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Portuguese Army
Military flag of Portugal
War flag of the Portuguese Army
Country Portugal
Service history
Active 1139 – present
Role Land Forces
Size 32.000
Part of Portuguese Armed Forces
Patron Afonso I of Portugal
Motto Em perigos e guerras esforçados
In dangers and wars strengthened
Battles Reconquista
1383–1385 Crisis
War of the Castilian Succession
Persia–Portugal war
Ethiopian-Adal War
Dutch–Portuguese War
Turkish-Portuguese Wars
War of the Portuguese Succession
Malayan-Portuguese War
Portuguese Restoration War
War of the Spanish Succession
Seven Years' War
French Revolutionary Wars
War of the Oranges
Peninsular War
Luso-Brazilian invasion
Brazilian War of Independence
Liberal Wars
First Carlist War
World War I
Portuguese-Indian War (1961)
Portuguese Colonial War
IFOR
SFOR
EUFOR
KFOR
Afghanistan War
Peacekeeping Missions
-Angola
-Bosnia
-Croatia
-Macedonia
-Western Sahara
-Georgia
-Lebanon
Commanders
Commanders General José Luís Pinto Ramalho

[2]

Insignia

The Portuguese Army (Portuguese language: Exército Português ) is the ground branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in co-operation with other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the defence of Portugal. It is one of the oldest armies in the world, established in the 12th century.

HistoryEdit

The history of the Portuguese Army is directly connected to the history of Portugal.

National defenceEdit

The land forces fought for Portuguese independence against the Leonese and the Moors in the 12th century, against the Castilian invaders in the 14th century, against the Spanish Habsburgs in the 17th century, and against French invaders in the Peninsular War in the 19th century. Here they were re-trained by the British (under the direction of Lieutenant General William Carr Beresford). Their infantry and artillery forces went on to perform brilliantly up until the final French capitulation in 1814.

Foreign campaignsEdit

Since the 15th century, the land forces have also participated in Portuguese foreign and overseas campaigns – in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and Europe. In the 20th century, the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps participated in World War I on the side of the Allies in the European western front and Africa.

Colonial WarEdit

The army participated in colonial war from 1961 to 1974, in Angola, Goa, Mozambique, Portuguese Guinea and Cape Verde. At the other oversees possessions, East Timor and São Tomé and Príncipe, there was a military presence but no guerrilla organizations. In 1961, the isolated and relatively small Portuguese Army suffered a defeat against a largely superior Indian Army in the colony of Portuguese India, which was subsequently lost to the Union of India in the same invasion. The counterinsurgency campaigns in Africa had various degrees of success ranging from almost victory in Angola to total and conventional war in Portuguese Guinea. This war ended after the Carnation Revolution military coup of April 1974 in Lisbon and subsequently independence of the colonies.

European/NATO focusEdit

After the independence of the colonies and the normalization of Portuguese political affairs the Portuguese army returned to the barracks and began the process of changing from an oversized colonial and counter-insurgency army to a conventional European army, including drastic personnel reduction, disbanding of some units, acquisition of new arms and equipment, reorganizing units and roles, fielding new headquarters and becoming fully professional. These took several decades and the defined purposes and roles have somehow changed due to external causes like the end of the Cold War as well internal causes like available budget, political changes and the acceptance and desires of the Portuguese people regarding its armed forces.

Peace missionsEdit

In the 21st century, the Portuguese Army has participated in several peace missions, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, East-Timor, and Afghanistan – where it has a Comandos company deployed. In December 2005, a Portuguese commando died in an incident in Afghanistan when a bomb trap was detonated.

Order of battleEdit

Portugal Army 2013

Operational Structure of the Portuguese Army.

Central structureEdit

The Portuguese Army is led by the Army Chief of Staff and includes:

  1. Army Staff ;
  2. Functional Commands:
    • Training and Doctrine Command
    • Logistic Command
    • Personnel Command
    • Operational Command
  3. Operational Formations and Military Zones:
  4. Main Military Schools:
    • Military Academy
    • Army Sergeant School
    • School of the Military Medical Service
    • Army Polytechnical School

Base unitsEdit

Portugal location map
Green pog.svg
Mechanized Brigade
Red pog.svg
2nd Infantry Battalion
Red pog.svg
1st Infantry Battallion
Red pog.svg
1st Parachute Battalion
Red pog.svg
2nd Parachute Battalion
Location of the main Army operational units in Continental Portugal. The Azores and Madeira (off-map to west) each have one operational infantry battalion.

