Alternative History
Interim Government of the Portuguese Islands
Timeline: 1983: Doomsday

OTL equivalent: Portugal, Azores Islands, Madeira.
Flag Coat of Arms
Flag Coat of Arms
A map of Portugal. (Alt text)
Portugal and military inset in light green, Cabo Verde in dark green. Sector capitals in red, national capital in blue.
Através de crise nos tornamos grandes. (Through crisis we become great.)
Capital Ponta Delgada
Largest city Ponta Delgada, Funchal
Other cities Porto Novo, Santa Cruz, Porto Santo
Language Portuguese (Official)
Religion Roman Catholic
Government Presidential Republic
Area 3,128 km²
Population approximately 912,000. 
Currency Escudo

Portugal, officially called the Interim Government of the Portuguese Islands (IGPI), is the successor state to Pre-DD Portugal. It is formed from the former Portuguese archipelago of the Azores and the island of Madeira, as well as the northwestern area of former mainland Portugal. Portugal is associated with the Cabo Verde Republic. Portugal is a member of the ADC. The ADC Headquarters is located in Ponta Delgada.


The Interim Government of the Portuguese Islands (IGPI) is primarily an island nation. It is comprised of three Setores, or administrative sectors: the Açores, comprised of the Azores Islands, Madeira, comprised of the island of Madeira, and Noroeste, comprised of the northwest corner of mainland Portugal. The associated territory of Cabo Verde has it's own government, which negotiates with the IGPI in the Conselho Especial, or Special Council. Each of these sectors is further divided into concelhos, or municipalities. There are usually no more than three concelhos on each island, and in many cases each island consists of a single municipality. On the mainland, by contrast, a sector represents dozens of concelhos. The capital of Portugal is Ponta Delgada, located in the Azores Islands.

Portugal also lays claim to the entirety of Pre-Doomsday mainland Portugal. This claim is recognized by most of the world, however the Sicily Republic does not, which continues to be a source of tension between the two nations. The actual control that Portugal extends over the mainland is limited, however, to three military bases on the western coast, located near the ruins of Lisboa, Porto, and Portimão, as well as the recently assimilated Sector do Noroeste (Northwestern Sector). These bases were established in 1989, 1991, and 1995, respectively. The base near Lisboa has particular importance, as the Portuguese government declared the ruins of the formal capital a cultural memorial site on 26 September 2001.

Portugal is also currently engaged in a military campaign to scout out the remains of the former mainland. The investigations have stretched nearly to the eastern border. Most of the country is destroyed, and many former towns and cities are abandoned, bombed out shells. The areas around the cities of Lisboa and Porto, in particular, are completely abandoned, and still dangerous irradiated. Several towns around the countryside are relatively intact, including notably Faro, Guarda, and Évora, however they are mostly abandoned, as most mainland survivors encountered in the 1984 expeditions were evacuated to the islands.


The flag of the IGPI.

The flag used by the IGPI represents the various elements of current Portuguese territory and culture. All traditional elements and colours have been kept while elements of the islands flags have been integrated. The ocean blue stripe represents the now ocean-based territory of Portugal. This colour is also integral part of both the Azores and the Madeiran original flag.

The white-red cross represents Madeira while the nine yellow stars drawing a half -circle represent the nine main geographical groups of the Azores Islands.


Apart from the European mainland (which remains extremely improvised) Portugal has a rather large and prosperous economy for its size. Portugal's economy is based primarily around its relatively big (by post doomsday standards) manufacturing industry. A vast array of goods are manufactured here and shipped off to surviving European nations such as the Nordic Union, Spain, Celtic Alliance, among others. The country also serves as a major transportation hub for all ships or aircraft trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean. With travel between nations becoming less dangerous and more common a small tourism industry has recently developed in the past decade.

Portugal is a major weapons manufacturer. A great deal of personal arms and ammunitions are produced and exported around the world by three major companies; Cucos Arms, Guardian Manufactures, and Ilha Verde Designs.

Portugal also has large shipbuilding, electronics, and paper industries.


