Talk:Portuguese Colonial War

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Error on time[edit]

In fact, the Portuguese Colonial War only ended by November 1975. There were conscripts still being called for service in Africa by August 1975, and the full withdrawal of Portuguese forces was only verified by November that year. PaulRamos1993 (talk) 22:48, 16 December 2011 (UTC)



This article was good for a laugh, it's the first I've ever seen of what its like inside the mind of a Portuguese nationalist. Keep up the good fight buddy! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:18, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

It's not funny. It is a shame! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:58, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Discrepancy on economic effects on Portugal[edit]

Under aftermath:

"In early 1974, the Portuguese military still controlled all major cities and towns in Angola and Mozambique. Vila Pery, Portuguese Overseas Province of Mozambique (now Chimoio, Mozambique) was the only heavily populated urban area which suffered a short-lived attack by guerrillas during the entire war. A sound environment of security and normality was the norm in almost all Portuguese Africa outside Portuguese Guinea. Economic growth and economic development in mainland Portugal and its overseas territories were at a record high during this period.[35] After a long period of economic divergence before 1914, the Portuguese economy recovered slightly until 1950, entering thereafter on a path of strong economic convergence. Portuguese economic growth in the period 1950–1973 created an opportunity for real integration with the developed economies of Western Europe. Through emigration, trade, tourism and foreign investment, individuals and firms changed their patterns of production and consumption, bringing about a structural transformation. Simultaneously, the increasing complexity of a growing economy raised new technical and organizational challenges, stimulating the formation of modern professional and management teams.[44]"

vs. just couple of paragraphs later:

"The communist government was soon overthrown and Portugal converted to a democratic government.[29] But it would take 30 years and membership of the European Union for the Portuguese economy to recover from the effects of the colonial war and certain economic excesses of the Carnation revolution. The effects of having to integrate hundreds of thousand of refugees from the colonies (collectively known as retornados), nationalisation of areas of the economy, and the resultant brain drain due to political intimidation by the government of the entrepreneurial class would cripple the Portuguese economy for decades to come.[49]"

The later would "feel" more likely, but I don't know. Guess this just goes on to show that the article could use some major rewriting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

And Economic consequences of the war section confuses the matter even further. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:09, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Factual accuracy[edit]

"Portuguese Troops leaving Portugal to go to the Colonial War" ..?

Someone get a decent english and reformulate that idiotic sentence

Factual accuracy[edit]

This article treats all three theatres as part of the same war. In fact, there were three distinct independence movements, and three distinct wars. Mozambique's independence movement, for instance, rejected most outside assistance, while Angola's relied heavily on Cuban troops and Soviet machinery. The independence movements, while friendly to each other, didn't necessarily cooperate or assist each other. In short, they weren't allies fighting on the same side in the same war. They were each fighting simultaneous wars of independence. This article needs some significant changes to deal with this bias. The Disco King 19:04, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Although the 3 theatres had different characteristics, they were part of the same war. Your argument is very strange, as no source describes the war like you do. What the article should say is that they had different characteristics, for example, the war in Guinea was the toughest for the Portuguese. Every historian in Portugal considers the war as one, with three theatres. Afonso Silva 20:09, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

From a Portuguese perspective, maybe it was one war on three fronts. From an African perspective, the wars were only related in that they were fighting the same enemy. There was no commonality of strategy, there was no true "alliance" against Portugal. There were three seperate independence movements fighting for the independence of three seperate nations against one common colonial power. This article represents the Portuguese perspective, but not the various African perspectives. The Disco King 20:14, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Agreed -- although this is an interesting article it is heavily geared toward the Portugese perspective, and seems to assume the reader is aware of things that are not obvious. For example, the article says the following:

The war in Guinea also saw the use of two unique units:

* African Commandos (Comandos Africanos): Commando units entirely composed by black soldiers, including the officers * Afican Special Marines (Fuzileiros Especiais Africanos): Marine units entirely composed by black soldiers

Were these "unique units" part of the Portugese Army? Or the Anti-Portugese guerillas? I infer the former from the reference to "black soldiers" (since I further infer that the guerilla army was almost entire of black African ancestry,) but I do not know this for a fact.

You are right, these 'unique' black commando and other special units refer to pro-Portuguese, anti-guerilla counterinsurgent forces.

On that same note, I think it would help if authors elaborate when they refer to "the war was won". By whom, guerrillas or Portuguese defense forces? It's not always clear to a reader User Don19 10:43 9 September 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I also believe that there was a Cuban invasion of Portugese Guinea on behalf of the rebels by a force of around 600 troops/advisers, and I did not see any reference to this in the article. 05:09, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

WHAt IS A UNIQUE UNIT?? The descriptions of the unique units resembles the description of unique units in computer games, thats ridiculous. Dentren | Talk 07:25, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
it's not ridiculous. Those were ad-hoc units, born out of the particular needs of the war. Yosy 21:01, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Translating and copyedit[edit]

I did the copy editing from a very rough translation into English from the original Portuguese article. Many of the sentences made no sense to me so I had to do a "best guess". It's an interesting point, though that the article is from the Portugues point of view. It focuses on the political and financial impact on Portugal, which was massive.
If anyone can improve the article, please do. KarenAnn 20:36, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
I haven't read the whole article, but at least the armed conflict-setion si written in a ridicoulous portuguese nationalist prespective, which is why i inserted a POV-template. Peace Out. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 23:37, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

I only translated some parts of the article, the majority was made by User:GTubio. I stopped translating it as I realized that the Portuguese version, despite being a FA, is not that good. Currently, I have no time for improving the article, but I really want to do it in the future. Thanks KarenAnn for your nice job. Afonso Silva 22:18, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Fnlaflag.gif[edit]

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This article is not impartial at all, and only looks upon the case from the portuguese side, someone should edit large parts of it, or atleast mark it as a partial article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Magnus Tvet (talkcontribs) 04:47, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Operation Vijay[edit]

Isnt Operation Vijay (1961) part of the portuguese colonial war? Dentren | Talk 12:51, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Although Operation Vijay is related to the Colonial War, it isn't part of the conflict.
    Best regards, Get_It 18:25, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Why not? Operation Vijay occured in the 1960s at the same time that insurgency groups were formed in Africa. Goa was as much as angola as Portuguese colony. Dentren | Talk 11:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Ao-unita.gif[edit]

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Image:Ao-unita.gif is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 06:42, 1 January 2008 (UTC)


"The Soviet Union realising that a military solution it had so successfully employed in several other countries around the world was not bearing fruit, dramatically changed strategy. It focused instead on Portugal. With the growing popular discontent over the casualties of the war and due to the large economic divide between the rich and poor the communists were able to manipulate junior officers of the military. The young officers were both idealistic and ignorant of the then world affairs, state of the economy or of the military progress in the colonies."

This is neither cited nor written in an impartial tone. - Francis Tyers · 21:18, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I didn't write that, but the article already has external sources for the role of the communists in the leftist military coup in 1974 at Lisbon. Pularoid (talk) 22:15, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I added two new sources adressing your questions. Pularoid (talk) 22:45, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

To continue on this, the article is definitely non-neutral. The point of view expressed in the article, especially in the sections on the aftermath and economic consequences of the war, seems to be colonialist and fascist (or Salazarist, if that's not the same). Though there are quite some citations, their quality seems questionable; the claim that economic growth was on a high before the Carnation Revolution, for example, is based on an article by a right-wing general from the Colonial War - not the most neutral source to be sure. I think this article needs quite some rewriting, especially in the sections I mentioned. Ucucha 19:15, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Only the second paragraph in the Aftermath section is historically accurate. I would simply delete the others. Yosy (talk) 23:12, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Some sections were written by Portuguese Communist Party sympathizers and are totally unreferenced from the beginning. Greg Mathews (talk) 21:30, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
The economic growth in the colonies in the 1961-1974 period is undeniable. Most of the part of Luanda that is made in concrete was built at that time. feastguy101 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:28, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
At first I also did not believe the part about the rampant economic growth in Portugal was as high was it was for the period between 1967 until the Carnation Revolution in 1974 but when I checked the data on the World Development Indicators 2007 (published by the World Bank) I found that Portugal did indeed enjoy a very high economic growth rate of between 7% to 11% for every year except 1969 when it grew by 4%. Indeed the year of highest growth was 11% in 1973, the year before the Carnation Revolution. --Discott (talk) 16:19, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

If is undeniable provide the article with neutral sources. right now this article needs editing/deleting like Yosy said. (talk) 11:50, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

This article definately has a huge neutrality problem. It has a very pro colonial tilt. A notable example: "One of the most idolized sports stars in Portuguese history, a black football player from Portuguese East Africa named Eusébio, is another clear example of assimilation and multiracialism in the Portuguese Africa."

