I have a found a very helpful thesis on the Colonial war by Samuel Gaspar Rodrigues. – The Portuguese Colonial War: Why the Military Overthrew its Government  – Published April 20, 2012 Rodrigues 2

Its chapters are


Before the War 

The War 

The April Captains  

Remembering the Past 

The Legacy of Colonial Portugal 

Because of the laws of conscription, all men completed two years of obligatory military service. These men registered for the selective service at their “Juntas de Freguesia,” similar to the organization of a township in the United States. In Portugal, villages are grouped into freguesia’s. In other words, those who belonged to a certain village registered in their respective freguesias. For example, the village from which my parents come, Souto da Carpalhosa, has a population of almost 4,000 and is itself a freguesia with 23 other villages subordinate to it.

His country called him in 1971, when he was barely a man of 21. He reported to the military barracks in Leiria where he underwent physical training. After completing six weeks of training, he went to north Angola, specifically the region around Cabinda. Very little information left the African provinces, leaving soldiers like my uncle completely in the dark about what challenges they faced on arrival

The government even restricted the ability to carry money when traveling from Africa to Portugal. In other words, no information came out of the colonies. The Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado or PIDE (Portugal’s secret police) reviewed and censored newspapers and radio broadcasts before they ever reached the masses. Only in 1960 did Portugal’s first television station, Rádio e Telivisão de Portugal or RTP begin broadcasting across the nation. However, the inhabitants of villages like mine did not have money to buy expensive televisions. The one television in town was located in a café where men congregated to watch their Sunday football matches. The new media presented a problem. The government owned and controlled what was broadcast on RTP. As a result, television served to propagandize for the regime. Salazar took advantage of television, broadcasting all of his speeches to the masses simultaneously via television and radio. During its regular broadcasts, especially those with large audiences, the government played announcements about how men who came of age were to register for their military service. During my research through the regional newspaper, Região de Leiria, I frequently came across articles that explained the process of registration as well as where its readers could send their children or where young men could effectively sign up as volunteers14. With these broadcasts, the government made certain that you, a Portuguese man of 18, viewed military service as an obligation and a “privilege.”

I have taken some excerpts from this paper that I may need to later reference and go back too as there is so much information that I can use in this paper! This is one of the only papers I have read where I have really understood whats happened, before the war, the war and after! I have found this thesis very helpful towards my research and towards my personal knowledge so that when I talk about the project I have solid information I can rely on.

Rodrigues Honors Thesis 2012


Rodrigues Honors . (2012). The Portuguese Colonial War: Why the Military Overthrew its Government. Senior Honors History Thesis. – (all), 3-60.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s