced labour, including labour contracts with forced relocation of people, continued in many regions of Portuguese Africa and only would be abolished in 1961.

Post-World War II

In the late 1950s, the Portuguese Armed Forces saw themselves confronted with the paradox generated by the dictatorial regime of the Estado Novo that had been in power since 1926: on the one hand, the policy of Portuguese neutrality in World War II placed the Portuguese Armed Forces out of the way of a possible East-West conflict
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

; on the other hand, the regime felt the increased responsibility of keeping Portugal's vast overseas territories under control and protect the populations there. Portugal, a neutral country in the war against Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 (1939–1945) before the foundation of NATO, joined that organization as a founding member in 1949, and was integrated within the military commands of NATO. The NATO focus against the threat of a conventional Soviet attack against Western Europe was to the detriment of military preparations against guerrilla uprisings in Portugal's overseas provinces that were considered essential for the survival of the nation. The integration of Portugal in the Atlantic Alliance would form a military élite that would become essential during the planning and implementation of the operations during the Overseas War. This "NATO generation" would ascend quickly to the highest political positions and military command without having to provide evidence of loyalty to the regime. The Colonial War would establish, in this way, a split between the military structure—heavily influenced by the western powers with democratic governments—and the political power of the regime. Some analysts see the "Botelho Moniz coup" (also known as A Abrilada) against the Portuguese government and backed by the U.S. administration, as the beginning of this rupture, the origin of a lapse on the part of the regime to keep up a unique command center, an armed force prepared for threats of conflict in the colonies. This situation would cause, as would be verified later, a lack of coordination between the three general staffs (Army
Portuguese Army
The Portuguese Army is the ground branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in co-operation with other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the defence of Portugal...

, Air Force
Portuguese Air Force
The Portuguese Air Force is the air force of Portugal. Formed on July 1, 1952, with the Aeronáutica Militar and Aviação Naval united in a single independent Air Force, it is one of the three branches of the Portuguese Armed Forces and its origins dates back to 1912, when the military aviation...

 and Navy
Portuguese Navy
The Portuguese Navy is the naval branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in cooperation and integrated with the other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the military defence of Portugal....

).

The United States supported the Union of Peoples of Angola (UPA - União dos Povos de Angola), headed by Holden Roberto
Holden Roberto
Holden Álvaro Roberto founded and led the National Liberation Front of Angola from 1962 to 1999. His memoirs are unfinished.-Early life:...

. With this support, the Congo-Léopoldville-based UPA attacked Portuguese settlers and Africans living in Angola from bases in the Congo. Many of the African farm workers living in northern Angola worked under labour contracts that required seasonal relocation of workers from the desertified Southwest and Bailundo
Bailundo
Bailundo is a municipality and town in Huambo Province in the central highlands of Angola.In the 1990s, Bailundo was the location of the headquarters of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi....

 areas of Angola. Photos of Africans killed by the UPA, which included photos of decapitated civilians, men, women and children of both white and black ethnicity, would later be displayed in the UN by Portuguese diplomats. The emergence of labor protests, attacks by newly-organized guerrilla movements, and the Santa Maria hijacking
Santa Maria hijacking
Contrary to popular belief, the Santa Maria hijacking is not "piracy" because it does not fit the international definition of piracy involving an attack of one vessel on another for private ends...

 by Henrique Galvão
Henrique Galvão
Henrique Galvão was a Portuguese military officer, writer and politician. He was initially a supporter but later become one of the strongest opponents of the Portuguese fascist regimen, the Estado Novo....

 began a path to open warfare in Angola.

According to historical researchers like José Freire Antunes, U.S. President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 sent a message to Salazar advising Portugal to abandon its African colonies shortly after the outbreak of violence in 1961. Instead, after a coup led by pro-U.S. forces failed to depose him, Salazar consolidated power and immediately set to protect the overseas territories by sending reinforcements, setting the stage for continued conflict in Angola. Similar scenarios would play out in other overseas Portuguese territories.

Multiethnic societies, competing ideologies, and armed conflict in Portuguese Africa

By the 1950s, the Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an mainland Portuguese territory was inhabited by a society that was poorer and had a much higher illiteracy rate than the average Western European societies or those of North America. It was ruled by an authoritarian and conservative right-leaning dictatorship, known as the Estado Novo regime. By this time, the Estado Novo regime ruled both the Portuguese mainland and several centuries-old overseas territories as theoretically co-equal departments. The possessions were Angola
Angola (Portugal)
Angola is the common name by which the Portuguese colony in southwestern Africa was known across different periods of time...

, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa...

, Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

, Mozambique, Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea was the name for what is today Guinea-Bissau from 1446 to September 10, 1974.-History:...

, Portuguese India
Portuguese India
The Portuguese Viceroyalty of India , later the Portuguese State of India , was the aggregate of Portugal's colonial holdings in India.The government started in 1505, six years after the discovery of a sea route to India by Vasco da Gama, with the nomination of the first Viceroy Francisco de...

, Portuguese Timor
Portuguese Timor
Portuguese Timor was the name of East Timor when it was under Portuguese control. During this period, Portugal shared the island of Timor with the Netherlands East Indies, and later with Indonesia....

, São João Baptista de Ajudá and São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about apart and about , respectively, off...

. In reality, the relation of mainland Portuguese to their overseas possessions was that of colonial administrator to a subservient colony. Political, legislative, administrative, commercial and other institutional relations between the colonies and Portugal-based individuals and organizations were numerous, though migration to, from, and between Portugal and its overseas departments was limited in size, due principally to the long distance and low annual income of the average Portuguese as well that of the indigenous population.

An increasing number of African anti-colonial movements called for total independence of the overseas African territories from Portugal. Some, like the U.S.-backed UPA wanted national self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

, while others wanted a new form of government based on Marxist principles. Portuguese leaders, including Salazar, attempted to stave off calls for independence by defending a policy of assimilation, multiracialism, and civilising mission, or Lusotropicalism
Lusotropicalism
Lusotropicalism or Luso-Tropicalism was first coined by Brazilian sociologist Gilberto Freyre,to describe the distinctive character of the Portuguese imperialism in several lectures, and is a belief and movement especially strong during the António de Oliveira Salazar dictatorship in Portugal ,...

, as a way of integrating Portuguese colonies, and their peoples, more closely with Portugal itself. For the Portuguese ruling regime, the overseas empire was a matter of national interest
National interest
The national interest, often referred to by the French expression raison d'État , is a country's goals and ambitions whether economic, military, or cultural. The concept is an important one in international relations where pursuit of the national interest is the foundation of the realist...

, to be preserved at all costs. As far back as 1919, a Portugese delegate to the International Labour Conference in Geneva declared: "The assimilation of the so-called inferior races, by cross-breeding, by means of the Christian religion, by the mixing of the most widely divergent elements; freedom of access to the highest offices of state, even in Europe - these are the principles which have always guided Portuguese colonisation in Asia, in Africa, in the Pacific, and previously in America." However, even as late as the 1950s the policy of 'colorblind' access and mixing of races did not extend to all of Portugal's African territories, particularly Mozambique, where in tune with other minority white regimes of the day in southern Africa, the territory was segregated along racial lines. Strict qualification criteria ensured that less than one per cent of black Mozambicans became full Portuguese citizens.

Numerous subsidies were offered by the Estado Novo regime to those Portuguese who agreed to settle in Angola or Mozambique, including a special premium for each Portuguese man who agreed to marry an African woman. Salazar himself was fond of restating the old Portuguese policy maxim that any indigenous resident of Portugal's African territories was in theory eligible to become a member of Portuguese government, even its President. 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
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

 - providing they had the requisite education and technical skills. While access to basic, secondary and technical education remained poor until the 1960s, a few Africans were able to attend schools locally or in some cases in Portugal itself. This resulted in the advancement of certain black Portuguese Africans who would become prominent individuals during the war and its aftermath, including Samora Machel
Samora Machel
Samora Moisés Machel was a Mozambican military commander, revolutionary socialist leader and eventual President of Mozambique...

, Mário Pinto de Andrade
Mário Pinto de Andrade
Mário Coelho Pinto de Andrade was an Angolan poet and politician.He was born in Golungo-Alto, in Portuguese Angola, and studied philology at the University of Lisbon and sociology at the Sorbonne in Paris...

, Marcelino dos Santos
Marcelino dos Santos
Marcelino dos Santos is a Mozambican poet, revolutionary, and statesman. As a young man he travelled to Portugal, and Paris, France for an education. He was a founding member of the Frente de Libertacao de Mocambique , in 1962; and served as the party's deputy president from 1969 to 1977...

, Eduardo Mondlane
Eduardo Mondlane
Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane served as President of the Mozambican Liberation Front from 1962, the year that FRELIMO was founded in Tanzania, until his assassination in 1969.-Early life:...

, Agostinho Neto
Agostinho Neto
António Agostinho Neto served as the first President of Angola , leading the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the war for independence and the civil war...

, Amílcar Cabral
Amílcar Cabral
Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral was a Guinea-Bissauan and Cape Verdean agricultural engineer, writer, and a nationalist thinker and politician. Also known by his nom de guerre Abel Djassi, Cabral led the nationalist movement of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Islands and the ensuing war of independence...

, Jonas Savimbi
Jonas Savimbi
Jonas Malheiro Savimbi was an Angolan political leader. He founded and led UNITA, a movement that first waged a guerrilla war against Portuguese colonial rule, 1966–1974, then confronted the rival MPLA during the decolonization conflict, 1974/75, and after independence in 1975 fought the ruling...

, Joaquim Chissano
Joaquim Chissano
Joaquim Alberto Chissano served as the second President of Mozambique for nineteen years from 6 November 1986 until 2 February 2005. Since stepping down as president, Chissano has become an elder statesman and is called upon by international bodies, such as the United Nations, to be an envoy or...

, and Graça Machel
Graça Machel
Graça Machel, DBE is a Mozambican politician and humanitarian. She is the third wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela and the widow of Mozambican president Samora Machel...

. Two state-run universities were founded in Portuguese Africa in the 1962 by the Minister of the Overseas Adriano Moreira
Adriano Moreira
Adriano José Alves Moreira , is a Portuguese statesman, deputy, politician, lawyer and professor...

 (the Universidade de Luanda in Angola and the Universidade de Lourenço Marques in Mozambique, awarding a range of degrees from engineering to medicine); however, most of their students came from Portuguese families living in the two territories). Several personalities in Portuguese society, including one of the most idolized sports stars in Portuguese football history, a black football player from Portuguese East Africa
Portuguese East Africa
Mozambique or Portuguese East Africa was the common name by which the Portuguese Empire's territorial expansion in East Africa was known across different periods of time...

 named Eusébio
Eusébio
Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, GCIH, GCM , commonly known simply as Eusébio, is a retired Mozambican-born Portuguese football forward. He is considered one of the best footballers of all-time by the IFFHS, experts and fans...

, were other examples of efforts towards assimilation and multiracialism in the Post-World War II period.

According to Mozambican historian João Paulo Borges Coelho
João Paulo Borges Coelho
João Paulo Borges Coelho is a Mozambican historian and writer. He studied history in Maputo and was awarded a PhD in economic and social history from the University of Bradford...

, the Portuguese colonial army was largely segregated along terms of race and ethnicity until 1960. There were originally three classes of soldier in Portuguese overseas service: commissioned soldiers (whites), overseas soldiers (African assimilados), and native or indigenous Africans (indigenato). These categories were re-named to 1st, 2nd and 3rd class in 1960 - which effectively corresponded to the same categories. Later, after official discrimination based on skin colour was outlawed, some Portuguese commanders such as General António de Spínola
António de Spínola
António Sebastião Ribeiro de Spínola , GCTE, ComA was a Portuguese soldier, conservative politician and author, who was important in the transition to democracy following the Portuguese Carnation...

 began a process of Africanization of Portuguese forces fighting in Africa. In Portuguese Guinea, this included a large increase in African recruitment along with the establishment of all-black military formations such as the Black Militias (Milícias negras) commanded by Major Carlos Fabião and the African Commando Battalion (Batalhão de Comandos Africanos) commanded by General Almeida Bruno. While black African soldiers constituted a mere 18% of the total number of troops fighting in Portugal's African territories in 1961, this percentage would rise dramatically over the next thirteen years, with black soldiers constituting over 50% of all government forces fighting in Africa by April 1974. Coelho noted that perceptions of African soldiers varied a good deal among senior Portuguese commanders during the conflict in Angola, Guinea and Mozambique. General Francisco da Costa Gomes
Francisco da Costa Gomes
Francisco da Costa Gomes, ComTE, GOA |Chaves]], 30 June 1914 – Lisbon, Lapa, 31 July 2001), was a Portuguese military officer and politician, the 15th President of the Portuguese Republic .-Life:...