It also doesn't have sources supporting some of the more wild claims such as this: "The UPA which was based in Zaire entered Angola and proceeded to massacre the civilian population (women and children included and of both European and Angolan African descent) under the full knowledge of the US Government. John F. Kennedy would later notify António de Oliveira Salazar (via the US consulate in Portugal) to immediately abandon the colonies." Oddly enough he earlier claimed the JFK call was a rumor then here he stated it as a fact, though he has no sources for either sentence (rumor or fact). This article definately needs to be rewritten. -DCR


The numbers of terrorists in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea are totally wrong, they were more than 300 thousand, with reserves in other countries that border the colonies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The use of the word "terrorists" has stopped making any sense in this case in 1974! "Terrorists" is what the Portuguese dictatorship's propaganda called the African armed rebels. I think the terms "rebels" or "insurgents" are far more apropriate. Southwestsoul (talk) 14:26, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree, and want to add that "more than 300,000" is pure fantasy. Numbers were in fact considerably lower, but it has to be admitted that no reliable sources exist in this respect. Aflis (talk) 13:21, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

rewriting the entire article[edit]

I think the entre article should be re-writen. This article is partially based on the Portuguese one, wich is clearly biased. I don't think it's possible yet for the Portuguese people to clearly and unpassionately write about the "collonial war". Someone else will most likely make a better and more professional job. The original article was probably writen by a conservative right-wing Portuguese(i know this is going to sound bad but... this sort of misinformation is most likely to be writen by a fascist). Some of it's claims are simply a joke. It's allmost as if Portuguese Africa was "heaven on Earth" and Salazar was a "multi-culturalist"! In the early 60's, in Luanda, when a black and a white men walked opposite to each other on a sidewalk, the black man would better move out and give way to the white one, otherwise he would most likely be slapped in the face for his insolence. That's the sort of "multi-culturalism" in Portuguese Africa at that time.Southwestsoul (talk) 16:18, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

It's actually a very good article, I think. The section on weapons, tactics, and strategy of both sides in particular is presented in vivid detail; much better than some of the more romantic left-wing wiki accounts of various independence movements, which are replete with melodrama and short on specifics of the reality of the fighting, especially when it comes to details of atrocities committed by the 'freedom fighters'. What POV there is in the current version seems to me to result from a need for more information, not a need to delete what is there. Perhaps some information from the accounts of former rebel leaders and former Soviet military commanders and technicians might be appropriate, particularly in the case of the PAIGC, which was an undeniably effective rebel force/movement. As to 'multi-culturalism', it is not contradictory to note, for example, that racism and preferential treatment undeniably existed in Portuguese Africa while at the same time acknowledging the widespread fact of cultural assimilation, intermarriage, and immigration between the inhabitants of Portugal and those of her colonies. Just my opinion.Dellant (talk) 20:24, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Jomifica (talk) 21:31, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

"intermarriage"? I don't think so. If you mean mixed relationships, you're right. But marriage? Please show me ten records of legal "mixed" marriages in the thirty years prior to 1974 and i'll gladly change my mind :-). The article shows a lot of information because its original source is most probably someone envolved in the military operations being himself a military. What i mean by bious is the general look of "we didn't loose the war" and "we didn't commit any atrocities" that comes off it. What do you call wiriammu and batepá then?

Q: How many POW'S were released after the war by portuguese military authorities? A: None. PIDE usually killed them after interrogation. (this was actually a major stress factor in the peace negotiations because the rebels actually believed them, or some of them to be alive and imprisioned). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Southwestsoul (talkcontribs) 17:40, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Is ANYONE going to do anything about this article? I'm not an expert on the subject so I cannot do a total rework of it. The problem though is that it appears to be so clearly biased in favour of colonialism on part of Portugal, goes to great lengths to try and make Portuguese Africa look like a paradise when I highly doubt that is true, and, excuse me, appears to have been written by a fascist who admires Salazar. Someone said this was lifted right off the Portuguese wiki: Isn't that not a good idea? This is probably a topic that is really close to most Portuguese people. It needs to be rewritten badly by someone who is an expert on the subject. The fact it hasn't been changed in years is really a big problem for wikipedia, because thousands of people have been reading this to get their facts on the subjects. (talk) 22:03, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

  • Feel free to mention sources regarding your "doubts" like other contributors have. Even if you don't edit the article others might be able to use your references and sources to improve the article. -- Get_It (talk) 17:15, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

As others have said, this article is clearly biased. Affirmations like "The African territories became worse off after independence." are not supported by any hard evidence. I believe that at least some minor "cleaning" work should be done. For now, the "neutrality disputed" header should remain in place. Mahound (talk) 19:56, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

I agree that there are unacceptable flaws in the article, although I think only the introduction of the other point of view would suffice. It IS true that Portugal had an "integration policy" of sorts, but it is not true, by any means, that this policy translated into a just society. So, although the article conveys partial truths, it certainly does not express the whole truth. The vast majority of the black population was given second-rate citizenship and was denied access to several services. Crops that suited the Government, but certainly not the local populations, were forced upon the populations of Northern Mozambique, for instance. Although the portuguese colonies might have experienced a level of "tolerance" above other european colonies of the time (although that is strongly questionable) one thing is obvious: they were certainly not strongholds of racial mixing and integration. Please, somebody revise at least this section, or I will; it is way too biased. --Pedrojpinto (talk) 04:11, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
One problem of the article is a lack of neutrality that appears in several places. The other is the sad fact that it is a far cry away from the state-of-the art knowledge which by now exists on the subject, thanks to the historical research by people from different countries. As it stands, the article gives en-WP a bad name and should be entirely rewritten. Aflis (talk) 13:13, 16 May 2011 (UTC)


In all the alphabety-spaghetti there's UPA and I can't see what it refers to. Just curious. --Alastair Rae (talk) 15:51, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

A: UPA refers to the Angolan Populations Union (União das Populações de Angola), a guerilla movement responsible for the 15 March 1961 massacre and which later gave birth to the FNLA —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:36, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Correction: UPA stands for União dos Povos de Angola (Angola's Peoples' Union), later FNLA (Frente Nacional para a Libertação de Angola - National Front for the Liberation of Angola), not Populations: (talk) 16:56, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Portuguese Colonial War[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Portuguese Colonial War's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "stats":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 01:58, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

India enclaves should be included[edit]

The portuguese colonial war did include its Indian enclaves and should be added. see Portuguese India and 1961 Indian Annexation of Goa The portuguese colonial war started in 1961 with the invasion of these enclaves and the rise of nationalist movements in Portugal's African colonies between 1961 and 1974.

"India’s defence minister, Krishna Menon, and head of India’s UN delegation stated in no uncertain terms that India had not “abjured the use of force” in Goa, and went on to link Goa to Angola, condemning Portugal’s anti decolonization policies in both cases. Indian forces were, at the time, serving in Congo as part of a UN operation and had been involved in the fighting."

