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Entangled peripheries. New contributions to the history of Portugal and Morocco

Marginal circulations

Portuguese soldiers in Morocco’s Rif War (1921-27): participation, prisoners and the intervention of the Portuguese Red Cross

Francisco Javier Martínez

Résumé

This paper deals with the participation of Portuguese soldiers in the so-called Rif War – a harsh armed conflict between Spain, France and local insurgents that went on in northern Morocco between 1921 and 1927 – which still remains one of the most forgotten episodes in Portugal’s contemporary military history. First of all, it describes the enlistment of those soldiers in the Spanish army and analyzes the motivations that led them to fight in a conflict in which their country was not directly involved. Secondly, it analyzes their hard living and combat conditions, which resulted in high casualty rates and a large number of suicides and desertions. Finally, it examines the question of Portuguese prisoners, especially of those who fell in the hands of Riffian forces, and the relief they received from the Portuguese Red Cross.

Note de l’auteur

This paper has been written with help of CIDEHUS-UID/HIS/00057/2019; of the research project IF//00835/2014CP1232/CT0002 of the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT); and of the research project HAR2011-24134 of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Innovation (MINECO). It is a significantly enlarged and amended version of the work, originally published in Portuguese, Francisco Javier Martínez, “Escapar ao esquecimento: prisioneiros portugueses na Guerra do Rif, em Marrocos (1921-1927),” in Pedro Aires Oliveira (ed.) Prisioneiros de guerras. Experiências de cativerio no século XX (Lisboa: Tinta da China, 2019), 105-127.

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 Manuel Themudo Barata and Nuno Severiano Teixeira, Nova História Militar de Portugal, 5 vols., (Lis (...)
  • 2 David S. Woolman, Rebels in the Rif: Abd el Krim and the Rif Rebellion (Stanford: Stanford Universi (...)
  • 3 Dirk Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche im Rifkrieg. Spekulanten, Deserteure und Hasardeure im D (...)

1 It is not exaggerated to affirm that the participation of Portuguese soldiers in the so-called Rif War – a harsh armed conflict waged by Spain and France against local insurgents led by Muhammad Ibn 'Abd al-Karim al-Khattabi (shortly, Abdelkrim) that erupted in the Amazigh-speaking territory of northern Morocco between 1921 and 1927 – is one of the most forgotten episodes in Portugal’s contemporary military history. Neither the fifth volume of the massive work by Manuel Themudo Barata and Nuno Severiano Teixeira Nova História Militar de Portugal, nor the more recent companion História Militar de Portugal by the latter author, Francisco Contente Domingues and João Gouveia Monteiro mention that conflict in the long list of civil, European and colonial wars in which the Portuguese Monarchy and Republic became involved since the times of Afonso Henriques1. Similarly, Portuguese intervention has been almost completely absent from the most detailed accounts of the Rif War, including those that have focused on its international dimensions and impact2. One of the few exceptions is the study by Dirk Sasse Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche im Rifkrieg, in which some scattered evidence is provided on the presence and trajectory of Portuguese soldiers in the Legión or Tercio de Extranjeros, the shock troops corps created in January 1920 in the Spanish army following the example of the renowned French Foreign Legion and in which the future dictator of Spain, Francisco Franco, served for years as one of its higher chiefs3.

2 In this paper we will try to overcome the sustained oblivion into which the involvement of Portuguese soldiers in Morocco – and, in connection with it, of the Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa (Portuguese Red Cross, PRC) – has fallen. First of all, we will describe the antecedents and extent of the enlistment of Portuguese legionnaires in the Spanish army (including a provisional list of names) and try to understand the motivations that led them to fight in a conflict in which their country was not directly involved. A much smaller number of Portuguese fought in Morocco in the ranks of the French Foreign Legion, but they are not the object of this paper. Secondly, we will analyze the hard living and combat conditions endured by Portuguese legionnaires – by legionnaires in general – before and during the war, which resulted in high casualty rates and a large number of suicides and desertions. Thirdly, and in connection with this, we will examine the question of Portuguese prisoners, especially of those who fell in the hands of Riffian forces after being captured in combat or having deserted from Spanish ranks. Finally, we will reconstruct the context of the PRC intervention during the war, with the main actors and initiatives.

Portuguese soldiers in the Rif War

  • 4 Madariaga, En el barranco del Lobo, 26-42.
  • 5 Vasco Pulido Valente, “Henrique Paiva Couceiro: um colonialista e um conservador,” Análise Social X (...)
  • 6 Valente, “Paiva Couceiro,” 775.
  • 7 In general, Portugal is absent from the historiographical account of the international competition (...)
  • 8 José Miguel Sardica, Ibéria. A relaçao entre Portugal e Espanha no século XX (Lisboa: Aletheia Edit (...)

3 The contemporary enlistment of Portuguese citizens in the Spanish army was closely connected with Spanish conflicts in North Africa and with the units of the army stationed there. Its first, embryonic episode occurred during a confrontation that anticipated the Rif War. Between October and December 1893, several thousand soldiers were detached from the Iberian Peninsula to Melilla, an outpost located in the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, as a result of the clashes with nearby Riffian tribes4. The Portuguese army officer Henrique de Paiva Couceiro (1861-1944) eventually joined the operations. Paiva Couceiro was a vocational military Africanist who had already fought in the Angolan campaigns of 1889-915. Back in Lisbon until new African campaigns were launched in Mozambique in 1894-96, he requested a temporary leave to join the Spanish army and take part in the Melilla campaign, even if Portugal was not involved in it6. What were his goals then? On the one hand, he sought a reaction against the perceived stagnation of Portuguese Africanism – due to metropolitan apathy and the British Ultimatum of 1890 – that condemned the country to economic backwardness and international irrelevance. In particular, Paiva Couceiro believed Portugal should move away from its marginal role in the European imperialist competition for Morocco, all the more regrettable since the North African country was located just a short distance away from its coast and had been the first theater of the country’s overseas expansion in the 15th century – as has been reminded in the first two essays of this section7. On the other hand, his involvement in Melilla sought to promote a closer alliance between Portugal and Spain. Paiva Couceiro’s monarchism and ideological integralismo was intertwined with a staunch iberismo, the current of opinion that promoted “the defense of Iberian civilization and the strengthening of a peninsular alliance in the diplomatic, cultural, sentimental, economic and political spheres, though respecting the autonomy of both countries”8. In this sense, the Portuguese contribution to Spain’s military intervention in Morocco was regarded as a prominent means for approaching the two peninsular nations.

Image 1 - A portrait of Afonso D’Ornelas, undated

Image 1 - A portrait of Afonso D’Ornelas, undated

Source: https://www.rostos.pt/​inicio2.asp?cronica=131909 [Consulted : 25 January 2019]

  • 9 Alejandro Raya-Rivas, "An Iberian Alliance: Portuguese Intervention in the Spanish Civil War (1936- (...)
  • 10 Afonso D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir em 1923 (Lisboa: Casa Portuguesa, 1925), 169.
  • 11 Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa, Boletim oficial de 1926 (Lisboa: Pap. e Tip. Casa Portuguesa, 1926), 27.
  • 12 José de Esaguy. Marrocos (Lisboa: Edições Europa, 1933).
  • 13 Álvarez’s figures are not contained in his publications, but were orally transmitted by him to Dirk (...)
  • 14 Ibídem.

4 Paiva Couceiro’s vision, solitary and voluntarist in the beginning, would eventually crystallize into a sizable, semi-official action during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39. Then, an estimated 2.500 to 8.000 Portuguese contributed to General Franco’s Morocco-based uprising against the Spanish Republican regime by joining the ranks of the Tercio de Extranjeros, where they fought as shock troops alongside the Regulares (a mixed Spanish-Moroccan army corps) throughout the war9. There was, however, a direct precedent to this: the enlistment of Portuguese soldiers in the Tercio before and during the Rif War. Surprisingly, despite being the missing link with Paiva’s original initiative, this episode has hitherto received no historiographical attention. Portuguese men began to enlist in the Tercio right after its creation in 1920 under command of Lieutenant Colonel José Millán Astray and continued to do so when the Rif War broke out in the summer of 1921. The figures were not irrelevant. Afonso D’Ornelas (see image 1), military officer, historian and PRC inspector – to whose activities in relation with Portuguese legionnaires we will refer later – reported the presence of “around twenty” of those soldiers in Ceuta and “almost three hundred” at the front in mid-192310. According to a 1926 bulletin of the PRC “in the Spanish army Foreign Legion in Morocco there has constantly existed a contingent of over three hundred Portuguese”11. In a book published in 1933, José de Esaguy, an Arabist and diplomat in Tangier, affirmed that “nearly 6000 Lusitanian” had joined the Tercio during the war12. This figure is inconsistent with the previous calculations and also with the much more recent numbers provided by the historian José E. Álvarez, who was informed by a retired chief of the corps that a total of “1.085 Portuguese legionnaires” had enlisted between 1920 and 1930 (see Table 1)13. According to this source, the Portuguese had been the largest group among the Tercio’s 4.304 foreign nationals (912 Germans; several hundred Argentinians, Cubans, Chileans and Mexicans; small numbers of Italians, Americans, Swiss, Austrians, Belgians, central and eastern Europeans) in that period14.

Table 1 - List of Portuguese soldiers enrolled in the Spanish Foreign Legion during the period 1920-1936 currently identified by the author

Table 1 - List of Portuguese soldiers enrolled in the Spanish Foreign Legion during the period 1920-1936 currently identified by the author

* It was common among legionnaires to use fake names.

Sources: 1-43, D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir; 44-66, ACVP, Correspondência 1925; 67-68, Diario de Noticias, 11 junho 1925; 69, El Sol, 22 de noviembre de 1922; 70-71, Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche; 72, La Época, 16 agosto 1921; 73-76, Diário de Lisboa, 16 novembro 1924; 77-80, Morais e Almeida, E eu fui legionário; Cesar, Terras de Mistério, 126; Arquivo Militar de Portugal, FO/006/L/39; O Século, 12 abril 1925; 4 junho 1925; 13 junho 1925.

  • 15 Abílio Pires Lousada, O Exército e a ruptura da ordem política em Portugal, 1820-1974 (Lisboa: Pref (...)
  • 16 Manuel Baiôa, O Partido Republicano Nacionalista 1923-1935. Uma República para Todos os Portugueses(...)