, perhaps the most successful counterinsurgency commander, sought good relations with local civilians and employed African units within the framework of an organized counter-insurgency plan. General António de Spínola
António de Spínola
António Sebastião Ribeiro de Spínola , GCTE, ComA was a Portuguese soldier, conservative politician and author, who was important in the transition to democracy following the Portuguese Carnation...

, by contrast, appealed for a more political and psycho-social use of African soldiers. On the other hand, General Kaúlza de Arriaga
Kaúlza de Arriaga
Kaúlza de Oliveira de Arriaga, OA, GCC, OC, OIH was a Portuguese General, writer, professor and politician...

, the most conservative of the three, appears to have doubted the reliability of African forces outside his strict control, while continuing to view African soldiers as inferior to Portuguese troops.

Native African troops, although widely deployed were initially employed in subordinate roles as enlisted troops or noncommissioned officers. As the war went on, an increasing number of native Angolans rose to positions of command, though of junior rank. After 500 years of colonial occupation, not only had Portugal failed to produce any native black governor, headmaster, police inspector, or professor, it had also failed to produce a single commander of senior commissioned rank in the overseas Army. Here Portuguese colonial administrators fell victim to their own legacy of discriminatory polices, which largely barred indigenous people from an equal and adequate education until well after the outbreak of the insurgency. With illiteracy rates approaching 99 per cent and almost no African enrollment in secondary schools, few African candidates could qualify for Portugal's officer candidate programs; most African officers obtained their commission as the result of individual competence and valour on the battlefield.

Despite these handicaps, while the overwhelming majority of black or native African soldiers served in the enlisted ranks, an increasing percentage were serving as noncommissioned or commissioned officers by the 1970s, including such officers as Captain (later Lt. Colonel) Marcelino da Mata, a black Portuguese citizen born of Guinean parents who rose to command from a first sergeant in a road engineering unit to a commander in the elite all-African Comandos Africanos, where he eventually became one of the most-decorated soldiers in the Portuguese Army.

After the World War II, as communist and anti-colonial ideologies spread across Africa, many clandestine political movements were established in support of independence using various interpretations of Marxist
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 revolutionary ideology. These new movements seized on anti-Portuguese and anti-colonial sentiment to advocate the complete overthrow of existing governmental structures in Portuguese Africa. These Marxist movements alleged that Portuguese policies and development plans were primarily designed by the ruling authorities for the benefit of the territories' ethnic Portuguese population at the expense of local tribal control, the development of native communities, and the majority of the indigenous population, who suffered both state-sponsored discrimination and enormous social pressure to comply with government policies largely imposed from Lisbon. Many felt they had received too little opportunity or resources to upgrade their skills and improve their economic and social situation to a degree comparable to that of the Europeans. Statistically, Portuguese Africa's white Portuguese population were indeed wealthier and more educated than the indigenous majority.

After conflict erupted between the UPA and MPLA and Portugese military forces, U.S. President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 advised António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar, GColIH, GCTE, GCSE served as the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He also served as acting President of the Republic briefly in 1951. He founded and led the Estado Novo , the authoritarian, right-wing government that presided over and controlled Portugal...

 (via the US consulate in Portugal) that Portugal should abandon Portugal's African colonies. 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 support. In response, Salazar moved to consolidate his power, ordering an immediate military response to the violence occurring in Angola. As the war progressed, Portugal rapidly increased its mobilized
Mobilization
Mobilization is the act of assembling and making both troops and supplies ready for war. The word mobilization was first used, in a military context, in order to describe the preparation of the Prussian army during the 1850s and 1860s. Mobilization theories and techniques have continuously changed...

 forces. Under the Salazar regime, a military draft required all males to serve three years of obligatory military service; many of those called-up to active military duty were deployed to combat zones in Portugal's African overseas provinces. 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. The existence of the draft and likelihood of combat in African counterinsurgency operations would over time result in a sharp increase in emigration by Portuguese men seeking to avoid such service. By the end of the Portuguese colonial war in 1974, black African participation had become crucial due to declining numbers of recruits available from Portugal itself.

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. Overall, the increasing success of Portuguese counterinsurgency operations and the inability or unwillingness of guerrilla forces to destroy the economy of Portugal's African territories was seen as a victory for the Portuguese government policies.

The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, 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. The success of the socialist bloc in isolating Portugal diplomatically extended inside Portugal itself into the armed forces, where younger officers disenchanted with the Estado Novo regime and promotional opportunities began to identify ideologically with those calling for overthrow of the government and the establishment of a state based on Marxist principles.

By early 1974, guerrilla operations in Angola and Mozambique had been reduced to sporadic ambush operations against the Portuguese in the rural countryside areas, far from the main centers of population. The only exception was Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea was the name for what is today Guinea-Bissau from 1446 to September 10, 1974.-History:...

, where PAIGC guerrilla operations, strongly supported by neighbouring allies like Guinea
Guinea
Guinea , officially the Republic of Guinea , is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea , it is today sometimes called Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from its neighbour Guinea-Bissau. Guinea is divided into eight administrative regions and subdivided into thirty-three prefectures...

 and Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

, were largely successful in liberating and securing large areas of Portuguese Guinea. 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 a inspirational model for insurgents in Angola and Mozambique.

Despite continuing attacks by insurgent forces against targets throughout the Portuguese African territories, the economies of both Portuguese Angola and Mozambique had actually improved each year of the conflict, as well as the economy of Portugal proper. Angola enjoyed an unprecedented economic boom during the 1960s, and the Portuguese government built new transportation networks to link the well-developed and highly urbanized coastal strip with the remote inland regions of the territory. The number of ethnic European Portuguese migrants from mainland Portugal (the metrópole
Metropole
The metropole, from the Greek Metropolis 'mother city' was the name given to the British metropolitan centre of the British Empire, i.e. the United Kingdom itself...

) continued to increase as well, though always constituting a small minority of each territory's total population. Nevertheless, the costs of continuing the wars in Africa imposed a heavy burden on Portugal's resources; by the 1970s, the country was spending 40 per cent of its annual budget on the war effort.

The dismissal of General Spínola by Dr. Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo José das Neves Alves Caetano, GCTE, GCC, also spelled Marcello Caetano , was a Portuguese politician and scholar, who was the last prime minister of the Estado Novo regime, from 1968 until his overthrow in the Carnation Revolution of 1974....

, the last prime minister of Portugal under the Estado Novo regime, over the general's publicly-announced desire to open negotiations with the PAIGC over Portuguese Guinea caused considerable public indignation in Portugal, and created favorable conditions for a military overthrow of the existing regime, which had lost all public support. On 25 April 1974 a military coup organized by left-wing Portuguese military officers - the Armed Forces Movement (MFA), overthrew the Estado Novo regime in what came to be known as the Carnation Revolution
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

 in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

, Portugal. The coup resulted in a period of economic collapse and political instability, but received general support from the public in its aim of ending the Portuguese war effort in Africa. Officers suspected of sympathizing with the prior regime, even black officers such as Captain Marcelino da Mata, were imprisoned and tortured, while African soldiers who had served in native Portuguese Army units were forced to petition for Portuguese citizenship or else face deportation to face their former enemies in Angola, Guinea, or Mozambique.

According to Tetteh Hormeku (Programme Officer with Third World Network's Africa Secretariat in Accra
Accra
Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an urban population of 1,658,937 according to the 2000 census. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous...

; 2008 North-South Institute's Visiting Helleiner Research Fellow), the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974 came as a shock to the United States and other Western powers, as most analysts and the Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 administration had concluded that Portuguese military success on the battlefield would resolve any political divisions within Portugal concerning the conduct of the war in Portuguese Africa, providing the conditions for US investment there. Most concerned was the apartheid government of South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, which launched a deep border incursion operation into Angola to attack guerrilla-controlled areas of the country following the coup.

Angola

On 3 January 1961 Angolan peasants in the region of Baixa de Cassanje
Baixa de Cassanje
Baixa de Cassanje is a kingdom in Angola. Kambamba Kulaxingo was its king until his death in 2006.-History:...

, Malanje, boycotted the Cotonang Company's cotton fields where they worked, demanding better working conditions and higher wages. Cotonang, a company owned by Portuguese, British and German investors used native Africans to produce an annual cotton crop for export abroad. The uprising, later to become known as the Baixa de Cassanje revolt
Baixa de Cassanje revolt
The Baixa de Cassanje revolt is considered the first battle of the Angolan War of Independence and the Portuguese Colonial War. The uprising began on February 3, 1961 in the region of Baixa do Cassanje, district of Malanje, Portuguese Angola...

, was led by two previously unknown Angolans, António Mariano and Kulu-Xingu. During the protests, African workers burned their identification cards and attacked Portuguese traders. The Portuguese Air Force responded to the rebellion by bombing twenty villages in the area, allegedly using napalm
Napalm
Napalm is a thickening/gelling agent generally mixed with gasoline or a similar fuel for use in an incendiary device, primarily as an anti-personnel weapon...

 in an attack that resulted in some 400 indigenous Angolan deaths.

In the Portuguese Overseas Province of Angola, the call for revolution was initially taken up by two insurgent groups, the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA), and the União das Populações de Angola (UPA), which changed its name to the Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (FNLA)
National Liberation Front of Angola
The National Front for the Liberation of Angola was a militant organization that fought for Angolan independence from Portugal in the war of independence under the leadership of Holden Roberto. The FNLA became a political party in 1992....

in 1962. The MPLA commenced activities in an area of Angola known as the Zona Sublevada do Norte (ZSN or the Rebel Zone of the North), consisting of the provinces of Zaire, Uíge and Cuanza Norte. On February 4, 1961, using arms largely captured from Portuguese soldiers and police 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 attack was unsuccessful, and no prisoners were released, but seven Portuguese policemen and forty Angolans were killed, mostly MPLA insurgents. 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.

On March 15, 1961, the UPA led by Holden Roberto
Holden Roberto
Holden Álvaro Roberto founded and led the National Liberation Front of Angola from 1962 to 1999. His memoirs are unfinished.-Early life:...

 launched an incursion into the Bakongo region of northern Angola with 4,000-5,000 insurgents. The insurgents called for local Bantu farmworkers and villagers to join them, unleashing an orgy of violence and destruction. The insurgents attacked farms, government outposts, and trading centers, killing everyone they encountered. At least 1,000 Portuguese settlers and an unknown number of indigenous Angolans were killed. 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.

In response, Portuguese Armed Forces instituted a harsh policy of reciprocity by torturing and massacring rebels and protesters. Some Portuguese soldiers decapitated rebels and impaled their heads on stakes, pursuing a policy of "an eye for an eye
An eye for an eye
The meaning of the principle, an eye for an eye, is that a person who has injured another person receives the same injury in compensation. The exact Latin to English translation of this phrase is actually "The law of retaliation." At the root of this principle is that one of the purposes of the...

, a tooth for a tooth". Much of the initial offensive operations against Angolan UPA and MPLA insurgents was undertaken by four companies of Caçadores Especiais (Special Hunter) troops skilled in light infantry and antiguerrilla tactics, and who were already stationed in Angola at the outbreak of fighting. Individual Portuguese counterinsurgency commanders such as Second Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant
Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces.- United Kingdom and Commonwealth :The rank second lieutenant was introduced throughout the British Army in 1871 to replace the rank of ensign , although it had long been used in the Royal Artillery, Royal...

 Fernando Robles
Fernando Robles
Fernando Augusto Colaço Leal Robles or Fernando Robles was a Portuguese Second Lieutenant who participated in initial counterinsurgency operations against insurgent União dos Povos de Angola guerrillas operating in northern Angola during 1961, at the onset of the Portuguese Colonial...

 of the 6ª Companhia de Caçadores Especiais became well-known throughout the country for their ruthlessness in hunting down insurgents.

The Portuguese Army steadily pushed the UPA back across the border into Congo-Kinshasha in a brutal counteroffensive that also displaced some 150,000 Bakongo refugees, taking control of Pedra Verde, the UPA's last base in northern Angola, on 20 September 1961. Within the next few weeks Portuguese military forces pushed the MPLA out of Luanda northeast into the Dembos region, where the MPLA established the "1st Military Region". 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.