"The US government stopped short of suggesting self determination for the people of Goa, as this, they realized, would be needed to apply to all other Portuguese holdings worldwide, and would damage US–Portugal relations"

"Relations between India and Portugal thawed only in 1974, when, following a military coup d'état" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:50, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Hilarious Portuguese Militaristic Chauvinism[edit]

Re the following: "The combined guerrilla forces of the MPLA, the UNITA, and the FNLA, in Angola, PAIGC in Guinea-Bissau, and FRELIMO in Mozambique, succeeded in their rebellion not because of their overall success in battle, but because of elements of the Portuguese Armed Forces that staged a coup at Lisbon in 1974.[5][6] "

I always find these kind of defensive comments hilarious - the assertion that somehow the Portuguese colonial armies weren't defeated. One has to ask then: 'what is defeatism?' To which one answers, it is when an army is so demoralized, so uncertain of itself, so filled with fear of death and injury, loathing of its role that it turns on its political leaders. Having substituted one set of bureaucrats for another, the army then ensures that it is ordered to 'withdraw'.

The Portuguese army was very clearly defeated - simply by the fact that it knew that it could not win the colonial wars, that it was hated by the colonized peoples.

The defensive 'we weren't defeated' posture is simply racial machismo. Portuguese rule was grotesque, brutal, horrendous from beginning to end. It was characterized by racism, genocide, slavery, greed, mass rape, torture and decadence.

The prospect of decades of incessant guerilla war, coming in the wake of the humiliating 1961 defeat by India simply proved too much for the tiny Iberian statelet and, like all of other empires it collapsed in the face of external pressure and internal dissolution.

Things Fall Apart —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ackees (talkcontribs) 23:17, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

I have to agree that the contents of the "Aftermath" section and the "Results" in template at the top of the article are highly suspect. If Portugal had really succeeded militarily, as this article claims, then the Carnation Revolution would not have happened. It was only the coffins coming in that forced the army command in Lisbon to revolt. At best, militarily, the situation seems to be an inconclusive stalemate, definitely not a Portuguese victory. The African revolutionaries may not have scored a military victory, they did achieve their aim. I compared the current article to a point in 2007[1] and surprisingly the "result" of the war has changed. I have NPOV-tagged the article pending a satisfactory discussion. --Deepak D'Souza (talk) 19:19, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Like Deepak D'Souza, I think a differentiated analysis is in order. (1) One can make a good case for a military victory of the PAIGC, in Guinea-Bissau. Conversely, I argue that FNLA & MPLA & UNITA & FLEC had definitely lost the war by 1974. In Mozambique, the situation was by then somewhere in between. (2) Quite obviously, the colonial war was one of the main causes of the overthrow of the Salazar regime. Without the anti-colonial struggle of the African nationalists the Carnation Revolution would not have happened. Aflis (talk) 13:23, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Is this really credible?[edit]

Going by the article, the causes of the war can be summarised in a few points.

  1. USA and USSR hate each other and are itching for a fight.
  2. They select Portuguese Africa as a playground.
  3. Poor Portugal is caught up in a colonial war.

The obvious reason for any colonial war would be a desire by the colonised to see their colonisers leave, if not by peaceful means then by violence. And that isn't said anywhere in the article! This article would like readers to believe that the war was simply a byproduct of the Cold War. I find this premise incredulous but not surprising giving my experience with Portuguese India related articles. A repeated sentiment brought by Portuguese editors on talk pages seems to be the firm belief that Portugal's colonies didn't not want freedom; and that the freedom movements were the product of a few disgruntled persons. And that seems to be the same hidden premise here: the war wasn't really for freedom, it was for political control. The article may say colonial war but the text in the intro and the first section don't say that. --Deepak D'Souza (talk) 12:32, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

While the United States and the Soviet Union did intervene in numerous localized conflicts around the planet, you are right that there were underlying causes for each conflict. The article could really use some references on the situation of the area prior to the war and specific grievances of those striving for independence. By comparison, notice how complex the article on the Indian independence movement has become. Note that it lists underlying causes for Indian resentment to British rule: "As the British increasingly dominated the continent, they grew increasingly abusive of local customs by, for example, staging parties in mosques, dancing to the music of regimental bands on the terrace of the Taj Mahal, using whips to force their way through crowded bazaars (as recounted by General Henry Blake), and mistreating sepoys." ... "The sepoys were also disillusioned by their low salaries and racial discrimination vis-a-vis British officers in matters of promotion and privileges." Dimadick (talk) 19:46, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

To clarify my point: I have no doubt that the superpowers were involved. The rebels needed guns and ammo which probably were funded from outside. But you cant have a fire without a spark. The very obvious cause isn't listed. I have NPOV-tagged the article, as, going from the above discussions, the neutrality of this article is highly questionable. I will look for fresh sources for the causes soon although I pretty much have an idea about what could be the probable cause of the war: Portugal failing to recongnise the colonial era was drawing to an end and a peaceful exit was the only honourable way to end it. --Deepak D'Souza (talk)

We shall get nowhere as long as we, explicitly or implicitly, consider the Portuguese colonial system in Africa (I don't know about Asia) as an animal of another kind, if compared with other colonial sytems. In fact, it obviously had specific features, but - especially in terms of political economy and diffusion of European civilization - its basic characteristics were the same as elsewhere. As a consequence, it produced in the colonies social dynamics which inevitably led to "nationalist" revolts even before "nations" existed - quite like in the French and English colonies. The circumstance that, mainly because of the time lag of more than a decade, this process was heavily conditioned by the Cold War constitutes thus, in a way, an historical accident. If we want to understand the long term trajectory of the former Portuguese colonies, our main "analytical perspective" on the Colonial War has thus to be that of the endogenous dynamics. Aflis (talk) 13:48, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Made a Start[edit]

I have made a start in removing the pro-Portuguese bias from this article. The way it was written before you'd have thought people would be begging for the return of Salazar. In fact, with the end of the civil wars in Angola and Mozambique, both countries are finally starting to reap the benefits of independence from the brutal, racist and long-gone Portuguese empire.

I would very much like to know who is the user that left this note. Aflis (talk) 13:51, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Portuguese African War[edit]

The Portuguese armed forces were not defetead by the terrorists.They simply were betrayed by their own (not all)professionl officers.

Jorge Fernandes —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:15, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Dear brother Jorge, describing the people's liberation forces of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau as 'terrorists' is completely unacceptable. Self-determination is the right of all peoples, and all peoples have the sovereign right to liberate themselves by whatever means necessary including armed force. Under Salazar, the Portuguese empire was an anti-democratic regime, denying its subjects in the metropole and in the colonies basic civil rights such as the right to vote in free and fair elections, form free political organisations or even attain higher education. When the people of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea tried to institute such basic democratic reforms, they were violently repressed by a remote and autocratic regime that had failed to establish a single university in 300 years.
Furthermore, this repressive Portuguese empire formed alliances with racist, tyrannical regimes in South Africa and Rhodesia, indicating its intention never to peacefully give up imperial rule and racial repression. Eventually, the regime collapsed because the entire empire was in a state of rebellion, including in Portugal, where there was an army mutiny, as conscripts did not want to return home from Africa in body bags.
I understand that some editors may have sustained personal losses when the Portuguese empire was overthrown. However, they should not allow this sense of personal grief to unduly influence their edits. Botha, Salazar, Smith, Leopold and their collaborators Savimbi, Mobutu and Buthelezi have been overthrown and defeated. The empires are long gone. So called 'white' rule is gone and it is never, ever coming back. Editors must try to get over this fact and enjoy the sunshine...:)Ackees (talk) 05:42, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Dear Ackees,

What you affirm is simply outrageous, a distortion of the truth. I have several things to say you that will justify my changes in the article. One of them is that, by the time the war ended, in 1975 (1974 officially with the Revolução dos Cravos), Salazar was already dead, therefore, he wasn't defeated. Another of the reasons is that, 1975, several reports affirmed that the MPLA and the FRELIMO were already reduced to minor resistance groups. Please notice that these reports came from both sides, not only from the Portuguese HQ. It is an international consense that it was a Portuguese military victory. The only reason the Portuguese left their colonies was because of the demands that came from the new government in Portugal, at the 25th of April 1974. Third, if you observe and analise the final casualty and forces numbers, from 1961 to 1975, you'll notice the huge losses that were caused by the Portuguese successive operations. I would appreciate if you don't edit the article again. You can verify my data. Thank you.