5There were several causal factors behind the expansion of Paiva Couceiro’s project in the 1920s. One of the most important was the increasing militarization of Portuguese society after the proclamation of the Republic in October 1910. The new regime’s chronic instability resulted in the army quickly being regarded as the “moral reserve” of society, the only solution for the constant political turmoil and social anarchy that marked the early years of the Republic15. Most of the main public actors, independently from their ideological adscription, advocated a growing intervention of the military in politics, which they tried to use for defeating their rivals16. As a consequence, successive pronunciamentos (military uprisings) threatened to impose an authoritarian Republic or to restore the old monarchy. The coups of General Pimenta de Castro in 1915 and Major Sidonio Pais in 1918 were the main attempts of the first kind, especially the latter’s Nova República. By contrast, Paiva Couceiro, self-exiled in Spain for long periods, led armed invasions that tried to restore the Monarchy in 1911, 1912 and especially in January 1919, an episode that came to be known as the Monarquia do Norte. Subsequent failed military coups in October 1921 and April 1925 paved the way for the successful pronunciamento of May 1926 that inaugurated the Ditadura Militar, later followed by the authoritarian, militarist and corporatist Estado Novo of António de Oliveira Salazar.

  • 17 Alfredo Comesaña, “Dios, patria, rey y... contrabando. Tras las huellas del exilio monárquico portu (...)
  • 18 Hipólito de la Torre Gómez, Do “perigo espanhol” à amizade peninsular. Portugal-Espanha 1919-1930 ( (...)
  • 19 Legaçao da Republica Portuguesa. Gabinete militar. Nº 264 Confidencial. Madrid, 26 de Outubro de 19 (...)
  • 20 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir, 170.

6The diverse military interventions required contingents of officers and troops eager to rise against authority. If the insurrection failed, these men went to prison or exile and, their normal career interrupted, became thus raw material for new uprisings and disorders. In this sense, Paiva’s last pro-monarchist tentative in 1919 was special because of the high number of men involved and exiled. “Hundreds” of officers and soldiers had to flee to Spain, where they settled in Madrid, or in the border provinces, especially in Pontevedra and Orense in Galicia, waiting for a new pronunciamento or for an eventual amnesty law to be passed17. The size of this group explained that, for the first time, a complex permanent network of support was established in Spanish soil, which was operative as early as May 191918. When the Tercio, officially created on 28 January 1920, began actual recruitment in September, a number of Paiva Couceiro’s sympathizers joined it. Thus, Portugal’s military attaché in Madrid reported on 26 October that 35 Portuguese legionnaires “escaped to Spain as deserters and criminals” had just been sent to Larache and Melilla19. In some cases, these legionnaires had long been engaged in anti-monarchist uprisings, such as one met by the above-mentioned D’Ornelas “who had been an officer of the Portuguese army and joined the forces of Paiva Couceiro at the time of the capture of [the city of] Chaves [in July 1912]”20. Others had directly moved from the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps that participated in the First World War to join the 1919 northern invasion and then fight in Morocco, as was the case of the injured legionnaire that Oldemiro César, a journalist of the Diário de Noticias who visited Spanish Morocco in 1924 or 1925, met in the Spanish Red Cross hospital in Tetouan:

  • 21 Oldemiro César, Terras de mistério. Marrocos (Lisboa: Empresa Diário de Noticias, 1925), 126. “Carl (...)

Carlos Leite da Silva, natural do Porto, freguesia de Cedofeita. Demónio de rapaz!... Bateu-se na França contra os alemães e pelo visto tomou o mau gosto da guerra. Estava em Orense, quando se lembrou de se alistar como voluntario no Tercio de Estrangeiros21.

  • 22 Baiôa, O Partido Republicano Nacionalista, 37.
  • 23 Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to the General Inspection of Police. Lisbon, 8th July 1925. ACVP, Corr (...)
  • 24 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta à Alcacer Kibir, 169.
  • 25 Ibídem.
  • 26 Baiôa, O Partido Republicano Nacionalista, 277.
  • 27 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta à Alcacer Kibir, 169.
  • 28 Ibídem.
  • 29 Ibídem.

7 Military officers and soldiers were not, however, the only ones who risked prison and exile in the case of an armed uprising. Many civilians (politicians; functionaries of the various administrations; police officers; university professors) supported military coups against the all-dominant Partido Republicano Português (PRP), also known as Partido Democrático, which had established a “party dictatorship” of sorts after 1910 obliging political rivals to “resort to anti-constitutional and violent practices” to access power22. Some of them exiled and became Tercio soldiers too. This was the case, for example, of Manoel de Silva Laranjeira, who “em 8 de maio de 1922 desertou do Corpo de Policia Civica de Lisboa, […] indo para Marrocos onde se alistou como legionário do Tercio de Estrangeiros”23. A similar case was that of another legionnaire met by D’Ornelas in Ceuta, Manuel Gomes Mendes. He was considered “the greatest hero among the Portuguese in the Tercio24, for he had been the first Portuguese to receive a war decoration and one the few non-Spanish legionnaires to become a corporal and “in a short time, a sergeant”25. Aside from his combat qualities, Mendes showed signs of cultivation quickly grasped by the engineer Raul Caldeira, representative of the Cámara Municipal of Lisbon in D’Ornelas mission and himself a member of the Partido Nacionalista Republicano26, who “recognized him and felt so happy that he called him by his real name”, which was Manuel Abreu de Campos Simões27. When the mission visited the Tercio’s Dar Riffien headquarters, Simões pronounced a sophisticated welcome speech with allusions to the blood spilled in Morocco “in other remote times by Portuguese soldiers who wrote pages of eternal glory for our country”28. He also made reference to “our beloved Republic” and to those who “continue to love her in the distance”, a sign that he may have been a PRP opponent, though ultimately a Republican29.

  • 30 O Ministro da Guerra ao Exmo. Sr. Director da Policia e Segurança do Estado. Lisboa, 23 de abril de (...)
  • 31 Esaguy, Marrocos, 87.

8In other cases, political exiles were not linked to military uprisings but to the activities of extreme left groups that longed for the replacement of the bourgeois Republic for a revolutionary regime, especially after the success of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The constant prosecution endured by Portuguese anarchists, communists and members of trade unions such as the CGT often obliged them to flee to Spain and other countries, where they were still tracked by the local police or surveilled by the Portuguese diplomatic network. For example, in April 1920, the Ministry of War asked the Directorate-General of the Police for portraits of Julio Gonçalves, an editor of the well-known anarchist journal A Batalha, and of Paulo Seixas, an anarchist, to be sent to the military attaché in Madrid so that their presence was confirmed in the Spanish capital30. Some of these revolutionaries could not return to Portugal, nor continue with their activism in their new countries of residence. In the case of those exiled in Spain, some ended up enlisting in the Tercio and being sent to Morocco to fight side by side with former class enemies. As José de Esaguy summarized: “You will find here all the revolutionaries of our nation’s tragic history of the last thirty years”31.

Image 2 - A group of Portuguese soldiers of the Spanish Foreign Legion, 1924

Image 2 - A group of Portuguese soldiers of the Spanish Foreign Legion, 1924

Source: https://twitter.com/​legionespanola/​status/​349480672555053056. [Consulted: 10 February 2019]

  • 32 Legação da República Portuguesa. Gabinete militar. Ao Sr. Chefe de Gabinete do Ministerio da Guerra (...)
  • 33 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diário de Lisboa, 11 June 1925.
  • 34 Legação da República Portuguesa. Gabinete militar. Ao Sr. Chefe de Gabinete do Ministerio da Guerra (...)

9The rise of revolutionary activities was one of the main expressions of a general phenomenon which was actually the second main factor behind the enlistment of Portuguese in the Tercio: the postwar economic crisis that hit Portugal in parallel to many other European and world countries. A significant number of Portuguese legionnaires joined the Spanish Foreign Legion as a means to escape that crisis (see image 2). They usually fled from rural regions adjacent to the Spanish border, such as Alentejo and Algarve, whose traditional poverty had only increased when the world conflict was over. According to reports of the military attaché in Madrid in October 1920, the “great number of Portuguese” who were then enlisting in the Tercio had mostly “crossed the border in Badajoz” as a result of the “propaganda” that “with the help of smugglers, is spread within our own territory, Elvas for example”32. One of those was a certain Armando Gouveia, to whom we will refer in the following pages. When interviewed by a journalist of the Diário de Lisboa in June 1925 and asked about the reasons for enlistment of Portuguese legionnaires, he answered: “the want of money and the abundance of adventurous spirit”33. Sometimes, the smugglers involved in this cross-border traffic enlisted themselves to escape being captured, as seemed to be the case of “two individuals with police records (one with surname Veiga, born in Borba, and another one with surname Brocha, born in Redondo)” – two small Alentejo villages close to the border34.

10Actually, many legionnaires came from other localities of this region, the most extensive and poorest in Portugal: Évora, Monforte do Alentejo, Montalvão. The Legion’s banderín de enganche (recruitment bureau) of Badajoz became the most active one for the Portuguese during both the Rif War and the Spanish Civil War. The recruitment process began, as suggested before, in the Alentejo itself. Once the border was crossed with the help of smugglers, the future recruits

  • 35 Idem. “are taken by a corporal to some building (still unknown for me) from which a district called (...)

são acompanhados por um cabo, até a um local (que ainda ignoro) onde funciona uma Repartição chamada ‘Zona’, dirigida por uma entidade militar que lhes fornece um titulo de Legionário e um Carnet para viajar em Caminho de Ferro, com abatimentos. […] Os alistados são dirigidos de Badajoz, Merida, [Don] Benito, Castuera, etc. sobre Cordova e Málaga, donde passam a África35.

  • 36 Legação da República Portuguesa. Gabinete militar. Ao Sr. Chefe de Gabinete do Ministerio da Guerra (...)
  • 37 Esaguy, Marrocos, 87.
  • 38 Idem.

