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  • Writer's pictureJohn J King II

The Lady, the Poet and the Revolutionary, our Portuguese roots, Part 3

Updated: Feb 21

Captain Lieutenant Philemon Duarte de Almeida, Portuguese Navy (circa 1916)


About ten years ago I received a package postmarked from Lisbon, Portugal. The return address documented that it had been sent by a elderly Portuguese cousin who I called Nena. She was the niece of my grandmother King and they shared the given name Noemia (as did my own daughter). We had first met in the mid mid-1980’s when curiosity first took me to Portugal to learn more about our family connections there. Nena was the last of her generation of my cousins. She had no children or close Portuguese relatives of her own remaining and I was, in fact, her closest living relative.

Maria Noemia "Nena" Gomes da Silva

I had corresponded with Nena and her sister Eliza by letter a few times a year for many years exchanging family news and photos and I had visited Lisbon to see them three times (1985, 1997, 2008) the last two visits accompanied by my children. Our connection was real and I treasured it. Nena and Eliza had generally discussed family history connections, introduced us to cousins and in later visits after older sisters Lidia and Eliza and brother Manuel had all passed, Nena had introduced a variety of younger cousins on both sides of my grandmother’s family who I still correspond with today via social media. Some are living in South America.

Back to the box. There was no letter of explanation of the contents but it was quite clear they were precious things and had been carefully saved for decades waiting to be revealed to someone worthy. A week after its arrival I received a letter from Nena urgently asking if the box had arrived intact. It had been sent by regular mail, packaged well but with no special protections and had been in transit for several weeks via regular post. I cranked out a note immediately and sent it back via regular mail but in addition I emailed a younger cousin to let Nena know all was well.

Inside the box was a pear shaped metal container with a hinged top and a hasp to protect its contents. Revealed were the shoulder boards of a Portuguese formal Naval officer’s uniform quite elegantly fitted into gently worn purple felt packing. Placed on top of the shoulder boards was a plastic sleeve containing the Service Medals of an Officer’s career. They were well worn. I assumed they must have belonged to my Great Uncle Philemon. These treasures had been locked way and most likely saved by Philemon’s sister Cordelia, (Nena’s mother). They had then been passed down to Nena, her two sisters Lidia & Elisa and their brother Manuel and kept in safekeeping for more than 80 years. 

In all of my previous conversations with my grandmother, father and other family members little had been revealed about Philemon’s life. Philemon was my great uncle being the oldest brother of my grandmother Noemia Duarte King. He had apparently undertaken a distinguished career as a Naval Officer serving Portugal in the early 20th century while rising fast to prominence after his initial service in Angola and other Portuguese colonies in Africa. I was very curious about this man’s story and moved to do some research. 

Dona Amélia-class light cruiser Adamastor at anchor in the Tagus River, Lisbon, October 1910

Working through conventional internet searches I began to put the pieces together. It was known by the family that Philemon had served in the Portuguese Navy on the Dona Amélia-class light cruiser Adamastor which historical accounts report had a role to play in the Portuguese Revolution of 5, October 1910. Adamastor was one of two naval vessels on the Tagus River supporting the ouster of King Dom Manuel II (along with the Cruiser Sao Rafael). Philemon had served on Adamastor since graduating from the academy having done his early service in Angola. With a crew of 250 – 300 sailors and officers Adamastor had been sent to Lisbon by elements within the Portuguese military who were sympathetic to the growing public sentiment to remove the Portuguese monarchy and install a Republican form of government. Philemon was now a Lieutenant and was second in command on the Adamastor. 

Wikipedia reports the following account of the actions on October 5th 1910 that finally brought the Portuguese monarchy to it’s conclusion and paved the way for the First Republic of Portugal.

At 9 o'clock the king received a phone call from the president of the council, advising him to find refuge in Mafra or Sintra, since the rebels were threatening to bomb the Palace of Necessidades. D.Manuel II refused to leave, saying to those present: "Go if you want, I'm staying. Since the constitution doesn't appoint me any role other than of letting myself be killed, I will abide by it.” And this, “ At around midday the cruisers Adamastor and São Rafael, which had anchored in front of the sailors' quarters, started the bombardment of the Palace of Necessidades, an action which served to demoralise the present monarchical forces. The king took refuge in a small house in the palace's park, where he could ring Teixeira de Sousa, since the revolutionaries had only cut the special state telephone lines and not the general network. The king ordered the prime minister to send the battery from Queluz to the palace to prevent a naval landing, but the prime minister replied that the main action was happening in Rotunda and all the troops that were there were needed. Taking into account that the available troops were not sufficient to defeat the rebels in Rotunda, the prime minister made it obvious to the king that it would be more convenient to retire to Sintra or Mafra so that the stationed forces of the palace could reinforce the troops in Rotunda.