S. João Baptista (talk) 12:26, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Sir, you correctly pointed out that Salazar was dead but notice that he didn't win the war. The guy who had to eat the dregs of the conflict was Marcelo Caetano, who failed to make any kind of deal with the rebels and therefore ultimatly lost the whole war.
"It is an international consense that it was a Portuguese military victory." Sir, if you can provide at least 5 credible non-Portuguese sources which claim that, I would be much surprised. But please, I dare you to prove your statement. You seem to consider that the side which loses more troops automaticaly loses the war. Sir, under your wise reasoning the Soviet Union lost against Nazi Germany during WWII, and the USA somehow won against North Vietnam.
Blame him, blame Salazar, blame the Portuguese military (who somehow were unwilling to keep on dying in a over 10 year-long conflict, one can only wonder why? A bunch of "spinless cowards" indeed.) Blame the "communist traitors", blame everybody else and whoever you want. The fact is that Portugal lost the colonial war.
Sir, you mention MPLA and FRELIMO (and I know that the MPLA was very weakened at the end of the war) but what about all the other rebel groups? UNITA, and god knows what else they were called. What about Guine? What about the Portuguese military? What about the young men of Portugal who fled to other countries (in some districts 50% of young men had fled)? Sir, do you honestly want to tell us that they still had any kind of fighting spirit left? Flamarande (talk) 15:36, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Dear Flamarande,
I do not affirm that wars are won by numbers. There are several reports that support my statements. You can check several documenaries. There's a French one whose name I unfortunatelly do not recall, but it explains very well the situation during the Portuguese Overseas War. There's also a Portuguese one (A Guerra), but, correct me if I'm wrong, you seem to acknowledge every Portuguese sources as partial ones. But if you want to check it better, check books in Scribd website. I cannot present you 5 international sources, simply because the UN policy over war matters is very restrictive. They only publish certain matters 50 years after the events. Maybe in 2011 something will come up. Yet, there are a lot of Portuguese sources simply because the war envolved Portugal.
When I mentioned FRELIMO and MPLA, I did it because they were the most influent in their operative areas. For example, PAIGC, that operated in Guiné-Bissau, did offered a great resistance to the Portuguese. In fact, the situation in Guinea was so bad that the newspapers in France (one of the few countries that was surveing the actions in Africa) nicknamed it "Portuguese Vietnam". In fact, you are partially correct. I simply refered MPLA and FRELIMO simply because, in their theaters of war (Angola and Mozambique, respectively), they were defeated.
Just because Portugal didn't kept its colonies that doesn't mean that the war was lost. The decolonization period at the time was denied by Portugal untill the Carnation Revolution. When the Democrats took over in Portugal, the decolonization started, in order to avoid new sanctions by the UN, who was making a huge pressure over the Portuguese Government since its creation. In order to stop the sanctions, Salazar ordered the colonies in Africa to be elevated to a higher status: Overseas territories, putting them at the same level of the Azores, Madeira and Macau.
But yes, a lot of young men fled to France, some of them to join the resistance movements over there to overthrow the dictatorship in Portugal, and others to join the French Foreign Legion. But the lack of fighting spirit was very common in the Portuguese ranks. Yet, those who were there, even knowing that they were fighting for a wrong cause, they fought, and fought very well. Portugal was the only country that fought simultaneously in 3 fronts of war 3000 km away from supplies for 14 years, and didn't lose it. I need you to understand something, sir: The war was not lost militarly. It was lost politically. After the Carnation Revolution, the Portuguese new government ordered the retreat of the Portuguese forces in Africa, which left some of the commanders in Africa very surprised, because they knew the war was practically won. Special attention for the documentary "A Guerra", that explains it very well, showing reports of not only Portuguese, but combatants of each and every independence factions. Again, I'm sorry I don't remember the name of the French documentary. But I saw it a long, long time ago, and it was only once. Thank you sir. S. João Baptista (talk) 17:12, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Sir, please keep the "dear" to yourself. I do not know you, I do not wish to know you, and I wish to keep a civil and polite distance. Much obliged.
You wrote: "It is an international consense that it was a Portuguese military victory". Quite frankly, sir, that statement is a very poor lie. The international consensus is that Portugal lost the colonial war.
I asked for 5 credible non-Portuguese sources and not for 5 international sources. You failed completly to present them besides mentioning a "certain French documentary" and the "A Guerra" documentary. Well I watched that documentary (yes, I live in Portugal) but I wonder if you understood the documentary at all. It explains the circumstances of the diffrent fronts and how Guine was all but lost, Mozambique was worsening, while Angola was stable. A fair description of this result is: limited defeat (and a limited defeat, is a defeat nonetheless).
I do not acknowledge that every Portuguese source is partial, but I do know that for every Portuguese source that states that Portugal lost the war there is another one that claims that Portugal won the war. I will not speculate upon the motives of the second kind (nationalism, jingoism, simple blindness?).
I have some respect for the Portuguese military that fought in the colonial war. A third-rate country (Portugal) managed to hold on for over 10 years in a multi-front war. But let us not kid ourselves; the opposition (the "Rebel scum" - love Star Wars :) was poorly organized, trained and equiped. Several groups were supported by the Soviet Union, others by the USA but their initial lack of experience made them easy game. But after several years the rebels had better equipment, battle experience and were well motivated. The rebels knew that they were fighting for their freedom, and for the end of the white man's rule. Most of those who fought were willing to die for this ideal.
The common Portuguese soldier came from Portugal, and had nothing to gain from this war. Most of them had never been in Africa at all, didn't understand the terrain, and only wanted to survive to return to their families.
You don't seem to realize that most wars are fought to oblige the other side to political concessions. Wars end in political negotiations (except total wars - which are fought to the total destruction of the enemy country, military and the civilian sector = WWII).
The Portuguese officers were sick and tired of this war and knew that the Portuguese politicians were simply refusing to face obvious facts: the age of colonies was OVER. Other countries like the UK and France (major powers until the end of WWII) had grudgingly accepted that fact and acknowledged the independence of their colonies. The Estado Novo was unwilling to learn from their examples, and somehow dreamed that Portugal, a third-rate country was going to defeat the rebels, who got support from the Soviet Union, the USA and other former African colonies?
The Portuguese military fought, and fought well, hard and sometimes savagely (you know, and I know that several massacres happenend) but the officers knew that they were merely fighting for time so that the Portuguese goverment could negotiate with the other side. The rebels were never going to quit their freedom and the Estado Novo simply refused any kind of negotiations.
What was the Portuguese military suppossed to do? To fight until the last man and the last bullet? To sacrife themselves upon the altar of political blindness? They fought for 14 years, at the end they were simply sick and tired. They were de facto defeated in Guine, Mozambique was bad, while Angola was stable. But they knew that it would get worse and worse.
The main reason of the officers who made made the coup was to obtain another goverment which was willing to negotiate. The Portuguese communists certainly helped somewhat, but the key factor was that after 14 years of fighting, with the war getting nowhere, the Portugues military and people was willing to abdicate of the colonies. Call a political decision of the military and of the people, call it what you want. Portugal lost, it didn't win. Flamarande (talk) 18:51, 8 August 2010 (UTC) PS: I'm requesting outside judgement over this piteful article.