The Interim Government of the Portuguese Islands was established in eary 1985. It is a functional, unicameral republic. The government is divided into two technical branches; the Council and the Courts. In practice, the President and his secretaries constitute a third, executive branch. The Legislative Council is comprised of sixty-six elected councilmen, or vereadores, who represent the populations of the various territories of Portugal. Currently, 41 seats represent the Azores Islands, 21 seats represent the island of Medeira, and 4 seats represent the Noroeste Sector. The Legislative Council meets three times a week, and is empowered to pass new laws, levy taxes, raise an army, declare war, among other functions. The Councilmen of the Legislative Council are elected by direct vote every two years, with no limit to the number of terms they might serve.

The Legislative Council is led by the President, elected by a direct vote from the population every four years. There is no limit to the number of terms the President can serve. The President presides over each session of the Legislative Council, and has the executive authority to veto or sign new laws, direct the armed forces, enforce the laws, and direct foreign policy, among other functions. The President has a staff of secretaries that are in charge of supervising the duties of the executive branch. The secretaries are appointed by the president and approved by the rest of the Legislative Council. There are Secretaries currently in the Portuguese government: The Secretary of Operations, in charge of the military; the Secretary of Interior, in charge of infrastructure and energy; the Secretary of Commerce, in charge of trade and the economy; The Secretary of Affairs, in charge of foreign policy; the Secretary of Resources, in charge of natural resources and agriculture; and the Secretary of Services, in charge of social services and other federal organizations.

The Courts consist of Municipal Courts at the lowest levels, above which are the Sectorial Courts, above which is the National Court. All judges are federal employees are are appointed to their duties for eight year terms. There is no limit to the number of terms they can serve. They are appointed by the Legislative Council. They are in charge of watching over and regulating the actions of the Legislative Council and the President, ensuring that they fall in line with the constitution of the Interim Government.

The Cabo Verde islands are led by their own government. The two nations discuss agreements and cooperative legislation in the Special Council, which meets in Praia, Cabo Verde. This council is comprised of the Presidents of both nations and five appointed officials from each side. It mets whenever called to address a situation that effects both nations.


The Portuguese military mainly consists of Naval Forces and naval infantry units.

The frigate João Belo remains the flagship of the Portuguese navy. Two other frigates, the Galo and the São Miguel, are currently on active duty in the Portuguese navy. The Portuguese Navy also boasts two submarines. A number of integrated civilian freighters and light ships now serve as patrol boats and supply ships, including three recomissioned freighters that serve as infantry carriers, permanently stationed in Ponta Delgada as a defense fleet. The main task of the naval forces is to organize and protect the supply convoys heading to and coming from the neighbouring states against occasional pirate and foreign aggressor's attack.

A crucial point is the defense of the Port of Punta Delgada as it has become the main HUB for all transports between the surviving NATO - States Canada, Pais del Oro, Nordic Union, Portugal and the humanitarian aid convoys from Brazil, SAC and ANZC. For this purpose, the largest portion of military personnel is assigned to three civillian infantry carriers stationed in Ponta Delgada.

A similar situation is the protection of the International Airport at Punta Delgada. Having been the crossing point for all transatlantic airplane traffic until the mid-70's, it still has large facilities for aircraft as big as a Boeing 747. Surprisingly, the airport suffered no direct Nuclear attack. Today this is believed to be primarily due to the airport's importance steady decline through the 1970's. Still present in the memory of the population are the impressing efforts of the airport personnel on Doomsday to secure emergency landings of 12 passenger airplanes - all suffering from EMP interferences- in Ponta Delgada, saving hundreds.

Today it is one of the largest surviving airports in the northern hemisphere. Though air traffic is nearly almost limited to military and supply transports, the Airport has become quite frequented since 1998, especially due to re-initiated Norwegian Oil production activity.

The Portuguese units commonly operate together with units of the neigbouring nations, continuing the NATO-experienced cooperation.