By most accounts, Portugal's counterinsurgency campaign in Angola was the most successful of all its campaigns in the Colonial War. 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. The distance from the major Angolan urban centres to the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

 and Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 were so large that the eastern part of Angola's territory was known by the Portuguese as Terras do Fim do Mundo (the lands of the far side of the world). Another factor was internecine struggles between three competing revolutionary movements - (FNLA, MPLA, and UNITA
UNITA
The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola is the second-largest political party in Angola. Founded in 1966, UNITA fought with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the Angolan War for Independence and then against the MPLA in the ensuing civil war .The war was one...

) - and their guerrilla armies. For most of the conflict, the three rebel groups spent as much time fighting each other as they did fighting the Portuguese. For example, during the 1961 Ferreira Incident, a UPA patrol captured 21 MPLA insurgents as prisoners, then summarily executed them on 9 October, sparking open confrontation between the two insurgent groups. Strategy also played a role, as a successful hearts and minds
Hearts and Minds
Hearts and Minds may refer to:* A biblical quotation; see the Wikisource link-Film:* Hearts and Minds , a 1974 documentary film about the Vietnam War-Television:...

 campaign led by General Costa Gomes
Francisco da Costa Gomes
Francisco da Costa Gomes, ComTE, GOA |Chaves]], 30 June 1914 – Lisbon, Lapa, 31 July 2001), was a Portuguese military officer and politician, the 15th President of the Portuguese Republic .-Life:...

 helped blunt the influence of the various revolutionary movements. Finally, unlike other overseas possessions, Portuguese Angola was able to receive support from a local ally, in this case South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. South African military operations proved to be of significant assistance to Portuguese military forces in Angola, who sometimes referred to their South African counter-insurgent counterparts as primos (cousins).

The campaign in Angola saw the development and initial deployment of several unique counter-insurgency forces:
  • Batalhões de Caçadores Pára-quedistas
    Parachute Troops School
    The ETP - Escola de Tropas Páraquedistas , based in Tancos, Portugal, is a unit of the Portuguese Army and serves as the instruction center for recruitment and training of the Portuguese paratroopers...

    (Paratrooper Hunter Battalions): employed throughout the conflicts in Africa, were the first forces to arrive in Angola when the war began
  • Comandos (Commandos): born out of the war in Angola, and later used in Guinea and Mozambique
  • Caçadores Especiais (Special Hunters): were in Angola from the start of the conflict in 1961
  • Fiéis (Faithfuls): a force composed by Katanga
    Katanga Province
    Katanga Province is one of the provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Between 1971 and 1997, its official name was Shaba Province. Under the new constitution, the province was to be replaced by four smaller provinces by February 2009; this did not actually take place.Katanga's regional...

     exiles, black soldiers that opposed the rule of Mobutu
    Mobutu Sese Seko
    Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga , commonly known as Mobutu or Mobutu Sese Seko , born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, was the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1965 to 1997...

  • Leais (Loyals): a force composed by exiles from Zambia
    Zambia
    Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

    , black soldiers that were against Kenneth Kaunda
    Kenneth Kaunda
    Kenneth David Kaunda, known as KK, served as the first President of Zambia, from 1964 to 1991.-Early life:Kaunda was the youngest of eight children. He was born at Lubwa Mission in Chinsali, Northern Province of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia...

  • Grupos Especiais (Special Groups
    Special Groups (Portugal)
    The Special Groups were small military units, set up from 1966 to 1974 by the Portuguese Armed Forces in Angola and in Mozambique. Later Paratrooper Special Groups were formed, units able to conduct airborne operations...

    ): units of volunteer black soldiers that had commando training; also used in Mozambique
  • Tropas Especiais (Special Troops): the name of Special Forces Groups in Cabinda
  • Flechas
    Flechas
    Flechas were a Portuguese special forces unit created during the Portuguese Colonial War. Flechas were platoon-sized units consisting of local tribesmen and rebel defectors who specialised in tracking, reconnaissance and pseudo-terrorist operations...

    (Arrows): a successful indigenous formation of scouts, controlled by the PIDE/DGS
    PIDE
    In 1969, Marcello Caetano changed the name PIDE to DGS . The death of Salazar and the subsequent ascension of Caetano brought some attempts at democratization, in order to avoid popular insurgency against censorship, the ongoing colonial war and the general restriction of civil rights...

    , and composed by Bushmen
    Bushmen
    The indigenous people of Southern Africa, whose territory spans most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, are variously referred to as Bushmen, San, Sho, Barwa, Kung, or Khwe...

     that specialized in tracking, reconnaissance and pseudo-terrorist operations. Also employed in Mozambique, the Flechas inspired the formation of the Rhodesian Selous Scouts
    Selous Scouts
    The Selous Scouts was a special forces regiment of the Rhodesian Army, which operated from 1973 until the introduction of majority rule in 1980. It was named after British explorer Frederick Courteney Selous , and their motto was pamwe chete, which, in the Shona language, roughly means "all...

    .
  • Grupo de Cavalaria Nº1 (1st Cavalry Group): a mounted cavalry unit, armed with the 7,62 mm Espingarda m/961
    Heckler & Koch G3
    The G3 is a 7.62mm battle rifle developed in the 1950s by the German armament manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH in collaboration with the Spanish state-owned design and development agency CETME ....

     rifle and the m/961 Walther P-38 pistol, tasked with reconnaissance and patrolling
    Patrolling
    Patrolling is a military tactic. Small groups or individual units are deployed from a larger formation to achieve a specific objective and then return. The tactic of patrolling may be applied to ground troops, armoured units, naval units, and combat aircraft...

    . The 1st was also known as the "Angolan Dragoon
    Dragoon
    The word dragoon originally meant mounted infantry, who were trained in horse riding as well as infantry fighting skills. However, usage altered over time and during the 18th century, dragoons evolved into conventional light cavalry units and personnel...

    s" (Dragões de Angola). The Rhodesians would also later develop the concept of horse-mounted counter-insurgency forces, forming the Grey's Scouts
    Grey's Scouts
    Grey's Scouts were a Rhodesian mounted infantry unit raised in July 1975 and named after George Grey, a prominent soldier in the Second Matabele War. Based in Salisbury , they were known for their participation in the Rhodesian Bush War...

    .
  • Batalhão de Cavalaria 1927 (1927 Cavalry Battalion): a tank
    Tank
    A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

     unit equipped with the M5A1 tank
    Stuart tank
    The M3 Stuart, formally Light Tank M3, was an American light tank of World War II and supplied to British and Commonwealth forces under lend-lease prior to the entry of the U.S. into the war—and used thereafter by U.S...

    . The battalion was used for supporting infantry forces and as a rapid reaction force
    Rapid reaction force
    A rapid reaction force is a military or police unit designed to respond in very short time frames to emergencies. When used in reference to police forces such as SWAT teams, the time frame is minutes, while in military applications, such as with the use of paratroops or other commandos, the time...

    . Again the Rhodesians would copy this concept forming the Rhodesian Armoured Car Regiment
    Rhodesian Armoured Corps
    The Rhodesian Armoured Corps was the last incarnation of various armoured military units in Rhodesia. Its initial incarnation was raised in 1941 for service in World War II...

    .

Portuguese Guinea

In Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea was the name for what is today Guinea-Bissau from 1446 to September 10, 1974.-History:...

 (also simply referred to as Guinea at that time), the Marxist African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde
African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde
The African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde or PAIGC is a political party that governed Guinea-Bissau from the independence of the then Portuguese Guinea in 1974, until the late 1990s, and from 2004 to 2005. Currently it is the party with the largest number of seats in the...

 (PAIGC) started fighting in January 1963. Its guerrilla fighters attacked the Portuguese headquarters in Tite
Tite
Tite may refer to:People:*Tite Curet Alonso , Puerto Rican composer of salsa songs*Tite Kubo , Japanese manga artist*Tite Margwelaschwili, Georgian philosopher and writer...

, located to the south of Bissau
Bissau
Bissau is the capital city of Guinea-Bissau. The city's borders are conterminous with the Bissau Autonomous Sector. In 2007, the city had an estimated population of 407,424 according to the Instituto Nacional de Estatística e Censos...

, the capital, near the Corubal river. Similar actions quickly spread across the entire colony, requiring a strong response from the Portuguese forces.

The war in Guinea has been termed "Portugal's Vietnam". The PAIGC was well-trained, well-led, and equipped and received substantial support from safe havens in neighbouring countries like Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

 and Guinea-Conakry. The jungles of Guinea and the proximity of the PAIGC's allies near the border proved to be of significant advantage in providing tactical superiority during cross-border attacks and resupply missions for the guerrillas.
The conflict in Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea was the name for what is today Guinea-Bissau from 1446 to September 10, 1974.-History:...

 involving the PAIGC guerrillas and the Portuguese Army
Portuguese Army
The Portuguese Army is the ground branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in co-operation with other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the defence of Portugal...

 would prove the most intense and damaging of all conflicts in the Portuguese Colonial War, blocking Portuguese attempts to pacify the disputed territory via new economic and socioeconomic policies that had been applied with some success in Portuguese Angola and Portuguese Mozambique. In 1965 the war spread to the eastern part of Guinea; that same year, the PAIGC carried out attacks in the north of the territory where at the time only the Front for the Liberation and Independence of Guinea (FLING), a minor insurgent group, was active. By this time, the PAIGC had begun to openly receive military support from the Socialist Bloc, mainly from Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

.

In Guinea, the success of PAIGC guerrilla operations forced Portuguese armed forces on the defensive, and the latter were forced to limit their response to defending territories and cities already held. Unlike Portugal's other African territories, successful small-unit Portuguese counterinsurgency tactics were slow to evolve in Guinea. 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. They were also demoralized by the steady growth of PAIGC liberation sympathizers and recruits among the rural population. In a relatively short time, the PAIGC had succeeded in reducing Portuguese military and administrative control of the territory to a relatively small area of Guinea. The scale of this success can be seen in the fact that native Guineans in the 'liberated territories' ceased payment of debts to Portuguese landowners as well as payment of taxes to the colonial administration. The branch stores of the Companhia União Fabril (CUF), Mario Lima Whanon, and Manuel Pinto Brandão companies were seized and inventoried by the PAIGC in the areas they controlled, while the use of Portuguese currency in the areas under guerrilla control was banned. In order to maintain the economy in the liberated territories, the PAIGC was impelled an early stage to establish its own administrative and governmental bureaucracy, which organized agricultural production, educated PAIGC farmworkers on how to protect crops from destruction from aerial attack by the Portuguese Air Force, and opened armazens do povo (people's stores) to supply urgently needed tools and supplies in exchange for agricultural produce.

In 1968, General António de Spínola
António de Spínola
António Sebastião Ribeiro de Spínola , GCTE, ComA was a Portuguese soldier, conservative politician and author, who was important in the transition to democracy following the Portuguese Carnation...

, the Portuguese general responsible for the Portuguese military operations in Guinea, was appointed as governor. General Spínola began a series of civil and military reforms designed to weaken PAIGC control of the Guinea and rollback insurgent gains. 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.

Until 1960, Portuguese military forces serving in Guinea were composed of units led by white officers, with commissioned soldiers (whites), overseas soldiers (African assimilados), and native or indigenous Africans (indigenato) serving in the enlisted ranks. These discriminatory colour bars to service were eliminated as part of an Africanization policy of General António de Spínola, which called for the integration of indigneous Guinea Africans into Portuguese military forces in Africa. Two special indigenous African counterinsurgency detachments were formed by the Portuguese Armed Forces
Portuguese Armed Forces
The armed forces of Portugal, commonly known as the Portuguese Armed Forces encompasses a Navy , an Army and an Air Force...

. The first of these was the African Commandos (Comandos Africanos), consisting of a battalion of commando
Comandos
For the denomination of "commando" see commando; for the Argentine special operations unit see Amphibious Commandos Group; for other special forces with "Commando" in their names see list of special forces units....

s composed entirely of black soldiers (including the officers). The second was the African Special Marines (Fuzileiros Especiais Africanos), Marine
Portuguese Marine Corps
The Portuguese Marine Corps are a special operations force unit in the Portuguese Navy. The corps is specialised in amphibious warfare, coastal reconnaissance, maritime interdiction and boarding operations...

 units entirely composed of black soldiers. The African Special Marines supplemented other Portuguese elite units conducting amphibious operations in the riverine areas of Guinea in an attempt to interdict and destroy guerrilla forces and supplies. General Spinola's Africanization policy also fostered a large increase in indigenous recruitment into the armed forces, culminating the establishment of all-black military formations such as the Black Militias (Milícias negras) commanded by Major Carlos Fabião. By the early 1970s, an increasing percentage of Guineans were serving as noncommissioned or commissioned officers in Portuguese military forces in Africa, including such higher-ranking officers as Captain (later Lt. Colonel) Marcelino da Mata, a black Portuguese citizen born of Guinean parents who rose from a first sergeant in a road engineering unit to a commander in the Comandos Africanos.