11Other groups of poor peasants were also a source of legionnaires for the Tercio or a target for its propaganda. For example, in October 1920, the Portuguese military attaché in Madrid expressed his “concern” about the possibility of “large-scale recruitment among the 3,000 to 4,000 Portuguese who are in the habit of travelling to Spain to work in agriculture in this season”36 – he probably referred to the grape harvest. But the crisis had hit the cities hard too. Some legionnaires were urban proletarians who joined the Tercio either because they had lost their jobs or found it impossible to get one, or because they had moved on to commit robberies or petty crimes and sought to escape from justice. The frequent allusions to the “redemption” opportunity that the Legion provided, to the “moral debt” that many legionnaires had contracted with society or to their having “failed in the European world” pointed usually to those individuals who had lived in the underground world of Lisbon and Porto. It seems highly probable that the Tercio legionnaires born in Portuguese colonies – such as the Cabo Verde, Goa and Guinea soldiers who were interviewed by José de Esaguy in his book – were immigrants living in marginal milieus of the above-mentioned cities37. The first one of them boasted of having set up a “business” that consisted in getting as many war godmothers “as he could grasp” to make them send him money and goods to Morocco38.

  • 39 “Acción de España en Marruecos,” La Época, 16 August 1921.
  • 40 Manuela Santos, Jornais e revistas portugueses do século XIX (Lisboa: Biblioteca Nacional, 1998), v (...)
  • 41 Telegrama de Afonso D’Ornelas á António Moreira Lopes. Lisboa, 27 de março de 1925. Arquivo da Cruz (...)

12Despite the importance of military, political and economic factors, some Portuguese legionnaires were neither involved in armed uprisings, political strife or revolutionary activities, nor belonged to the needy classes of society. For example, in August 1921, João Maria Mendonça, a maritime commercial agent and journalist at Olhão, enlisted in the Tercio, “a highly praised action, for this gentleman enjoys a comfortable position”39. A son of António Moreira Lopes, owner of the journal O Escudo in Porto40, fought in the Rif War too41. The diversity of motivations of Portuguese legionnaires was brilliantly summarized by the journalist António Rocha Junior, another member of D’Ornelas mission, in a chronicle for the Diário de Noticias in the following terms:

  • 42 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta à Alcacer Kibir, 168. “[…] everything can be found. There are lost souls which (...)

[…] há de tudo. Há almas sãs que uma vida de azares afastou da sua pátria, há desertores e emigrados políticos que se fizeram legionários por motivos estranhos ao sentimento patriótico e há simples aventureiros que, ao fim de mil vicissitudes, decidiram adoptar a guerra como um oficio em terra estrangeira 42.

A hard war, a hard life

  • 43 José E. Álvarez, The Betrothed of Death: The Spanish Foreign Legion During the Rif Rebellion, 1920- (...)
  • 44 Legação da República Portuguesa. Gabinete militar. Ao Sr. Chefe de Gabinete do Ministerio da Guerra (...)
  • 45 “Carta de Afonso D’Ornelas ao Comandante Mayor da Legiao Estrangeira. 27 de Março de 1926,” ACVP, C (...)
  • 46 “Carta de Afonso D’Ornelas ao Ministro de Espanha em Lisboa. 27 de Abril de 1926,” ACVP, Correspond (...)
  • 47 Esaguy, Marrocos, 87.

13 The tough and demanding conditions of Tercio legionnaires in Morocco have been already sketched in classic studies by authors such as the above-mentioned José E. Álvarez43. The group of Portuguese soldiers was no exception to this, though with certain specificities that we will try to clarify. The hardships of legionnaires actually started during the process of enlistment, as the future soldiers were often hid crucial information about their rights and obligations, as well as the nature of the conflict that was raging in Morocco. With regard to the former, for example, the military attaché in Madrid reported that the original engagement conditions being offered to the Portuguese consisted of “a daily pay of 4 pesetas, paid travels, 4 years of service and 600 pesetas as contract settlement”44. These attractive conditions were, however, often breached. Besides, nothing was said about death or disability allowances or the eventual handling of other common war contingencies. Thus, in April 1926, D’Ornelas, as secretary of the PRC, asked the Tercio commander in Ceuta if the family of Jacinto Veladores de Moura “had the right to an allowance from the Spanish Government on the grounds of his death in combat”45. A month later, the PRC informed the Spanish ambassador in Portugal that the legionnaire Humberto da Silva, licensed due to war injuries, was “nevertheless in risk of not being given his passport, nor being paid the sum he considered he had the right to”46. An anonymous legionnaire told José de Esaguy: “I have repaid my debt [with society] more than enough with six years in the Legion. What else do they want from me?”47.

  • 48 Albert Huber, Erlebnisse eines Schweizers als spanischer Fremdenlegionär und Gefangener der Rifkaby (...)
  • 49 “Letter from the Marquis of Hoyos, president of the Spanish Red Cross to Paul des Gouttes, vicepres (...)
  • 50 Francisco Javier Martínez, “Weak Nation-States and the Limits of Humanitarian Aid: The Case of Moro (...)
  • 51 Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 106.

14 On the other hand, the recruits did not expect to be involved in a full-fledged armed conflict. When the enlistment campaign was launched in several European countries, it was usual that the candidates were told, as the Swiss legionnaire Alfred Huber wrote in his memories, that they would join “police forces” or participate in “police operations”48. This was, in fact, the way in which Spanish authorities referred in many occasions to the Rif War. For example, when the International Committee of the Red Cross asked the Spanish Red Cross in late 1924 if a medical mission for the Rif was needed, the latter answered that such initiative was not deemed necessary “on the occasion of the police operations required for restoring the order altered by the rebels, not belligerents”49. Far from that description, the Rif War was actually a harsh conflict – in our opinion a “small war”50 rather than a colonial war – which directly or indirectly involved several national belligerents and the use of state-of-the-art warfare technologies such as airplanes and chemical weapons that had been just put to test during the First World War. In Morocco, the Tercio was a shock unit, always the first to engage in combat and placed in the most advanced and exposed posts of the front. Therefore, legionnaires suffered from high casualty and death rates, comparable only to those of the Regulares. It has been estimated that the percentage of dead and wounded in action in the Tercio during the Rif War reached a staggering 38,4% of the 19.923 legionnaires that fought in that conflict, that is, 7.655 men51.

  • 52 “La campaña de Marruecos. En la línea de Tizzi Azza,” El Sol, 23 March 1923.
  • 53 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diario de Lisboa, 11 June 1925.
  • 54 Ibídem.

15Many among these wounded and dead were Portuguese, though they aroused no special attention during the early stages of the war. The oblivion of Portuguese society and Portuguese authorities began only to be overcome when the conflict moved towards a tougher phase with the Riffian offensive against the Melilla front in the spring of 1923 and especially against the French Protectorate in the spring of 1925. For example, the Spanish journal El Sol informed in March 1923 that a Portuguese legionnaire had been shot “a bullet in the head” by a Riffian sniper while in the trenches of the post of Benítez, while others had been “wounded in their hands while raising them to throw grenades”52. The above-mentioned Armando Gouveia told the Diario de Lisboa in June 1925 how “he had intervened in all the combats that […] led the Moors in victory to the gates of Tetouan”53. Gouveia was referring to the retreat of Spanish troops from Xauen to the so-called Primo de Rivera Line close to Tetouan and the Atlantic towns that cost the lives of thousands of men in October-December 1924. He emphasized a particular episode as representative of his war experience in that period and, by extension, of the Tercio legionnaires: “One good day, I joined a detachment sent to reinforce a bandera [Legion’s unit]. We were twenty-nine [men]. Twenty-six died and three were wounded”54. The same journal had informed on 16 November 1924 about five Portuguese legionnaires recovering at the Military Hospital of the Chafarinas Islands who had also been wounded during the Xauen retreat operations:

  • 55 “A guerra de Marrocos. Portugueses feridos no combate,” Diario de Noticias, 16 November 1924.

A Cruz Vermelha [Portuguesa] acaba de receber noticias dos portugueses feridos nos últimos combates travados entre o exercito espanhol e os marroquinos. No hospital militar de Cafarinas estão em tratamento: António José Borges Martins, ferido no ante-braço direito; Fernando Moita Pinto, ferido no terço medio da perna direita; Fernando dos Santos Guimarães, ferido no terço medio do ante-braço direito; Augusto Fernandes Soares, ferido no dedo medio da mão esquerda, com fractura e Joaquim Duarte Amaral, ferido na mão direita55.

  • 56 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diario de Lisboa, 11 June 1925.
  • 57 Francisco Javier Martínez, “En la enfermedad y en la salud: medicina y sanidad españolas en Marruec (...)
  • 58 Morais e Almeida, E eu fui legionário (Lisboa: Edições Gama, 1943).

16The hard life of Portuguese legionnaires in the Rif War did not only depend from the intensity of combats, but also from the conditions of service in Morocco. As the above-mentioned Armando Gouveia summarized it: “The Tercio’s soldiers live a hard life, sleeping bad, eating bad, suffering at times from ill treatment […]”56. Ever since the start of operations in Morocco in 1909, high morbidity and mortality rates resulted from a combination of factors including the extreme climate of the region, the frequent epidemics (malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, typhus) and the defective hygienic conditions of the military posts57. The list of casualties handed to D’Ornelas during his 1923 mission could have surely been enlarged with a “less glorious” list of sick and dead by disease. The list also excluded the casualties derived from circumstances of daily life and regular service. In this sense, the Tercio quickly acquired a notorious reputation, which has persisted until the present day. On the one hand, the conduct of legionnaires was marked by frequent episodes of alcohol abuse, diseases linked to prostitution (syphilis) and injuries resulting from quarrels. According to João Morais e Almeida “Jomoal”, a legionnaire who fought first in the Rif War and later in the Spanish Civil War, in his memoirs E eu fui legionário58 (see image 3), at the outskirts of the Dar Riffien headquarters, there stood “o ‘poblao’ ruidoso que em cada porta tem instalado uma taverna e um prostíbulo” and a couple of settlements where the soldiers’ companions lived:

  • 59 Morais e Almeida, E eu fui legionario, 24-25. “‘Cuckold village’ and “Tin village’. Poverty, filthi (...)

’Vila Cornos’ e ‘Vila Latas’. Miséria, imundície, imoralidade, ausência completa de escrúpulos, sentimentos de cão tinhoso quando se vê encurralado. Nesses currais de porcos só impera a luxúria mais desenfreada e abjecta que existe. Mulheres que são víboras, crianças doentes, enfezadas, precoces dum sensualismo que sai à superfície apesar da ausência quási absoluta de higiene. Vivem em melhores condições as prostitutas e os invertidos profissionais, que também existem em grande número, do que êsses desgraçados seres que subsistem com as sobras do rancho, e as sobras do carinho vil e interessado que com desprêzo lhes atira o legionário como esmola irónica59.