At two o'clock the vehicles with D. Manuel II and his advisors set out to Mafra, where the Infantry School would provide enough forces to protect the monarch. While approaching Benfica the king dismissed the municipal guard squad that escorted him so that they could join the fight against the rebels. The escort arrived in Mafra at around four o'clock in the afternoon, but then discovered a problem: due to the holidays, the Infantry School contained only 100 soldiers, as opposed to the 800 that were expected, and the person in charge, Colonel Pinto da Rocha, admitted to not having the means to protect the king.[77] In the meantime, Counsellor João de Azevedo Coutinho arrived and advised the king to call to Mafra the queens D. Amélia and D. Maria Pia (respectively, the king's mother and grandmother), who were in the palaces of Pena and Vila in Sintra, and to prepare to continue on to Porto, where they would organize a resistance.

Above - King Manuel II is seen leaving the of Palace of Necessidades  after military units failed to come to his aid while vessels shelled the area and rebel ground forces engaged the King’s troops. The King flees to England.

Above - The Portuguese Provincial Government is installed – October 1910 and the Republican victory is proclaimed.

Above - In Lisbon, the king's departure did not bring a large advantage to the government since the majority of the troops now available to engage the rebel forces did not follow the orders to march to Rossio Square to prevent the concentration of rebel artillery in Alcântara.

Lieutenant Philemon Duarte de Almeida – First Officer aboard the Cruiser Adamastor. Tagus River October 5, 1910

Though we do not have Philemon’s actual eyewitness account of the events of that day it may have been like the story told here...,

October 5, 1910

“The pre-dawn chill of the Tagus River snaked through my uniform, but it was nothing compared to the fire burning in my gut. The Adamastor, under the command of Captain Carvalhal, a man whose republican sympathies mirrored my own, lay anchored, a steely sentinel awaiting the dawn. Today was the day.

For months, the whispers of revolution had echoed through the corridors of the ship, carried on the salty breeze and fueled by the discontent simmering throughout Portugal. The monarchy, once revered, had become a symbol of corruption and inefficiency, its grip on the nation loosening with each passing day.

My fellow officers, though mostly loyal to the crown, knew the winds of change were upon us. The air crackled with anticipation, a mixture of hope and trepidation. We were all soldiers, sworn to duty, yet many of us carried a yearning for a new Portugal, a republic free from the shackles of the past.

As the first rays of dawn kissed the Lisbon skyline, the tension reached its peak. Captain Carvalhal, his face etched with determination, addressed the crew. He spoke of the injustices under the monarchy, the yearning for a more just and equitable society. His words resonated with the men, their eyes reflecting a newfound resolve.

Suddenly, the distant rumble of gunfire echoed across the water. The signal! Our hearts pounded in unison as the Adamastor roared to life. The crew, with practiced efficiency, manned their stations. We were no longer passive observers; we were soldiers of a revolution.

Aboard the Adamastor, we played a crucial role in the unfolding drama. Our guns, once instruments of defense, became the voice of the people. We bombarded key government buildings, our cannons echoing the desires of a nation yearning for freedom.

The day was filled with chaos and uncertainty. Yet, amidst the turmoil, a sense of purpose fueled our actions. We fought not for personal gain, but for the future of our nation, for the dreams of a generation yearning for a brighter tomorrow.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting the Tagus in a golden hue, news of the republic's victory reached us. A collective sigh of relief and exhilaration swept through the ship. We had done it. We, the crew of the Adamastor, had played our part in the birth of a new Portugal.

Standing on the deck, gazing at the city bathed in the glow of freedom, a sense of immense pride washed over me. Today, we were not just sailors; we were the architects of a new era, the pioneers who had dared to dream of a better future. The Adamastor, a symbol of strength and defiance, stood witness to a turning point in our nation's history. And I, Lieutenant Philemon Duarte De Almeida, second in command and a republican at heart, knew that this was only the beginning. The dawn of a new Portugal had arrived, and with it, the hope for a brighter tomorrow.” PDA , 5 October 1905

Above - The contents of the tin box bear further scrutiny and hopefully hold clues to Philemon's life journey.

