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Portuguese armed forces

March 19 2007 at 10:12 AM
Susan Cross 

Some months ago Leo Niehorster and I did the 1939 Portuguese forces on his website, and I wanted to draw people's attention to it and see if anyone has any comment or feedback, Thanks.

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von Adler

I used it!

March 19 2007, 1:10 PM 

I used it to edit my Pg2 equipment file. Part of it was also used for a Portugese fictional campaign in Pg2, made by DF.

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What is the website address?

March 19 2007, 1:38 PM 


I am interested in the Portuguese Army during this period, so would like to look at the site. Can you give me an address?

I am reading a book at the moment called 'Debaixo de Fogo: Salazar e as Forcas Armadas 1936-41'. It is interesting, though, it appears that the operational capacity of the army in the 30s was quite low.

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Susan Cross

Re: Website address

March 20 2007, 9:12 AM 

Dear Coconuts

Here is the website address; if anyone is interested I have updated information on the platoon and squad, from the infantry handbook.


I agree with the assessment of the capabilities of the Exercito; there was a shortage of weapons and equipment at every level.


This message has been edited by soucee on Mar 20, 2007 9:13 AM

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Portuguese Order of Battle

March 20 2007, 2:51 PM 

Hello Susan,

The order of battle is very interesting and a useful resource.

Did you find the volumes of the set 'Historia do Exercito Portugues 1910-1945' useful in compiling this order of battle?
I have volume 1 and 4 of this set, and I think it is an excellent source on this period.

I am still on the look out for the middle two titles, which will have data on the army's campaigns during this period I imagine.

Do you have any plans for adding orders of battle for the various expeditionary forces the Portuguese formed during WW2? Or the defenders of the Acores and other Portuguese islands that the allies thought about trying to invade?

I think the Portuguese Army fought at least one campaign in Angola during this period. The Portuguese used a mixed force with air support, but the tribesmen they were fighting (more like chasing around the wilderness) were mainly unarmed shepherds.

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Bill Murray


March 20 2007, 11:59 PM 

I have the absolute highest degree of respect for those of you that are involved in the "text" area of military history, including orders of battle, tables of equipment etc.

I am hoping that there exists the possibility to also provide photographs, or links to photographs, of the campaigns you are discussing here.

As Nuyt and Susan know, my passion is transport or any other type of soft skin vehicles. It is still extremely difficult to capture examples of such vehicles used by the smaller or non aligned nations. While most such photos I am asking for do not have vehicles as their primary subject, I have enough experience to sort out for the most part what type of vehicles may be present in the photos.

Any help would be most appreciated.


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Susan Cross

Re: Portuguese order of battle

March 21 2007, 6:23 AM 

I have the whole set, also the Telo book on small arms, and am waiting with mounting impatience for the volumes on the artillery aznd armored vehicles.

We originally planned to do the expeditionary forces in 1941 and 1945, but we were waiting to see what kind of response the 1939 OOBs got.

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Books about Portuguese Weapons

March 21 2007, 3:58 PM 

Do you have the titles or author of these books? They sound interesting. Are they recent publications?

It is a long time since I last spent time in Portugal, so I have not kept up with new publications.

Portugal was, however, a good place to buy military books, because there were so many second hand bookshops. Now I only regret I did not buy more, especially period publications.

This message has been edited by nuyt on Mar 21, 2007 5:17 PM

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Susan Cross

Re: Books

March 22 2007, 1:43 AM 

Telo, Antonio Jose and Alvares, Mario "Armamento do Exercito Portugues: Vol. I Armamento Ligeiro"

Volume II will do the artillery, Volume II the armored vehicles, but I haven't seen a date announced.

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Re: Books

March 22 2007, 4:38 PM 

I will look out for this.

As far as the second volume goes, sometimes I get the impression it can take Portuguese authors a while to get their books published!

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Heavy weapons and vehicles

March 25 2007, 10:52 PM 

Susan, do you know anything on the equipment of these colonial heavy native units and do you know if these were re-equipped during the war?

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Susan Cross

Re: Heavy Weapons and Vehicles

March 26 2007, 6:08 AM 

There is nothing in the Historia about the make=up of these units; however, in the breakdown of the metropolitan cavalry regiments, there was a squadron for heavy weapons, "metralhadoras" and "engenhos", which had four platoons of machineguns, one platoon of 4 x 81mm mortars and one platoon of 2 x 75 guns; I suspect the colonial units were similar.

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