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Portuguese Commandos

Portuguese Commandos

Author: John P. Cann
Publisher: [email protected]
ISBN: 191109632X
Pages: 64
Year: 2017-01-03
During the 13-year insurgency (1961-74) in Portuguese Africa, more than 800,000 men and women served in the Portuguese armed forces. Of this number, about 9,000 served as commandos (or about 1 percent). Yet their combat losses ― 357 dead, 28 missing in action and 771 wounded ― represented 11.5 percent of the total casualties (a percentage 10 times that of normal troops). It is well established that these warriors were responsible for the elimination of more insurgents and capturing more of their weapons than any other force during the war. Great pains were taken to stay abreast of the latest enemy operational methods and maintain the 'warrior edge' in the force. This edge, in essence, was an approach to fighting that pushed the commandos always to think of themselves as the hunter rather than the hunted. Officers returning from contact with the enemy were rigorously debriefed, and commando instructors regularly participated in operations to learn of the latest enemy developments. This information was integrated with intelligence from other sources gathered by the military and national intelligence services, and from this current knowledge, training was constantly revised to remain attuned to the enemy and his behavior. The commandos became a breed apart - and their reputation was such that when insurgents discovered a unit deployed into their area, they would generally withdraw until the killers left. This commando training - and its sympathy with the fighting environment - made the commandos the most effective ground force in the Portuguese Army. The commandos were expert practitioners in the art of counterinsurgency, and their practice of destroying the enemy in great numbers quickly and quietly served as inspiration not only to South Africa and Rhodesia, but to the enemy himself. This is the story of the Portuguese commandos: their beginnings, their unique operations and their legacy and influence in subsequent sister units such as the Buffalo Battalion of South Africa.
Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa

Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa

Author: Al Venter
Publisher: Helion and Company
ISBN: 1909384577
Pages: 544
Year: 2013-12-19
Nominated for the NYMAS Arthur Goodzeit Book Award 2013 Portugal's three wars in Africa in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea (Guiné-Bissau today) lasted almost 13 years - longer than the United States Army fought in Vietnam. Yet they are among the most underreported conflicts of the modern era. Commonly referred to as Lisbon's Overseas War (Guerra do Ultramar) or in the former colonies, the War of Liberation (Guerra de Libertação), these struggles played a seminal role in ending white rule in Southern Africa. Though hardly on the scale of hostilities being fought in South East Asia, the casualty count by the time a military coup d'état took place in Lisbon in April 1974 was significant. It was certainly enough to cause Portugal to call a halt to violence and pull all its troops back to the Metropolis. Ultimately, Lisbon was to move out of Africa altogether, when hundreds of thousands of Portuguese nationals returned to Europe, the majority having left everything they owned behind. Independence for all th Indeed, on a recent visit to Central Mozambique in 2013, a youthful member of the American Peace Corps told this author that despite have former colonies, including the Atlantic islands, followed soon afterwards. Lisbon ruled its African territories for more than five centuries, not always undisputed by its black and mestizo subjects, but effectively enough to create a lasting Lusitanian tradition. That imprint is indelible and remains engraved in language, social mores and cultural traditions that sometimes have more in common with Europe than with Africa. Today, most of the newspapers in Luanda, Maputo - formerly Lourenco Marques - and Bissau are in Portuguese, as is the language taught in their schools and used by their respective representatives in international bodies to which they all subscribe. ing been embroiled in conflict with the Portuguese for many years in the 1960s and 1970s, he found the local people with whom he came into contact inordinately fond of their erstwhile 'colonial overlords'. As a foreign correspondent, Al Venter covered all three wars over more than a decade, spending lengthy periods in the territories while going on operations with the Portuguese army, marines and air force. In the process, he wrote several books on these conflicts, including a report on the conflict in Portuguese Guinea for the Munger Africana Library of the California Institute of Technology. Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa represents an amalgam of these efforts. At the same time, this book is not an official history, but rather a journalist's perspective of military events as viewed by somebody who has made a career of reporting on overseas wars, Africa's especially. Venter's camera was always at hand; most of the images used between these covers are his. His approach is both intrusive and personal and he would like to believe that he has managed to record for posterity a tiny but vital segment of African history.
Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa

Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa

Author: Al Venter
Publisher: Helion and Company
ISBN: 1910294306
Pages: 544
Year: 2013-12-19
Nominated for the NYMAS Arthur Goodzeit Book Award 2013 Portugal's three wars in Africa in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea (Guiné-Bissau today) lasted almost 13 years - longer than the United States Army fought in Vietnam. Yet they are among the most underreported conflicts of the modern era. Commonly referred to as Lisbon's Overseas War (Guerra do Ultramar) or in the former colonies, the War of Liberation (Guerra de Libertação), these struggles played a seminal role in ending white rule in Southern Africa. Though hardly on the scale of hostilities being fought in South East Asia, the casualty count by the time a military coup d'état took place in Lisbon in April 1974 was significant. It was certainly enough to cause Portugal to call a halt to violence and pull all its troops back to the Metropolis. Ultimately, Lisbon was to move out of Africa altogether, when hundreds of thousands of Portuguese nationals returned to Europe, the majority having left everything they owned behind. Independence for all the former colonies, including the Atlantic islands, followed soon afterwards. Lisbon ruled its African territories for more than five centuries, not always undisputed by its black and mestizo subjects, but effectively enough to create a lasting Lusitanian tradition. That imprint is indelible and remains engraved in language, social mores and cultural traditions that sometimes have more in common with Europe than with Africa. Today, most of the newspapers in Luanda, Maputo - formerly Lourenco Marques - and Bissau are in Portuguese, as is the language taught in their schools and used by their respective representatives in international bodies to which they all subscribe. Indeed, on a recent visit to Central Mozambique in 2013, a youthful member of the American Peace Corps told this author that despite having been embroiled in conflict with the Portuguese for many years in the 1960s and 1970s, he found the local people with whom he came into contact inordinately fond of their erstwhile 'colonial overlords'. As a foreign correspondent, Al Venter covered all three wars over more than a decade, spending lengthy periods in the territories while going on operations with the Portuguese army, marines and air force. In the process, he wrote several books on these conflicts, including a report on the conflict in Portuguese Guinea for the Munger Africana Library of the California Institute of Technology. Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa represents an amalgam of these efforts. At the same time, this book is not an official history, but rather a journalist's perspective of military events as viewed by somebody who has made a career of reporting on overseas wars, Africa's especially. Venter's camera was always at hand; most of the images used between these covers are his. His approach is both intrusive and personal and he would like to believe that he has managed to record for posterity a tiny but vital segment of African history.
The Portuguese Massacre of Wiriyamu in Colonial Mozambique, 1964-2013

The Portuguese Massacre of Wiriyamu in Colonial Mozambique, 1964-2013

Author: Mustafah Dhada
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472512006
Pages: 256
Year: 2015-11-19
In his in-depth and compelling study of perhaps the most famous of Portuguese colonial massacres, Mustafah Dhada explores why the massacre took place, what Wiriyamu was like prior to the massacre, how events unfolded, how we came to know about it and what the impact of the massacre was, particularly for the Portuguese empire. Spanning the period from 1964 to 2013 and complete with a foreword from Peter Pringle, this chronologically arranged book covers the liberation war in Mozambique and uses fieldwork, interviews and archival sources to place the massacre firmly in its historical context. The Portuguese Massacre of Wiriyamu in Colonial Mozambique, 1964-2013 is an important text for anyone interested in the 20th-century history of Africa, European colonialism and the modern history of war.
The Saints

The Saints

Author: Alexandre Binda, Chris Cocks
Publisher: 30° South Publishers
ISBN: 1920143076
Pages: 544
Year: 2007
Book & DVD. At last! The history of the Rhodesian Light Infantry. We have seen the stories of the more 'glamorous' Selous Scouts, the SAS and the Rhodesian Air Force, but very little about the RLI, often underrated, but arguably one of the most effective counter-insurgency units of all time. This was the unit that brought the 'Fireforce' concept to the world's attention -- the devastatingly ruthless airborne envelopment and annihilation of a guerrilla enemy. Dubbed "The Killing Machine" by Charles D Melson, chief historian of the US Marine Corps, the RLI was a veritable 'foreign legion' with over 20 diverse nationalities serving in her ranks. A glossy coffee-table, pictorial format with hundreds of colour photographs, maps, rolls, honours and awards. It is not intended as a definitive history but, with more of a classic 'scrapbook' feel, the presentation attempts to capture the essence of this fine unit -- what it was like to be a troopie, one of the 'ouens'. We have accessed a host of unique, previously unpublished photos and illustrative material and many former RLI members have embraced the project, generously contributing photos, memorabilia and anecdotes. Ian Smith has written his tribute in the front and the foreword is by the last CO, Lieutenant-Colonel Charlie Aust.
Special Forces of Portugal