During the latter part of the 1960s, military tactical reforms instituted by Gen. Spínola began to improve Portuguese counterinsurgency operations in Guinea. Naval amphibious operations were instituted to overcome some of the mobility problems inherent in the underdeveloped and marshy areas of the territory, utilizing Destacamentos de Fuzileiros Especiais (DFE)
Portuguese Marine Corps
The Portuguese Marine Corps are a special operations force unit in the Portuguese Navy. The corps is specialised in amphibious warfare, coastal reconnaissance, maritime interdiction and boarding operations...

(special marine assault detachments) as strike forces. 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.

Portugal commenced Operação Mar Verde or Operation Green Sea on 22 November 1970 in an attempt to overthrow Ahmed Sékou Touré
Ahmed Sékou Touré
Ahmed Sékou Touré was an African political leader and President of Guinea from 1958 to his death in 1984...

, the leader of the Republic of Guinea and staunch PAIGC ally, to capture the leader of the PAIGC, Amilcar Cabral
Amílcar Cabral
Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral was a Guinea-Bissauan and Cape Verdean agricultural engineer, writer, and a nationalist thinker and politician. Also known by his nom de guerre Abel Djassi, Cabral led the nationalist movement of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde Islands and the ensuing war of independence...

, and to cut off supply lines to PAIGC insurgents. The operation involved a daring raid on Conakry
Conakry
Conakry is the capital and largest city of Guinea. Conakry is a port city on the Atlantic Ocean and serves as the economic, financial and cultural centre of Guinea with a 2009 population of 1,548,500...

, a PAIGC safe haven, in which 400 Portuguese Fuzileiros (amphibious assault troops) attacked the city. The attempted coup d'etat
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 failed, though the Portuguese managed to destroy several PAIGC ships and free hundreds of Portuguese POWs at several large POW camps. One immediate result of Operation Green Sea was an escalation in the conflict, with countries such as Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

 and Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 now offering support to the PAIGC as well as the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, which sent warships to the region (known by NATO as the West Africa Patrol) in a show of force calculated to deter future Portuguese amphibious attacks on the territory of the Republic of Guinea.

Between 1968 and 1972, the Portuguese forces increased their offensive posture, in the form of raids into PAIGC-controlled territory. At this time Portuguese forces also adopted unorthodox means of countering the insurgents, including attacks on the political structure of the nationalist movement. This strategy culminated in the assassination of Amílcar Cabral in January 1973. Nonetheless, the PAIGC continued to increase its strength, and began to heavily press Portuguese defense forces. This became even more apparent after the PAIGC received heavy radar-guided anti-aircraft cannon and other AA munitions provided by the Soviets, including SA-7 shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles, all of which seriously impeded Portuguese air operations.

After the Carnation Revolution
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

 military coup in Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 on 25 April 1974, the new revolutionary leaders of Portugal and the PAIGC signed an accord in Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, Algeria in which Portugal agreed to remove all troops by the end of October and to officially recognize the Republic of Guinea-Bissau government controlled by the PAIGC, on 26 August 1974 and after a series of diplomatic meetings. Demobilized by the Portuguese authorities and abandoned to their fate, a total of 7,447 black African soldiers who had served in Portuguese native commando forces and militia were summarily executed by the PAIGC after Portuguese forces ceased hostilities.

Mozambique


The Portuguese Overseas Province of Mozambique was the last territory to start the war of liberation. 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 24, 1964, in Chai, Cabo Delgado Province. The fighting later spread to Niassa, Tete
Tete
-External links:* *...

 in central Mozambique. A report from Battalion No. 558 of the Portuguese army makes references to violent actions, also in Cabo Delgado, on August 21, 1964.

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. 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. It quickly started moving south in the direction of Meponda and Mandimba, linking to Tete with the aid of Malawi
Malawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...

.

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. In the region of Niassa, FRELIMO's intention was to create a free corridor to Zambézia. Until April 1970, the military activity of FRELIMO increased steadily, mainly due to the strategic work of Samora Machel
Samora Machel
Samora Moisés Machel was a Mozambican military commander, revolutionary socialist leader and eventual President of Mozambique...

 in the region of Cabo Delgado.

The war in Mozambique saw a great involvement of Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

, supporting the Portuguese troops in operations and even conducting operations independently. By 1973, the territory was mostly under Portuguese control. The Operation "Nó Górdio" (Gordian Knot Operation
Gordian Knot Operation
The Operation Gordian Knot was the largest and most expensive Portuguese military campaign in the Portuguese overseas province of Mozambique, East Africa. It was performed in 1970, during the Portuguese Colonial War...

) - conducted in 1970 and commanded by Portuguese Brigadier General Kaúlza de Arriaga
Kaúlza de Arriaga
Kaúlza de Oliveira de Arriaga, OA, GCC, OC, OIH was a Portuguese General, writer, professor and politician...

 - a conventional-style operation to destroy the guerrilla bases in the north of Mozambique, was the major military operation of the Portuguese Colonial War. A hotly disputed issue, the Gordian Knot Operation was considered by several historians and military strategists as a failure that even worsened the situation for the Portuguese, but according to others, including its main architect, troops, and officials who had participated on both sides of the operation, including high ranked elements from the FRELIMO guerrilla, it was also globally described as a tremendous success of the Portuguese Armed Forces
Portuguese Armed Forces
The armed forces of Portugal, commonly known as the Portuguese Armed Forces encompasses a Navy , an Army and an Air Force...

. Arriaga, however, was removed from his powerful military post in Mozambique by Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo José das Neves Alves Caetano, GCTE, GCC, also spelled Marcello Caetano , was a Portuguese politician and scholar, who was the last prime minister of the Estado Novo regime, from 1968 until his overthrow in the Carnation Revolution of 1974....

 shortly before the events in Lisbon that would trigger the end of the war and the independence of the Portuguese territories in Africa. The reason for Arriaga's abrupt fate was an alleged incident with indigenous civilian populations, as well as Portuguese government's suspicion that Arriaga was planning a military coup against Marcelo's administration in order to avoid the rise of leftist influences in Portugal and the loss of the African overseas provinces.

The construction of the Cahora Bassa
Cahora Bassa
The Cahora Bassa lake is Africa's fourth-largest artificial lake, situated in the Tete Province in Mozambique. The name Cabora Bassa is an earlier misspelling of the name...

 Dam tied up large numbers of Portuguese troops (near 50% of all the troops in Mozambique) and brought the FRELIMO to the Tete Province
Tete Province
Tete is a province of Mozambique. It has an area of 100,724 km² and a population of approximately 1.551.949 .Tete is the capital of the province...

, closer to some cities and more populated areas in the south. Still, although the FRELIMO tried to halt and stop the construction of the dam, it was never able to do so. In 1974, the FRELIMO launched mortar attacks against Vila Pery (now Chimoio
Chimoio
Chimoio is the capital of Manica Province in Mozambique. It is the fifth-largest city in Mozambique.Chimoio's name under Portuguese administration was Vila Pery. Vila Pery developed under Portuguese rule as an important agricultural and textiles centre.The town lies on the railway line from Beira...

) an important city and the first (and only) heavy populated area to be hit by the FRELIMO.

In Mozambique special units were also used by the Portuguese Armed Forces:
  • Grupos Especiais (Special Groups): locally-raised counter-insurgency troops similar to those used in Angola
  • Grupos Especiais Pára-Quedistas (Paratrooper Special Groups): units of volunteer black soldiers that were given airborne training
  • Grupos Especiais de Pisteiros de Combate (Combat Tracking Special Groups): special units trained in tracking and locating guerrillas forces
  • Flechas
    Flechas
    Flechas were a Portuguese special forces unit created during the Portuguese Colonial War. Flechas were platoon-sized units consisting of local tribesmen and rebel defectors who specialised in tracking, reconnaissance and pseudo-terrorist operations...

    (Arrows), a formation of indigenous scouts and trackers, similar to the one employed in Angola

Major counter-insurgency operations

  • 1970 - Gordian Knot Operation
    Gordian Knot Operation
    The Operation Gordian Knot was the largest and most expensive Portuguese military campaign in the Portuguese overseas province of Mozambique, East Africa. It was performed in 1970, during the Portuguese Colonial War...

     (Operação Nó Górdio)
  • 1970 - Operation Green Sea (Operação Mar Verde)

Role of the Organisation of African Unity

The Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded May 1963. Its basic principles were co-operation between African nations and solidarity between African peoples. Another important objective of the OAU was an end to all forms of colonialism in Africa. This became the major objective of the organization in its first years and soon OAU pressure led to the situation in the Portuguese colonies being brought up at the UN Security Council.

The OAU established a committee based in Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam , formerly Mzizima, is the largest city in Tanzania. It is also the country's richest city and a regionally important economic centre. Dar es Salaam is actually an administrative province within Tanzania, and consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: ...

, with representatives from Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, Zaire
Zaire
The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

, Guinea
Guinea
Guinea , officially the Republic of Guinea , is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea , it is today sometimes called Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from its neighbour Guinea-Bissau. Guinea is divided into eight administrative regions and subdivided into thirty-three prefectures...

, Senegal
Senegal
Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

 and Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, to support African liberation movements. The support provided by the committee included military training and weapon supplies.

The OAU also took action in order to promote the international acknowledgment of the legitimacy of the Revolutionary Government of Angola in Exile (GRAE), composed by the FNLA. This support was transferred to the MPLA and to its leader, Agostinho Neto
Agostinho Neto
António Agostinho Neto served as the first President of Angola , leading the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the war for independence and the civil war...

 in 1967. In November 1972, both movements were recognized by the OAU in order to promote their merger. After 1964, the OAU recognized PAIGC as the legitimate representatives of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde
Cape Verde
The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa...

 and in 1965 recognised FRELIMO for Mozambique.

Portugal

In 1961 the Portuguese had 79,000 in arms - 58,000 in the Army, 8,500 in the Navy and 12,500 in the Air force (Cann, 1997). These numbers grew quickly. By the end of the conflict in 1974 due to the Carnation Revolution
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

 (a military coup in Lisbon), the total in the Portuguese Armed Forces
Portuguese Armed Forces
The armed forces of Portugal, commonly known as the Portuguese Armed Forces encompasses a Navy , an Army and an Air Force...

 had risen to 217,000.

Prior to their own Colonial War the Portuguese military had studied French and British efforts in Indo-China, Algeria and Malaya (Cann, 1997). Based on their analysis of operations in those theatres and considering their own situation in Africa, the Portuguese military took the unusual decision to restructure their entire armed forces, from top to bottom, for counterinsurgency. This transformation did, however, take seven years to complete and only saw its final form in 1968. By 1974 the counterinsurgency efforts were successful in the Portuguese territories of Angola
Angola (Portugal)
Angola is the common name by which the Portuguese colony in southwestern Africa was known across different periods of time...

 and Mozambique, but in Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea was the name for what is today Guinea-Bissau from 1446 to September 10, 1974.-History:...

 the local guerrilla was making progresses. As the conflict escalated, the Portuguese authorities developed progressively tougher responses, these included the Gordian Knot Operation
Gordian Knot Operation
The Operation Gordian Knot was the largest and most expensive Portuguese military campaign in the Portuguese overseas province of Mozambique, East Africa. It was performed in 1970, during the Portuguese Colonial War...

 and the Operation Green Sea.

When conflict erupted in 1961, Portuguese forces were badly equipped to cope with the demands of a counter-insurgency conflict. It was standard procedure, up to that point, to send the oldest and most obsolete material to the colonies. Thus, initial military operations were conducted using World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 radios, the old m/937 7.92 mm Mauser
Karabiner 98k
The Karabiner 98 Kurz was a bolt action rifle chambered for the 8x57mm IS/7.92×57mm IS cartridge that was adopted as the standard service rifle in 1935 by the German Wehrmacht. It was one of the final developments in the long line of Mauser military rifles...

 rifle, and the equally elderly German m/938 7.92 mm (MG-13
MG-13
The MG 13 was a German general-purpose machine gun obtained by rebuilding a World War I water-cooled machine gun into an air-cooled version....

) Dreyse and Italian 8 mm x 59RB m/938 (Breda M37
Breda M37
The Breda Modello 37 was an Italian heavy machine gun adopted in 1937. It was the standard machine gun for the Royal Italian Army during World War II...

