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Remembered Today:

Maputo's amazing war memorial


Martin Bennitt

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Martin Bennitt

On a trek from Botswana (where my daughter lives) to Mozambique and back (she wanted to see the sea) decided to spend a night in Maputo, where I came across this amazing war memorial across the road from the railway station. The latter has been painstakingly restored, but not so the memorial, which is in a decidedly poor condition.

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Unusually, given Portugal's misrule in its colonies, it pays tribute to African as well as white troops, apparently for political reasons when it was erected in 1935. The "battles" mentioned seem to have been just skirmishes which generally ended in Portuguese defeats, though references on the net are very sparse. According to Wikipedia Quionga was Portugal's only territorial gain in World War I.

cheers Martin B (more to come)

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Martin Bennitt

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If anyone can contribute any more on Portugal's shambolic role in the East African campaign feel free. There is a fair bit in Edward Paice's "Tip and Run" and I also found this on the web which is a bit convoluted but mentions the memorial

http://thedisorderofthings.com/2014/11/05/mozambique-and-the-invisible-bodies-a-contrapuntal-reading-of-the-great-war-1914-1918/

Cheers Martin B

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Steven Broomfield

Martin - thanks. That's fascinating. Given that Mozambique is now in the Commonwealth (though I have no idea why), one feels we ought to know more.

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Martin Bennitt

Indeed, the British High Commission, as opposed to Embassy, was just down the road from our B&B. I think Moz joined the Commonwealth because all its neighbors are members. Many Mozambicans speak very good English, though Portuguese is the lingua Franca, but the country is much more 'Third World' than South Africa , Botswana or Namibia for example.

Cheers Martin B

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... the country is much more 'Third World' than South Africa , Botswana or Namibia for example.

Cheers Martin B

I have a friend in the FCO who was posted to Namibia for a while and had to visit Mozambique. Her theory re: the above is that the Portuguese kept the management of the country strictly to themselves, and pulled out almost overnight without having trained a replacement infrastructure.

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Great post and pictures Martin, thank you.

Pete.

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