ATP – April 9th – Dia do Combatente

Portugal managed to remain neutral in World War 2, but it entered the Great War in March 1916. However, 9th April 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of part of the battle of La Lys, when Portugal suffered its major loss of World War 1. Prime Minister António Costa seems to be a man who likes to make frequent public appearances.


Hoje é dia de honrar os antigos combatentes, celebrando a paz.

Há precisamente cem anos, no dia 9 de abril de 1918, no vale do rio Lys, no Norte de França, as Forças Armadas portuguesas estavam em combate. Eram homens da segunda divisão do CEP – Corpo Expedicionário Português …”

The battle is known by many names, and it was just one part of a German Spring offensive. Suffice it to say that after two days of shelling, the Germans were able to over-run the Portuguese lines on the 9th. Hundreds were killed, and thousands were wounded or captured. The German campaign would run on through April.

La Lys is actually a river in France, and if you look it up, you will find multiple places with names ending sur-la-Lys (on-the-Lys) or similar.

To my surprise, while I was looking up this article, I found the following.

I am not quite sure what the League of Combatants is about. Perhaps it is similar to the Royal British Legion. I will need to do more research.

Obviously, anyone who survived the Battle of the River Lys would need to be well over 110 to be alive today. Whilst unlikely, this is not impossible.


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