I found some more information among old files received from a relative but not thoroughly studied before including a Telegram he had sent from Lisbon in September 1925 to his mother in New York. The message read simply: “ Revolution Is Crushed   All Well” – Philemon

It seems that during this period in Portuguese history, 1910 – 1927 a new government was being formed almost every few months interspersed with military takeovers followed by a newly elected President with cabinet appointees and a functioning Parliament…rinse and repeat.

I set the project aside for a few years....about a year ago I picked up the torch once more.

I did a few cursory searches on the internet from time to time. I wrote to younger relatives in Lisbon who were distant relatives of Philemon and had heard of him but were unable to add information to help. A couple of years after I received THE BOX I received word in Lisbon that Nena had passed away. She was 82 and my last living family link to the story.

But never the less my Great Uncle Philemon had been a mysterious man with a history that was steeped in intrigue and I still wondered about his true story. He was born in Porto in 1882, the first of four children to Manuel Duarte D’Almeida and Maria Augusta De Silveira, from a prominent family in Casa da Botica. Manuel came from another respected family from Vila Real in the north of Portugal. More about Manuel in a forthcoming post.

Above left - Philemon’s parents : Manuel Duarte De Almeida and Maria Augusta de Silveira (1886); Center image - Philemon (20 years) at the Naval Academy with sister Noemia and brother Fernando (who later died of tuberculosis) (circa 1903); above right Manuel, Noemia and sister Cordalia (mother of "Nena" Gomes da Silva

At this point I had the following information loosely documented. Philemon was a serious and driven young man from an early age. He entered the Escola Naval (Naval Academy) in 1899 becoming a midshipman and almost immediately was placed into naval service in Angola as a junior officer on the Light Cruiser Adamastor in February 1904 where he served until March 1905 fulfilling his training and rose to the position of Lieutenant. On the Adamastor he also saw service in the bloody Cuamato operations against  the Cuamato and Cuanhama peoples, led by their King Tchetekelo from August 3 to December 27, 1904 including the very bloody Battle of the Cunene river, a campaign in which more than 300 Portuguese soldiers were ambushed and killed in a single encounter. 

There is a gap in Pilemon's service record from March 1905 until early in 1910. Likely he did not have continuous service on the Adamastor but never-the-less when Adamastor returns to Lisbon in October 1910 Philemon is aboard and second in command as a Capitão Tenente

A little historical perspective follows here from Wikipedia:" From the end of the 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century, the Portuguese Navy participated in a series of colonial pacification campaigns, aimed to neutralize local uprisings and to enforce Portuguese sovereignty in Angola, in Mozambique, in the Portuguese Guinea and in other overseas territories. Most of the campaigns were in charge of the army, but the navy actively supported them, including leading some of the operations. For these campaigns, the Portuguese Navy organized a brown-water navy constituted mainly by river gunboats that operated in the African rivers in support of the ground forces. The navy also organized expeditionary naval infantry units that operated in Africa as landing forces in support of the army units.

The modernization of the Portuguese Navy in the last years of the Monarchy meant that in 1910, it had sophisticated ships, already equipped with electric energy, wireless communications, torpedoes and modern artillery. The fleet included six cruisers, four torpedo boats, a torpedo gunboat, thirteen gunships and other auxiliary and minor vessels, with a submarine under construction. Nonetheless, owing to financial problems as a result of mismanagement and failure to develop its African possessions, Portugal was unable to maintain a larger fleet."

Eventually Adamastor returned to Lisbon and was present for the major historical events that occurred in Lisbon on 5 October 1910. But there was another huge gap in knowledge about Uncle Philemon from this period until the early 1920’s when he surfaces as a diplomat and was involved in politics in service of the First Portuguese Republic. It seems that during this period in Portuguese history 1910 – 1927 a new government was being formed almost every few months interspersed with military takeovers followed by a newly elected President with cabinet appointees and a functioning Parliament…rinse and repeat. 

I was able to discover that Philemon served for a very short time as Minister of Colonies, a ministerial department of the Government of Portugal that was responsible for conducting civil policies specifically aimed at territories under Portuguese colonial rule. Philemon served in this role under President  António Maria da Silva , who was in office for only a month from July 1 to August 1, 1925. This Government was in its turn pushed aside by a new Military dictatorship. Subsequently  Philemon participated in a February 1927 revolt to remove the Generals in charge which failed. 

