PORTUGAL'S GUERRILLA WARS IN AFRICA: Lisbon's Three Wars in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea 1961-74
Portugal's three wars in Africa in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea (Guine-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 Libertacao), 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'etat 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.
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. Venter's camera was always at hand; most of the images used between these covers are his.
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