Image 3 - Cover of E eu fui legionário, de Morais e Almeida (1926)

Image 3 - Cover of E eu fui legionário, de Morais e Almeida (1926)
  • 60 José Luis Rodríguez Jiménez, Franco. Historia de un conspirador (Madrid: Oberón, 2005), 47-48.
  • 61 “España en Marruecos,” La Acción, 13 August 1923.

17In relation to regular service, it was marked by the constant abuse of the chiefs, which comprised a wide array of harsh disciplinary measures such as physical punishments (cane-hitting, foot-kicking, rib-beating), forced-work squads, prolonged imprisonment and, ultimately, summary executions60. All this had consequences for the physical and mental health of legionnaires. Deaths by suicide were, for example, not infrequent. The Spanish journal La Acción informed of a Portuguese legionnaire in the Uad-Lau post committing suicide by blowing his head with a gun in August 192361. Another dramatic case was that of the sergeant telegrapher João Falcão da Gama Pombeiro. After being captured and imprisoned by the Riffians, as we will explain later, he rejoined the Spanish ranks and

  • 62 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diário de Lisboa, 11 June 1925. “As he (...)

como tinha perdido em combate dois dedos da mão esquerda, supoz que o julgassem incapaz para o serviço militar, dando-lhe a pensão de guerra a que tinha direito. Não sucedeu assim. O comandante da ‘bandeira’ disse-lhe que ainda tinha dedos para fazer fogo e que não havia, portanto, motivo para o mandar embora. Continuou a servir no ‘Tercio’. Uma bela manhã, o sargento Pombeiro, desgostoso, meteu uma bala na cabeça. Limitaram-se a dar-lhe sepultura. No cemiterio de Marrocos – já há muitas cruzes portuguesas62(see image 4)

Image 4 - Front page of the Diário de Lisboa of 11 June 1925, where the Portuguese legionnaire Armando Gouveia was interviewed

Image 4 - Front page of the Diário de Lisboa of 11 June 1925, where the Portuguese legionnaire Armando Gouveia was interviewed

Source: Hemeroteca Digital de Lisboa

18 In some periods during the war, suicides nearly reached epidemic proportions. Morais e Almeida described in his memoirs the complex reasons behind this:

  • 63 Morais e Almeida, E eu fui legionário, 123-124. “There was a time when suicides became the order of (...)

Houve uma época em que os suïcídios estiveram na ordem do dia como acontecimento normal da vida legionária. Tal e qual uma dessas epidemias que periodicamente atacam a humanidade, bastava o gesto de qualquer louco cortando-se da lista dos vivos para, numa série trágica, aparecerem os imitadores, durante uma temporada mais ou menos longa e geralmente sem razões evidentes que pudessem sequer justificar a propagação de tal loucura. A estação do ano e, mais ainda, o local onde as forças estavam de guarnição, pareciam influir na maior ou menor intensidade com que o mal se manifestava. Casos completamente incompreensíveis se deram que, mesmo aos mais íntimos e antigos dos companheiros, espantou pelo inesperado do gesto. Muitas vezes, seres duma alegria e optimismo a tôda a prova […] são os primeiros a iniciar a série63.

Portuguese prisoners in the Rif War

  • 64 Ibídem.
  • 65 Ibídem.
  • 66 “Letter from the President of the German Red Cross to the President of the International Committee (...)

19In June 1925, the Gil de Eanes, a gunboat of the Divisão Naval Colonial that had spent seven months on a circumnavigation tour around Africa, moored at the port of the international city of Tangier. Seven men went on board the ship with destination Lisbon; according to the Diário de Lisboa, they were Portuguese deserters from the Spanish Foreign Legion64. The legionnaires blamed the hard conditions of service and war for their drastic decision, but they gave no details about the unavoidable step between their escape from the war front and freedom in Tangier: captivity in the Rif. The journalist questioned Armando Gouveia – one of the seven men embarked and his main source of information – if there had been any prisoners in the Rif among the large contingent of Portuguese soldiers in the Tercio. He replied: “Há muitos desaparecidos que se supõe que estejam prisioneiros65. The vagueness of this answer has not yet been cleared by historiography, as no statistical estimates exist yet about deserter and “missing” Portuguese legionnaires in the Rif War. We think that their number was significant, especially during the years 1924-26, when combats against the Riffians became tougher. The higher numbers resulted in the emergence of public concern about them in Portugal after years of oblivion, as occurred in other countries with significant numbers of legionnaires in the Tercio. In Germany, for example, the national Red Cross society sent a letter of complaint to the International Committee of the Red Cross in March 1925 in which it threatened to request its humanitarian intervention in the conflict if the Spanish Red Cross continued to provide no reliable information about the “missing” German legionnaires in the Rif – the second largest foreign contingent after the Portuguese themselves66.

  • 67 Rodríguez Jiménez, Franco, 47-48.
  • 68 Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 106.
  • 69 For an overview of Tangier’s international regime, see Graham H. Stuart, The International City of (...)

20Gouveia gave the journalist no details about his stay in the Rif. Was he made a prisoner? What treatment did he receive from Riffians? How long was he held before being released and reaching Tangier? We will try to clarify these questions by sketching a general picture of legionnaire imprisonment in the Rif War. The first thing to say is that capture by the Riffians was just one among the various possibilities of confinement for Tercio soldiers. There were at least two other. One was imprisonment as internal disciplinary measure. This punishment consisted, in the case of Ceuta, in being kept for several days in isolation and badly fed in tiny sized cells of the military prison of El Hacho67. The other possibility was being put to jail in Tangier. As Gouveia’s case shows, the international city was the final destination for most deserters in the Rif War, not just from the Tercio but also from other units of the Spanish army, the French Foreign Legion and the French army in general. When the war entered its toughest phase in 1924-26, hundreds of European soldiers fled to Tangier from the ranks of both armies68 because, theoretically, the international regime of the city provided a safe haven beyond the laws of the French and Spanish Protectorates and therefore gave deserters the chance of avoiding their corresponding penalties and eventually returning to their country of origin69.

  • 70 Ibíd, 110.
  • 71 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diário de Lisboa, 11 June 1925.
  • 72 Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 113.

21In practice, however, things were not so easy. The institutional and diplomatic presence of France and Spain in Tangier was so strong that it was highly unlikely that deserters of both nationalities could enter the city without being detected and put to jail. For deserters of other nationalities, a successful escape required the existence of a diplomatic representative in the city so that they were taken under his protection. This was problematic, for example, for legionnaires from Germany, Austria and Hungary. As a consequence of the First World War, these countries had been deprived of their consulates in Tangier, so deserters of these nationalities headed instead for the Dutch, Belgian or Swedish consulates. As Dirk Sasse has shown, a number of them succeeded in this strategy, especially with the Dutch consulate, for the Netherlands had agreed with Germany to represent the interests of this country in the city after the world conflict70. Others, however, were detected by the French and Spanish police and taken to prison. In the case of Portugal, deserter legionnaires had more chances to escape prison because the country possessed a consulate in Tangier. Thus, the seven men embarked in the Gil de Eanes in June 1925 “sought refuge in the ‘international city’, where they stood under protection of Portuguese laws” until they “got a passage to Lisbon by means of our diplomatic agent in that city”71. Other legionnaires were less lucky. For example, in late November 1925, the French police jailed Manuel Armindo and Augusto António, who had arrived to Tangier in the company of other German deserter legionnaires.72

  • 73 Madariaga, En el barranco del Lobo, 137-156.
  • 74 For the conditions of prisoners of several nationalities in Riffian camps in early 1926, see Pierre (...)
  • 75 Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 89-154.

22In contrast with situations in Ceuta and Tangier, it is doubtful that Portuguese soldiers were imprisoned in the Rif in the strict sense of the word. Certainly, enemy soldiers captured by Riffian regular or irregular forces from Spanish and French ranks – whether deserters or not – were taken to one or another of the several prison camps set up throughout the central Rif since the summer of 1921. Once there, however, the treatment they were given varied greatly depending on their nationality and the specific phase of the war. For example, Spanish soldiers and officers were systematically imprisoned for long periods during the whole duration of the war, being often subject to forced work and ill treatment. Their freedom was only possible after the payment of a ransom – as it happened in February 1923 with over 600 civil and military prisoners captured in July 1921 – or because they managed to escape on their own73. With regard to French military, they were better treated, but the colonial troops, especially the Senegalese, were kept in camps in very bad conditions74. By contrast, deserters or captured soldiers whose countries of origin were not directly involved in the war, were usually proposed to join the Riffian army and administration or quickly released. Dozens of Germans, for example, joined Abdelkrim’s military organization as counselors, artillerymen, telegraph and telephone technicians or medics. Many more were escorted to Tangier to try and get back to their country75. The latter option was also the most usual for Austrian, Dutch, North and South American, Swiss or Italian soldiers deserting from the Spanish and French Foreign Legions.

  • 76 “Prisioneros españoles y extranjeros,” Archivo Histórico Militar de Madrid (henceforth AHMM), Coman (...)

23In our opinion, most if not all the Portuguese legionnaires that fell in the hands of Riffians were also quickly released so that they could reach Tangier. Despite the enlistment of hundreds of Portuguese men in the ranks of the Tercio – and of much smaller numbers in the French Foreign Legion – Portugal was never officially involved in the Rif War, so Abdelkrim had nothing to gain from holding prisoners of this country. He would not miss, however, the chance to deploy propaganda strategies on them in order to weaken their contribution to the Spanish army. The already mentioned sergeant telegrapher Pombeiro provides an exceptionally illustrative example of that propaganda, of which we have found no other traces in the depositions of large numbers of deserters interrogated by Spanish and French authorities76. According to Armando Gouveia,

  • 77 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diário de Lisboa, 11 June 1925. “In one (...)

