Orson on-air

The 25th was a cold morning for April. At 7.45 am the following radio announcement stunned hundreds Of thousands of Portuguese into a realisation that a new phase in their history had begun:

The Portuguese Armed Forces appeal to all the inhabitants of Lisbon to stay at home and to remain as calm as possible. We sincerely hope that the seriousness of the hour will not be saddened by personal injuries. We therefore appeal to the good sense of all military commanders to avoid any confrontation with the Armed Forces. Apart from being unnecessary, such action would only create or aggravate serious divisions between Portuguese people, which must be avoided at all costs. It is because of our concern to spare Portuguese blood that we are appealing for a civic spirit. All medical personnel, especially those in hospitals, should hold themselves ready to give help, though it is hoped this will not be needed. To all political and military forces, the Command advises maximum caution to avoid any action which may be dangerqus. It is not our intention to shed blood unneeessarily, but if we meet provocation we shall deal with it. Go back to your quarters, and wait for orders which will be given by the Movement of the Armed Forces. Commanders will be held responsible for any attempt, in any form whatsoever, to lead their sub-ordinates into conflict with the Armed Forces We appeal to the forces of the GNR (National Guard) and PSP (Riot Police) - and even to the DGS (Political Police) and Portuguese Legion - who may have been recruited under false pretences to remember their civic duty of maintaining public order. In the present situation this can only be achieved if there is no reaction against the Armed Forces Attention, all military and police units. Since the Armed Forces have decided to take your place in the present situation any opposition to the troops which surround the city will be deak with drastically. By not obeying this advice you could provoke a senseless blood-bath, whose responsibility will be yours alone.


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