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Diário de Notícias; Noticiario Universal - Publicado Todas As Manhãs
Topic Started: May 5 2018, 04:58 PM (126 Views)
Naz
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BoP XVI: 1919
Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic Posted Image
Joao Tamagnini Barbosa

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Naz
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Presidente Sidonio Pais Assassinated!
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16 Dec, 1918
LISBON - Nine days after escaping an assassination attempt at an award ceremony for the survivors of the navy trawler Augusto de Castilho, Presidente Sidonio Pais has fallen victim to a second attempt on his life.

Presidente Sidonio Pais was on his way to the Lisboa-Rossio Railway Station after having dinner at the restaurant Silva, located at the Chiado. The President was accompanied by his brother and his son, he was going to take the train to Porto to confer with the Board of the Northern Military. When he entered the station at around eleven o'clock the evening of 14 December 1918, he was received by an increased presence of Republican Guard, in response to the events of 6 December.

What the Presidente did not realize as he made his way through the station was that Jose Julio da Costa, a left-wing political activist, was waiting for him, possessing a pistol concealed in his Alentejo cloak. When the Presidente passed by the assassin on the first floor of Rossio station, the assassin penetrated the double police cordon that surrounded the Presidente and fired two shots from the firearm.

The first shot hit Pais in the right arm and the bullet became lodged in his arm, while the second proved to be the fatal blow, hitting the Presidente in the stomach. The Presidente fell immediately to the ground and a panic broke out. During the confusion, four innocent bystanders were fatally wounded by the guards and the assassin - who did not attempt to escape - was arrested after being brutally beaten by the crowd.

The Presidente was rushed to Sao Jose Hospital, but perished en route, shortly before midnight. Da Costa has been apprehended by authorities and remains in custody. There has yet to be a statement as to the assassin's future fate. Pais's funeral, held this morning, was attended by tens of thousands of people, but multiple interruptions - some of them violent - took place as protesters mingled among the crowd and disrupted the ceremony.

The Congress of the Republic will elect a new president later today to succeed Pais. Insiders report that the general feeling in Lisbon is that National Republican Joao do Canto e Castro - a Navy officer (who resigned from his posts as Minister of the Navy and Minister of Foreign Affairs yesterday afternoon) - is a clear-cut frontrunner to become the fifth Presidente of the young Portuguese Republic.
Edited by Naz, May 12 2018, 05:32 PM.
BoP XVI: 1919
Prime Minister of the Portuguese Republic Posted Image
Joao Tamagnini Barbosa

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Naz
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Soldado Milhoes: The One Man Army
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17 Dec, 1918
LISBON - With the Armistice of Compiegne bringing the Great War between the Allies and Central Powers to a close just over a month ago, a hearty sigh of relief can be heard by all involved in the terrible conflict. There is no doubt that a massive cost has been extracted - not only do treasuries sit emptied, but millions upon millions of people - civilians and soldiers alike - lie dead, maimed, and traumatized in its wake. It is imperative that we learn valuable lessons, lest another conflict flare up to resume carnage similar to that we have witnessed. Portugal must also never forget the massive sacrifices its brave young men have made in selfless service to our fellow continental brethren; most of all, our heroes ought to have their tales go down for centuries to come. Today, we focus on Portugal's most brazen son during the Great War - Anibal Milhais.

Anibal Milhais was a farmer, born on 9 July, 1895, in the small village of Valongo de Milhais, a parish of Murca, in north of Portugal. In the middle of 1915, he was drafted into the Infantry of Braganca. By 1917, he was mobilized to join the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps. He arrived in France in the same year, as a member of the Trás os Montes brigade from the 2nd Infantry Division of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps. The 2nd Infantry Division was deployed to the front line in Flanders, Belgium. Portuguese soldiers volunteered to infiltrate enemy lines and raid trenches, even though the casualties on both sides for raids were extremely high. Three German divisions had been rotated in the sector facing the 2nd Division in the last nine months before April 1918. The division saw no major battles but suffered many casualties and extreme fatigue among the front-line soldiers from consecutive night raids. With unfortunate bad timing for the Portuguese, they were to have been rotated out of the line on the same morning that the Germans attacked.

On 9 April, 1918, Milhais, set in charge of a Lewis gun, took his part in the Battle of La Lys. He found himself in the midst of the battle, in the field of Isberg, covering the withdrawal of Portuguese and Scots soldiers. Within a few hours, ~1,900 men had been killed, ~5,200 wounded and about 7,000 taken prisoner. During the German offensive, Milhais laid down intensive fire against assaults by two German regiments, causing many German casualties. He managed to cover the retreat of Portuguese and Scots alike, despite coming under heavy attack himself. He fired in all directions and stayed at his post until he ran out of ammunition. Finally, the Germans decided to go around his position, and Milhais found himself alone in the rear of the enemy lines for three days. On the third day, Milhais, still carrying his Lewis gun, rescued a Scottish major from a swamp, and the two reached Allied lines. Milhais was warmly welcomed, but being a modest man he did not say anything about his experiences. However, the officer he had helped reported his actions to the British headquarters and several other testimonies also made his deeds known.

A few months later, Milhais once again held back a German assault single-handed with his Lewis gun, allowing a Belgian unit to retreat safely to a secondary trench without casualties. Both the British observers present in the scene and the Belgian commander included his action in their reports.

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According to Milhais,

'On the 8th [of April] I left the lines and dreamt about my village's patron saint. The day after I told my friends "I'm happy with the dream I had. I've dreamt about my patron saint and she was smiling to me."

I was drinking coffee when the fighting started. I picked up my machine gun and there we went to the front. I arrived at the top of La Couture, but only one soldier had accompanied me. His nickname - they called him - was "Malha Vacas". There we were, behind a house that was burning. Everything was on fire. To that soldier I said: "Look, Malha Vacas, our battalion has ran away. Let's get out of here. Poor fella, barely ran. He had moved about 10 meters when a grenade hit him and pulverised him. I kept on running. I entered the shelter and saw no one. I could only see fire around me.

Later, the Germans started advancing over the fields of La Couture. The fields were crowded with people. On the front line they came dressed as Portuguese. They had captured our soldiers and were using their uniforms. As I wasn't sure, and I had seen five Scots, I went to ask them to do some reconnaissance. Then I ran back to the shelter. When I arrived, the soldiers already were at the top of La Couture, on motorcycles and with tall helmets. Then I was sure they were German. I opened fire and the invaders fell. An hour later another invasion. Again I opened fire, before they could even reach their previous position. A machine gun fires a lot. But later, another invasion came. It wasn't as big. I cut it down too. I didn't see Germans after that.'


Milhais was awarded the highest Portuguese distinction - The Order of the Tower and Sword - and the French Légion d'Honneur, delivered on the battlefield before 15,000 Allied soldiers. On 15 July, 1918, the Order of Service of the Battalion published a commendation, given by Major Ferreira do Amaral, which described his action as having been worth a million men, hence the nickname by which he became known: "Soldier Millions".
BoP XVI: 1919
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Joao Tamagnini Barbosa

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