Num dos combates que tivemos com os mouros, [Pombeiro] ficou prisioneiro de Abd-el-Krim. O próprio chefe mouro interrogou-o e convidou-o a alistar-se no exercito rebelde. O sargento Pombeiro não aceitou. Abd-el-Krim disse-lhe: ‘Podia mandar-te cortar a cabeça, mas não quero. Vou dar-te a liberdade. Lembra-te de que o teu país – e aqui fez-lhe uma lição de historia – combateu durante séculos pela independência. É pela independência do Rif que eu estou em luta contra a Espanha. Se te mando embora, é para ires dizer onde te aprouver que Abd-el-Krim não é um selvagem. Como vês – e aqui fica, naturalmente bem um sorriso magnânimo – concedo a liberdade aos meus prisioneiros77.

  • 78 Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 111-112.
  • 79 “Telegrama del Coronel Patxot. Taza, 29 de mayo de 1926,” AHMM, Rollo 675, Legajo 491.
  • 80 Ibídem.

24Pombeiro was one of the very few Portuguese legionnaires to meet Abdelkrim in person and to undergo his personal indoctrination. However, we think he essentially received the same treatment as the rest of Portuguese deserters and captured soldiers, who must have been quickly released. The fact of Pombeiro choosing to return to the Spanish army ranks – with the fatal results mentioned above – was probably due to his having been captured in combat. But when the war entered its toughest phase, desertion became the usual way for the Portuguese to fall prisoners of the Riffians. In that case, as happened with the seven men of the Gil de Eanes, the legionnaires usually went to Tangier to try and escape from the Tercio for good. In fact, a month after that episode, the German deserters from the French Foreign Legion Kurt Degenkolbe and Helmut Greve were joined in their journey to the international city by “several Portuguese deserters from the Spanish Foreign Legion”78. By contrast, we have only found one case of a Portuguese legionnaire who chose to enroll in Abdelkrim’s army. When the Riffian leader surrendered to French troops in late May 1926, the last Spanish and French prisoners were released. Colonel Patxot, head of the Spanish police in Tangier, travelled hurriedly to Taza to interrogate the Spaniards, but he had to wait some time before they recovered from their terrible health condition, as they had been decimated by ill-treatment, hunger and disease. According to Patxot, a Portuguese deserter “from our army”, Inocencio Calixto, “of the third bandera, eighth company” of the Tercio had contributed to that sad state of things79. Surviving Spanish prisoners told Patxot that Calixto, “put in charge of guarding our prisoners by Abdelkrim, brought them under the worst of ill-treatments to show off how he took revenge from Spain”80.

The intervention of the Portuguese Red Cross

  • 81 “España y Portugal,” El Imparcial, 17 February 1922; “Aspectos portugueses,” La Correspondencia de (...)
  • 82 “Noticias varias de Portugal,” ABC, 15 January 1922; Diario de Lisboa, 11 June 1925.
  • 83 “La campaña de Marruecos. Notas de Melilla. Los agregados militares,” La Acción, 3 March 1922.
  • 84 “Voyage au Maroc espagnol. Madrid, 16 March 1922,” Service Historique de l’Armée de Terre, Série N (...)

25In this last section of the paper, we will very briefly sketch the intervention of the PRC in relation to Portuguese legionnaires fighting in Morocco. This intervention occurred only at an advanced stage of the war because the troubled fate of legionnaires aroused no special concern in the Portuguese government or the public opinion in the early stages of the conflict. The first incidents to have some impact were actually framed by the typical nationalistic tensions with Spain. In January 1922, the Diário de Lisboa and the Imprezo da Mancha echoed the “complaints” of Portuguese soldiers about the lack of courage of Spanish officers and the treatment they received from them, which, by contrast, Spanish journals qualified as “unfounded protests” of “self-styled Portuguese legionnaires operating in Africa”81. As a result, a diplomatic exchange of notes took place between the Foreign Affairs ministries of Spain and Portugal82. But such low-key incidents failed to spur a real interest in Portuguese authorities. When two months later the Portuguese military attaché in Madrid joined his fellow colleagues from several nationalities in a common visit to Melilla to be shown the progress of Spanish rule after the so-called Disaster of Annual of July 1921, he took care of visiting and “haranguing the Portuguese legionnaires detached at [the camp of] Dar Drius”83, but confidentially confessed to his incensed French colleague that the main (maybe the only) goal of his mission was “to try and find out the ways in which France was supporting Abdelkrim”84.

  • 85 José Luis Gómez Barceló, Mariano Ferrer Bravo: militar e historiador (1833-1936) (Ceuta: Archivo Ce (...)
  • 86 Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa 1865 a 1925 (Lisboa: Centro Tipográfico Colonial, 1926): 194.

26Things changed abruptly during the summer of 1923, when a Riffian offensive in the Tizzi Azza sector of the Melilla region threatened to repeat the Annual disaster. The hard combats triggered the immediate creation of the already mentioned mission headed by Afonso D’Ornelas that visited Ceuta and the western zone of the Spanish Protectorate in August. The mission was composed by three groups of experts: a Comissão da Associação dos Arqueólogos Portugueses, with Joaquim Moreira Fontes (physician and archaeologist), Jacintho Andrade Albuquerque de Bettencourt e Luiz Filipe d’Andrade Albuquerque de Bettencourt (historians); a Comissão da Camara Municipal de Lisboa: Raúl Marques Caldeira, António Augusto Rodrigues, Caetano Beirão da Veiga, Dr. Alberto Eduardo Valado Navarro; and a Comissão da Imprensa, with António da Rocha Júnior (Diário de Noticias) and Norberto d’Araújo (Diário de Lisboa). Despite having an ostensibly cultural goal – to check the measures taken by Spanish authorities to preserve the old Portuguese fortifications and monuments in Ceuta, Ksar al-Saghir, Larache, Asilah and Ksar el-Kebir85 – the mission undertook the unofficial task of investigating the conditions and casualties of Portuguese legionnaires and the care they received in Spanish hospitals. D’Ornelas was well suited for this multiple endeavor because, in addition to his careers as military officer and historian – he was a member of the Academia de Ciências de Lisboa and of the Associação dos Arqueólogos Portugueses – he was also the secretary of the PRC at least since 192186.

  • 87 Gomez Barceló, Mariano Ferrer Bravo, 73.
  • 88 Sardica, Ibéria, 77-95.

27The initiative owed much to the personal relation established since late 1922 between D’Ornelas and the Spanish army officer and historian, Mariano Ferrer Bravo87. As both, however, had contacts in the higher military and political circles of Portugal and Spain respectively, the ultimate impulse for the mission may have been given by more powerful actors. Though we have found no documents proving this, it would not have been strange because, behind the cultural and even the military-humanitarian goal, the key issue at stake was an eventual rapprochement between Portugal and Spain, a departure from the tensions of the First World War that would culminate in the ententes between dictators Primo de Rivera and Carmona in 1929 and Franco and Salazar from the Spanish Civil War onwards88. Even if the Portuguese mission to Spanish Morocco had resulted from this general strategy, the role of D’Ornelas and Ferrer would not have been less instrumental because they were the men on the spot, those who established the bilateral liaison, set up the collaboration schemes and operated them for a certain time.

  • 89 “Despacho del subsecretario de Estado Joaquín Valera al Conde de Paraty. Madrid, 5 de noviembre de (...)
  • 90 Between May and September 1898, the PRC forwarded 758 letters to Spanish prisoners and 17 to their (...)
  • 91 Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa, 72.

28The centrality of the PRC in the mission did not just depend, however, from D’Ornelas personal prominence. The Portuguese association had already intervened in previous Spanish colonial conflicts. During the Melilla campaign of 1893, for example, the PRC had sent “clothes and dressings” worth five million reais to the ambulance of the Spanish Red Cross in that enclave89. Five years later, in a closer parallel with some of its later actions in Morocco, the PRC managed to play an intermediary role between the Spanish and American Red Cross associations during the Spanish-American War. Hundreds of Spanish prisoners-of-war held in the United States and the Philippines could send correspondence to and receive it from their relatives in Spain by way of the Portuguese association90. The PRC would fail to replicate this initiative on the occasion of the Second Boer War of 1899-1902 due to British opposition91. But the Rif War would provide a new occasion to test this scheme for the first time with Portuguese soldiers who were fighting in the ranks of a foreign army in a conflict in which their country was not involved.

Image 5 - Passport issued by the Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros to Afonso D’Ornelas for his trip to Spanish Morocco

Image 5 - Passport issued by the Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros to Afonso D’Ornelas for his trip to Spanish Morocco

Source: D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir

  • 92 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir, 178.
  • 93 “La misión en Marruecos. Imposición de cruces,” La Unión Ilustrada, 26 August 1923.
  • 94 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir, 174.
  • 95 Ibíd., 257.
  • 96 Ibíd., 261.

29Before the correspondence service was set up, it was necessary to evaluate the situation of Portuguese legionnaires on the ground and that was what D’Ornelas mission did in August 1923. With a “passport” granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be presented to Spanish authorities (see image 5), the mission first visited the Dar Riffien headquarters, where D’Ornelas requested a list of the Portuguese hitherto wounded and dead.92 Some days later, he visited the Spanish Red Cross hospital in Ceuta, where Portuguese legionnaires were taken care of as a special group by the army doctor Ramón Lillo Fernández93 and four Spanish Red Cross nurses: Juana Díez de Lorenzo, María Escala Rosa, Consuelo Moreno Hinojal and Ana Ortiz de Saracho94 (see image 6). Additionally, among the Sisters of Mercy in the hospital, the mission found Isabel Martins or soror Isabel, a Portuguese nun from Coimbra who had left the country after the proclamation of the Republic95. D’Ornelas produced a report of these visits for General Joaquim José Machado, PRC president, in which he concluded that the Portuguese association “was aware of the services paid by the Spanish Red Cross to the Portuguese legionnaires” and informed that the mission had proceeded to decorate the representatives and staff of the Ceuta hospital and of the SRC Ladies’ Committee of that city96.

Image 6 - Spanish Red Cross nurses who cared for the Portuguese legionnaires in Ceuta

Image 6 - Spanish Red Cross nurses who cared for the Portuguese legionnaires in Ceuta

Source: D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir

  • 97 Ibíd., 180.
  • 98 Ibídem.

30The rest of D’Ornelas’ stay in the Spanish Protectorate was occupied “with a thousand reminiscences of the Portuguese of the past” as he toured the most important Portuguese remains in that territory. But once back to Portugal, he rushed to find a solution for the question of how to provide “moral support” to the legionnaires97. After dismissing the initial idea of organizing a group of madrinhas de guerra (war godmothers) for the legionnaires, D’Ornelas proposed General Machado that the PRC became “the delegate of those heroes for everything they needed in Portugal”98. The proposal was endorsed by Machado and the government and, on 29 August 1923, the PRC president sent the following dispatch to the commander of the Tercio in Ceuta:

  • 99 Ibíd., 180-181. “After the Inspector of the Portuguese Red Cross, Mr. Affonso de Dornellas, visited (...)

