Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Friday, July 13, 2018

Portugal's National WWI Monument, Lisbon


The story of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps (CEP) in the Great War is a sad one. Deployed in May 1917 near Armentières, the 20,000 men of its two divisions spent a miserable year in the trenches, as the troops—already puzzled by the rationale behind their deployment—grew increasingly demoralized. Farce turned to tragedy on 9 April 1918 when the CEP became the focal point for the second of Ludendorff's spring offensives, Operation GEORGETTE. In a few hours, the CEP was shattered, taking 500 dead and losing 6,500 prisoners.


  1. Yes, a key point for the initial German successes.

    In the pictured monument, is the soldier wearing a gas mask?

  2. Has anything ever been written that is available in English on the history of the Portuguese Expedition Corps? If not, it looks like a potential subject for an article or even a book.