The Portuguese Army Base Structure Units work as administrative bases responsible for the training and organization of
the operational units of the army's formations, military zones and general support forces. For historical reasons most of the base units are called regiments and are associated with an arm of service. By arm of service, these units are:

  1. Cavalry:
  2. Artillery:
  3. Infantry:
    • School of Infantry at Mafra
    • 1st Infantry Regiment at Tavira
    • 3rd Infantry Regiment at Beja
    • 10th Infantry Regiment at Aveiro
    • 13th Infantry Regiment at Vila Real
    • 14th Infantry Regiment at Viseu
    • 15th Infantry Regiment at Tomar
    • 19th Infantry Regiment at Chaves
  4. Engineers:
    • School of Engineers at Tancos
    • 1st Engineers Regiment at Lisbon
    • 3rd Engineers Regiment at Espinho
  5. Communications:
    • School of Communications at Oporto
    • Communications Regiment at Lisbon
  6. Logistical Services:
  7. Mixed:

RanksEdit

General officers
Marechal do Exército
Marshal of the Army
General
General
Tenente-general
Lieutenant-general
Major-general
Major-general
Brigadeiro-general
Brigadier General
OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6
23 - Marechal 22 - General 21 - Tenente-general 20 - Major-general 19 - Brigadeiro-general
Field officers
Coronel
Colonel
Tenente-coronel
Lieutenant-colonel
Major
Major
OF-5 OF-4 OF-3
18 - Coronel 17 - Tenente-coronel 16 - Major
Company officers
Capitão
Captain
Tenente
Lieutenant
Alferes
Ensign
Aspirante an official
Officer candidate
OF-2 OF-1 OF-1 OF-D
15 - Capitão 14 - Tenente 13 - Alferes 12 - Aspirante
Non-commissioned officers
Sargento-mor
Sergeant-major
Sargento-chefe
Chief Master Sergeant
Sargento-ajudante
Master sergeant
Primeiro-sargento
First sergeant
Segundo-sargento
Second sergeant
Furriel
Quartermaster
Segundo-furriel
Second quartermaster
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-5 OR-5
11 - Sargento-mor 10 - Sargento-chefe 9 - Sargento-ajudante 8 - Primeiro-sargento 7 - Segundo-sargento 6 - Furriel 5 - Segundo-furriel
Enlisted
Cabo-adjunto
Attached corporal
Primeiro-cabo
First corporal
Segundo-cabo
Second corporal
Soldado
Soldier
OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
4 - Cabo-adjunto 3 - Primeiro-cabo 2 - Segundo-cabo No insignia

EquipmentEdit

Infantry EquipmentEdit

Weapon Caliber Origin Notes
Pistols and Submachine Guns
Walther P38 9x19 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany Service pistol.
SIG P228 9x19 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany
Heckler & Koch USP9 9x19 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany
Brügger & Thomet MP9 9x19 mm Flag of Switzerland.svg  Switzerland
Heckler & Koch MP5 (A5/SD6/K versions) 9x19 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany The A5 and the SD6 (since 2003) versions are in use.
IMI Uzi 9x19 mm Flag of Israel.svg Israel Being phased out.
Assault Rifles & Battle Rifles
Heckler & Koch G3 7.62x51 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany Standard issue Battle Rifle, made under license by Fábrica de Braço de Prata as the FBP m/961 (G3) and FBP m/963 (G3A3).
Heckler & Koch HK417 7.62×51 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany Used as marksman rifle.
Heckler & Koch G36 5.56x45 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany Used by the CTOE- DOE (Special Operations Detachment).
IMI Galil ARM 5.56x45 mm Flag of Israel.svg Israel Paratroopers´ standard service rifle.
SIG SG 543 5.56x45 mm Flag of Switzerland.svg  Switzerland
Sniper Rifles & Anti-materiel Rifles
Heckler & Koch MSG-90 7.62x51 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany Sniper rifle.
AI AWSF 7.62x51 mm Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
AI AWSM .338 Lapua Magnum Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
AI AW50 .50 BMG Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Barrett M95 .50 BMG Flag of the United States.svg United States
Barrett M82A1 .50 BMG Flag of the United States.svg United States
Machine Guns
Rheinmetall MG 3 7.62x51 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany General-purpose machine gun.
Heckler & Koch HK21 7.62x51 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany Made under license by Fábrica de Braço de Prata as the m/968. General-purpose machine gun.
FN Minimi 5.56x45 mm Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium General-purpose machine gun.
Heckler & Koch MG4 5.56x45 mm Flag of Germany.png Germany General-purpose machine gun.
FN M3M .50 BMG Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium Heavy Machine Gun.
Browning M2HB .50 BMG Flag of the United States.svg United States Heavy Machine Gun.
Shotguns
Mossberg 500 12, 20 gauge Flag of the United States.svg United States
Benelli M3 12, 20 gauge Flag of Italy.svg Italy
Franchi SPAS 15 12 gauge Flag of Italy.svg Italy
Grenade Launchers
Heckler & Koch HK79 40 mm grenade Flag of Germany.png Germany
M203 40 mm grenade Flag of the United States.svg United States
Heckler & Koch AG36 40 mm grenade Flag of Germany.png Germany
ARWEN 37 37 mm grenade Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Milkor MGL 40 mm grenade Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa Mk.1 version.
Mortars
Tampella B 120 mm Flag of Finland.svg Finland Called m/74.
mGrW 82 81 mm Flag of Canada.svg Canada
Soltam 60mm 60 mm Flag of Israel.svg Israel
FBP m/68 60 mm Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal Ultra-light mortar (Morteirete).
Anti-Tank Weapons
Carl Gustav recoilless rifle 84 mm Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden
M72 LAW 66 mm Flag of the United States.svg United States Designated as the m/78.
BGM-71 TOW 152 mm Flag of the United States.svg United States
MILAN 115 mm Flag of France.svg France

