Fighting involving the Portuguese Expeditionary Force (CEP)

The CEP did not participate in battles, as in the trench war the majority of confrontations in which the Portuguese troops were involved, due to the number of people involved, and to the objectives (capture of prisoners, collection of information on the enemy lines, undermine the enemy’s stamina by wearing it out physically and psychologically), may not be accurately classified as battles, but rather as fighting (which suggest a smaller dimension), most often as raids (incursions of infantry troops into the German trenches) or defensive operations when the Germans took the initiative of attacking. Artillery duels also occurred sometimes, though these, not requiring any intervention of the infantry, were not very frequent in the Portuguese sector.

The greatest battle that involved the Portuguese forces was La Lys (April 9, 1918), which was part of a vast German offensive (throughout the Spring of 1918) launched with the purpose of puncturing through the Allied lines. This battle was one amongst several others that have occurred in the context of such offensive, whose main objective was reaching the Atlantic coast.

The most significant infantry fighting involving CEP troops, according to Alves Fraga, occurred on the following days:
26 July
August 14
August 23
10 November
22 November
March 2
March 7
March 9
March 12
March 18
2/3 April

In the aftermath of La Lys and throughout the last months of the war, some CEP troops were incorporated into the British forces, and participated in the chase of Germans as they withdrew along the shores of the Scheldt.


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