Tendo o Inspector da Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa, Sr. Affonso de Dornellas, visitado o Quartel, em Ceuta, do ‘Tercio Estranjero’ que V. Exª. honra comandando, tomou conhecimento […] de que a maioria dos voluntários portugueses teem dificuldade de se corresponderem com as suas famílias e, portanto, de tratarem dos seus assuntos em Portugal, pelo que venho solicitar de V. Exª. mande informar os mesmos voluntários de que se podem dirigir à Cruz Vermelha – Lisboa que com muita satisfação lhes tratará de todos os seus assuntos e de tudo quanto necessitem de Portugal99.

  • 100 Ibìd., 181.
  • 101 Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa, 195.
  • 102 Idem.
  • 103 Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to Mariano Ferrer Bravo. Lisboa, 18 de maio de 1925. ACVP, Correspondê (...)
  • 104 Idem.

31According to D’Ornelas, the PRC received a positive answer to this request “days later” and, as a result, “afterwards, some letters have been received and the legionnaires’ requests been satisfied”100. The vagueness of this description may have hid a slower pace of action. It has been impossible for us to clarify the actual delay of the PRC request and find out the exact date in which the correspondence service began to function. It may have happened that the “shattered health” of General Machado, which had deteriorated in the months preceding his substitution by General Tomás António Garcia Rosado on 14 July 1924, postponed the deployment of the scheme101. The double visit of Mariano Ferrer to Lisbon in September and December 1923 did not seem to produce any results beyond the designation of Spain’s Queen Victoria Eugenia as one of the “honorary presidents” of the PRC in appreciation for the care received by Portuguese legionnaires in Spanish Red Cross hospitals102. Later, in June 1924, D’Ornelas requested Ferrer a list with the names of the doctors and nurses who had taken care of Portuguese patients, which the latter diligently sent103. This request had probably the main intention of decorating that staff, as D’Ornelas had done in Ceuta in 1923, though it could also have sought to prevent the eventual neglect or mishandling of Portuguese legionnaires. The list was eventually lost so D’Ornelas asked Ferrer for a new one in May 1925 despite the fact that the Spanish officer had already returned to peninsular Spain104.

32Regardless of the initial date (late 1923, July 1924 or later), the correspondence service was essentially based on the existence of a communication channel between of D’Ornelas and a reduced number of Portuguese and Spanish authorities. The former included the ministries of War and Foreign Affairs, the Director-General of the Police and directors of Lisbon newspapers; the latter comprised Ferrer, the Tercio commanders in Ceuta and Melilla, the Spanish ambassador in Lisbon and the secretary of the Spanish Red Cross in Madrid. We have just found out a little over 50 telegrams sent by D’Ornelas to those authorities and to the relatives of legionnaires in the central archive of the Portuguese Red Cross in Lisbon. These telegrams are dated between March 1925 and March 1926, though some of them deal with issues of late 1924 in relation with the Spanish retreat from Xauen. Altogether, they contain information about the death, survival, disappearance and health status of Portuguese legionnaires in Morocco, though sometimes, they deal with the repatriation of legionnaires, their right to discharge and disability pensions or personal demands such as the assignation of a war godmother. For example, the following telegram (see image 7) was sent to a family in Évora in 1925:

  • 105 ACVP, Correspondência 1925. “Lisbon, 10 July 1925. Exc. Mrs. Joana Rosa Branco. Rua da Mesquita, 41 (...)

Lisboa, 10 de Julho de 1925. Excma. Sra. D. Joana Rosa Branco. Rua da Mesquita, 41. Évora. Por intermedio do Comandante Mayor da Legião Estrangeira somos informados que de facto o legionário Francisco Manoel Branco desapareceu na evacuação de Xauen no dia 10 de Dezembro do ano findo. Com elevada consideração somos de V. Exa. Mto. Atos. Vra. Affonso de Dornellas105.

Image 7 - Telegram sent by Afonso D’Ornelas, secretary of the Portuguese Red Cross, to Joana Rosa Branco, mother of legionnaire Francisco Manoel Branco

Image 7 - Telegram sent by Afonso D’Ornelas, secretary of the Portuguese Red Cross, to Joana Rosa Branco, mother of legionnaire Francisco Manoel Branco

Source: ACVP, Corrêspondencia, 1925

  • 106 Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to António Alberto Martins. Lisboa, 27 de março de 1925. ACVP, Corresp (...)
  • 107 Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to António Alberto Martins. Lisbon, 3 de junho de 1925. ACVP, Correspo (...)
  • 108 Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to Manoel de Silva Larangeira. Lisboa, 27 de março de 1925; Telegram o (...)

33Although there is no reference to this in the telegrams, we think the Spanish authorities did not provide the PRC with complete information about the names and numbers of Portuguese legionnaires. This could have been because of an unwillingness to disclose it, or else an impossibility to obtain it in a very unfavorable war situation (this occurred with German legionnaires too, as we have shown). To solve this crucial problem, D’Ornelas tried to update the list of Portuguese legionnaires by entering in direct contact with some of them. For example, on 27 March 1925, he wrote the legionnaire António Alberto Martins to remind him of his promise of handling him “a list of the Portuguese enrolled in the 5thbandera106. Martins eventually sent that list on 25 May, which comprised 51 names and was published in O Seculo and other Lisbon newspapers107. Between February and June of the same year, D’Ornelas also received lists and news from Adalberto Barros, of the 3rdbandera, and from the previously mentioned Manoel de Silva Laranjeira, of the 6thbandera108. Such first-hand information must have been an invaluable complement to the patchy data provided by the Spanish authorities.

Conclusions

34 Beyond the necessary statistical estimates (total numbers, injured, dead, missing), many other questions about Portuguese legionnaires in the Rif War could eventually be investigated. Did any of the Portuguese cabinets of the period (until the coup d’etat of May 1926) adopt a formal policy on this issue? Did the Ministry of Foreign Affairs send explicit instructions to repatriate legionnaires to the Portuguese Legation in Tangier? What was the standpoint of Spanish military and political authorities in the peninsula, in Spanish Morocco and in Tangier about Portuguese deserters from the Tercio? What disciplinary measures (if any) were taken against those who went back in the ranks? The legionnaires repatriated to Portugal for reasons of disease, injury or disability or from Tangier after desertion, did they receive any medical care or pension from the Portuguese state? Were they condemned for their previous desertion, crimes or political conspiracy? With no space in this paper and no sources yet to address these issues, we have at least taken some initial steps to rescue the participation of Portuguese soldiers in the Rif War and the related intervention of the Portuguese Red Cross from historiographical oblivion.

35Despite this effort, the question of Portuguese soldiers and prisoners in the Rif War – not just in the ranks of the Spanish army, but also of the French – will be better understood when more general research is carried out about key aspects of the modern Portuguese-Moroccan relations. It is necessary to investigate the role played by Portugal in the so-called “Moroccan question” during the 19th century, especially the strategies with which the country tried to oppose its gradual exclusion from the international competition for the colonization of the Alawite sultanate. We do not think Portugal was a passive actor in this game, nor one purely interested in supporting the independence of Morocco. More particularly, it is also necessary to study the role played by Portugal in the Rif War. Even if this country was not directly involved in the conflict, there were diplomatic, economic and cultural interests at play that paralleled the participation of around one thousand Portuguese legionnaires in the combats. We will try to advance in the knowledge of these general questions in forthcoming publications.

Bibliographie

Sources and bibliography

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Comesaña, Alfredo “Dios, patria, rey y... contrabando. Tras las huellas del exilio monárquico portugués en España después de la derrota de la Monarquía del Norte (1919),” Espacio, tiempo y Forma, Serie V, Historia Contemporánea, t. 25 (2013): 235-274.

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Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa, Boletim oficial de 1926. Lisboa, Pap. E Tip. Casa Portuguesa, 1926.

Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa 1865 a 1925. Lisboa, Centro Tipografico Colonial, 1926.

D’Ornelas, Afonso, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir em 1923. Lisboa, Casa Portuguesa, 1925.

Esaguy, José de, Marrocos. Lisboa, Edições Europa, 1933.

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Martínez, Francisco Javier, “En la enfermedad y en la salud: medicina y sanidad españolas en Marruecos (1906-1956),” en El Protectorado español en Marruecos. La historia trascendida, Manuel Gahete, ed. Bilbao, Iberdrola, 2013, vol. 1, 363-392.

Martínez, Francisco Javier, “Weak Nation-States and the Limits of Humanitarian Aid: The Case of Morocco’s Rif War, 1921-1927”, in The Dilemmas of Humanitarian Aid in the Twentieth Century, Johannes Paulmann, ed. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016, 91-114.

Martínez, Francisco Javier, “Escapar ao esquecimento: prisioneiros portugueses na Guerra do Rif, em Marrocos (1921-1927)”, in Prisioneiros de guerras. Experiências de cativerio no século XX, Pedro Aires Oliveira ed. Lisboa, Tinta da China, 2019, 105-127.

Martínez, Francisco Javier, “Challenging the colonial and the international: the American Red Cross in the last war of Cuban independence (1895-98)”, in Neville Wylie, Melanie Oppenheimer, James Crossland (eds.) The Red Cross movement. Myths, practices and turning points (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2020), 115-129.

Miller, Susan G., A history of modern Morocco. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

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Pennell, Charles R., Morocco since 1830. A history. London, Hurst & Co., 2000.

Pennell, Charles R., Abdelkrim el-Jatabi y la Guerra del Rif. Melilla, UNED, 2000.

Prince Aage of Denmark, A royal adventurer in the Foreign Legion. New York, Doubleday, Page & Company, 1927.

Raya-Rivas, Alejandro, "An Iberian Alliance: Portuguese Intervention in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)," Portuguese Studies Review, 8, 1 (1999): 109-126.

Ribeiro de Meneses, Filipe, Paiva Couceiro. Diários, Correspondência E Escritos Dispersos. Lisboa, Dom Quixote, 2011.