The government turmoil continued for another five years until the Portuguese Constitution of 1933 was finally approved installing Alberto de Oliveira Salazar a Finance Minister supported by Estdo Novo. But somehow something was missing from the story. How had this bright young Naval officer managed to achieve enough success and notoriety to be named to the President’s Cabinet even if it was a revolving door in 1925.

One clue I found in an internet citation was the following 

Philemon Duarte de Almeida distinguished himself as an opponent of the Estado Novo regime”.

Philemon had been a staunch proponent of the Republican movement his entire career and as such was at odds with the political forces intent on creating an authoritarian government in Portugal after the demise of the monarchy. Thus Philemon was a politiacl threat and once the Estado Novo regime seizes power in 1927 Philemon is forced to resign his Naval commission, his political and diplomatic posts and he exits the country. There was no record of where he went. 

This fact might explain finally why my grandmother, Noemia had not been able to return to Portugal in the 1930s with her children, Teddy (my father) and Mimi (his sister) instead being diverted to France on at least one transatlantic voyage. 

The story told to us was that my father (Ted) nephew of Philemon, was in line for succession to the Portuguese monarchy and thus judged a political threat to the Salazar government. Of course this was family oral history run amok and completely false…..a load of bunk previously discussed in I was very glad to get an unerstanding of this family myth. This story of Royal blood had been a prime motivator to get me started on the family story to begin with.

Philemon leaves Portugal for an unknown destination. His mother, Maria Augusta de Silveira, was now living in America having emigrated to New York in 1912 along with Philemon's young sister, Noemia (my grandmother born in 1901). Noemia eventually married Frederick Elmer King, a young lawyer in New York in 1922. A brother, Jorge was a Portuguese diplomat posted to the Portugugese consulate in New York. Philemon's other brother Fernando had died as a teenager of Tb and his father who was estranged from his mother passed away in Porto in 1914. Still there were lots of gaps in the narrative. Where did Philemon go and what happened to him?

A Vital clue is discovered in plain sight

I went back and studied the service medals and found out which campaigns he had fought in. Among his awards were: 

  • The WWI interallied Victory Medal; 

  • Military Order of Aviz; Military Campaigns Commemorative Medal; 1916 Type with Mozambique Bar 1914-1918. 

  • But upon closer review I determined that one of the service medals was not Portuguese. It was actually French! And not just any French medal – Uncle Philemon had saved among his treasured personal effects the French Legion of Honor Medal – France’s highest honor! 

This Medal is awarded very rarely as it is the highest order of merit in France for military bravery (or civilian accomplishment) in the service of France. The French award is similar in stature to the American Congressional Medal of Honor.

This new fact was mind blowing to learn – and begged immediate questions. Philemon was a Portuguese Naval officer. What had he been doing with the French? I was determined to find out more. But how?

On a whim I decided to try out one of the new experimental artificial intelligence (AI) tools that was being offered and only recently (2023) made available on a limited basis to the public as a beta test. I had received a random invitation from Google to try out their “Bard” AI tool. Why not?

I felt like I was communicating with the HAL 9000 super computer main frame made famous in the Stanley Kubrick film 2001, A SPACE ODYESSY .

I typed out my query. 

“ Can you furnish a list of recipients of the French Legion of Honor between the dates 1915 and 1925?”

“Yes I can” came back the immediate answer along with a list of about two dozen names. I quickly scanned them. There were no names I could recognize.

I queried again.

“Can you furnish a list of recipients of the French Legion of Honor who were also assigned to the French Foreign Legion between the dates 1925 and 1935?” Reasoning that perhaps Philemon upon leaving Portugal might have taken the mercenary route later in life as a soldier for hire – a wild guess!

Again “Yes, I can”- came back along with another list of names but Philemon’s was not among them.

Finally I took a breath...last chance. I typed in, 

“Can you furnish a list of recipients of the French Legion of Honor who were also assigned to the French Foreign Legion and had served as a Portuguese Naval Officer at anytime between the dates 1915 and 1935?”

There was a pause and my heart sank.

“Yes I can! “ Finally came the answer – Two names were on the list this time and one of them was Philemon Duarte De Almeida.

I was Gob smacked!! Holy crap, Philemon had joined the French Foriegn Legion after all.

The Bard notation went on to say the following,

“Philemon Duarte De Almeida was a former Senior officer in the Portuguese Navy who was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal for his service in the French Foreign Legion. He was born in Portugal in 1882 and joined the Portuguese Navy in 1905. He served in the Portuguese Navy for 12 years, and he rose to the rank of Lieutenant. In 1916, he left the Portuguese Navy and joined the French Foreign Legion.  He served in the French Foreign Legion for 10 years, and he fought in the Rif War and the First World War. He was awarded the Legion of Honor in 1927 for his bravery and his service. He died in France in1950.

