World War, 1914-1918
Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815
The dispatch of the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps (CEP) to France in 1917 was envisaged by Portuguese interventionists as an affirmation of Portugal’s desire to reclaim an independent role in world affairs, emerging from the shadow of British influence. However, the CEP relied on the much larger British Expeditionary Force for instruction, supply, and guidance. The relationship between the two armies was fraught with difficulty and cultural misunderstandings due in large measure to a very different reading of their joint campaign against Napoleon in the Peninsular War, fought a century earlier. The British desire to correct the CEP’s shortcomings was interpreted within the CEP as a desire to subjugate the Portuguese and to take credit for whatever they might accomplish on the battlefield.