Vou assumir que, por ter visto o documentário "A Guerra", sabe falar português. Caso não saiba, "Dear" é um indicativo de respeito e cortesia, mas se o senhor não deseja ser tratado com tal deferência, então assim seja. Não tenho obrigação nenhuma perante si. Voltemo-nos à questão inicial. Já que o senhor tem apenas algum respeito pelos Militares Portugueses, então nem sequer devia tocar num artigo desta natureza. Deixo-lhe bem explícito que tenho parentes que lutaram na Guerra Colonial, só eles sabem o que viram, fizeram e o que se passava por lá. Selvajaria já em todo o lado. Mas vá lá, não há campos de concentração nem em Angola, Moçambique ou Guiné. Pelo menos isso. Não fale em selvajaria quando nunca esteve numa situação de combate. Deixo para si o que quiser fazer. Só não deturpe a verdade.

S. João Baptista (talk) 19:17, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

The text below is a simple translation for the convience of English readers (my knowledge of the English language is limited, so minor mistakes may apear in the translation):
I'm going assume that you, as you saw the "A Guerra" documentary, know to speak Portuguese. If you don't know it, "Dear" is a indication of respect and cortesy, but of you do not wish to be treated with such respect, then so be it. I don't have any obligation towards you.
Let us return to the original question. If you only have some respect to the Portuguese soldiers, then you shouldn't even touch an article of this nature. I wish to make very clear that I have relatives which fought in the colonial war, [and] only they know what they saw, did and what was happening over there. Savagery is everywhere. At least there are no concentration camps neither in Angola, Mozambique, or Guine. At least this. Don't talk of savagery if you never were in combat.
I leave to you to do what you want. Just don't twist the truth. signed: User:S. João Baptista
Sir, this is the English wiki and we are supposed to write in English (I had to translate your entire post which is revealing indeed - and I thank you for your honesty). AFAIK "dear" is an indication of personal complicity at very least. Your statement that someone who has "just" some respect for the Portuguese miltary of the colonial war shouldn't even touch this article is simply unwise. A military which fought well but also comited some massacres upon unarmed people (and there were some) deserves some respect but I cannot bring it upon me to respect it 100%.
To cut things short: I wish to restore the previous version ("Limited Portuguese defeat. ...") which you changed into "Portuguese military victory...". Is my proposed change acceptable? Yes or no? Flamarande (talk) 20:00, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Sir, I would like you to accept my apologies for using the Portuguese language, I simply forgot that we were debating in the English Wikipedia.
Every single wars have political interests, and this one was no exception. In political terms (the constant denial of negotiations in order to decolonize its African colonies), we should consider a defeat over there. But in military terms, I refuse to consider it a defeat, simply because it wasn't one. Today, after replying to your comment, I asked a friend of mine about a foreign (meaning by foreign a book that isn't Portuguese) book that explained the military, political, economical and diplomatic situation by that time. You can check on this one (1).
Admiting minor defeat is a distortion of the truth.Minor is very vague; it leaves a lot to explain. A person that uses the article for research would find herself in a contradiction. In the Portuguese Wikipedia, the Portuguese military victory is explained, but it cleares tha the politicians failed to negotiate with the UN and with the so called "rebels". You can find that in other versions of the Wikipedia.
One can say, for example, Portuguese military victory; failure over political negotiations. That would explain that, despite winning the war in military terms, the political negotiations were a complete failure.
Its just an opinion of mine. Therefore, I cannot accept your proposal, as an editor. Yet, if this matter keeps on going, we can ask for external help. It would make thing easier and we could reach a consensus.
S. João Baptista (talk) 20:54, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
My proposal was "Limited defeat"; however I believe that asking for external help is indeed the best solution and already have done it below. Flamarande (talk) 21:36, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

From the "style" point of view, this is certainly the strangest "dialogue" I have ever seen on WP, whether en, pt, fr, de, es, or nl....As to the gist of the matter, see my remarks above (section "Is this really credible"). The same remarks apply, of course, to the two sections below as well. Aflis (talk) 14:05, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Who won the Portuguese colonial war?[edit]

Hy there, I'm hereby requesting some outside help for this article. A certain user removed a couple of sourced statements and replaced them with something else. Basicly he argues that the Portuguese military won the colonial war (a very dubious judgement). An agreement seems to impossible (read the section above) and therefore I'm asking for RFC. Thanks. Flamarande (talk) 20:21, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

I tried looking for authoritive sources that specifically say who won the war. There dont seem to be any. Going throug the articles again my opinion is this: Militarily, there was no clear winner. For a victory to happen there must be some sort of surrender by one side or the other which does not seem to have happened. The Portugues may have held control over most of the territory, but that cannot be counted as a victory because the other side didn't give up. The African revolutionaries also cannot be proclaimed as victors because they did not force a Portuguese surrender , at least not directly. But, ultimately, they did achieve their aim by causing the Portuguese army to revolt and take power and call for a ceasefire. I guess that can be called as a strategic victory for the Africans, if not a millitary one.

Take a look at the various artciles and you will see the inconsitency in the "Results"

They need to be made consitent. --Deepak D'Souza (talk) 20:38, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

The African Liberation Armies won the Portuguese Colonial War[edit]

Hello Flamarance,

Your question 'Who won the Portuguese colonial war' has a clear set of parameters from which the answer emerges.

Who were the forces? What was the issue? Which forces surrendered the battlefield? Which forces conceded the issue? Which forces took the battlefield? Which forces prevailed in the issue.

The forces were the various liberation armies vs the Portuguese empire. The issue was the liberation of the African colonies from the Portuguese empire. The Portuguese army left the battlefield. The Portuguese state dissolved the empire. The African forces took the battlefield. The African armies took state power.

Therefore in summary, the Portuguese empire, which had attempted to maintain control of it's colonies with military force lost to the African liberation forces who liberated their territories to form nation states.

Other contributory questions such as the Portuguese army mutiny; number of casualties; holding or conceding of particular territories; number of forces; type of combat; atrocities, alliances, supplies, armaments, etc. are all relevant and important. But they do not detract from the basic issue at stake: liberation from the Portuguese empire. Contemporary parallels (from the 60s, 70s and 80s) include Vietnam, where militarily 'dominant' American forces claimed to be 'winning', but left the battlefield. Or the similar Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.

To categorize this as primarily or simply a 'Cold War' conflict is ridiculous. Yes, fascist Portugal was a NATO and apartheid ally. And yes, the liberation forces got assistance from Warsaw Pact countries. But, politics and war are opportunistic businesses. Most African territory conquered by European states in the 19th century fell because the 1884 Berlin Conference was in effect an opportunistic military alliance by which the European states united (with the agreement of the USA) to invade and attack almost every independent (but vulnerable) African polity. That European alliance lasted until 1914, after which period the independence forces under occupation throughout Asia and Africa were able to regroup and gradually expel the imperial forces.

Obviously, there are ideological questions at stake here. Extreme Portuguese nationalists, as well as South African and US white power recidivists, are motivated by nostalgia, a sense of grief over lost racial privileges and, probably, most powerful of all, a sense of guilt and shame about the racist (and therefore unjust) nature of the Ancien Régime that is so overwhelming that it cannot be faced up to. Having lost the struggle to maintain their imperial privileges in real politics, they attempt to substitute that by trying to dominate cyberspace through Wikipedia.

But if Wikipedia contains obvious idiocies like, 'Portugal won it's colonial war' - despite the fact that the leaders of the independence armies are all still in power nearly 40 years later (and 20 years after the collapse of the USSR), then this will only mean that wikipedia comes into disrepute as an unreliable source.

