High-relief Bronze, UNC
90 mm (3-1/2”), 288 grams
HISTORY: A 52-year tribute to the sailor’s revolt on September 8, 1936, this large medal commemorates the tragic events of that day in Portuguese history.
It was the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. Francisco Franco had taken control of Spain’s army and government. Many Portuguese nationals lived in cities along Spain’s coast that Portugal intended to rescue and return to their homeland. For this purpose, the Portuguese Navy sent three ships (the Bartolomeu Dias, the AAA Albuquerque, and the destroyer Give) to conduct this mission. When this armada pulled into port, Franco’s troops were waiting for them and gave them permission to offboard. The officers disembarked, leaving behind the sailors who declined to go ashore.
The sailors revolted and took over, refusing to allow the fascist army to commandeer their ships. That night saw an exchange of artillery and small arms fire that left the sailors outgunned. Of the 200 sailors involved, five died in the battle; 92 prisoners were tried in Franco’s military court; 82 were condemned to imprisonment; and 34 were sent to the island of Santiago in Ria de Arosa, Spain, where five died of ill treatment. These courageous men bore the first wrath of Franco’s power and are remembered to this day in their Portuguese homeland as heroes of democracy.
OBVERSE: A bound and tortured sailor is shown on the left, a folded paper boat on the right. Signed by Portuguese sculptor “PeCurto” (Jorge Pé-Curto (1957– )).
REVERSE: “HOMENAGEM AOS,” “MARINHEIROS DA,” “REVOLTA DO 8 DE,” and “SETEMBRO DE 1936” is followed by “Comissão Promotora–1998.”