VehiclesEdit

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
Armoured vehicles
Leopard 2A6 Flag of Germany.png Germany Main battle tank 37[1] Leopard 2A6 28 are in 2 combat squadrons, 3 in the Command and Services Squadron.
M60 A3 TTS Flag of the United States.svg United States Main battle tank 96 CARRO COMBATE M 60 A3 14 are in 1 combat squadron. The others are in reserve.
M901A1 ITV Flag of the United States.svg United States Armoured vehicle ATGMs-launcher 4 M901-TOW-latrun-2
M113 Armored Personnel Carrier Flag of the United States.svg United States Armoured personnel carrier 277 US M113 in Samarra Iraq Designated as the m/76. Includes 251 M113A3 and 26 M557[2].
Pandur II Flag of Austria.svg Austria Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal Armoured personnel carrier 166 VBR Pandur Several versions, license-produced. Designated as the m/07. 166 received from the original order of 240. The others were cancelled.
Chaimite Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal Armoured personnel carrier 80 020602-F-EF201-005 A Portuguese Chaimite V200 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) outfitted with a 50 caliber machine gun engages a large rectangular target some two kilometers down range Designated as the m/67. Retired from service.
Commando V150 Flag of the United States.svg United States Armoured car 15 Cadillac Gage V-150 do Exército português Designated as the m/89.
Panhard M11 Flag of France.svg France Armoured car 38[2] VBL RHP Afghanistan Designated as the m/89 Light.
HMMWV M1025 Flag of the United States.svg United States Armoured car Portuguese Air Force Hummer and Condor Designated as the m/00.
Engineering vehicles
M88 Recovery Vehicle[2] Flag of the United States.svg United States Armoured recovery vehicle Bundeswehrmuseum Dresden 65
M48 AVLB[2] Flag of the United States.svg United States Armoured vehicle-launched bridge BrLgPz M48 im Bundeswehrmuseum Dresden

ArtilleryEdit

  • United Kingdom 105mm L118 Light Gun (21)
  • United Kingdom 105mm M119 Light Gun m/98
  • Italy 105mm OTO Melara Mod 56 (discontinued, some may be used by the School of Artillery for no-live fire training, replaced by M119 Light Gun)
  • United States 105mm M101 (discontinued, some may be used by the School of Artillery for no-live fire training)
  • United States 155mm M114 (reactivated, may also be used by the School of Artillery for no-live fire training)
  • United States 155mm M109A5 (18) and M109A4

Anti-Air ArtilleryEdit

Tactical VehiclesEdit

  • Japan Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 called m/98
  • United Kingdom Land Rover Defender'90 TDI 4x4
  • Japan Mitsubishi L200 4x4
  • Portugal UMM Alter 4x4

Heavy VehiclesEdit

  • Sweden Volvo D Truck 40 ton 4x2
  • Netherlands DAF FTT Truck 38 ton 6x4
  • Italy Iveco Truck
  • Germany Unimog Truck

OthersEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Army - armedforces.co.uk, July 29, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 [1] - Armyrecognition.com, July 29, 2013

External linksEdit

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