In which case, Wikipedia will become just like Lisbon, Luanda or Saigon in 1972 - pompous home to a lost and discredited cause. Ackees (talk) 09:25, 9 August 2010 (UTC)Ackees (talk) 09:22, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I do not deny that Portugal lost the colonial war against the rebels/freedom fighters (but IMHO the deciding factor was the outside support they received, while Portugal got very little).
The main issue of the war was that the majority of the locals/black population wanted the withdrawal of a foreign/Portuguese government. They had seen that most of the other colonies were free and they wanted their freedom too. The rebels were fighting for their independence and freedom and little for cold war ideology. However the colonial war was also a skirmish of the cold war. To describe local Black soldiers (who were fighting for the lawful Portuguese government) as "mercenaries" is foolish. And the talk of "the stifling yoke of Portuguese imperial rule etc" comes directly from propaganda books. Flamarande (talk) 12:34, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
If comedy is a concern, what about the idea that the 'mighty' Portuguese empire, spanning the 'vast' oceans for centuries (as Portuguese nationalists like to think of it) needed any help to defeat a few communists? Why should a member of NATO, presumably ready to launch an assault on Moscow at a moment's notice, need any help against mere rebels in a mere skirmish?
But interestingly, the pictures in the article tell a different story to the nonsense of poor little Portugal all on its own. We see pictures of American and Italian jet fighters and bombers, we see pictures of French helicopters and west German assault rifles. We read tales of Mercedes troop carriers and troop ships. Ahhhh, poor little Portugal, with only NATO, South Africa and Rhodesia as friends. Don't we all feel sorry for it?
Here you go again. No one is telling that Portugal got no war material at all (poor little Portugal all on its own is certainly not the truth), I'm just pointing out that Portugal got relatively little material. The rebels/freedom fighters got a lot from the supporters while Nato provided way too little to Portugal. Flamarande (talk) 19:29, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
And, how do we describe soldiers who fight in order to continue the occupation of their homeland by a foreign power? For example, the Russians who fought for Germany in the 1940s. Were they traitors, mercenaries, idealists, internationalists, conscripts, slaves, slavs, nazis or just plain soldiers? And, why, (if Portugal was not a 'racist' empire) do the Portuguese nationalist editors keep referring to the skin color of imperial troops? And why do they only refer to the 'blackness' of imperial troops? Why do they not describe Salazar and his henchmen, generals, troops, etc as 'white'? Why do they only single out only the so-called race of 'black' troops? And, what kind of empire does not have imperial rule? And what kind of imperial rule is not stifling? By definition, imperial means 'to command' - by definition, an empire is the primarily the opposite of a democracy - even if it contains some democratic concessions within it. Portuguese nationalist editors need to reject their racist, pro-empire stance. Ackees (talk) 00:20, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
That foreign power (Portugal) had been the lawful authority for quite some time and those soldiers were fulfilling their duty as required by law. To compare them with the Russians during WWII is unwise (a whole different situation). AFAIK most of the Portuguese Black soldiers were conscript soldiers. Another thing you have to understand is that colonial powers obviously play one tribe against the other and when UPA kills a lot of Bailundos during their initial offensive then obviously many Bailundos will fight for and in the Portuguese army (What were you expecting? Would you receive those who killed a lot of your tribe as liberators? I certainly wouldn't). That doesn't turn the Bailundos (and the other tribe of the other colonies) into traitors or mercenaries. Flamarande (talk) 19:29, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
In the first place, Flamarande, I would like to thank your patience and time in solving this issue. Then, to Ackees, for its opinion over the article.
I'll go straight to the point. I'm no nationalist editor, for the contrary, I'm a pro-truth editor. Regarding the "ilusion" of the Estado Novo in keeping the Portuguese posessions in Africa, I agree with Flamarande: Colonial times were long gone. Not only what was happening in Africa was horrendous, but in Portugal as well (emprisionment of people based on suspects, restriction of free speech, etc.). Of course, this still happens today, not in Portugal (thankfully) but in other developed and developing countries.
Regarding your comment, Ackees, I wouldn't say that NATO supported Portugal; I mean, they took a very dim view of it. When the Portuguese said that they fought alone, it is the truth. Were there any other armies supporting Portuguese field operations at the time? Well, Rodhesian pilots trained Portuguese pilots; the Germans provided the G-3 patent for construction in Portugal; we had long-term contracts with Italian and American aeronautic industries (most of the airplanes that operated in Africa were from the early 50s); and our trucks weren't German, they were Portuguese, built in Tramagal (but they were very similar to the Mercedes ones). But trucks, airplanes, weapons or helicopters don't fight wars on their own and in the name of nothing. So, I would agree that the Portuguese fought alone aggainst Liberation Armies (I would call it that way, their headmasters are liberations today; tomorrow they are as corrupt as the governors they overthrown, but that just an opinion).
Anyway, I thank you both for your help and I would like to say that I couldn't have written the outcome better that it is right now. Best regards S. João Baptista (talk) 16:08, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

USA was NOT a supporter of these groups[edit]

I'm reading this book called a different kind of war story by an anthropologist and what she is saying is that USA supported the portugese because these rebel groups were backed by the communist which is why both angola and mozambique were marxist states. In fact USA supported Renamo the "democratic/capitalist" rebel force until the mid 1980s. Someone ought to correct this —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:20, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

During the colonial war, the USA in fact did not support anti-colonial movements, because Portugal was a member of NATO, like the USA. After the independence of Angola and Mozambique, when these were ruled by movements labeled as Communist, the USA intervened there during the civil wars, supporting FNLA and UNITA, in Angola, and RENAMO, in Mozambique. Aflis (talk) 16:43, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Article is a travesty[edit]

This article is a travesty designed to simply confuse readers. The issue is really quite simple. There was an empire. People rebelled against the empire. As a result of the war, the empire collapsed. The rebels took power.

All the guff about 'multi-racialism' and 'portuguese universities' is simply a smoke-screen designed to obscure the basic narrative.

Sure, conflict is complicated and all that, but why try to pretend that one thing is the other.

Portugal's Racist Army[edit]

Portugal's racist army never promoted black officers to command white troops. In 500 years of colonialism, the Portuguese army never had a single black general or colonel. This proves conclusively, that the Portuguese empire was completely racist. And it also disproves all of the nonsense about 'integration' and the 'benefits' of the empire. If an army with black soldiers comprising 50% of its forces, fighting in Africa for 15 years could not promote a single black general, then of course it was bound to be defeated!Ackees (talk) 10:26, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Portuguese Army "racist" and/or less "racist" than other colonial empires?!

Perhaps in part, in any event, in comparison with other European states, Portugal always had more black officers and soldiers from the wars in India, Sry Lanka ect. to Brazil in the Seventeenth century for example and since 16th century. Including Black and Amerindian comandars amongst White comamders with a patent above colonel and commanding armies in the wars against the Dutch in the 17th century.

The victory went to Luso-Brazilian army was designated as the victory of the "three races" because of the Army and its four commanders (and their ethnicities).

They all received the Order of Christ, the white, the black and the Amerindian gennerals by King John IV in Lisbon.

Henrique Dias - Son of slaves, he was the governador da gente preta (governor of the black people), ex-slaves from farms reached by the conflict

Filipe Camarão - Native Brazilian from the Potiguar tribe, leader of the forces from that tribe

João Fernandes Vieira - Land owner of Funchal, Madeira commanded one infantry terço.

André Vidal de Negreiros - Brazilian commanded one infantry terço.

Receive and belong to the Order of Christ at that time was another dimension. It was for elites and for total merit.

The sources of Ackees above my replay can be true and correct in some points and in many ways and aspects of colonial history, but Ackees risk losing credibility by insulting almost ALL Wikipedians of "racist" and "neo-nazis" only because they do not agree with him(or her) - everything is "neo-Nazi" to him (or her). The People do not know if it's a new technique to relativize the "Nazism" (which is very wrong) and "racism" (which is also very serious and wrong) or a way of censorship; also to forget the other colonial powers (and more racist than Portugal, oh much more) European, Asian or other. His obsession with this country is even stranger, when neo-Nazism (the pseudo-neo-Nazism is a true ultra minority in Western Europe and Portugal is the country where "neo-nazism" whatever it is it's more minor or even nonexistent among Europeans. (statistics about people and numbers of extremist parties confirm this as the lack of them in the case - and all maintream portuguese parties and movements are anti-racist on its statues today in democracy). And "Estado Novo" under Oliveira Salazar had also a multiracial doctrine in terms of political equality and oportunities, not perfect or plain, but in process and on that way - in the last decades of that regimen the goal was that on political mesures and constitutional ways and law.