The 2000's and current situation, Problems and Conflicts

An offer from 2000 of Brazil to formally join as a federate state has initiated a political dispute within the Interim Government whether to remain independent or take the offer. Until a solution is found, the government decided to stay out of the League of Nations.

There are also first signs of a Portuguese-speaking community - compromising what remains of Portugal, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau and Angola will be proclaimed, but negotiations prove extremely difficult on the matter. Since 2001, relations to the "Mafia" Republic on Sicily have cooled down significantly. Small military clashes between the aggressive Sicily and the Portuguese ally País del Oro in the Mediterranean Sea have led to increasing hostilities and even stronger ties to the direct neighbours.

An increasing problem is the refugee issue as more and more desperate West Europeans try to flee the Old Continent reach Portuguese, País del Oro, Nordic Union and Sicily territory. Though Portugal tries to help as many people as possible, passage to the Islands is only granted to Portuguese nationals and their families. This has led to rising aggressions along the refugees and even first clashes between them and Portuguese military.

Currently Portugal is consulting with Sicily, - despite all hostilities - the Spanish Republic, and the Nordic Union about how to solve this problem.

Starting in November of 2009, as per their membership in the ADC, Portuguese military forces fought in the Second Sicily War until its close in December of 2010. They also, in concert with Galicia, launched an invasion of a mainland region of Portugal near Galicia in October of 2010, establishing their first stable settlement on their mainland territories under the safety of their ally.


Prior to DD, Portugal was a fledgling republic and member of NATO. It had just recovered from the colonial wars and the April 1974 Carnation Revolution and emerged as stronger, brighter nation. President António Ramalho Eanes has just been re-elected in 1983 to become President a second time. Portugal was improving economically, approaching the level of other European states. The future looked bright as prosperity increased and Portugal looked towards closer integration with western Europe.

Doomsday (26 September 1983)

On 26 September 1983, at 2:47 AM, A 500kt warhead exploded over downtown Lisboa,causing mass destruction and death. The entire city of Lisboa proper was utterly destroyed, with the entire population vaporized and many buildings knocked over or destroyed. The wider urban area of Lisboa suffered wide-spread destruction as well, with the better part of 35% casualties in the initial destruction. The Lisboa Blast was felt as far away as Santarem, and killed around 1.4 million citizens.

Three minutes later (2:50 AM) in Oporto, another 500kt warhead exploded over the city's historical district, utterly destroying the entire city. The blast extended out into the metropolitan areas of the city, causing widespread casualties and destruction. The initial blast and destruction of the Oporto Blast killed approximately 725,000 citizens and obliterated the hub of northern industry and infrastructure in the country.

A second wave arrived soon after; at 3:02 AM and a tactical warhead with a yield of 500kt struck the Monte Real air base, destroying the bases and crippling any NATO capacity to retaliate in the region. Monte Real was caught unprepared, leading to the complete destruction of the base and the death of all personnel assigned to it.

Roughly six million Portuguese died on Doomsday or the days following directly afterwards.

Emergency plans proved mostly ineffective in the short-term. Portuguese and Spanish security forces worked together to attempt to organize the survivors, but without a cohesive government structure or working communications, individual communities were left to fend for themselves. Military personnel, in general, did not respond to federal summons and instead operated independently at the local level to organize individual communities and families. With the threat of radioactive fallout spreading across continental Europe, all plans were made for the short-term.

Meanwhile, on the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores, a state of emergency was declared. With only scattered reports from the mainland of utter destruction, the governments of the islands set about the grim task of preparing to survive on their own. Inspiringly, on Doomsday, the airport officials at Ponta Delgada in the Azores guided twelve malfunctioning passenger planes to emergency landings at the PDL airport, saving hundreds of nationals and foreigners alike.

Almost all government officials were killed or went missing during Doomsday. The only cohesive government body left was a small parliamentary delegation who were aboard "Comandante João Belo", a Portuguese frigate. At the time, the frigate was performing a demonstration of an amphibious landing operation along the southwestern coast.