) machine guns. Much of Portugal's older small arms derived from Germany in various deliveries made mostly before World War II. Later, Portugal would purchase arms and military equipment from France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, and to a lesser extent, from Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, and the USA.
Within a short time, the Portuguese Army
Portuguese Army
The Portuguese Army is the ground branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in co-operation with other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the defence of Portugal...

 saw the need for a modern selective-fire combat rifle
Battle rifle
A battle rifle is a military service rifle that fires a full power rifle cartridge, such as 7.62x51mm NATO. While the designation of battle rifle is usually given to post-World War II select fire infantry rifles such as the H&K G3, the FN FAL or the M14, this term can also apply to older military...

, and in 1961 adopted the 7.62 x 51 mm (7.62mm NATO) caliber Espingarda m/961 (Heckler & Koch G3
Heckler & Koch G3
The G3 is a 7.62mm battle rifle developed in the 1950s by the German armament manufacturer Heckler & Koch GmbH in collaboration with the Spanish state-owned design and development agency CETME ....

) as the standard infantry weapon for most of its forces, that would be produced in large quantities in the Fábrica do Braço de Prata, a Portuguese small arms producer. However, quantities of the 7.62 mm NATO FN
FN FAL
The Fusil Automatique Léger or FAL is a self-loading, selective fire battle rifle produced by the Belgian armaments manufacturer Fabrique Nationale de Herstal . During the Cold War it was adopted by many North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries, with the notable exception of the United States...

 and German G1
FN FAL
The Fusil Automatique Léger or FAL is a self-loading, selective fire battle rifle produced by the Belgian armaments manufacturer Fabrique Nationale de Herstal . During the Cold War it was adopted by many North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries, with the notable exception of the United States...

 FAL rifle, known as the m/962, were also issued; the FAL was a favored weapon of members serving in elite commando units such as the Caçadores Especiais. At the beginning of the war, the elite airborne units
Parachute Troops School
The ETP - Escola de Tropas Páraquedistas , based in Tancos, Portugal, is a unit of the Portuguese Army and serves as the instruction center for recruitment and training of the Portuguese paratroopers...

 (Caçadores Pára-quedistas) rarely used the m/961, having adopted the ultra-modern 7.62 mm NATO ArmaLite
ArmaLite
ArmaLite is the name of a small arms engineering facility founded in the early 1950s, and once associated with the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation. ArmaLite was formally incorporated as a subdivision of Fairchild on October 1, 1954...

 AR-10
AR-10
The AR-10 is an American 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation...

 (produced by the Netherlands-based arms manufacturer Artillerie Inrichtingen) in 1960. In the days before attached grenade launchers became standard, Portuguese paratroopers frequently resorted to the use of ENERGA anti-tank rifle grenade
ENERGA anti-tank rifle grenade
The Energa anti-tank rifle grenade is a rifle-launched anti-tank grenade that is propelled by a ballistite-filled blank cartridge. The name Energa comes from the firm in Liechtenstein that designed it, the Anstalt für die ENtwicklung von ERfindungen und Gewerblichen Anwendungen, based in...

s fired from their AR-10 rifles. Some Portuguese-model AR-10s were fitted with A.I.-modified upper receivers in order to mount 3x or 3.6x telescopic sights. These rifles were used by marksmen accompanying small patrols to eliminate individual enemy at extended ranges in open country. After Holland embargoed further sales of the AR-10, the paratroop battalions were issued a collapsible-stock version of the regular m/961 (G3) rifle, also in 7,62 mm NATO caliber.

The powerful recoil and heavy weight of the 7.62mm x 51 NATO cartridge used in Portuguese rifle-caliber arms such as the m/961 limited the amount of ammunition that could be carried as well as accuracy in automatic fire, generally precluding the use of the latter except in emergencies. Instead, most infantryman used their rifles to fire individual shots. While the heavy m/961 and its relatively lengthy barrel were well-suited to patrol operations in open savannah, it tended to put Portuguese infantry at a disadvantage when clearing the low-ceilinged interiors of native buildings or huts, or when moving through thick bush, where ambush by a concealed insurgent with an automatic weapon was always a possibility. In these situations the hand grenade often became a more useful weapon than the rifle.

For the light machine-gun role, the German MG42
MG42
The MG 42 is a 7.9mm universal machine gun that was developed in Nazi Germany and entered service with the Wehrmacht in 1942...

 in 7,92 mm and later 7,62 mm NATO caliber was used until 1968, when the 7,62 mm m/968 Metralhadora Ligeira became available. Some 9 mm x 19 mm submachine gun
Submachine gun
A submachine gun is an automatic carbine, designed to fire pistol cartridges. It combines the automatic fire of a machine gun with the cartridge of a pistol. The submachine gun was invented during World War I , but the apex of its use was during World War II when millions of the weapon type were...

s, including the Austrian Steyr MP34
MP34
The MP34 is a submachine gun that was manufactured by Waffenfabrik Steyr and used by the Austrian police and subsequently by units of the German army, including the Waffen SS, in World War II...

 m/942, the Portuguese FBP m/948
FBP submachine gun
FBP is a 9 mm submachine gun originally developed from a design first conceived in 1940 by Gonçalves Cardoso, an officer of artillery in the Portuguese Army...

, and the Uzi
Uzi submachine gun
The Uzi is a family of Israeli open bolt, blowback-operated submachine guns. Smaller variants are considered to be machine pistols. The Uzi was one of the first weapons to use a telescoping bolt design which allows for the magazine to be housed in the pistol grip for a shorter weapon.The first Uzi...

 were also used, mainly by officers, horse-mounted cavalry, reserve and paramilitary units, and security forces.
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.) Lança-granadas-foguete (Bazooka
Bazooka
Bazooka is the common name for a man-portable recoilless rocket antitank weapon, widely fielded by the U.S. Army. Also referred to as the "Stovepipe", the innovative bazooka was amongst the first-generation of rocket propelled anti-tank weapons used in infantry combat...

), along with several types of recoilless rifles. Because of the mobile nature of counterinsurgency operations, heavy support weapons were less frequently used. However, the m/951 12.7 mm (.50 caliber) U.S. M2 Browning heavy machine gun saw service in both ground and vehicle mounts, as well as 60 mm, 81 mm, and later, 120 mm mortars
Mortar (weapon)
A mortar is an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles known as bombs at low velocities, short ranges, and high-arcing ballistic trajectories. It is typically muzzle-loading and has a barrel length less than 15 times its caliber....

. Artillery and mobile howitzer
Howitzer
A howitzer is a type of artillery piece characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small propellant charges to propel projectiles at relatively high trajectories, with a steep angle of descent...

s were used in a few operations.

Mobile ground operations consisted of patrol sweeps by armored car and reconnaissance vehicles. Supply convoys used both armored and unarmored vehicles. Typically, armored vehicles would be placed at the front, center, and tail of a motorized convoy. Several armored cars were used, including the Panhard AML
Panhard AML
-Former Operators:: unknown number of AML-60s and AML-90s in service between 1960-1975.: 34 Eland 90s and Eland 60s in service with the Rhodesian Security Forces in 1979, passed on to successor state.-Trivia:...

, Panhard EBR
Panhard EBR
The Panhard EBR is a light armoured car designed by Panhard for the French Army and later used across the globe, notably by the French Army during the Algerian War and the Portuguese Army during the Portuguese Colonial War in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau.The EBR is an 8x8 wheeled...

, Fox
Fox Armoured Car
The Fox Armoured Car was a wheeled armoured fighting vehicle produced by Canada in the Second World War.- History :Built by General Motors, Canada, based on the British Humber Armoured Car. The four man crew consisted of the vehicle commander, the driver, a gunner and a wireless operator. 1506...

 and (in the 70s) the Chaimite
Bravia Chaimite
The Bravia Chaimite is an armored vehicle built by the Portuguese company Bravia and used by the Portuguese Army in the Portuguese colonial wars in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea, from 1967 to 1974 when it ended....

.
Unlike the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, Portugal's limited national resources did not allow for widespread use of the helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

. Only those troops involved in raids
Raid (military)
Raid, also known as depredation, is a military tactic or operational warfare mission which has a specific purpose and is not normally intended to capture and hold terrain, but instead finish with the raiding force quickly retreating to a previous defended position prior to the enemy forces being...

 (also called golpe de mão (hand blow) in Portuguese) - mainly Commandos and Paratroopers - would deploy by helicopter. Most deployments were either on foot or in vehicles (Berliet
Berliet
Berliet was a French manufacturer of automobiles, buses, trucks and other utility vehicles, based in Vénissieux, outside of Lyon, France.-Early history:...

 and Unimog
Unimog
Unimog is a range of multi-purpose auto four wheel drive medium trucks produced by Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG. The name Unimog is pronounced in German and is an acronym for the German "UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät", Gerät being the German word for machine or device...

 trucks). The helicopters were reserved for support (in a gunship
Gunship
The term "gunship" is used in several contexts, all sharing the general idea of a light craft armed with heavy guns.-In Navy:In the Navy, the term originally appeared in the mid-19th century as a less-common synonym for gunboat.-In military aviation:...

 role) or MEDEVAC
MEDEVAC
Medical evacuation, often termed Medevac or Medivac, is the timely and efficient movement and en route care provided by medical personnel to the wounded being evacuated from the battlefield or to injured patients being evacuated from the scene of an accident to receiving medical facilities using...

. The Alouette III
Aérospatiale Alouette III
The Aérospatiale Alouette III is a single-engine, light utility helicopter developed by Sud Aviation. It was manufactured by Aérospatiale of France, and under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in India as Hal Chetak and Industria Aeronautică Română in Romania.The Alouette III is the...

 was the most widely-used helicopter, although the Puma
Aérospatiale Puma
The Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma is a four-bladed, twin-engined medium transport/utility helicopter. The Puma was originally manufactured by Sud Aviation of France.-Development:...

 was also used with great success. Other aircraft were employed: for air support
Air Support
Air Support is a 1992 computer game for the Amiga and Atari ST. It is a top-down strategy game, with a first-person mode available for special missions. The game takes place during a retrofuturistic 21st century where all wars are fought in virtual reality. The game was given mostly positive...

 the T6
T-6 Texan
The North American Aviation T-6 Texan was a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1950s...

, the F-86 Sabre
F-86 Sabre
The North American F-86 Sabre was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as America's first swept wing fighter which could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War...

 and the Fiat G.91 were used; for reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 the Dornier Do 27
Dornier Do 27
-See also:-Bibliography:*Green, William. Macdonald Aircraft Handbook. London. Macdonald & Co. Ltd., 1964.*Jackson, Paul A. German Military Aviation 1956-1976. Hinckley, Leicestershire, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1976. ISBN 0-904597-03-2.-External links:**...

 was employed. In the transport role, the Portuguese Air Force
Portuguese Air Force
The Portuguese Air Force is the air force of Portugal. Formed on July 1, 1952, with the Aeronáutica Militar and Aviação Naval united in a single independent Air Force, it is one of the three branches of the Portuguese Armed Forces and its origins dates back to 1912, when the military aviation...

 originally used the Junkers Ju 52
Junkers Ju 52
The Junkers Ju 52 was a German transport aircraft manufactured from 1932 to 1945. It saw both civilian and military service during the 1930s and 1940s. In a civilian role, it flew with over 12 air carriers including Swissair and Deutsche Luft Hansa as an airliner and freight hauler...

, followed by the Nord Noratlas
Nord Noratlas
The Nord Noratlas was a 1950s French military transport aircraft intended to replace the older types in service at the end of World War II. Several hundred were produced in a run lasting over a decade, finding a wide variety of uses.-Development:...

, the C-54 Skymaster
C-54 Skymaster
The Douglas C-54 Skymaster was a four-engined transport aircraft used by the United States Army Air Forces and British forces in World War II and the Korean War. Besides transport of cargo, it also carried presidents, British heads of government, and military staff...

, and the C-47
C-47 Skytrain
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota is a military transport aircraft that was developed from the Douglas DC-3 airliner. It was used extensively by the Allies during World War II and remained in front line operations through the 1950s with a few remaining in operation to this day.-Design and...

 (all of these aircraft were also used for Paratroop drop operations). From 1965, Portugal began to purchase the Fiat G.91 to deploy to its African overseas territories of Mozambique
Portuguese East Africa
Mozambique or Portuguese East Africa was the common name by which the Portuguese Empire's territorial expansion in East Africa was known across different periods of time...

, Guinea
Portuguese Guinea
Portuguese Guinea was the name for what is today Guinea-Bissau from 1446 to September 10, 1974.-History:...

 and Angola in the close-support role. The first 40 G.91 were purchased second-hand from the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

, out of the aircraft that had originally been produced for Greece and which differed from the rest of the Luftwaffe G.91s sufficiently to create maintenance problems. The aircraft replaced the Portuguese F-86 Sabre
F-86 Sabre
The North American F-86 Sabre was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as America's first swept wing fighter which could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War...