Special Forces of Portugal

Author: LLC Books
Publisher:
ISBN: 1157045294
Pages: 38
Year: 2010-09

Development and Environmental Politics Unmasked

Development and Environmental Politics Unmasked

Author: Christopher J. Shepherd
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136023046
Pages: 296
Year: 2013-07-24
Focusing on rural development and environmental management, this book brings together the detailed history of development in East Timor under two colonial regimes and under the contemporary conditions of national independence. It addresses two comparative areas of development: across the three political regimes and across four case studies of projects delivered by various national or international development agencies in independent East Timor. Employing an original classificatory framework for kinds of approaches to development – coercive orders, mandated orders, negotiated orders – the book covers the plantation-centred development of Portuguese Timor as a European colony and the integration-oriented development of ‘Timor Timur’ as Indonesia’s 27th province. It examines the neoliberal ‘democratic’ development of East Timor (or Timor-Leste) in the current context of state and nation-building, before drawing on case studies to investigate how development proceeds as a negotiation between authoritative state, non-state and international actors and local people who need to adapt development and conservation projects to suit their lived realities. By using the history of East Timor to explore how particular modes of operationalising development interventions are intimately intertwined with the broader political system, this book makes a valuable contribution to the fields of Development Studies, Anthropology, Science and Technology Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies.
The Flechas

The Flechas

Author: John Cann
Publisher: Helion and Company
ISBN: 1910294241
Pages: 72
Year: 2014-01-19
In 1961, Portugal found itself fighting a war to retain its colonial possessions and preserve the remnants of its empire. It was almost completely unprepared to do so, and this was particularly evident in its ability to project power and to control the vast colonial spaces in Africa. Following the uprisings of March of 1961 in the north of Angola, Portugal poured troops into the colony as fast as its creaking logistic system would allow; however, these new arrivals were not competent and did not possess the skills needed to fight a counterinsurgency. While counterinsurgency by its nature requires substantial numbers of light infantry, the force must be trained in the craft of fighting a ‘small war’ to be effective. The majority of the arriving troops had no such indoctrination and had been readied at an accelerated pace. Even their uniforms were hastily crafted and not ideally suited to fighting in the bush. In reoccupying the north and addressing the enemy threat, Portugal quickly realized that its most effective forces were those with special qualifications and advanced training. Unfortunately, there were only very small numbers of such elite forces. The maturing experiences of Portuguese and their consequent adjustments to fight a counterinsurgency led to development of specialized, tailored units to close the gaps in skills and knowledge between the insurgents and their forces. The most remarkable such force was the flechas, indigenous Bushmen who lived in eastern Angola with the capacity to live and fight in its difficult terrain aptly named ‘Lands at the End of the Earth’. Founded in 1966, they were active until the end of the war in 1974, and were so successful in their methods that the flecha template was copied in the other theaters of Guiné and Mozambique and later in the South African Border War. The flechas were a force unique to the conflicts of southern Africa. A flecha could smell the enemy and his weapons and read the bush in ways that no others could do. He would sleep with one ear to the ground and the other to the atmosphere and would be awakened by an enemy walking a mile away. He could conceal himself in a minimum of cover and find food and water in impossible places. In short, he was vastly superior to the enemy in the environment of eastern Angola, and at the height of the campaign there (1966–1974) this small force accounted for 60 per cent of all enemy kills. This book is the story of how they came to be formed and organized, their initial teething difficulties, and their unqualified successes.
Assassin

Assassin

Author: John Bowyer Bell
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
ISBN: 1412817595
Pages:
Year: 1979

The First Commandos

The First Commandos

Author: Ralph Coyne
Publisher: Petaurus Press
ISBN: 0980652839
Pages: 64
Year: 2009-12-02
At the time they were extremely secret. Still little known, Australia’s first commandos were repeatedly put in dangerous situations to achieve results disproportionate to their small numbers. Their story is historically important, for these few hundred men possibly changed the course of Australia’s history. Establishing commando units was a bold and dangerous gamble for the Australian military authorities facing Japan’s entry into the Second World War. They did not know how commandos would be used when conventional army operations relied on large numbers of soldiers supported by heavy weapons, sometimes naval gunfire or aircraft, and comprehensive supply trains. Very quickly the commandos showed they were extremely efficient and could perform a role which exceeded the ability of forces many times their size. The 2/4 Independent Company, which included Ralph Coyne, was sent to Timor to supplement and then replace the original (2/2) company. Outnumbered nearly one hundred to one but assisted by Timorese natives, the commandos kept a Japanese force of 20,000 men fully occupied and unavailable to fight elsewhere, possibly preventing invasion of Australia and at least greatly improving the chances of stopping the Japanese advance in New Guinea. After Timor more drama followed in New Guinea and Borneo. In one terrible incident Ralph Coyne was one of only four out of forty-eight commandos left alive and uninjured. Against the odds Ralph Coyne survived to tell his fascinating tale. Sometimes humorous, tragic, horrifying, even macabre, but usually dramatic, this book records the experiences of one of Australia’s first commandos.
The Paras

