Legião Portuguesa (Estado Novo)

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Portuguese Legion
'"Legião Portuguesa"
Legiao Portuguesa.svg
Motto To '"defend the spiritual heritage [of Portugal]" and to "fight the communist threat and anarchism".
Formation 1936
Type Paramilitary
Legal status Defunct
Region served
Parent organization
National Union (Portugal)

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.


Membership in the Portuguese Union was open to any white person over 18 years of age.

Members of the Portuguese Legion were divided into three levels:
Escalão das Actividade Militares: included legionaries from the ages of 18 to 45.
Escalão Privativo da DCT: Members 45 and older.
Escalão de Serviços Moderados: Only open to members over the age of 60.


The official oath of the Portuguese Legion was:

Portuguese Lyrics English translation

Como legionário, juro obediência aos meus chefes na defesa da Pátria e da ordem social
e afirmo solenemente pela minha honra que tudo sacrificarei, incluindo a própria vida, se tanto for necessário,
ao serviço da Nação, do seu património espiritual, da moral cristã e da liberdade da terra portuguesa.

As a Legionnaire, I swear obedience to the my generals in the defense of the country and of the social order
and solemnly affirm on my honor that I will sacrifice everything, including my life, if necessary,
for the service of the nation, its spiritual heritage of Christian morality and freedom of the Portuguese land.
In addition to the legionnaires, there were subscribers who are not members of the LP, contributed to its financing.

War Cry[edit]

The official war cry of the Portuguese Legion was:

Portuguese Lyrics English translation

Legionários, quem vive?
Portugal! Portugal! Portugal!
Legionários, quem manda?
Salazar! Salazar! Salazar!

Legionnaires, who lives?
Portugal! Portugal! Portugal!
Legionaries, who is the boss?
Salazar! Salazar! Salazar!


  • ARAÚJO, Rui. The Empire of Spies . Alfragide: Book Workshop, 2010
  • RODRIGUES, Luís Nuno. The Portuguese Legion: a new state militia (1936-1944) . Lisbon: Editorial Estampa, 1996.
  • SILVA, Joshua's. Portuguese Legion: repressive force of fascism . Lisbon: Diabril Publisher 1975.

See also[edit]