“I Was Just One More among Many”: A Mosaic of Ex-combatant Voices from the Portuguese Colonial War

  • Ângela Campos
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)


Joaquim Azinheira, whose words these are, was, indeed, one of the nearly one million Portuguese conscripted men who fulfilled their military service from 1961 to 1974 in Angola, Mozambique, and Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau), then colonial territories of Portugal. Not recognizing the independence aspirations of those African “overseas provinces,” the Portuguese regime responded with counterinsurgency. By 1964, the Forças Armadas Portuguesas (Portuguese Armed Forces) were fighting on three fronts in Africa, commonly known as the “Portuguese colonial war.”2 The conflict ended in 1974 with the April 25 Portuguese Revolution. Initiated by a coup led by the Portuguese military, the “Carnation Revolution,” as it came to be known, marked the end of the Salazar dictatorship, the Estado Novo (New State), and the Portuguese rule in Africa.3 Overnight, Portugal embraced democracy after 48 years of dictatorship (1926–1974), and was the last European nation to relinquish protracted conflict and centuries-old claims to an overseas empire.


Military Service Oral History Colonial Past Fiftieth Anniversary Portuguese Society 
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© Ângela Campos 2016

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  • Ângela Campos

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