Portugal Armed Forces

By | December 27, 2021

Army. – The land armed forces of Portugal consist of the Metropolitan Army and the Colonial Army. For Portugal military, please check militarynous.com.

The metropolitan army has the following tasks: to garrison the territories of the continent and the adjacent islands (Azores and Madeira); to attend to the education and mobilization of the country army; to provide for border coverage; to provide the colonial army with the necessary personnel and materials.

The colonial army attends to the garrison and defense of the colonies (see above). The military forces of each colony can be deployed in the other colonial territories and, if necessary, also in the motherland.

The Metropolitan Army has a balanced force of approximately 4,300 officers, 45,000 NCOs and enlisted men. The Minister of War is its supreme head in times of peace. Only the parliament of the republic can authorize the government to declare war and designate the supreme commander of the operating army.

The territory of Portugal is divided into: 4 military regions (Oporto, Coimbra, Tomar, Évora), 1 military governorate (Lisbon), 23 military districts. There are no large territorial units in peacetime; the only complex units permanently constituted are 2 cavalry brigades, each made up of 3 cavalry regiments, 1 armored machine gun squadron, 1 cyclist battalion, 1 horse artillery group.

Military service is mandatory. The duration of the service obligation is 28 years (4 in the active army, 16 in the active army reserve, 5 in the territorial reserve, 3 in the recruiting reserve). Duration of the detention: 15 months. Call to arms: in the year in which young people turn 21 of their age.

The colonial army has a balanced force of approximately 380 officers and 10,000 non-commissioned officers and enlisted men. It depends on the Minister of the Colonies. The officers and non-commissioned officers are all national; the troops are partly national and partly indigenous. The latter are mainly recruited through conscription; the duration of their military service obligation is 15 years, of which 10 in the active army and 5 in the territorial reserve.

Navy. – The Portuguese navy, after having had moments of notable splendor in the past, has already been going through a period of crisis for several years, since various successive governments have formulated naval programs, the implementation of which has never reached the practical stage. The latest of these reorganization programs, presented in the second half of 1930, and which was to be developed in eight years at a cost of about twelve million pounds, included 1 light cruiser, 6 destroyers, 4 submarines, 6 colonial service notices, 2 gunboats, 1 aircraft carrier. However, in 1932 the Portuguese government decided to postpone the construction of the aircraft transport ship and to proceed with the order of 1 submarine and 1 destroyer more than those ordered in 1931 (4 destroyers and 2 submarines).

Therefore, the Portuguese navy is made up of the following units: 1 Sacadura Cabral aircraft carrier, under construction, of 5600 tons. and 22 knots, armed with 4/120 and 4/76 antiaircraft, capable of 14 aircraft; 1 cruiser Vasco da Gama, built in England in 1876 and subsequently modernized in 1902 and 1922 in Italy, of 3030 tons. and 15 knots, armed with 1/203, 1/152, 1/102 and 6/76; 3 light cruisers: Alfonso de Albuquerque and Bartholumeu Dias, under construction in England, of 2100 tons. and 21 knots, armed with 4/120 and 2/76 anti-aircraft; and Adamastor, launched in 1896 and partially modernized in 1919-22, from 1750 tons. and 18 knots, armed 2/120, 4/105, 3 launch tubes of 355; 6 destroyers, of which one authorized and 5 (DaoDouroLimaTejoVouga) built in England and in Lisbon on an English design, launched in 1933, of 1400 tons. and 36 knots, armed with 4/120 and 8 launch tubes of 530; 7 submarines, of which 1 authorized, 3 (DelfinEspadarte and X) under construction in England, of 780/975 tons. and 16.5 / 9.2 knots, armed with 533 and 1/102 launch tubes, and 3 (FocaGolfinhoHidra), built in 1916 at Fiat S. Giorgio, from 260/390 tons. and 14.2 / 8 knots, armed with 2 launch tubes of 457; 7 notices, of which 2 of 1100 tons. and 16 knots, armed with 3/120 and 2 machine gunners; 1, Pedro Nuñes, built in the Lisbon arsenal, of equal displacement and speed, but armed with 2/120, 2/76, 4 machine guns; 2 (Carvalho Aranjo and Republica) built in England in 1915, 1z00 ton. and 17 knots, armed with 2/102 and 2/76 anti-aircraft, 2/47 and 2 machine gunners; 6 torpedo boats, of which z of 600 tons. and 4 of 250 tons; 1 sailing training vessel Sagres, 3270 tons; 3 hydrographic vessels; 17 gunboats of various types, the most important of which are Diu and Lagos, built in Lisbon in 1929, from 400/350 tons. and 13 knots, armed with 2/76, 2/47 and ZaireDamãoDiu, built in Lisbon in 1926-z7, of 400/500 tons. and 13/11 knots, armed with 2/76 and 2/47; plus some subsidiary ships.

The main naval base is Lisbon; then there are the secondary and eventual ones of Ponta Delgada, Lourenço Marques, Mozambique, Loanda, Macao.

The navy personnel are around 680 officers, 930 sub-official and 5,760 men, of which 370 are from the naval air force. When the naval program mentioned above will be implemented, the actual numbers will have to be 875 officers, 1237 non-commissioned officers and 6344 men.

Military aviation. – Portugal’s military land aviation is part of the regular army and depends on the Ministry of War. The main centers are: in Alverca do Ribateja, where the aeronautical material depot, the aeronautical battalion, the independent bombing aviation group and the general material workshops are located; in Amadora, where the “Repubblica” aviation squadron group and the 1st reconnaissance aviation group are based; in Grania do Marquez, where the military air force school is located, and in Tancos, where the independent defense and combat aviation group is based. Each of these locations is a military airport; to these must be added Braga and Oporto, and about twenty makeshift camps.

The devices supplied (about 81 in 1934) are mainly of French and German manufacture. The force is 97 officers and 920 municipalities, including maritime military aviation personnel.

Maritime military aviation is part of the navy and depends on the Ministry of the Navy. It has its base and its school in Lisbon (Bom Successo). Another base is in Aveiro (S. Jacinto). The devices supplied (about 14 in 1934) are French, German and also Italian (Macchi).

Portugal Armed Forces