Steven’s Commandos for the Portuguese Colonial War

I have blogged before about my figures for the Portuguese Colonial War but they were on on individual bases. Now I have rebased for Fogo Cruzado – my period specific variant of Crossfire. That means each base is a fire team. I had to expand the numbers considerably. This week features my commando combat group.

Portuguese Commando Combat Group 01 Close Up

Portuguese Commando Combat Group 01 Close Up


Order of Battle

The Commandos (Comandos) were one of the Intervention units (unidades de intervenção). The Commando Order of Battle, based on teams of five men, facilitated insertion by helicopter. The presence or absence of the back up team with RPG indicates whether Commando unit was from a “heavy” or “light” company. Commandos on patrol carried a lot of support weapons so had surprisingly few rifle teams.

Intervention unit (unidade de intervenção)

  • 1 x Command Team (+2)
  • 3 x Battle Rifle + LMG Teams
  • 0 – 1 x Back up Team1,2
    • 1 x Commander (+1)
    • 2 x RPG Teams
  • 0 – 3 x On-table 60mm Mortar team2
  • 0 – 5 x Alouette III (“Cannibal”) Helicopters3
  • 0 – 1 x Alouette III (“Wicked Wolf”) Gunship4
  • Morale: Veteran
  • Command and Control: Good
  • Reckless

Notes:
(1) available to Heli-bourne Heavy Company but not the Heli-bourne Light Companies.
(2) available when on patrol; commandos on patrol carried a lot of support weapons, both bazookas and mortars.
(3) one “Cannibal” troop carrier for each of the Command Team, the Battle Rifle + LMG Teams, and the Back up Team. But not for the mortar teams.
(4) the “Wicked Wolf” is only available if the troop carriers are present.

Portuguese Commando Combat Group 02

Portuguese Commando Combat Group 02

See my Portuguese Order of Battle and Fogo Cruzado Order of Battle for more details.


Painting

I painted them all. I use the Black Undercoat Method of painting and used my painting guide for the Portuguese Colonial War. The basing style involves Sand, Flat Earth paint, and Dry Brushing. Except where noted all figures are the 15mm range from Peter Pig, and predominately from Range 17 AK47 Republic. They are organised using the Portuguese Order of Battle.

Originally the Commando uniform had basically no distinguishing features with the camo and chestnut beret of all the infantry. Some unofficial differentiators crept in fairly quickly, the most obvious being the crimson neckerchief. Commandoes wore the normal Portuguese cap in the field but but I have elected to give my commando’s berets to distinguish them from the Caçadores.

I’ve gone for a commando unit raised in Africa – it includes both blacks and whites.

Portuguese Commando Combat Group 01

Portuguese Commando Combat Group 01


Commander Team

The head honcho is on a Command Team stand. For figures: officer, radio operator, medic and runner. All the figures are standard Peter Pig with G3 rifle. I have mixed together figures with the commando beret and the normal Portuguese cap because, although commandos normally wore the cap in the field, the beret is distinctive.

Portuguese Commando Command Team - Front

Portuguese Commando Command Team – Front

The radio is just a lump of mili-put shaped into a block and attached to a normal figure with G3.

Portuguese Commando Command Team - Back

Portuguese Commando Command Team – Back


Battle Rifle + LMG Teams

The main stay of the combat group are the riflemen. Technically they are Battle Rifle + LMG Teams as each stand has a squad support weapon. Two teams have the MG42 and one a captured Russian LMG. The MG42 guys are converted from WW2 Germans; the packs were hacked off and a Portuguese head added.

Portuguese Commando Rifle Teams - Front

Portuguese Commando Rifle Teams – Front

Portuguese Commando Rifle Teams - Back

Portuguese Commando Rifle Teams – Back


Back up Team

A Heavy Company had an extra transport helicopter carrying the back-up team of two RPG teams and an officer.

The officer lacks the supporting men, they wouldn’t fit in the Alouette, so is just a single figure on a base – a Commander in my rules. He doesn’t look much but his presence will give the commandos a edge on the table for close combat and rallying.

Portuguese Commando Commander - Front

Portuguese Commando Commander – Front

Portuguese Commando Commander Back

Portuguese Commando Commander Back

The Back Up team has two Bazooka Teams. Each of two figures on a small base. One of the teams has an actual, factual American bazooka, although the crew have been converted to Portuguese. The other team uses a captured RPG.

Portuguese Commando Bazooka Teams - Front

Portuguese Commando Bazooka Teams – Front

Portuguese Commando Bazooka Teams - Back

Portuguese Commando Bazooka Teams – Back


Mortars

On patrol a commando combat group would have both the bazookas and light mortars. Half the combat group would have been allocated to heavy weapon support teams. I’ve given myself three mortar teams. All of the mortar teams were converted from US mortar crew.

Portuguese Commando Mortar Teams - Front

Portuguese Commando Mortar Teams – Front

Portuguese Commando Mortar Teams - Back

Portuguese Commando Mortar Teams – Back


Scout or Sentry Team

Lastly I’ve given myself a two man Scout or Sentry Team. Great for patrolling or camp security. The guy with his G3 pointing up is a converted post-war German soldier from QRF.

Portuguese Commando Scout or Sentry - Front

Portuguese Commando Scout or Sentry – Front

Portuguese Commando Scout or Sentry - Back

Portuguese Commando Scout or Sentry – Back

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