Captain Fernando Salgueiro Maia, Hero of the Carnation Revolution

According to recent newspaper reports, if the Carnation Revolution was a revolution in the United States, or perhaps other Western nations, the world would already be filled with movies and books about the success of a military coup that took place with little firing. prize.

Those who have heard my final presentation on the Carnation Revolution may remember the important role Captain Fernando Jose Sargueilomaia played on Thursday, April 25, 1974.

Who was Captain Sargueilomaia? On the recent anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, there were many newspaper articles about this man, who is called the purest person of the revolutionary of the day.

He joined Movimentodas Forças Armadas only in September 1973 after returning to Portugal after the war in Gine. From dozens of eligible candidates, he was selected by his colleagues to lead a revolutionary advance to Lisbon. They must have seen the necessary leadership qualities in him.

The Carnation Revolution was inspired by the Portuguese captain and was attended by hundreds of young people. The majority of them were in all districts of Portugal and played a less prominent role than Fernando Sargueilomaia.

This man transformed into a revolutionary icon on a spring day in 1974 because of his outstanding courageous action. The most prominent of the military rebels, he played the most public role in the revolution.

Captain Fernando Salgueiro Maia, Hero of the Carnation Revolution
With the Largo de Carmo megaphone

After two radio signals (two songs “E Depois do Adeus” and “Grândola Vila Morena”) were broadcast, Santa Ren’s junior officer began a revolutionary action.

Fernando’s colleagues confirmed that their commander could not warn his boss, but Fernando himself gathered the men under his command in the barracks into a large hall.

He spoke to them as follows: “Gentleman, as you know, there are many forms of nations: socialist nations, capitalist nations, and the states we are in. Now, on this solemn night, we are going to end this state. So whoever wants to come with me, we go to Lisbon and finish it. If you want to volunteer, go out and shape. If you don’t want to go, stay here! “

He quickly had a choice problem as 800 men were formed outside, and the column could only take 240 people.

It was Fernando who led and directed this revolutionary column of 240 Escora Platica de Cavalaria in Santarem. The detachment consists of 10 armored and personnel carriers, 12 military transport vehicles, 2 ambulances and a command jeep, leaving Santa Len at 03:20, traveling 60 km and Lisbon at 05:45. Arrived in the center of.

On the way to the city, the lead car stopped at a red traffic light, and Fernando was frustrated by the ridiculous situation. Government troops were dispatched to oppose this column, but most went to rebels after a conversation with Fernando.

Captain Fernando Salgueiro Maia, Hero of the Carnation RevolutionCaptain Fernando Salgueiro Maia, Hero of the Carnation Revolution
Lisbon monument

Shortly after his column arrived at Terreirod Paço using his codename Charlie Oito, he sent it wirelessly to the command post. He told the only journalist on the spot, “We are here to overthrow the government,” and there is a famous photo of a policeman salutes Captain Fernando Sargueilomaia early that morning.

The frigate Gago Coutinho in the port of Lisbon was ordered to fire at Fernando’s line at Terreiro do Paso, but the ship’s gunners refused to comply with this order. Similarly, troops under the orders of senior Loyalist officers refused to fire at Fernando and his men.

Around 11:00, Fernando was ordered to take his column to the GNR barracks in Largo do Carmo. There, the chairman of the council withdrew with other ministers. More government troops joined the rebels and the barracks were surrounded by 12:30. Standing in an armored personnel carrier, Fernando used a megaphone to order the government minister in the barracks to surrender.

Witnesses later reported: “I was in the middle of the crowd of Largo de Carmo. I heard all his orders and his appeal of surrender. He seemed very calm and confident. I was there to fulfill my destiny. With so many people and tensions, it seems impossible to impose silence on the crowd, but it happened. A cannon fires at the front of the barracks. As I was preparing, I could hear the cannon rising completely. He issued a 15-minute warning, then a 10-minute warning, then a 5-minute warning, and finally the first on the ground floor. I ordered a burst, then another burst above the building. At that time, there was an M47. [tanks] Of Cavalry 7, who were not part of the coup, and they were preparing to move forward to assist the besieged minister, and there was also a helicopter overhead. These were moments of tension, but Salgueiro Maia, who had a megaphone in his hand, was calm and in control. When it was all over, he thanked us and asked us to withdraw. He showed no hatred or revenge and was as usual. “

Captain Fernando Salgueiro Maia, Hero of the Carnation RevolutionCaptain Fernando Salgueiro Maia, Hero of the Carnation Revolution
Lisbon Arco Watch

Fernando entered the building to negotiate the surrender of the resident and met with the chairman of the Marcelo Caetano Council at the office. Marcelo Caetano refused to surrender to the captain, he said, and was like throwing power into a gutter. .. Without hesitation, Fernando arranged to contact General Spinola – he had an elder to accept the surrender.

