Portuguese Army

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Introduction

Some sources mention that, in 1762, the Portuguese army totaled some 40,000 men, including the British contingent of 7,000 men. However, in his memoirs, the count of Lippe-Bückeburg clearly says that; excluding the corps operating in the northern regions of Minho and Tras-os-Montes (5 rgts), and the garrisons of Elvas (2 rgts), Almeida (1 rgt) and Estremôz (1 rgt); his army counted only 14 to 15,000 men, including the British contingent. On September 20, the count of Lippe-Bückeburg decided to make each Portuguese battalion a distinct and autonomous unit.

At the beginning of 1762, the Portuguese army consisted of 20 infantry regiments existing since the reorganisation of 1715, to which were added the regiment of Porto and 2 regiments of the Armada (navy). On April 20 1762, 3 additional regiments were created when the regiments of Porto, Chaves and Bragança were each split into 2 distinct regiments. Thus, by the end of April, the army counted 26 infantry regiments.

For its part the cavalry initially counted 10 regiments, including the dragoons. On April 21, 4 new light cavalry regiments were raised. Finally, on June 26, an 11th line cavalry regiment was raised under the name of "Mecklenbourg."

État-Major

Generalities about the uniform

Line Infantry

Our list of Portuguese regiments takes into account the reorganisation made by the count of Lippe-Bückeburg on September 20 1762. However, several units are designated by different names, depending on the authors. Furthermore, to make matter more complicated, throughout the war, the terms regiment and battalion were often used interchangeably.

Organisation
Generalities about the colours

Portuguese Regiments

1st Almeida

2nd Almeida
1st Armada
2nd Armada (aka João de Sa)
1st Bragança
2nd Bragança
1st Campo Maior
2nd Campo Maior
1st Cascais
2nd Cascais
1st Castelo Vide
2nd Castelo Vide
1st Chaves
2nd Chaves

1st Elvas

2nd Elvas
Estremoz
1st Faro
2nd Faro
1st Lagos
2nd Lagos
1st Novo Corte (aka Conde do Prado, aka 1st Lisboa)
2nd Novo Corte (aka 2nd Lisboa)
1st Moncão (aka 1st Provincia do Minho, aka 1st Viana)
2nd Moncão (aka 2nd Provincia do Minho, aka 2nd Viana)
1st Moura
2nd Moura
1st Olivença (exceptionally counting 2 battalions)
2nd Olivença (exceptionally counting 2 battalions)

1st Penamacor

2nd Penamacor
1st Peniche
2nd Peniche
1st Porto
2nd Porto
1st Serpa
2nd Serpa
1st Setúbal
2nd Setúbal
1st Valença do Minho
2nd Valença do Minho
1st Velho Corte (aka Corte)
2nd Velho Corte (aka Corte)

Swiss Regiment

Reais Suiços (exceptionally counting 2 battalions: Thorman and Saussure)

Converged Portuguese Grenadier Battalions

Granadeiros Portugueses do Tenente-Coronel Michaelis
Granadeiros Portugueses do Coronel Lee

Auxiliary Units(Militia)

In 1762, at the beginning of military operations, the northern provinces and the province of Alentejo were requested to raise a few auxiliary companies or regiments of horse and foot. These units were disbanded at the end of the conflict.

Partido do Porto Infantry (military district created in 1758)

Horse Companies of Ordonnance (disbanded in November 1763)

  • Partido do Porto Horse (3 coys)
  • City of Beja (6 coys)
  • Moura (2 coys)
  • Serpa (2 coys)
  • Arronches (1 coy)
  • Campo Maior (1 coy)
  • Vila de Monforte (1 coy)
  • Olivença (1 coy)

N.B.: this list of auxiliary infantry units is not exhaustive, other similar units were raised during the 1762 campaign

Line Cavalry

Organisation

Almeida
Corte (aka Principe de Mecklenburg)
Cais
Alcântara
Elvas
Moura
Bragança

Dragoons

Chaves
Olivença
Évora
Penamacor

Light Cavalry

A decree of April 21 1762 reorganised the light cavalry into 4 regiments (10 coys each, with 42 men, including officers, in each company). These 40 companies had previously been raised to reinforce the 10 existing cavalry regiments but the decree organised them into 4 autonomous regiments. However, these regiments were probably not formed soon enough to take active part in the campaign.

Vila de Viana do Minho Light Regiment (6 coys from Porto and 4 coys from Beira)
Campo Maior Light Dragoons (6 coys from Lisbon and 4 coys from the province of Alentejo)
Penamacor Light Dragoons (6 coys from Lisbon and 4 coys from the province of Beira)
Castelo Branco Light Regiment (6 coys from Traz os Montes and 4 coys from the province of Minho)

Light Troops

Voluntários Reais: raised in August 1762 with troops contributed by every infantry and cavalry regiments, to the exception of those garrisoning Almeida and Elvas. The regiment counted 800 men in 2 infantry terços and 1 cavalry terço under the command of colonel Hamilton. Their uniform was most probably dark brown with red as distinctive colour.

Artillery

Field Artillery Equipment - Guns, Howitzers, Mortars, Carriages

Corte
Estremoz (aka Alentejo)

References

Frederic, Jacques Andre; Etat general des troupes portugaises sur pié en 1760, Augsbourg

Pereira Sales, Ernesto Augusto; O Conde de Lippe em Portugal, Vila Nova de Famalicao: Publicacoes da Comissao de Historia Militar, 1936, pp. 55-62

Ribeiro Rodrigues, Manuel A.; 300 Anos de Uniformes Militares do Exército de Portugal 1660-1960, Exército Portugués and Sociedade Historica da Independéncia de Portugal, 1998

Acknowledgement

Manuel Ribeiro Rodrigues and Joseph O'Neill for the revision of the list of Portuguese units.