Quotes: "Ackees (talk | contribs) (39,757 bytes) (→Historical background of the territory: Re-established balance and sanity after neo-nazi edits"

"10:06, 13 May 2011 Ackees (talk | contribs) (81,833 bytes) (→Aftermath: Removed irrelevant Portuguese neo-nazi propaganda) (undo)"

what is this? Now the wikipedia allow this behaveour?

Amongst other silly stupid remarks and accusations. You are also removing the civil massacres of the UPA(who have historical data) and putting your own(free to do so, but well sourced) and also propaganda in the Colonial Wars/Liberation Wars articles. Claiming silly things like the Contributors are "salazarist", as if in a democratic Portugal (with right and left wings with more left-wing parties - and both portuguese right and left wings and parties liberal and democratic) such coul be. Any way, in internet we have many traumatized people. Understanding and forgiveness is the key.

What is and where is the so many times mencioned "nazism" (in the many historical editings) in the "Angolan War of Independence" article or in this article and what is nazism for Ackees? (if the expert about Ackees know what it is) And who are the nazis in the wikipedia or better, the many people unjusted slandered as "nazis" by the user Ackees? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:56, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Very shortly: (1) Ackees' terms and assertions in the present context are in fact not acceptable. WP administrators should certainly examine the case.(2) In the Portuguese Army in "late colonial" Angola, 1962-75 (the one I had the opportunity to observe) racist tendencies certainly existed. On the whole, they were probably somewhat less marked than in other colonial armies. Aflis (talk) 13:55, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Overall revision[edit]

This article has rightly been called a "monster". There are numerous details, of fact and language, which need to be corrected, and luckily some work is being done in this respect. However, the basic problem is that over the last years substantial historical research has been carried out by an international network of historians, and that this is practically not reflected in this article. Which has, as a consequence, to be transformed into something that is "state of the art" - and, of course, not biased by ideological, political, or emotional preferences and tendencies. Such an overall revision is now in preparation, and in the meantime it does not make sense to cut out substantial portions of the existing text - because the information they contain (or the aspects they address) may be useful for the revision. This is why I reverted the edit made today by an unidentified IP user. Aflis (talk) 11:27, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Couldn't have said it better myself. Dellant (talk) 04:33, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Map (legends in German) - areas controlled by each side[edit]

Hi. There is something seriously wrong the map that show which areas were controlled by which side. I lived in Angola through the 70 and I can guarantee you that there were no areas held by the liberation movements in the whole country, but especially not in the south. There were frequent incidents in the east and the north, never in the south. This for the simple reason that in the north and east the borders were with independent DRC (then Zaire) and Zambia, which provided shelter, whereas the south bordered on Namibia (then South West Africa) then controlled by South Africa. But in Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, the map looks suspect and I'd question the neutrality of the source. Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 21:43, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

I quite agree: This map is a hoax. For Angola, to start with: I, too, was frequently in Angola, 1967 - 1974, and can confirm your statement. From what my sources tell me, the map for Guinea-B is a simplified sketch, but as such acceptable for the lack of better. The map on Mozambique is highly contested, but for the lack of personal insight I cannot say more. I am relatively sure all this is not due to a lack of neutrality, but rather to a lack of reliable information. As a group of younger historians in now working on the subject in Lisbon, my hope ist that the map (and the whole article) can be substantially improved before long. Aflis (talk) 22:13, 29 July 2011 (UTC) NB: Rui Gabriel Correia: não quer contribuir também para a WP em português?
Ola' Aflis, sou contribuinte da WP em português também. Um abraço, Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 22:13, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Brief comment on the article[edit]

I can see this discussion is relatively problematic. But I'll narrow my opinion down without further ado. Any normal person who reads the article is tempted to question itself over one simple matter: After all, who won this war? I believe the answer was already given, although not in the best terms. Militarily speaking, Portugal won this war, this is as straight to the point as I can get. A military victory isn't at all a direct implication of a total victory (many wars were fought and won throughout History, but didn't turned out to be a victory in its plain sense): Portugal was able to control Angola and Mozambique by the end of the war; yet, the Portuguese were severely shaken in Guinea (hence the war's nickname - Portuguese Vietnam). Many documents from both belligerents confirm such statement, providing details on the strategy and important events, such as battles for key-positions or military operations conducted by both guerrilla groups and Portuguese special forces. On the other hand, the Portuguese did withdrew from their African possessions and failed to fulfill their war purpose. But calling it a military defeat isn't quite the correct expression. I share my opinion with S. João Baptista: It was a political defeat, not a military defeat. We can establish a point of comparison with the Vietnam War, for instance: The NVA was able to control Vietnam despite all American efforts to accomplish the contrary. In fact, conversations between an NVA Colonel named Tu and an American Colonel named Harry Summers took place in 1975, at the close of the Vietnam War. Summers told Tu that 'they had never beaten them (US Army) in the battlefield', on which Tu replied 'That may be so, but it is also irrelevant'. Applying this logic to the Portuguese Colonial War is a sustainable argument. A military victory only becomes a total victory when it achieves its purpose: If the contrary succeeds, then it's just a military victory (but then again, a military victory 'per se'). Politically, Portugal failed on two strains: First, with the fall of the 'Estado Novo', the purpose of maintaining a Colonial Empire fell to the ground. Second, they weren't able to negotiate with the independence movements in order to succeed on a peaceful transition (similar to what happened between India and the UK). We can add to this the first political defeat of the Portuguese Third Republic: The Lusaka and Alvor Agreements showed the fragility of the new-born democratic Portuguese state and, in a certain way, the failure of Portugal's stance in diplomatic conversations during the decolonization process, which led to the instability in the ex-Portuguese colonies, reflected today on corrupted Governments of Angola, Guinea and Mozambique.

CaptchaOwl (talk) 21:30, 10 November 2012 (UTC)


Is there a source for Botswana's involvement in the war supporting the Portuguese side? I seem to recall reading that the country was not friendly to Ian Smith, which would make support of the Portuguese rather odd. (talk) 18:45, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


Have you heard the one about the 'military victory' that featured a mutiny by the 'victorious' army, the over-throw of the 'victorious army's' government and the surrender of all the territories won by the 'victorious army' to the enemy that they had just 'defeated'. We're talking about Mali in 2012-13 right? In Mali, the army 'defeated' the Northern insurgents by overthrowing their own government and surrendering all territory to the enemy. Recently, a French force came along to inspect this victory and discovered that, yes indeed, the Mali army were the victors all along...

Nope, we're not talking about Mali, but the noble sons of Henry the Navigator who, having totally defeated the MPLA and FRELIMO, embarked on their true mission - conquering the Atlantic ocean and Lisbon by waving flowers. What's the famous line, 'This is not a retreat, we are simply advancing in a different direction'.

