Portuguese Legion (Estado Novo)

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Standard of the Portuguese Legion with the cross of the Order of Aviz.

The Portuguese Legion (Portuguese: Legião Portuguesa) was a Portuguese paramilitary state organization founded in 1936 during the Portuguese President of the Council´s António de Oliveira Salazar's right-wing regime, the Estado Novo. It was dissolved in 1974.

Its stated objectives were to "defend the spiritual heritage [of Portugal]" and to "fight the communist threat and anarchism". During World War II, the Portuguese Legion was the only Portuguese state organization that openly adopted and defended Hitler's aims for Europe[citation needed].

The Portuguese Legion was under the control of the Ministry of the Interior and War, and was responsible for coordinating civil defense in Portuguese territory, including in the Portuguese Empire. It was deeply involved in multiple collaborations with PIDE, the political police that was the authoritarian regime's main tool of repression.

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