Rodríguez Jiménez, José Luis, Franco. Historia de un conspirador. Madrid, Oberón, 2005.

Santos, Manuela, Jornais e revistas portugueses do século XIX. Lisboa, Biblioteca Nacional, 1998.

Sardica, José Miguel, Ibéria. A relação entre Portugal e Espanha no século XX. Lisboa, Aletheia Editores, 2013.

Sasse, Dirk, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche im Rifkrieg 1921-1926. München, Oldenburg, 2006.

Stuart, Graham H., The International City of Tangier. Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1955.

Tallysa-Soares, Isabel, O Homem Manso. Porto, Coolbooks, 2017.

Torre Gómez, Hipólito de la, Do “perigo espanhol” à amizade peninsular. Portugal-Espanha 1919-1930. Lisboa, Editorial Estampa, 1985.

Valente, Vasco Pulido, “Henrique Paiva Couceiro: um colonialista e um conservador,” Análise Social XXXVI, 160 (2010): 767–802.

Valente, Vasco Pulido, Um Heróis Português. Henrique Paiva Couceiro 1861-1944. Lisboa, Aletheia, 2006.

Woolman, David S., Rebels in the Rif: Abd el Krim and the Rif Rebellion. Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1968.

Notes

1 Manuel Themudo Barata and Nuno Severiano Teixeira, Nova História Militar de Portugal, 5 vols., (Lisboa: Circulo de Leitores, 2004); Francisco Contente Domingues, João Gouveia Monteiro and Nuno Severiano Teixeira, História Militar de Portugal (Lisboa: A Esfera dos Livros, 2017).

2 David S. Woolman, Rebels in the Rif: Abd el Krim and the Rif Rebellion (Stanford: Stanford University Press 1968); Germaine Ayache, La Guerre du Rif (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1996); Charles R. Pennell, Abdelkrim el-Jatabi y la Guerra del Rif (Melilla: UNED, 2000); María Rosa de Madariaga, En el barranco del Lobo. Las guerras de Marruecos (Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 2005).

3 Dirk Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche im Rifkrieg. Spekulanten, Deserteure und Hasardeure im Dienste Abdelkrims (München: Oldenburg, 2006).

4 Madariaga, En el barranco del Lobo, 26-42.

5 Vasco Pulido Valente, “Henrique Paiva Couceiro: um colonialista e um conservador,” Análise Social XXXVI, 160 (2010): 767–802; Um Herói Português. Henrique Paiva Couceiro 1861-1944 (Lisboa: Aletheia, 2006).

6 Valente, “Paiva Couceiro,” 775.

7 In general, Portugal is absent from the historiographical account of the international competition for Morocco during the 19th and early 20th centuries. See, for example, Charles R. Pennell, Morocco since 1830. A history (London: Hurst & Co., 2000); Susan G. Miller, A history of modern Morocco (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). An indirect approach to Portugal’s progressive marginalization from the “Moroccan question” can nevertheless be found in: Mohammed Nadir, “As Relações Diplomáticas entre Portugal e Marrocos. Do Tratado de Paz (1774) ao Protectorado (1912),” (PhD Thesis: University of Coimbra, 2013).

8 José Miguel Sardica, Ibéria. A relaçao entre Portugal e Espanha no século XX (Lisboa: Aletheia Editores, 2013), 37.

9 Alejandro Raya-Rivas, "An Iberian Alliance: Portuguese Intervention in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)," Portuguese Studies Review, 8, 1 (1999): 109-126.

10 Afonso D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir em 1923 (Lisboa: Casa Portuguesa, 1925), 169.

11 Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa, Boletim oficial de 1926 (Lisboa: Pap. e Tip. Casa Portuguesa, 1926), 27.

12 José de Esaguy. Marrocos (Lisboa: Edições Europa, 1933).

13 Álvarez’s figures are not contained in his publications, but were orally transmitted by him to Dirk Sasse: Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 98.

14 Ibídem.

15 Abílio Pires Lousada, O Exército e a ruptura da ordem política em Portugal, 1820-1974 (Lisboa: Prefácio, 2007), 74-75.

16 Manuel Baiôa, O Partido Republicano Nacionalista 1923-1935. Uma República para Todos os Portugueses (Lisboa: ICS-Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, 2015), 43.

17 Alfredo Comesaña, “Dios, patria, rey y... contrabando. Tras las huellas del exilio monárquico portugués en España después de la derrota de la Monarquía del Norte (1919),” Espacio, tiempo y Forma, Serie V, Historia Contemporánea, t. 25 (2013): 235-274.

18 Hipólito de la Torre Gómez, Do “perigo espanhol” à amizade peninsular. Portugal-Espanha 1919-1930 (Lisboa: Editorial Estampa, 1985), 54-55.

19 Legaçao da Republica Portuguesa. Gabinete militar. Nº 264 Confidencial. Madrid, 26 de Outubro de 1920. Arquivo Histórico Militar de Portugal (henceforth, AHMP), PT/AHM/FO/006/L/39.

20 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir, 170.

21 Oldemiro César, Terras de mistério. Marrocos (Lisboa: Empresa Diário de Noticias, 1925), 126. “Carlos Leite da Silva, born in Porto, district of Cedofeita. Hell of a boy!... He fought in France against the Germans and it seems he became too fond of war. He was [living] in Orense when he moved on to enlist in the Tercio de Extranjeros”.

22 Baiôa, O Partido Republicano Nacionalista, 37.

23 Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to the General Inspection of Police. Lisbon, 8th July 1925. ACVP, Correspondência 1925. “on 8 May 1922 deserted from the Corpo de Policia Civica of Lisbon […] moving to Morocco where he enlisted in the Tercio”.

24 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta à Alcacer Kibir, 169.

25 Ibídem.

26 Baiôa, O Partido Republicano Nacionalista, 277.

27 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta à Alcacer Kibir, 169.

28 Ibídem.

29 Ibídem.

30 O Ministro da Guerra ao Exmo. Sr. Director da Policia e Segurança do Estado. Lisboa, 23 de abril de 1920. AHMP, PT/AHM/FO/006/L/39.

31 Esaguy, Marrocos, 87.

32 Legação da República Portuguesa. Gabinete militar. Ao Sr. Chefe de Gabinete do Ministerio da Guerra. Do Adido Militar. Nº 257 Confidencial. Lisboa 20 de Outubro de 1920. Nº 264 Confidencial. Madrid, 26 de Outubro de 1920. AHMP, PT/AHM/FO/006/L/39.

33 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diário de Lisboa, 11 June 1925.

34 Legação da República Portuguesa. Gabinete militar. Ao Sr. Chefe de Gabinete do Ministerio da Guerra. Do Adido Militar. Nº 257 Confidencial. Lisboa 20 de Outubro de 1920. AHMP, PT/AHM/FO/006/L/39.

35 Idem. “are taken by a corporal to some building (still unknown for me) from which a district called ‘zona’ is operated and a military authority provides them with the title of legionnaire and a card for railroad travel with discounts […] The recruits are taken from Badajoz, Mérida, Don Benito, Castuera, etc. to Córdoba and Málaga, from where they get to Africa”.

36 Legação da República Portuguesa. Gabinete militar. Ao Sr. Chefe de Gabinete do Ministerio da Guerra. Do Adido Militar. Nº 264 Confidencial. Madrid, 26 de Outubro de 1920. AHMP, PT/AHM/FO/006/L/39.

37 Esaguy, Marrocos, 87.

38 Idem.

39 “Acción de España en Marruecos,” La Época, 16 August 1921.

40 Manuela Santos, Jornais e revistas portugueses do século XIX (Lisboa: Biblioteca Nacional, 1998), vol. 1, 297.

41 Telegrama de Afonso D’Ornelas á António Moreira Lopes. Lisboa, 27 de março de 1925. Arquivo da Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa (henceforth, ACVP), Correspondencia 1925.

42 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta à Alcacer Kibir, 168. “[…] everything can be found. There are lost souls which a life of hazards took far away from their homeland; there are deserters and political emigrants who became legionnaires for motives alien to the patriotic sentiment; and there are mere adventurers who, after a thousand vicissitudes, adopted war as their job in a foreign land”.

43 José E. Álvarez, The Betrothed of Death: The Spanish Foreign Legion During the Rif Rebellion, 1920-1927 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2001).

44 Legação da República Portuguesa. Gabinete militar. Ao Sr. Chefe de Gabinete do Ministerio da Guerra. Do Adido Militar. Nº 257 Confidencial. Lisboa 20 de Outubro de 1920. AHMP, PT/AHM/FO/006/L/39.

45 “Carta de Afonso D’Ornelas ao Comandante Mayor da Legiao Estrangeira. 27 de Março de 1926,” ACVP, Correspondencia, 1925.

46 “Carta de Afonso D’Ornelas ao Ministro de Espanha em Lisboa. 27 de Abril de 1926,” ACVP, Correspondencia, 1925.

47 Esaguy, Marrocos, 87.

48 Albert Huber, Erlebnisse eines Schweizers als spanischer Fremdenlegionär und Gefangener der Rifkabylen in Marokko (Zürich: Verein für Verbreitung guter Schriften, 1924), 13.

49 “Letter from the Marquis of Hoyos, president of the Spanish Red Cross to Paul des Gouttes, vicepresident of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Madrid, November 1924,” Archive du Comité International de la Croix-Rouge (henceforth, ACICR), CR 138 Riffains, I, 94.

50 Francisco Javier Martínez, “Weak Nation-States and the Limits of Humanitarian Aid: The Case of Morocco’s Rif War, 1921-1927”, in The Dilemmas of Humanitarian Aid in the Twentieth Century, edited by Johannes Paulmann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 91.

51 Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 106.

52 “La campaña de Marruecos. En la línea de Tizzi Azza,” El Sol, 23 March 1923.

53 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diario de Lisboa, 11 June 1925.

54 Ibídem.

55 “A guerra de Marrocos. Portugueses feridos no combate,” Diario de Noticias, 16 November 1924.

56 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diario de Lisboa, 11 June 1925.

57 Francisco Javier Martínez, “En la enfermedad y en la salud: medicina y sanidad españolas en Marruecos (1906-1956),” en El Protectorado español en Marruecos. La historia trascendida, Manuel Gahete, ed. (Bilbao: Iberdrola, 2013), vol. 1, 363-392.