Here is a brief description of his military service:

  • Rif War (1921-1926): Duarte De Almeida served in the French Foreign Legion during the Rif War, which was fought between France and the Riffians, a Berber people who were led by Abd el-Krim. The war was a bloody and costly conflict, and Duarte De Almeida was awarded the Legion of Honor for his bravery and his service.

  • First World War (1914-1918): Duarte De Almeida also served in the First World War, which was fought between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers. He fought in the Battle of Verdun, which was one of the most bloody and costly battles of the war. Duarte De Almeida was awarded the Legion of Honor for his bravery and his service.

  • Duarte De Almeida was a brave and dedicated soldier who served his country with distinction. He was a valuable asset to the French Foreign Legion, and he made significant contributions to the French victory in the Rif War and the First World War. He is a true hero, and he will be remembered for his bravery and his service.” 

    Bard Sources (which I requested but have not been verified yet)

  • From The website of the French Foreign Legion

  • The French Foreign Legion: A History by Martin Windrow and Francis Kelly

It was so amzing to find out this information but again now many more questions. Historical acounts state that the French Foriegn Legion was kept away from the intial action of WWI and kept sequestered on assignments in Portuguese colonial Africa. French commanders thought that the multicultural and multinational members of the FFL, many of who had volunteered from regions of Alcace Lorrainne and even parts of Germany might have divided loyalties in the growing struggle against Germany. Other critics stated that the all volunteer FFL had many "soft elements" in the ranks having perhaps washed out of other country's forces and had joined the Legion as a last resort military career move.

This poor reputation may have been true a decade earlier but by the time WWI breaks out the French Foriegn Legion has been honed to perfection while fighting tribes and a berber uprising in Morocco and elsewhere in Africa and had once again become a truly elite fighting force. They finally get their chance to contribute in Augest 1916 when they are deployed into the "hell hole that is the Battle for Verdun. This battle had been raging for more than six months and both French and German casualties were horrific. A key turning point in the battle to favor the French occurred at Fort Douaumont.

Above - The fighting to retake Fort Douaumont in September/October 1916 was one of the fiercest actions and bloodiest battles of any combat in WWI. The men of the Frech Foreign Legion were the main fighters leading the French counterattack and carried the day retaking the Fort from the Germans.

It was a bitter sweet moment to solve one piece of the puzzle learning of Philemon’s incredible military service and to be able to honor his valor and extraordinary heroism in battle. It appears he was this quiet war hero whose courageousness must have catapulted him to prominence in the Republican movement of the time and might explain his cabinet appointment in 1925. The Battle of Verdun alone, one of the longest and bloodiest battles in human history includes unparalleled heroics on the part of the French Foreign Legion. I needed to continue to research this story further. 

Since the best internet reports I can find show that Philemon joined the FFL in 1916 we must assume he was already highly regarding as a competent combat officer albeit Navy and was dropped into a fighting unit set to be deployed to where things had been going badly for the French and the causality count on both sides of the conflict were enormous and growing daily. By one historian’s account the action at  Douaumont was especially gruesome as both sides seemed to draw on super human will to stay in place during absolutely horrendous artillery barrages followed by murderous hand to hand combat in tight spaces of the fort.

Though as before we do not have an actual eye witness account of Philemon’s service it might have been described as follows by one of his men:

From a Legionnaire about his commanding officer Capitao Philemon Duarte De Almeida

The mud squelched under my boots, a symphony of sucking and release with every step. Verdun was a canvas of grey, the sky a bruised tapestry against which smoke plumes danced like macabre ballerinas. We huddled in the trench, a motley crew of Legionnaires, faces etched with fatigue and fear, eyes glazed with the grim communion of battle.

At the head, his weathered face a map of forgotten campaigns, stood Capitão Almeida. He wasn't one of us, not really. Born in '82, a Portuguese naval officer, he'd tasted salt spray and cannonfire on distant shores before choosing this hell. Yet, here he was, leading us, a weathered oak amidst the storm-tossed pines.

Douaumont. The word hung heavy in the air, a miasma of blood and steel. We were tasked with its recapture, a suicide mission to claw back a vital artery from the Hun. Almeida's voice, roughened by years at sea and grit, cut through the silence. "Jeunes hommes," he rasped, "aujourd'hui, nous dansons avec la mort."