Fernando emerged from the barracks and recalled the crowd so that the armored personnel carrier could return to the barracks and drive the enemy in and out.

Within 20 hours of the coup d’etat in Santa Len’s barracks, Captain Sargueilomaia and his men peacefully forced the resignation of the then dominant dictatorship. And a genius of society where bloodshed was avoided.

In a recent interview, Fernando’s widow Natelsia talked with her husband about his actions for the day. She said her husband told her that his experience in the African War taught him that friendship was irreplaceable in combat. On the morning of April 25, he saw an enemy lieutenant at 10:00 and did not move a millimeter. He held a handkerchief in one hand, spread his arms wide, and was exposed to the opposite shooting. Forty-five minutes later, when I looked into the visor of the armored car, he also turned the driver of the car down.

Natersia said she had a white handkerchief in her pocket, had a grenade, and was ready to sacrifice herself.

Forced to declare the moment Fernando thought was most important, Natersia headed for Rossio, Fernando turned around, Arco’s clock stopped, the city was holding his breath, he said: Step. People were rooting for his column, but he couldn’t hear anything other than the clock being rewound.

When Infantry 1’s army surrendered in front of Rossio’s National Theater, he heard the clock start moving again. The ticking in his head gave him the ability to calm, patience, and calm the crowd. Certainty to order the Carmo Barracks to fire. The nerves to enter and face the chair of the council.

Captain Fernando Salgueiro Maia, Hero of the Carnation RevolutionCaptain Fernando Salgueiro Maia, Hero of the Carnation Revolution
Santaren monument

At that moment, 5,000 conspirators were turning not only the clock but also the hands of history. Natersia said future generations may not understand that some men endangered their lives in order to restart the Arco watch.

History records three quotations from Sargueiromaia. First: “When I became involved in the planning of this mission, I swore my honor that I would see it to the end. For this, I am my soul, my Dedicate your life. “Second,” I came to see a lot of people crying out with flowers on the muzzle of the rifle. No one needs to be killed or killed. No one needed to order the assault, even the arrest of the king and his rifle. “Third, knowing that his life was about to be claimed by his cancer. When he said, “Don’t worry about where to bury my body. Rather, be interested in those who want to bury what I helped build.”

One of the reasons Fernando gained so much popularity was that he declined the position offered to him as a result of his actions on that important day after the revolution. He simply wanted to pursue his military career, and he was officially promoted to Major and later to Lieutenant Colonel. Sadly, he had only 18 more years to enjoy until he succumbed to cancer in 1992.

The two poems show praise for Sargueilomaia and refusal to benefit personally from his fame.Initially Sophia de Melo Brainer Andresen:

Aquele quenahorada vitória
Respeitou o vencido
Aquele que deutudoenãopediuapaga
Aquele quenahorade ganância
Perdeu o apetite
Aquele que amou os outros e por isso
Não colaboroucom suaignorânciao uvício
Aque lequefoi “Fiel à palavradada à ideiatida”
Comoantes delemastambémporele
Peso Adisse

At the time of victory he
Respect those who have been defeated
He gave everything and didn’t ask for payment
When he was greedy
Lost his appetite
Those who loved others and therefore loved them
Did not cooperate with their ignorance and vices
He was faithful to his promises and ideas
As Pessoa said before his time, and for him too.

The second is due to the left wing Manuel Allegri:

Ficaste na pureza inicial
Run gesto que liberta esedesprende.
Haviaem tiosím boloeosinal
Haviaemtio heróique não selende.

Outros jogaram o jogo viciado
Para ti nem poder nem sua regra
Conquistador does sonhoin conquistado
Haviaemtio heróiquenão seintegra.

Porissoficarás comoquem
Vem dar outro rosto ao rosto da Cidade
Diz-se o teu nomeesais de Santarém
Trazendo a espada ea flordal iberdade.

You stayed in the first purity
Of the gesture to release and release.
There was a symbol and a sign in you
There was a hero in you who did not surrender.

Others played corrupt games
Power and its rules for you
Unconquered dream conqueror
There was a hero in you who remained independent

That’s why you remain as a person
Will give a different face to the face of the city
Your name will be announced and you will leave Santa Len
Hold a sword and a flower.

This April captain was at the sharp end of the revolution throughout his fateful day and is now part of Portuguese history. His face represents a collective memory of Portuguese values, freedom, justice, solidarity and courage.

Peter Booker

Lynn Booker, with her husband Peter, Algarve Historical Society. Captain Fernando Salgueiro Maia, Hero of the Carnation Revolution

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