.

The Portuguese Navy
Portuguese Navy
The Portuguese Navy is the naval branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in cooperation and integrated with the other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the military defence of Portugal....

 (particularly the Marines
Portuguese Marine Corps
The Portuguese Marine Corps are a special operations force unit in the Portuguese Navy. The corps is specialised in amphibious warfare, coastal reconnaissance, maritime interdiction and boarding operations...

, known as Fuzileiros) made extensive use of patrol boats, landing craft
Landing craft
Landing craft are boats and seagoing vessels used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. Most renowned are those used to storm the beaches of Normandy, the Mediterranean, and many Pacific islands during WWII...

, and Zodiac
Zodiac Group
Zodiac, which became Zodiac Aerospace in 2007, is a French corporation, specialized in the production and development of on-board systems, safety systems and cabin interiors...

 inflatable boat
Inflatable boat
An inflatable boat is a lightweight boat constructed with its sides and bow made of flexible tubes containing pressurised gas. For smaller boats, the floor and hull beneath it is often flexible. On boats longer than , the floor often consists of three to five rigid plywood or aluminium sheets fixed...

s. They were employed especially in Guinea, but also in the Congo River
Congo River
The Congo River is a river in Africa, and is the deepest river in the world, with measured depths in excess of . It is the second largest river in the world by volume of water discharged, though it has only one-fifth the volume of the world's largest river, the Amazon...

 (and other smaller rivers) in Angola and in the Zambezi
Zambezi
The Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is , slightly less than half that of the Nile...

 (and other rivers) in Mozambique. Equipped with standard or collapsible-stock m/961 rifles, grenades, and other gear, they utilized small boats or patrol craft to infiltrate guerrilla positions. In an effort to intercept infiltrators, the Fuzileiros even manned small patrol craft on Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi , is an African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the Great Rift Valley system of East Africa. This lake, the third largest in Africa and the eighth largest lake in the world, is located between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania...

. The Navy also used Portuguese civilian cruisers
Cruise ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

 as troop transports, and drafted Portuguese Merchant Navy personnel to man ships carrying troops and material and into the Marines.

Native black warriors were employed in Africa by the Portuguese colonial rulers since the 16th century. Portugal had employed regular native troops (companhias indigenas) in its colonial army since the early nineteenth century. After 1961, with the beginning of the colonial wars in its overseas territories, Portugal began to incorporate black Portuguese Africans into integrated units as part of the war effort in Angola, Portuguese Guinea, and Mozambique, based on concepts of multi-racialism and preservation of the empire. African participation on the Portuguese side of the conflict varied from marginal roles as laborers and informers to participation in highly-trained operational combat units like the Flechas
Flechas
Flechas were a Portuguese special forces unit created during the Portuguese Colonial War. Flechas were platoon-sized units consisting of local tribesmen and rebel defectors who specialised in tracking, reconnaissance and pseudo-terrorist operations...

. As the war progressed, use of African counterinsurgency troops increased; on the eve of the military coup of 25 April 1974
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

, black ethnic Africans accounted for more than 50 percent of Portuguese forces fighting the war.

From 1961 to the end of the Colonial War, the paratrooper
Paratrooper
Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force.Paratroopers are used for tactical advantage as they can be inserted into the battlefield from the air, thereby allowing them to be positioned in areas not accessible by land...

 nurses nicknamed Marias, were women who served the Portuguese armed forces being deployed in Portuguese Africa's dangerous guerrilla-infiltrated combat zones to perform rescue
Rescue
Rescue refers to responsive operations that usually involve the saving of life, or prevention of injury during an incident or dangerous situation....

 operations.

Throughout the war period Portugal had to deal with increasing dissent, arms embargoes and other punitive sanctions imposed by most of the international community. The later included UN-sponsored sanctions
International sanctions
International sanctions are actions taken by countries against others for political reasons, either unilaterally or multilaterally.There are several types of sanctions....

, Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

-led defamation, and myriad boycotts and protests performed by both foreign and domestic political organizations, like the clandestine Portuguese Communist Party
Portuguese Communist Party
The Portuguese Communist Party is a major left-wing political party in Portugal. It is a Marxist-Leninist party, and its organization is based upon democratic centralism. The party also considers itself to be patriotic and internationalist....

 (PCP). Near the end of the conflict, a report by the controversial priest Adrian Hastings
Adrian Hastings
Adrian Hastings was a church historian, controversial Catholic priest and author of "Wiriyamu massacre" mistification.-Early life:...

, alleging atrocities and war crimes of the Portuguese military, was printed a week before the Portuguese prime minister Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo José das Neves Alves Caetano, GCTE, GCC, also spelled Marcello Caetano , was a Portuguese politician and scholar, who was the last prime minister of the Estado Novo regime, from 1968 until his overthrow in the Carnation Revolution of 1974....

 was due to visit Britain to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Anglo-Portuguese alliance
Anglo-Portuguese Alliance
The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, ratified at the Treaty of Windsor in 1386, between England and Portugal is claimed to be the oldest alliance in the world which is still in force — with the earliest treaty dating back to the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373.This alliance, which goes back to the...

 in 1973. 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
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

.

Guerrilla movements

The armament of the nationalist groups came mainly from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, and (especially in Mozambique) China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. However, they also used small arms of U.S. manufacture (such as the .45 M1 Thompson submachine gun
Thompson submachine gun
The Thompson is an American submachine gun, invented by John T. Thompson in 1919, that became infamous during the Prohibition era. It was a common sight in the media of the time, being used by both law enforcement officers and criminals...

), along with British, French, and German weapons derived from neighboring countries sympathetic to the rebellion. Later in the war, most guerrillas would use roughly the same Soviet-origin infantry rifles: the Mosin-Nagant
Mosin-Nagant
The Mosin–Nagant is a bolt-action, internal magazine-fed, military rifle invented under the government commission by Russian and Belgian inventors, and used by the armed forces of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and various other nations....

 bolt-action rifle, the SKS
SKS
The SKS is a Soviet semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 7.62x39mm round, designed in 1943 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. SKS-45 is an acronym for Samozaryadnyj Karabin sistemy Simonova, 1945 Simonov system, 1945), or SKS 45. The Sks is a scaled down version of the PTRS-41 anti-tank rifle also...

 carbine, and most importantly, the AK-47
AK-47
The AK-47 is a selective-fire, gas-operated 7.62×39mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is officially known as Avtomat Kalashnikova . It is also known as a Kalashnikov, an "AK", or in Russian slang, Kalash.Design work on the AK-47 began in the last year...

 series of 7.62 mm x 39 mm automatic rifles. Rebel forces also made extensive use of machine guns for ambush and positional defense. The 7.62 mm Degtyarev light machine gun
Degtyarev light machine gun
The Пулемёт Дегтярёвa Пехотный or DP was a light machine gun firing the 7.62x54mmR cartridge that was used by the Soviet Union starting in 1928. It was cheap and easy to manufacture - early models had fewer than 80 parts and could be built by unskilled labour. The DP was especially able to...

 (LMG) was the most widely used LMG, together with the DShK
DShK
The DShK 1938 is a Soviet heavy machine gun firing the 12.7x108mm cartridge. The weapon was also used as a heavy infantry machine gun, in which case it was frequently deployed with a two-wheeled mounting and a single-sheet armour-plate shield...

 and the SG-43 Goryunov heavy machine guns. Support weapons included mortars, recoilless rifle
Recoilless rifle
A recoilless rifle or recoilless gun is a lightweight weapon that fires a heavier projectile than would be practical to fire from a recoiling weapon of comparable size. Technically, only devices that use a rifled barrel are recoilless rifles. Smoothbore variants are recoilless guns...

s, and in particular, Soviet-made rocket-propelled grenade launchers, the RPG-2
RPG-2
The RPG-2 was the first rocket-propelled grenade launcher designed in the Soviet Union.-Development:The RPG-2 , was a man-portable, shoulder-launched rocket-propelled grenade anti-armor weapon...

 and RPG-7
RPG-7
The RPG-7 is a widely-produced, portable, unguided, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Originally the RPG-7 and its predecessor, the RPG-2, were designed by the Soviet Union, and now manufactured by the Bazalt company...

. Anti-aircraft weapons
Anti-aircraft warfare
NATO defines air defence as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action." They include ground and air based weapon systems, associated sensor systems, command and control arrangements and passive measures. It may be to protect naval, ground and air forces...

 were also employed, especially by the PAIGC and the FRELIMO. The ZPU-4
ZPU-4
The ZPU-4 is a towed, quadruple-barreled anti-aircraft gun based on the Soviet KPV 14.5 mm machine gun. It entered service with the Soviet Union in 1949 and is used by over 50 countries worldwide...

 AA cannon was the most widely used, but by far the most effective was the Strela 2
Strela 2
The 9K32 “Strela-2” is a man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system with a high explosive warhead and passive infrared homing guidance...

 missile, first introduced to guerrilla forces in Guinea in 1973 and in Mozambique the following year by Soviet technicians.

The guerrillas' AK-47 and AKM rifles were highly thought of by many Portuguese soldiers, as they were shorter, slightly lighter, and more mobile than the m/961 (G3), while permitting the user to deliver a heavy volume of controlled automatic fire at the close ranges typically encountered in bush warfare. The AK-47's ammunition load was also lighter. The average Angolan or Mozambiquan rebel could easily transport 150 7.62 mm x 39 cartridges (five 30-round magazines) on his person during bush operations, compared to 100 7.62 mm x 51 rounds (five 20-round magazines) typically carried by a Portuguese infantryman on patrol. 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. Like U.S. forces in Vietnam, ammunition resupply difficulties and the obvious danger of being mistaken for a guerrilla when firing an enemy weapon generally precluded their use.

Mines
Land mine
A land mine is usually a weight-triggered explosive device which is intended to damage a target—either human or inanimate—by means of a blast and/or fragment impact....

 were one of the principal weapons used by the insurgents against Portuguese mechanized forces, who typically patrolled the mostly unpaved roads of their territories using motor vehicles and armored scout cars. To counter the mine threat, Portuguese engineers commenced the herculean task of tarring the rural road network. Mine detection was accomplished not only by electronic mine detectors, but also by employing trained soldiers (picadors) walking abreast with long probes to detect nonmetallic road mines. Guerrillas in all the various revolutionary movements used a variety of mines, often combining anti-tank
Anti-tank mine
An anti-tank mine, , is a type of land mine designed to damage or destroy vehicles including tanks and armored fighting vehicles....

 with anti-personnel
Anti-personnel mine
Anti-personnel mines are a form of land mine designed for use against humans, as opposed to anti-tank mines, which are designed for use against vehicles...

 mines to ambush Portuguese formations with devastating results. 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. Detonation of the vehicle mine would cause Portuguese troops to deploy and seek cover in the ditch, where the anti-personnel mines would cause further casualties. If the insurgents planned to confront the Portuguese openly, one or two heavy machine guns would be sited to sweep the ditch and other likely areas of cover. Other mines used included the PMN (Black Widow)
PMN mine
The PMN series of blast anti-personnel mines were designed and manufactured in Russia. They are one of the most widely used and commonly found devices during demining operations.-PMN-1:...

, TM-46
TM-46 mine
The TM-46 mine is a large circular metal cased Russian anti-tank mine. The TMN-46 is a variant of the mine fitted with a secondary fuze well on the bottom which is slightly off-set from the centre of the mine. This secondary fuze well can be fitted with a pull-fuze which functions as an...

, and POMZ
POMZ
The POMZ, POMZ-2 and POMZ-2M are three types of Russian-made stake mounted anti-personnel fragmentation mine. The POMZ mine was used during the Second World War. It was superseded by the POMZ-2, and later by the improved POMZ-2M...

. Even amphibious mines were used such as the PDM
PDM series of amphibious mines
The PDM amphibious mines were a series of Russian anti-vehicle mines that could be used on or in beaches, rivers, lakes and shallow coastal waters up to five meters deep.-PDM-1:...

, along with numerous home-made antipersonnel wood box mines and other nonmetallic explosive devices. 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.