We clambered over the trench wall, a tide of khaki and mud, into the teeth of the German machine guns. Bullets spattered like rain on a tin roof, carving bloody furrows across the battlefield. Men fell, cries swallowed by the hungry maw of war. Almeida, a beacon in the chaos, his pistol spitting defiance, his voice a rallying cry.

The Douaumont fort loomed, a skeletal giant against the bruised sky. We charged, a desperate ballet of fury and fear. Bayonets clashed, screams tore through the air, the stench of cordite and burnt flesh a cloying shroud. Almeida led from the front, his sword a silver streak against the crimson tide.

We fought like cornered wolves, driven by a primal need to survive, to avenge fallen comrades. Inch by bloody inch, we pushed the Germans back, reclaiming the fort, a pyre of shattered stone and broken bodies. When the dust settled, and the silence returned, heavy and mournful, Almeida stood on the ramparts, Douaumont at his back.

He looked at us, survivors of the dance with death, and a ghost of a smile touched his lips. "On a dansé, mes frères," he said, his voice hoarse, "et nous avons gagné."

And as I stood there, the medal glinting in the weak winter sun, I knew that Douaumont would forever be etched in my memory, not just as a battlefield, but as a crucible where men, forged in fire, became legends. And at the heart of it all, the echo of Almeida's words, a whispered prayer on the wind: "Jeunes hommes... aujourd'hui, nous dansons avec la mort."

Many months later, a medal would hang around his neck, the Legion of Honor, a testament to his courage, our sacrifice. Almeida, the Portuguese lion, who led us through hell and back, a reminder that even in the bloodiest trenches, valor could bloom.

Above - French An XI Cuirassier Sword. This Sword belonged to Philemon Duarte de Almeida and was passed to his sister Cordalia Gomes da Silva and then on to her children Manuel, Lidia, Eliza and Noemia Gomes da Silva (siblings) until 2012 when the last of them, Noemia passed away in Lisbon. She had bequeathed Philemon's sword and other momentos to John J King II, their closest living relative.

Above - Clockwise - Manuel , Lidia, Noemia and Eliza Gomes da Silva. The siblings lived together unmarried for their entire lives in Lisbon. Of note Manuel was a Law Professor but legally blind. His sister Noemia (who I called Nena) was his consant companion during his entire professional life aiding him as his reader of documents. Nena the youngest died in 2012, she was 82.

Portuguese Navy Ensignia - The Portuguese Battle Cry is "St. George!!

Above - Noemia Duarte de Almeida - October 1922

Frederick E. King "Ted" soon to be deployed to France in US Naval Air Unit 1917

Noemia Duarte King (left & center) Jorge Duarte de Almeida - 1925

)Noemia (1901 - 1987) & Frederick Elmer King (1886 - 1970) with children Frederick Duarte King (1923 - 1996) (Teddy) & Maria Johanna King (Mimi) (1928 - 2012)

New Milford CT. 1930s

Noemia Duarte King and Frederick E. King (Ted) - Bass River, MA -- 1960

More on the Cruiser Adamastor from Wikipedia:

The ship had originally been built with money from public subscription in order to restore Portugal's honor after being humiliated by Great Britain in 1890, being prevented from making a land route from its two colonies of Angola and Mozambique.[4] It was laid down in January 1895 and launched in July 1896, before being completed in August 1897.

In 1897 the ship was deployed to the Moroccan coast, along the with ironclad Vasco da Gama and Spanish ships, to hunt pirates. Around 1908 she visited Portuguese Timor and stopped in the Dutch East Indies.[5]

When the 5 October 1910 revolution broke out in Lisbon, the Portuguese Navy would play an important role, in particular the crew of the Adamastor who rose up simultaneously as a revolt begin in the capital. Among the supporters of the revolution were the crew of three cruisers, including Adamastor, which helped to bomb the Necessidades Palace of the King of Portugal along with the cruiser São Rafael.[4] Thus the cruiser would become a symbol of the revolution.[6]

During World War I, Portugal took part in fighting against Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck's troops during the campaign in eastern Africa. In 1917, German forces entered Portuguese Mozambique. Although they defeated the Portuguese and British land forces, Adamastor and another cruiser were sent to the important port of Quelimane, at which point the Germans decided not to attack the city.[7]

Adamastor ran aground in October 1929,[8] but was refloated and returned to service[9] before being decommissioned in 1933.

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