Usually, the pro-Salazar boy scouts that patrol this page respond with jibes at Angolan poverty, as though that was some kind of justification for 500 years of racist tyranny and slave-trading. But now where are we? The economy of Angola $99b is growing at 11% p/a. The Portuguese economy at $248 is shrinking at nearly 2% p/a. Give it ten years at this rate and guess what... That's right, Angola, having been left in ruins by the Portuguese and their Apartheid allies will have a bigger gdp and higher per cap income. Funny how all that colonialism never quite managed to achieve anything except self-delusion...Ackees (talk) 15:56, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

The revolution of 25 April 1974 - which have also and above all democratic goals by its captains which include pro-independence views already in the ideology of some of them and not only for military reasons (this for the ignorants about history)- the 25 April of 1974 was made by captains of Guinea and almost in its entirety by veterans of the War of Guinea Bissau where the war was causing many deaths and where Portugal did not won militarily, as the rebels gain part of the territory and declared there (inside Guinea) the independence. Angola and Mozambique in all of its territory in the 1970s as a whole, were pacified and were only subject to internal policing and policing of its borders. And the very Veterans of MPLA, UNITA (not just blacks, today even political actors or simple veterans still alive, but also mixed and whites of MPLA etc. - Is that the MPLA was also of whites that fought for the independence, in the case if these pseudo-racists here forget) whether in written work or even witnesses in the recent TV documentaries, these MPLA and UNITA veterans admit, because it was a fact. April 25 of 1974 came miraculously, they say, because both the MPLA, UNITA, FNLA, FRELIMO etc. were confined to their general headquarters in neighboring countries without capacity or military action. This does not mean (such military defeat) they have fought badly or they have been less militarily heroic or they do not had moral victories, because they had fought for what they believed and had their historical role, battles and heroism, as both sides had. None of the military strictly events and operations is how only we interpret History or the fight for independences and their result. The phrase in the box is military subject only. Especially the difference of numbers, i. e. the higher numbers of the Portuguese regular army and all its european, local, native and mixed "races" and local structures made the difference and ensured the reconquest and occupation of the whole territory of Angola and 95% of Mozambique more or less in last years of the war.
And that's why it says military victory on the ground, and not politic victory.
Today most of Portugal's democratic in the people of course. Portugal is all democratic, with the bad and the good. And its country of tolerance and freedom. There will still be some Salazarists perhaps, but the Salazarism has nothing to do with racism. This insulting of "racist" is the last argument of the powerless. (We talk about here of other messages o this Mr.)
Portugal did there very badly for centuries sometimes or even many times maybe (in respect of current values) and this is part of history that should be viewed in an impartial and equidistant historical view as much as possible, but with depth. Though not occupying all of its territories in interior (only in the late 19th and the 20th centuries, where slavery was over formally) Portugal also left something positive: a society, still with racism and inequality, but walked from racism and lack of equality for non-racist and multi-racial society and gradually to a lower inequality in the 60s and 70s, especially in people who lived in the cites. Ruins? You know something of history before editing wikipedia? Ruins only by war and civil wars after. Portugal left railways, cities, museums, airports, university, hospitals, roads, locally based Banks, institutions, and even without the oil that Angola enjoys today.
And Angola, Mozambique should be proud of this (this part of course, not the other) as its history, not only as a passive receiver being Portugal a kind of "powerful" outside actor, but as part of its history, birth and process, as Portugal and Spain see the Romans, Moors, Carthaginians, Celts etc. and the contributions, the bad and the good ones etc.
Coming here with competitions between developing in the countries and nationalism (if they have something to do with Angola and Africans in Africa or with Portugal which we doubt, wouldn´t be acceptable - seems they are from or at least far related to some american "afrocentric" supremacist racist cults or groups very well known) is obviously POV and unworthy of this encyclopedia. And it is necessary to be full of prejudice and immature, because it is said and known that there is great satisfaction in Portugal (as we all know) even proud in Portugal (but merit for Angolans) for Angola and its evolution as an economic world power. And everyone wins with this (even coutries as Portugal) especially if it is equal, and not only the enrichment of corrupt elites and much or the vast majority of the Angolan people in poverty, as happened recently. Sad that Mozambique does not yet enjoy the same natural resources and be so much poorer. Mozambique will sure overcome this.
I think it's undignified for an Encyclopedia the action and intervention positions as "partial" as full of hatred and even a kind of "racism" (see other messages) against certain countries or people (who knows why, whatever) - ironically against the country of Western Europe where the far or extreme right-wing of said content of more xenophobic views have less existence (compare to any other country in west Europe) and where have fewer and smaller percentage results in elections, compare across Europe (mostly not existent in fact with such ideology) - and where the country itself in areas like Lisbon region is multi-racial) but is undignified for an Encyclopedia such interventions full of partiality and xenophobia of users like this. --LuzoGraal (talk) 18:32, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
A time ago when Mr. Ackees edited the infobox, he maintained the source to give an air of seriousness to his edition, even with the source in question containing multiple testimonies of veterans of the MPLA and UNITA completely contradicting such opinion and removal or alteration. Was not "funny"?
Another thing: the constant mention of the allies of the Apartheid. What he fails to say is that it was a "support" based purely on mutual political and military interests. The philosophies of society in both cases were different and opposed - which yielded severe criticism of Portugal by some Rhodesian and South African racialist intellectuals, as he knows or ought to know. What was there was still a slow process for assimilation, pro-equal rights and social multiracialism from the late 50s - most developed in the 60s - and schools of thought as the theoretical Lusotropicalism, etc.. Another thing was the clear social and admin. "domain" of the "white man-women" over part of assimilate People ("blacks" or "mulattos" etc.) and "mulato People" and over the majority of the "black man-women" or women, who was still prevalent, and even luso societies culturally mimetic of South Africa, as Lourenço Marques / Maputo, unlike the rest of the country then and Angola; or the political domain of the Metropolis over the Ultramarine Provincies or Colonies.--LuzoGraal (talk) 15:08, 26 May 2013 (UTC)


To list NATO as a belligerent is far-fetched, to list the UN is preposterous. But then again, by the looks of it that article is a free for all for dozens of people who demonstrate frighteningly little knowledge of the subject matter. Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 21:45, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Malawi's role[edit]

So, I've removed Malawi from the list of supporters of Portugal on the infobox. My research-- and forgive me, I'm not sure how to format links, so I'm going to copy/paste the URL's-- suggests that while Malawi tried to avoid antagonizing Portugal, it would be a stretch to call them "pro-Portuguese".

Link 1: ( In this link from a History of Mozambique, we see that Malawi's leader Hastings Banda tried to stop FRELIMO from using Malawi as a staging ground to attack Portuguese targets in 1965. That doesn't mean he was pro-Portugal; it could just mean he didn't want to be dragged into the war.

Link 2: ( This link, from a Historical Dictionary of Malawi is more specific about Malawi's role. It states that Banda allowed FRELIMO to maintain an office in Blantyre, but prohibited them from using Malawian territory to attack Portuguese targets, as discussed above. It further says that when Mozambique achieved independence, Malawi "applauded the change and supported Mozambican independence." Again, this hardly sounds like they're pro-Portuguese.

So, that is my justification for removing Malawi from the Portuguese camp on the infobox. If anyone objects, I would be happy to discuss it here or on my talk page (ideally here, as it's more "centrally located"). Again, my apologies for the unformatted links. Tigercompanion25 (talk) 19:23, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

A little follow-up: User: attempted to re-add Malawi with a source. The source in question is a book called Prominent African Leaders Since Independence. It appears to be either a self-published book or a publish-on-demand book, judging by the cover design. The author, Bridgette Kasuka, has written or edited other books with titles like African Leaders, Leaders of Post-Colonial Africa, and Independence Leaders of Africa. Some of these books are published by CreateSpace or by something called the New Africa Press. If you look at the entry for Leopold Sedar Senghor in African Leaders (which you can do on Amazon), you will find that it is plagiarized word-for-word from Senghor's English Wikipedia article. I'm aware that books based on Wikipedia articles do get published, but they still shouldn't be used as sources for Wikipedia, which strives to avoid self-referentiality. So, taking all of this into consideration, I think it safe to say that Bridgette Kasuka's books are not reliable sources. I have therefore once again removed Malawi from the list of countries that supported Portugal in the war. Again, if someone can provide a reliable source to support Malawi being pro-Portugual, I will happily let it stand. Tigercompanion25 (talk) 17:24, 10 August 2015 (UTC)