58 Morais e Almeida, E eu fui legionário (Lisboa: Edições Gama, 1943).

59 Morais e Almeida, E eu fui legionario, 24-25. “‘Cuckold village’ and “Tin village’. Poverty, filthiness, immorality, complete lack of scruples, feelings of ringwormed dogs when cornered. In those pigpens only the most rampant and abject lust reigns. Viper women, sick children with a premature sensualism that emerges despite the almost absolute lack of hygiene. Prostitutes and professional inverts, which exist in great numbers too, live in better conditions than those unfortunate beings who survive on the leftovers of the ranch, and on the leftovers of the vile and self-interested affection that the legionnaire throws at them with contempt as an ironic alms”.

60 José Luis Rodríguez Jiménez, Franco. Historia de un conspirador (Madrid: Oberón, 2005), 47-48.

61 “España en Marruecos,” La Acción, 13 August 1923.

62 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diário de Lisboa, 11 June 1925. “As he had lost two fingers of his left hand in combat, he believed he would be declared unfit for military service, being then granted the war pension he was entitled to. This would not happen. The commander of his unit told him he still had enough fingers to keep on shooting, so there was no reason for him to leave. He continued to serve in the Tercio. One good morning, sergeant Pombeiro, feeling sad, put a bullet into his head. They just buried him down. In the cemetery of Morocco there are way too many Portuguese crosses”.

63 Morais e Almeida, E eu fui legionário, 123-124. “There was a time when suicides became the order of the day as a common event of legionnaire life. As one of those epidemics periodically striking humankind, a fool’s decision to cut out himself from the list of the living sufficed to start a tragic series, with imitators following during a more or less prolonged period and generally without apparent reasons that came close to justify the extension of such foolishness. The season of the year and, even more, the place where units were garrisoned, seemed to influence the greater or smaller intensity with which the evil manifested itself. Thoroughly incomprehensible cases occurred which struck even the closest and longer-lasting companions as unexpected. Many times, men endowed with airtight happiness and optimism […] were the first to start the series”.

64 Ibídem.

65 Ibídem.

66 “Letter from the President of the German Red Cross to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Berlin, 4 March 1925,” ACICR, CR 138 Riffains, I, 89.

67 Rodríguez Jiménez, Franco, 47-48.

68 Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 106.

69 For an overview of Tangier’s international regime, see Graham H. Stuart, The International City of Tangier (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1955).

70 Ibíd, 110.

71 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diário de Lisboa, 11 June 1925.

72 Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 113.

73 Madariaga, En el barranco del Lobo, 137-156.

74 For the conditions of prisoners of several nationalities in Riffian camps in early 1926, see Pierre Parent, “Au Riff,” Mercure de France 193 (1927): 26-56, 303-336, 558-588; 194 (1927): 74-110.

75 Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 89-154.

76 “Prisioneros españoles y extranjeros,” Archivo Histórico Militar de Madrid (henceforth AHMM), Comandancia Militar de Melilla, Rollo 659, Legajo 468; “Libération des prisonniers après la reddition d’Abdelkrim. Mai–Juin 1926,” Archive du Ministère des Affaires Étrangères de France, Serie M (Maroc 1917-1940), Carton 138.

77 “No cemitério de Marrocos já há muitas cruzes portuguesas”, Diário de Lisboa, 11 June 1925. “In one of our combats against the Moors, [Pombeiro] became a prisoner of Abdelkrim. The Moorish chief personally interrogated him and invited him to join the rebel army. Sergeant Pombeiro did not accept. Abdelkrim told him: ‘I could have your head cut, but I do not want to. I am going to set you free. Remember that your country – and here he gave him a lesson in history – fought for centuries for its independence. And it is for the independence of the Rif that I am fighting against Spain. I am releasing you so that you tell wherever you go that Abdelkrim is not a savage. As you can see – and here fits naturally well a magnanimous smile – I give freedom to my prisoners’”.

78 Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche, 111-112.

79 “Telegrama del Coronel Patxot. Taza, 29 de mayo de 1926,” AHMM, Rollo 675, Legajo 491.

80 Ibídem.

81 “España y Portugal,” El Imparcial, 17 February 1922; “Aspectos portugueses,” La Correspondencia de España, 17 February 1922.

82 “Noticias varias de Portugal,” ABC, 15 January 1922; Diario de Lisboa, 11 June 1925.

83 “La campaña de Marruecos. Notas de Melilla. Los agregados militares,” La Acción, 3 March 1922.

84 “Voyage au Maroc espagnol. Madrid, 16 March 1922,” Service Historique de l’Armée de Terre, Série N Troisième République (1870-1940), Sous-série 7N État-major de l’armée (1872-1940), 7N2126.

85 José Luis Gómez Barceló, Mariano Ferrer Bravo: militar e historiador (1833-1936) (Ceuta: Archivo Central de Ceuta, 2007), 73.

86 Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa 1865 a 1925 (Lisboa: Centro Tipográfico Colonial, 1926): 194.

87 Gomez Barceló, Mariano Ferrer Bravo, 73.

88 Sardica, Ibéria, 77-95.

89 “Despacho del subsecretario de Estado Joaquín Valera al Conde de Paraty. Madrid, 5 de noviembre de 1893”, ACVP, Guerra hispano-americana 1892-1899.

90 Between May and September 1898, the PRC forwarded 758 letters to Spanish prisoners and 17 to their relatives. Francisco Javier Martínez, “Challenging the colonial and the international: the American Red Cross in the last war of Cuban independence (1895-98)”, in Neville Wylie, Melanie Oppenheimer, James Crossland (eds.) The Red Cross movement. Myths, practices and turning points (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2020), 125.

91 Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa, 72.

92 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir, 178.

93 “La misión en Marruecos. Imposición de cruces,” La Unión Ilustrada, 26 August 1923.

94 D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir, 174.

95 Ibíd., 257.

96 Ibíd., 261.

97 Ibíd., 180.

98 Ibídem.

99 Ibíd., 180-181. “After the Inspector of the Portuguese Red Cross, Mr. Affonso de Dornellas, visited the Ceuta headquarters of the Tercio, which His Excellence honors with his command, he got to know […] that most of the Portuguese voluntaries have difficulties in exchanging letters with their families and, therefore, to deal with their affairs in Portugal, for which reason I proceed to request Your Excellence to inform those voluntaries that they can address themselves to Cruz Vermelha – Lisboa, which with the greatest pleasure will deal with all their affairs and with everything they need from Portugal”.

100 Ibìd., 181.

101 Cruz Vermelha Portuguesa, 195.

102 Idem.

103 Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to Mariano Ferrer Bravo. Lisboa, 18 de maio de 1925. ACVP, Correspondência 1925.

104 Idem.

105 ACVP, Correspondência 1925. “Lisbon, 10 July 1925. Exc. Mrs. Joana Rosa Branco. Rua da Mesquita, 41. Évora. We are informed by the Higher Commander of the Foreign Legion that the legionnaire Francisco Manoel Branco actually disappeared during the retreat from Xauen on 10 December of the past year”.

106 Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to António Alberto Martins. Lisboa, 27 de março de 1925. ACVP, Correspondência 1925.

107 Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to António Alberto Martins. Lisbon, 3 de junho de 1925. ACVP, Correspondência 1925; O Seculo, 4 June 1925.

108 Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to Manoel de Silva Larangeira. Lisboa, 27 de março de 1925; Telegram of Afonso D’Ornelas to Adalberto Barros. Lisboa, 3 de junho de 1925. ACVP, Correspondência 1925.

Table des illustrations

Titre Image 1 - A portrait of Afonso D’Ornelas, undated
Crédits Source: https://www.rostos.pt/​inicio2.asp?cronica=131909 [Consulted : 25 January 2019]
URL http://books.openedition.org/cidehus/docannexe/image/12748/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 102k
Titre Table 1 - List of Portuguese soldiers enrolled in the Spanish Foreign Legion during the period 1920-1936 currently identified by the author
URL http://books.openedition.org/cidehus/docannexe/image/12748/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 103k
Légende * It was common among legionnaires to use fake names.
Crédits Sources: 1-43, D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir; 44-66, ACVP, Correspondência 1925; 67-68, Diario de Noticias, 11 junho 1925; 69, El Sol, 22 de noviembre de 1922; 70-71, Sasse, Franzosen, Briten und Deutsche; 72, La Época, 16 agosto 1921; 73-76, Diário de Lisboa, 16 novembro 1924; 77-80, Morais e Almeida, E eu fui legionário; Cesar, Terras de Mistério, 126; Arquivo Militar de Portugal, FO/006/L/39; O Século, 12 abril 1925; 4 junho 1925; 13 junho 1925.
URL http://books.openedition.org/cidehus/docannexe/image/12748/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 109k
Titre Image 2 - A group of Portuguese soldiers of the Spanish Foreign Legion, 1924
Crédits Source: https://twitter.com/​legionespanola/​status/​349480672555053056. [Consulted: 10 February 2019]
URL http://books.openedition.org/cidehus/docannexe/image/12748/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 14M
Titre Image 3 - Cover of E eu fui legionário, de Morais e Almeida (1926)
URL http://books.openedition.org/cidehus/docannexe/image/12748/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 14M
Titre Image 4 - Front page of the Diário de Lisboa of 11 June 1925, where the Portuguese legionnaire Armando Gouveia was interviewed
Crédits Source: Hemeroteca Digital de Lisboa
URL http://books.openedition.org/cidehus/docannexe/image/12748/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 3,1M
Titre Image 5 - Passport issued by the Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros to Afonso D’Ornelas for his trip to Spanish Morocco
Crédits Source: D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir
URL http://books.openedition.org/cidehus/docannexe/image/12748/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 3,5M
Titre Image 6 - Spanish Red Cross nurses who cared for the Portuguese legionnaires in Ceuta
Crédits Source: D’Ornelas, De Ceuta a Alcacer Kibir
URL http://books.openedition.org/cidehus/docannexe/image/12748/img-8.png
Fichier image/png, 7,9M
Titre Image 7 - Telegram sent by Afonso D’Ornelas, secretary of the Portuguese Red Cross, to Joana Rosa Branco, mother of legionnaire Francisco Manoel Branco
Légende Source: ACVP, Corrêspondencia, 1925
URL http://books.openedition.org/cidehus/docannexe/image/12748/img-9.png
Fichier image/png, 2,5M

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