Upon receiving news of Doomsday, the demonstration was immediately cancelled. The crew of the frigate sent out emergency broadcasts to Lisbon in an effort to contact the remaining government structure. After three days with no response, an emergency council was convened, comprised of the ship's captain, the parliamentary delegation, and the navy generals observing the demonstration. After much deliberation, a course was set for the Azores Islands. Isolated from the shattered mainland and reporting no nuclear or tactical strikes, it seemed like one of the only places where order still survived.

The Comandante João Belo, accompanied by the submarine Albacora and two supply ships, headed first to Funchal on the Portuguese island of Madeira, where they resupplied and were joined by a second submarine, two frigates, and multiple supply ships. A military broadcast was sent out, ordering all navy and air force units to relocate to the Azores Islands. En route to the Azores, they were joined by the aircraft carrier Martelo, carrying eighteen fixed-wing aircraft and six helicopters. The fleet docked in Ponta Delgada, where they were greeted with great fanfare.

Restoration of Government (1983-1984)

The parliamentary delegation and navy generals met with the local government authorities immediately. An emergency session consisting of representatives from all intact Portuguese local governments. After two weeks of preparation and delay, the meeting was held. Representatives for each of the Azores Islands, as well as the island of Madeira, were present. The delegation from the Comandante João Belo stood in as representatives for the federal government.

Local military and security forces immediately cooperated with the emergency council to orchestrate emergency measures, including the rationing of food and water. However, it was nearly a month before a consensus could be reached on the path before the Portuguese government. It was decided that the Ponta Delgada, provincial capital of the Azores Islands, would become the seat of government and capital for the new Portuguese government. Vitor Alves, advisor to the late president Ramalho Eanes, was appointed as the provisional head of state, with plans for a democratic election in the near future.

Public order held together reasonably well under Alves' leadership, due in part to his reputation as a hero in the Carnation Revolution. As the last remaining navy ships and military craft trickled in, the provisional government set about restoring order. Multiple civilian freighters were requisitioned by the government in order to build a sufficient naval fleet to ship vital supplies between the islands.

The Wider World (1984)

In May of 1984, with supply lines firmly established and public rule established, Alves gave the famous Aftermath Address, discussing the state of Portugal and establishing the path towards the future. A transcript of the main body of the speech is found below:

"My friends, my countrymen, my brothers in arms, our nation, and indeed the whole world, has suffered an unimaginable catastrophe. There are no words that can describe the loss and sorrow that the people of Portugal and the people of Earth have suffered. We shall never forget our brothers and sisters who fell in the senseless destruction on 26 September. The world will never be the same.

But I stand before you today, my brothers and sisters, to tell you that we survived. We have walked through the valley of the shadow of death and come out into the sun! The road before us is long and difficult, make no mistake. But you and I are alive to walk down this road, holding the memories of those lost on our shoulders. It is up to us to build a new future that we can look upon with pride!

It is to that end that we must move forward. We must extend our hand in aid to our brothers and sisters still left behind in the homeland. We must reach out to our brothers and sisters across the world and welcome them home. We will become one, united, standing in brotherhood against the darkness! We will rebuild, we will survive, and by God, Portugal will prosper!"

Greeted to shattering applause and cheers, Vitor Alves won the popular support of the Portuguese people that day. Backed by popular opinion and his own supporters, he pushed the Mainland Recovery Plan through the emergency council. The opposition, who advocated a more conservative and cautious plan that centered on building up the infrastructure of the islands, were streamrolled. On 7 July 1984, a small fleet of Portuguese ships set out from Ponta Delgada, comprised of two frigates and about a half-dozen supply and troop freighters, lead by the aircraft carrier Martelo.

The First Recovery Squadron (Designation 1ER), as it was called, encountered pure chaos and destruction on most of the Portuguese mainland. With widespread destruction and radioactivity, the coast appeared to be in complete destruction. Lisboa and Porto, in particular, were nothing but bombed-out shells of cities, coated with radioactivity.Large numbers of refugees, those that didn't flee to Spain, flocked to the south, gathering in the remains of Portimão, which of all the Portuguese cities remained somewhat intact. The mainland was quickly declared a quarantine zone in light of the complete havoc. The 1ER ferried as many refugees back to Portugal as possible, returning to Ponta Delgada. The 1ER was immediately assigned an ongoing mission to establish a base in the region and bring the Portimão refugees to Portuguese territory.