In general, the PAIGC in Guinea was the best armed, trained, and led of all the guerrilla movements. By 1970 it even had candidates training in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, learning to fly MIGs
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 was a jet fighter developed for the USSR by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich. The MiG-15 was one of the first successful swept-wing jet fighters, and it achieved fame in the skies over Korea, where early in the war, it outclassed all straight-winged enemy fighters in...

 and to operate Soviet-supplied amphibious assault crafts and APCs
Armoured personnel carrier
An armoured personnel carrier is an armoured fighting vehicle designed to transport infantry to the battlefield.APCs are usually armed with only a machine gun although variants carry recoilless rifles, anti-tank guided missiles , or mortars...

.

Opposition in Portugal

The government presented as a general consensus that the colonies were a part of the national unity, closer to overseas provinces than to true colonies. The communists
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 were the first party to oppose the official view, since they saw the Portuguese presence in the colonies as an act against the colonies' right to self determination. During its 5th Congress, in 1957, the illegal Portuguese Communist Party
Portuguese Communist Party
The Portuguese Communist Party is a major left-wing political party in Portugal. It is a Marxist-Leninist party, and its organization is based upon democratic centralism. The party also considers itself to be patriotic and internationalist....

 (Partido Comunista Português - PCP) was the first political organization to demand the immediate and total independence of the colonies. However, being the only truly organized opposition movement, the PCP had to play two roles. One role was that of a communist party with an anti-colonialist position; the other role was to be a cohesive force drawing together a broad spectrum of opposing parties. Therefore it had to accede to views that didn't reflect its true anticolonial position.

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
Humberto Delgado
Humberto da Silva Delgado, GCL was a General of the Portuguese Air Force and politician.Delgado was born in Brogueira, Torres Novas. He was the son of Joaquim Delgado and wife Maria do Ó Pereira and had three younger sisters, Deolinda, Aida and Lídia....

 (in 1958). The communist candidates had, obviously, the same positions. Among them were Rui Luís Gomes and Arlindo Vicente, the first would not be allowed to participate in the election and the second would support Delgado in 1958.

After the electoral fraud of 1958, Humberto Delgado formed the Independent National Movement (Movimento Nacional Independente - MNI) that, in October 1960, agreed that there was a need to prepare the people in the colonies, before giving them the right of self-determination. Despite this, no detailed policies for achieving this goal were set out.

In 1961, the nº8 of the Military Tribune had as its title "Let's end the war of Angola". The authors were linked to the Patriotic Action Councils (Juntas de Acção Patriótica - JAP), supporters of Humberto Delgado, and responsible for the attack on the barracks of Beja. The Portuguese Front of National Liberation (Frente Portuguesa de Libertação Nacional - FPLN), founded in December 1962, attacked the conciliatory positions. 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.

In April 1964, the Directory of Democratic-Social Action (Acção Democrato-Social - ADS) presented a political solution rather than a military one. In agreement with this initiative in 1966, Mário Soares
Mário Soares
Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares, GColTE, GCC, GColL, KE , Portuguese politician, served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 1976 to 1978 and from 1983 to 1985, and subsequently as the 17th President of Portugal from 1986 to 1996.-Family:...

 suggested there should be a referendum on the overseas policy Portugal should follow, and that the referendum should be preceded by a national discussion to take place in the six months prior to the referendum.

The end of Salazar's rule in 1968, due to illness, did not prompt any change in the political panorama. The radicalization of the opposition movements started with the younger people who also felt victimized by the continuation of the war.

The universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 played a key role in the spread of this position. Several magazines and newspapers were created, such as Cadernos Circunstância, Cadernos Necessários, Tempo e Modo, and Polémica that supported this view. It was in this environment that the Armed Revolutionary Action (Acção Revolucionária Armada - ARA), the armed branch of the Portuguese Communist party created in the late 1960s, and the Revolutionary Brigades (Brigadas Revolucionárias - BR), a left-wing organization, became an important force of resistance against the war, carrying out multiple acts of sabotage and bombing against military targets. The ARA began its military actions in October 1970, keeping them up until August 1972. 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. 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 Guinea
Guinea
Guinea , officially the Republic of Guinea , is a country in West Africa. Formerly known as French Guinea , it is today sometimes called Guinea-Conakry to distinguish it from its neighbour Guinea-Bissau. Guinea is divided into eight administrative regions and subdivided into thirty-three prefectures...

. The BR acted even in the colonies, placing a bomb in the Military Command of Bissau on 22 February 1974.

By the early 1970s, the Portuguese Colonial War continued to rage on, consuming fully 40% of Portugal's annual budget. The Portuguese military was overstretched and there was no political solution or end in sight. While the human losses were relatively small, the war as whole had already entered its second decade. The Portuguese ruling regime of Estado Novo faced criticism from the international community and was becoming increasingly isolated. It had a profound impact on Portugal - thousands of young men avoided conscription
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 by emigrating illegally, mainly to France and the US. The war in the Portuguese overseas territories of Africa was increasingly unpopular in Portugal itself as the people got weary of war and balked at its ever-rising expense. Many ethnic Portuguese of the African overseas territories were also increasingly willing to accept independence if their economic status could be preserved. In addition, younger Portuguese military academy graduates resented a program introduced by Marcello Caetano whereby militia officers who completed a brief training program and had served in the overseas territories' defensive campaigns, could be commissioned at the same rank as military academy graduates. Caetano's Portuguese Government had begun the program (which included several other reforms) in order to increase the number of officials employed against the African insurgencies, and at the same time cut down military costs to alleviate an already overburdened government budget
Government budget
A government budget is a legal document that is often passed by the legislature, and approved by the chief executive-or president. For example, only certain types of revenue may be imposed and collected...

. Thus, the group of revolutionary military insurgents started as a military professional class protest of Portuguese Armed Forces
Portuguese Armed Forces
The armed forces of Portugal, commonly known as the Portuguese Armed Forces encompasses a Navy , an Army and an Air Force...

 captains against a decree law: the Dec. Lei nº 353/73 of 1973, organizing themselves in a loosely-allied group known as the MFA
Movimento das Forças Armadas
The Movement of the Armed Forces was an organisation of lower-ranked left-leaning officers in the Portuguese Armed Forces which was responsible for the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974, a military coup in Lisbon which ended the corporatist New State regime in Portugal, the Portuguese...

.

Faced with government inflexibility over proposed reforms, some Portuguese junior military officers, many from underprivileged backgrounds and increasingly attracted to the Marxist philosophy of their African insurgent opponents, began to move the MFA to the political left. On April 25, 1974, Portuguese military officers of the MFA staged a bloodless military coup that toppled António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar
António de Oliveira Salazar, GColIH, GCTE, GCSE served as the Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968. He also served as acting President of the Republic briefly in 1951. He founded and led the Estado Novo , the authoritarian, right-wing government that presided over and controlled Portugal...

's successor Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo José das Neves Alves Caetano, GCTE, GCC, also spelled Marcello Caetano , was a Portuguese politician and scholar, who was the last prime minister of the Estado Novo regime, from 1968 until his overthrow in the Carnation Revolution of 1974....

, and successfully overthrew the Portuguese regime of Estado Novo. The revolt would later become known as the Carnation Revolution
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

. General Spínola was invited to assume the office of President, but resigned a few weeks later after it became clear that his desire to set up a system of federalized home rule for the African territories was not shared by the rest of the MFA, who wanted an immediate end to the war (achievable only by granting independence to the provinces of Portuguese Africa). The 25 April coup led to a series of temporary governments, marked by a nationalisation of many important areas of the economy.

Aftermath

After the coup on April 25, 1974, while the power struggle for control of Portugal's government was occurring in Lisbon, many Portuguese Army units serving in Africa simply ceased field operations, in some cases ignoring orders to continue fighting and withdrawing into barracks, in others negotiating local ceasefire agreements with insurgents.

On 26 August 1974, after a series of diplomatic meetings, Portugal and the PAIGC signed an accord in Algiers, Algeria in which Portugal agreed to remove all troops by the end of October and to officially recognize the Republic of Guinea-Bissau government controlled by the PAIGC.

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. This was followed the next month by the announcement of the independence of Cape Verde, and the establishment of a new nation, the R Republic of Cape Verde. In Angola, the Alvor Agreement
Alvor Agreement
The Alvor Agreement, signed on January 15, 1975, granted Angola independence from Portugal on November 11, ending the war for independence while marking the transition to civil war...

was signed on January 15, 1975, granting Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

 independence from Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 on 11 November 1975. The Alvor Agreement formally ended the war for independence
Angolan War of Independence
The Angolan War of Independence began as an uprising against forced cotton cultivation, and became a multi-faction struggle for control of Portugal's Overseas Province of Angola with three nationalist movements and a separatist movement...

. The agreement, while signed by the MPLA, the FNLA, UNITA
UNITA
The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola is the second-largest political party in Angola. Founded in 1966, UNITA fought with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the Angolan War for Independence and then against the MPLA in the ensuing civil war .The war was one...

, and the Portuguese government, was never signed by the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda
Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda
The Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda is a guerrilla and political movement fighting for the independence of the Angolan province of Cabinda. Formerly under Portuguese administration, with the independence of Angola from Portugal in 1975, the territory became an exclave province...

 or the Eastern Revolt
Eastern Revolt
The Eastern Revolt is an Angolan nationalist organization that fought in the war for independence from Portugal under the leadership of Daniel Chipenda. The RDL drew its support from the Ovimbundu ethnic group....

 as the other parties had excluded them from the peace negotiations. The coalition government established by the Alvor Agreement soon fell apart as the various nationalist parties each attempted to seize power. Unable to broker a new compromise, in November 1975 Portugal's last African High Commissioner Rosa Coutinho
António Alva Rosa Coutinho
António Alva Rosa Coutinho was a Portuguese admiral, political activist, and participant in the Carnation Revolution.- Biography :...

 simply hauled down his nation's flag and departed Angola for good.

For a brief time after the coup of 25 April Coup, (May 1974 - November 1975) the country was on the brink of civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

 between left-wing hardliners (Vasco Gonçalves
Vasco Gonçalves
General Vasco dos Santos Gonçalves was a Portuguese army officer in the Engineering Corps who took part in the Carnation Revolution and later served as the 104th Prime Minister from 18 July 1974 to 19 September 1975....

, Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho
Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho
Otelo Nuno Romão Saraiva de Carvalho, GCL , formerly a Portuguese military officer, was the chief strategist of the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Lisbon.-Biography:...

 and others) and the moderate forces (Francisco da Costa Gomes
Francisco da Costa Gomes
Francisco da Costa Gomes, ComTE, GOA |Chaves]], 30 June 1914 – Lisbon, Lapa, 31 July 2001), was a Portuguese military officer and politician, the 15th President of the Portuguese Republic .-Life:...

, António Ramalho Eanes
António Ramalho Eanes
António dos Santos Ramalho Eanes, GColTE, GCL, CavA, KE is a Portuguese general and politician who was the 16th President of Portugal from 1976 to 1986.-Background:...

 and others). Moderate elements of the new military government eventually won, preventing Portugal from becoming a communist state
Communist state
A communist state is a state with a form of government characterized by single-party rule or dominant-party rule of a communist party and a professed allegiance to a Leninist or Marxist-Leninist communist ideology as the guiding principle of the state...

.

By 1975, Portugal had converted to a democratic government. The effects of having integrating hundreds of thousands of returning Portuguese from the former African provinces (collectively known as retornados), and political and economic turmoil resulting from the military coup and successive governments would cripple the Portuguese economy for decades to come.

Portugal had been the first European power to establish a colony in Africa when it captured Ceuta
Ceuta
Ceuta is an autonomous city of Spain and an exclave located on the north coast of North Africa surrounded by Morocco. Separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta lies on the border of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Ceuta along with the other Spanish...

 in 1415 and now it was one of the last to leave. The departure of the Portuguese from Angola and Mozambique increased the isolation of Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

, where white minority rule ended in 1980 when the territory gained international recognition as the Republic of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 with Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

 as the head of government. The former Portuguese territories in Africa became sovereign states with Agostinho Neto
Agostinho Neto
António Agostinho Neto served as the first President of Angola , leading the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the war for independence and the civil war...

 (followed in 1979 by José Eduardo dos Santos
José Eduardo dos Santos
José Eduardo dos Santos is an Angolan politician who has been the second and current President of Angola since 1979. As President, José Eduardo dos Santos is also the commander in chief of the Angolan Armed Forces and president of the MPLA , the party that has been ruling Angola since...

) in Angola, Samora Machel
Samora Machel
Samora Moisés Machel was a Mozambican military commander, revolutionary socialist leader and eventual President of Mozambique...

 (followed in 1986 by Joaquim Chissano
Joaquim Chissano
Joaquim Alberto Chissano served as the second President of Mozambique for nineteen years from 6 November 1986 until 2 February 2005. Since stepping down as president, Chissano has become an elder statesman and is called upon by international bodies, such as the United Nations, to be an envoy or...

