Pedro S. F. de Avillez
Although Portugal had effectively been fighting German forces in Africa from 1914, war was not declared until March 9th 1916 and Portuguese troops were not involved in the war in Europe until 1917. Despite support from the Government for joining the war, there was considerable opposition amongst the people and within the armed forces, including several mutinies. To overcome this resistance the Government of Afonso Costa agreed with the British to confiscate all German vessels in Portuguese ports, leading to Germany declaring war. Of the 55,100 soldiers sent to France, 14,100 were not to return. In Africa, 21,000 of the 52,000 Portuguese sent there died and civilian casualties from the fighting in Angola and Mozambique topped 100,000. Portuguese involvement in the war did not lead to any sense of unification in the country, which continued to live in a state of civil war until 1928. In 1932 the Estado Novo came to power. Sr. Avillez speculates that if Portugal had not joined the war the Estado Novo may not have come about.
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