Meanwhile, the official government in Pont Delgada attempted to make radio contact with any surviving foreign governments. The first foreign contact was established with the Spanish Canary Islands, who were in a similar exile situation. Diplomatic relations were established, though they were tempered by a suspicion of the emergency military control of the Spanish government. The next contact came from intact government of Iceland. Supply trades were established with the other island nations, a system that would prove deeply integral in the coming years.

No official response could be obtained from Africa, Europe, or North America. The only communication came from amateur radio operators sending out desperate broadcasts detailing death and destruction from the continental mainlands. For the remainder of the year, the Portuguese government focused on recovering the survivors on the mainland, an operation which took four years and recovered masses of displaced Portuguese nationals.

A New Government (1985)

Having secured a lifeline for the Portuguese survivors, the emergency council was beginning to outlive it's usefulness, and, more importantly, it's popular support. Although the nation of Portugal was very much still in crisis, life was settling down, and the immediate dangers had been averted. The people began to call for an immediate diplomatic election. No voice was more vocal than that of Alves himself. The democratic election was announced on 19 January 1985, to take place on March 26. The emergency council drew up plans for the new republic with a strong central government.

Government lines were drawn as the hurried campaigns took off. On one side was Alves, military hero and incumbent. The opposition backed Manuelo Palha, a local Azorean politician. Palha advocated a more cautious approach to politics, advocating a Portugal First policy of mercantilism, citing the unreliability of world trade after such a tremulous event.

There was little real competition when the election occurred. Alves was elected Presidente in a landslide victory, 63% to Palha's 37%. Palha was regulated to Vice President. Of the fifty seats in the newly created Legislative Council, twenty-nine Alves' supporters were elected. Palha's supporters won fifteen seats, and independent politicians from Madeira won the other six. The courts were likewise filled with Alves' supporters, ensuring a government that leaned towards the war hero's policies. Though diplomatic debate was healthy and rampant, it was clear that the majority of the nation was in support of the first President.

Contact And Reclamation (1985-1992)

In 1986, the IGPI made official contact with the Canadian Remainder Government. Two way communication was immediately set up. As the Pais Del Oro, the successor state to the Spanish government, continued to solidify, relations with the culturally similar nation also solidified. Another Spanish successor state, the Republic of Galicia, attempted to form diplomatic contact with Portugal in 1987. Portugal refused to pledge support to the fledgling nation, however, due to massive pressure from the Pais Del Oro government. However, in 1990, Portugal overrode Pais Del Oro protests and officially recognized the Republic of Galicia.

In 1989, the former Portuguese colony in the Cape Verde Islands became associated with Portugal once more.

In 1990, Portugal formed diplomatic ties with the newly formed Nordic Union. This transition was made easy by Portugal's strong relationship with the member state of Iceland. In that same year, Portugal made contact with the SAC state of Brazil. An official trade lane was established between the two nations, and an aid transport arrived from Brazil in June. A constant trade of mutual aid supplies opened up between the two nations, forming strong ties and sending relief through the Portuguese nation.

A remarkable event was the sudden and surprising contact with the reconnaissance submarine "Benjamin Franklin" arriving from Australia in spring 1991. Little news of the outer world have reached the Interim Government until then. Officially, diplomatic relations to Australia and New Zealand were re-established August 17th.

Quickly, the "Albacora" was ordered to accompany the Franklin for the European part of his recon mission.

Contact was made with the Celtic Alliance in 1992, the same year in which the nation of Canada re-established official ties with Portugal.

In 2004, Portugal, along with the SAC and the Celtic Alliance, successfully put pressure on Pais del Oro to recognize the states of Galicia, Asturia and the Basque Country.

In 2006, Portugal assisted Pais del Oro in expelling the Sicilian military from the island of Ibiza.

See also