The Paras

Author: John P. Cann
Publisher: [email protected]
ISBN: 191151248X
Pages: 72
Year: 2017-01-03
Portuguese paratroopers or "paras" began as a stepchild of the army and found a home in the Portuguese Air Force in 1955. Initially, the post-World War Two Portuguese Army seemed to have had mixed emotions about the need for elite, special-purpose forces that operated in small units with the attendant flexibility and elevated lethality. Shock troops have been traditionally controversial, and even the vaunted military theorist Baron Karl von Clausewitz saw little point in them. The history of the paras in the Portuguese Army is illustrative of this ambivalent view. Nevertheless, in a "war of the weak" in which insurgents avoid government strengths and exploit its vulnerabilities using agility, deception, and imagination, such small, crack government units are particularly well suited to counterinsurgency operations. This appreciation emerged with the threat of a new kind of war in Portuguese Africa, an insurgency, and the new and visionary Air Force well understood the potential of paras when combined with the mobility of the helicopter. The Air Force saw an urgent need for troops who could fight an unconventional war, who could not only defeat an enemy but separate him from the population in which he sought concealment and support and on which he depended for funding, recruits, and intelligence. These were specialised warfighters who in one minute were physically destroying an insidious enemy and in the next administering aid and support and protecting a vulnerable population. These were just the troops that Portugal would require for military success in its approaching battle fought between 1961 and 1974 to retain its African possessions, and this vision would be realized on the African battlefield with devastating consequences. This book tells the paras' story as researched from Portuguese sources. It details how they were formed and trained and how they developed their imaginative, effective, and feared tactics and applied them in operations to protect the population from insurgent predations and destroy a vicious enemy.
Portugal's Guerrilla War

Portugal's Guerrilla War

Author: Al J. Venter
Publisher:
ISBN:
Pages: 220
Year: 1973

The Last Empire

The Last Empire

Author: Stewart Lloyd-Jones
Publisher: Intellect Books
ISBN: 1841501093
Pages: 156
Year: 2003
This book is the result of a conference organised by the Contemporary Portuguese Political History Research Centre (CPHRC) and the University of Dundee that took place during September 2000. The purpose of this conference, and the resulting book, was to bring together various experts in the field to analyse and debate the process of Portuguese decolonisation, which was then 25 years old, and the effects of this on the Portuguese themselves. For over one century, the Portuguese state had defined its foreign policy on the basis of its vast empire – this was the root of its 'Atlanticist' vision. The outbreak of war of liberation in its African territories, which were prompted by the new international support for self determination in colonised territories, was a serious threat that undermined the very foundations of the Portuguese state. This book examines the nature of this threat, how the Portuguese state initially attempted to overcome it by force, and how new pressures within Portuguese society were given space to emerge as a consequence of the colonial wars. This is the first book that takes a multidisciplinary look at both the causes and the consequences of Portuguese decolonisation – and is the only one that places the loss of Portugal's Eastern Empire in the context of the loss of its African Empire. Furthermore, it is the only English language book that relates the process of Portuguese decolonisation with the search for a new Portuguese vision of its place in the world. This book is intended for anyone who is interested in regime change, decolonisation, political revolutions and the growth and development of the European Union. It will also be useful for those who are interested in contemporary developments in civil society and state ideologies. Given that a large part of the book is dedicated to the process of change in the various countries of the former Portuguese Empire, it will also be of interest to students of Africa. It will be useful to those who study decolonisation processes within the other former European Empires, as it provides comparative detail. The book will be most useful to academic researchers and students of comparative politics and area studies.
The Complex of United States-Portuguese Relations

The Complex of United States-Portuguese Relations

Author: United States. Congress. House. Committee on Foreign Affairs. Subcommittee on Africa
Publisher:
ISBN:
Pages: 574
Year: 1974
Hearings held before and after the Apr. 25, 1974 coup, known as the Carnation Revolution, to consider the Azores agreement; U.S. military assistance to Portugal and its implications for U.S. relations with African; and developments in Mozambique, Angola, and the new Republic of Guinea-Bissau. Also considers present view in Portugal on the so-called territories in Africa, particularly those of General Antonio de Spinola, former commanding officer of Guinea-Bissau, and the question of Brazil's relationship with Portugal in Africa.
Facts and reports

Facts and reports

Author:
Publisher:
ISBN:
Pages:
Year: 1975
Press cuttings on Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, & Southern Africa.