) in Mozambique and Luís Cabral
Luís Cabral
Luís Severino de Almeida Cabral was the first President of Guinea-Bissau. He served from 1974 to 1980, when a military coup d'état led by João Bernardo "Nino" Vieira deposed him...

 (followed in 1980 by Nino Vieira) in Guinea-Bissau, as heads of state.

In contrast to some other European colonial possessions, many of the Portuguese living in Portuguese Africa had strong ties to their adopted land, as their ancestors had lived in Africa for generations. For these individuals, the prospect of Portugal's imminent departure from its African territories was nearly impossible to comprehend. Nevertheless, most accepted the inevitable, and while an abortive right-wing settler revolt broke out in Mozambique, it quickly died out as Portuguese coup leaders made it clear that the decision to grant independence was irrevocable. Fear of reprisals and impending changes in political and economic status by the Marxist governments of the new African states resulted in the peaceful exodus of over one million Portuguese citizens of European, African and mixed ethnicity from the newly-independent African territories to Portugal, South Africa, and other countries.

The new governments of Angola and Mozambique, faced a severe set of challenges as devastating civil wars broke out in both countries. Lasting several decades, these ongoing conflicts would eventually claim over two million lives and an even greater number of refugees, while destroying much of the infrastructure in both nations. Resentments over economic difficulties caused by failed government policies, the general disenfranchisement of political opponents, and widespread corruption at the highest levels of government eroded the initial optimism present at independence. These problems were exacerbated by a tendency to consolidate power by directing public anger against ethnic Portuguese and mixed-race Africans, as well as those who had supported the former colonial regime. Many of the local black soldiers that served in the Portuguese Army
Portuguese Army
The Portuguese Army is the ground branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in co-operation with other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the defence of Portugal...

 and who had fought against the insurgents were demobilised by Portuguese authorities and simply left behind in Africa. The most famous infamous reprisal occurred in Guinea-Bissau. Demobilized by the Portuguese authorities and abandoned to their fate, a total of 7,447 black African soldiers who had served in Portuguese native commando forces and militia were summarily executed by the PAIGC after Portuguese forces ceased hostilities. In a statement in the party newspaper Nô Pintcha (In the Vanguard), a spokesman for the PAIGC revealed that many of the ex-Portuguese indigenous African soldiers that were executed after cessation of hostilities were buried in unmarked collective graves in the woods of Cumerá, Portogole, and Mansabá
Mansaba
Mansaba is a Sector in the Oio Region of Guinea-Bissau....

.

Because the political regimes involved in wars or counterinsurgency tend to minimize unfavorable news stories about their military actions, many Portuguese remained unaware of the atrocities committed by the colonial regimes and the army. In 2007, a Radiotelevisao Portuguesa (RTP) documentary by Joaquim Furtado
Joaquim Furtado
Joaquim Furtado is a Portuguese journalist, reporter, television anchor and documentary film director. He worked during almost all his entire career for state-run RTP television network, including in RTP 2 for many years. He became a well-known media personality during the Carnation Revolution...

, made public both these government-supported atrocities and the organized massacres and terror campaign policies of some pro-independence guerrilla movements or their supporters; it was watched by over a million people, a tenth of the population at the time.

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. However, controversies over the MFA coup of 25 April 1974 and the decisions made by coup leaders remain to this day. In 2011, one of the chief organizers of the 1974 Carnation Revolution, Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho
Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho
Otelo Nuno Romão Saraiva de Carvalho, GCL , formerly a Portuguese military officer, was the chief strategist of the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Lisbon.-Biography:...

, stated that he would never have participated in the coup if he had known what the country would become after it.

Economic consequences of the war


In Portugal, government budgets increased significantly during the war years. The country's expenditure on the armed forces ballooned since the beginning of the war in 1961. The expenses were divided into ordinary and extraordinary ones; the latter were the main factor in the huge increase in the military budget. The succession of Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo Caetano
Marcelo José das Neves Alves Caetano, GCTE, GCC, also spelled Marcello Caetano , was a Portuguese politician and scholar, who was the last prime minister of the Estado Novo regime, from 1968 until his overthrow in the Carnation Revolution of 1974....

, after Salazar's incapacitation, resulted in steady increases in military spending on the African wars through 1972.

In mainland Portugal
Continental Portugal
Continental Portugal or Mainland Portugal is the designation of the mainland Portuguese territory, located on Europe's Iberian Peninsula....

, the growth rate of the economy during the war years ranged from 6%-11%, and in post war years 2-3%. This is substantially higher than the vast majority of other European nations. Other indicators like GDP as percentage of Western Europe would indicate that Portugal was rapidly catching up to its European neighbours. In 1960, at the initiation of Salazar's more outward-looking economic policy, Portugal's per capita GDP was only 38 percent of the EC-12 average; by the end of the Salazar period, in 1968, it had risen to 48 percent; and in 1973, on the eve of the revolution, Portugal's per capita GDP had reached 56.4 percent of the EC-12 average. In 1975, the year of maximum revolutionary turmoil, Portugal's per capita GDP declined to 52.3 percent of the EC-12 average. Convergence of real GDP growth toward the EC average occurred as a result of Portugal's economic resurgence since 1985. In 1991 Portugal's GDP per capita climbed to 54.9 percent of the EC average, exceeding by a fraction the level attained just during the worst revolutionary period.

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. By the 21st century, the Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, were among the lowest in the World, while corruption
Transparency International
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide...

 and social inequality soared. After 1974, the deterioration in central planning effectiveness, economic development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

 and growth, security, education and health system efficiency, was rampant. 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. With few exceptions, the new regimes ranked at the bottom of human development and GDP per capita world tables. By 2002, however, the end of the Angolan Civil War
Angolan Civil War
The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonisation conflict had taken...

, combined with exploitation of the country's highly valuable natural resources, resulted in that country becoming economically successful for the first time in decades.

Films about the War

  • Os Demonios de Alcacer-Quibir (Portugal 1975, director: Jose Fonseca da Costa).
  • La Vitta e Bella (Portugal/Italy/USSR 1979), director: Grigori Naumowitsch Tschuchrai).
  • Sorte que tal Morte (Portugal 1981, director: Joao Matos Silva).
  • Acto dos Feitos da Guine (Portugal 1980, director: Fernando Matos Silva).
  • Gestos & Fragmentos - Ensaio sobre os Militares e o Poder (Portugal 1982, director: Alberto Seixas Santos).
  • Um Adeus Portugues (Portugal 1985, director: Joao Botelho
    João Botelho
    João Botelho is a Portuguese film director.He has directed and written the screenplays of numerous films. His films have won several awards...

    ).
  • Era Uma Vez Um Alferes (Portugal 1987, director: Luis Filipe Rocha
    Luís Filipe Rocha
    Luís Filipe Rocha is a Portuguese film director, screenwriter and actor. He has directed ten films since 1976. His film Cerromaior was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival.-Filmography:...

    ).
  • Matar Saudades (Portugal 1987, director: Fernando Lopes Vasconcelos)
  • A Idade Maior (Portugal 1990, director: Teresa Villaverde Cabral).
  • "Non", ou A Vã Glória de Mandar (Portugal/France/Spain 1990, director: Manoel de Oliveira
    Manoel de Oliveira
    Manoel Cândido Pinto de Oliveira, GCSE is a Portuguese film director born in Cedofeita, Porto. He began working on films in the late 1920s, but did not receive international recognition until the early 1970s. Since the late 1980s he has been one of the most prolific working film directors and...

    ).
  • Ao Sul (Portugal 1993, director: Fernando Matos Silva).
  • Capitães de Abril
    Capitães de Abril
    April Captains is a 2000 film telling the story of the Carnation Revolution, the military coup that overthrew the fascist dictatorship in Portugal on April 25th 1974.This European co-production was directed by Maria de Medeiros...

    (Captains of april, Portugal 2000, director: Maria de Medeiros
    Maria de Medeiros
    Maria de Medeiros Esteves Vitorino de Almeida, DamSE , better known as Maria de Medeiros , is a Portuguese actress, director, and singer who has been involved in both European and American film productions.-Personal life:...

    ).
  • Assalto ao Santa Maria (Assault on the Santa Maria, Portugal 2009, director: Francisco Manso).

Documentaries about the War

  • A Guerra - Colonial - do Ultramar - da Libertação, 1st Season (Portugal 2007, director: Joaquim Furtado
    Joaquim Furtado
    Joaquim Furtado is a Portuguese journalist, reporter, television anchor and documentary film director. He worked during almost all his entire career for state-run RTP television network, including in RTP 2 for many years. He became a well-known media personality during the Carnation Revolution...

    , RTP
    Rádio e Televisão de Portugal
    Rádio e Televisão de Portugal, S.A.,commonly known as RTP, is Portugal's public service broadcasting organization. It operates four terrestrial television channels and three national radio channels, as well as several satellite and cable offerings....

    )
  • A Guerra - Colonial - do Ultramar - da Libertação, 2nd Season (Portugal 2009, director: Joaquim Furtado, RTP)

See also

  • Angolan War of Independence
    Angolan War of Independence
    The Angolan War of Independence began as an uprising against forced cotton cultivation, and became a multi-faction struggle for control of Portugal's Overseas Province of Angola with three nationalist movements and a separatist movement...

  • Guinea-Bissau War of Independence
    Guinea-Bissau War of Independence
    Guinea-Bissau War of Independence was an armed conflict and national liberation struggle in Portuguese Guinea between 1963 and 1974.-Background:...

  • Mozambican War of Independence
    Mozambican War of Independence
    The Mozambican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the guerrilla forces of the Mozambique Liberation Front or FRELIMO , and Portugal...

  • Operation Gordian Knot
  • Rhodesian Bush War
    Rhodesian Bush War
    The Rhodesian Bush War – also known as the Second Chimurenga or the Zimbabwe War of Liberation – was a civil war which took place between July 1964 and December 1979 in the unrecognised country of Rhodesia...

  • South African Border War
    South African Border War
    The South African Border War, commonly referred to as the Angolan Bush War in South Africa, was a conflict that took place from 1966 to 1989 in South-West Africa and Angola between South Africa and its allied forces on the one side and the Angolan government, South-West Africa People's...

  • Carnation Revolution
    Carnation Revolution
    The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

  • Portuguese Army Commandos
  • Special Operations Troops Centre
  • Parachute Troops School
    Parachute Troops School
    The ETP - Escola de Tropas Páraquedistas , based in Tancos, Portugal, is a unit of the Portuguese Army and serves as the instruction center for recruitment and training of the Portuguese paratroopers...

  • Portuguese Marine Corps
    Portuguese Marine Corps
    The Portuguese Marine Corps are a special operations force unit in the Portuguese Navy. The corps is specialised in amphibious warfare, coastal reconnaissance, maritime interdiction and boarding operations...

  • Portuguese irregular forces in the Overseas War
    Portuguese irregular forces in the Overseas War
    In various theaters of operations in the Portuguese Colonial War arose at the outset the need to create various types of irregular forces to help the Portuguese Armed Forces....

  • Portuguese Armed Forces
    Portuguese Armed Forces
    The armed forces of Portugal, commonly known as the Portuguese Armed Forces encompasses a Navy , an Army and an Air Force...

  • Military history of Africa
    Military history of Africa
    The military history of Africa is one of the oldest and most eclectic military histories. Africa is a continent of many regions with diverse populations speaking hundreds of different languages and practicing an array of cultures and religions...

  • Portuguese invasion of Guinea (1970)
  • Operation Vijay (1961) (Portuguese India
    Portuguese India
    The Portuguese Viceroyalty of India , later the Portuguese State of India , was the aggregate of Portugal's colonial holdings in India.The government started in 1505, six years after the discovery of a sea route to India by Vasco da Gama, with the nomination of the first Viceroy Francisco de...

    )
  • Angolan Civil War
    Angolan Civil War
    The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonisation conflict had taken...

  • Mozambican Civil War
    Mozambican Civil War
    The Mozambican Civil War began in 1977, two years after the end of the war of independence. The ruling party, Front for Liberation of Mozambique , was violently opposed from 1977 by the Rhodesian- and South African-funded Mozambique Resistance Movement...

  • Lusophobia
    Lusophobia
    Lusophobia is a hostility toward Portugal, a nation occupying the west of the Iberian Peninsula in south-western Europe, its Portuguese people or the Portuguese language and culture. Like Lusitanic, the word derives from Lusitania, the Ancient Roman province that comprised what is nowadays Central...


----

External links

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