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April Captains (Capitães de Abril)

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April Captains (Capitães de Abril)
Capitaes de Abril.jpg
Portuguese Poster
Country Portugal.jpg Portugal
ESP.jpg Spain
ITA.jpg Italy
FRA.jpg France
Directed by Maria de Medeiros
Release Date 2000
Language Portuguese
Studio Alia Film
France 2 Cinéma
Main Cast
Character Actor
Capt. Salgueiro Maia Stefano Accorsi
Antónia Maria de Medeiros
Capt. Manuel Navais Frédéric Pierrot
Major Gervásio Joaquim de Almeida
Lt. Lobão Fele Martínez

April Captains (Capitães de Abril) is a 2000 Portuguese-Spanish-Italian-French historical drama film about the Portuguese Carnation Revolution in April 1974, a bloodless coup that saw the authoritarian Estado Novo that had ruled Portugal for over forty years overthrown by the Movimento das Forças Armadas (Armed Forces Movement), a revolutionary organization with Portuguese Army. The main character of the film is Capt. Salgueiro Maia (Stefano Accorsi), a real person who was one of the leaders of the revolution.

The following weapons were used in the film April Captains (Capitães de Abril):


Walther P38

Walther P38 pistols are the standard sidearms of Portuguese officers. Manuhrin-manufactured P38s were used by Portuguese army for several decades under the name m/961.

Walther P38 WWII dated with black grips - 9x19mm
Lt. Lobão (Fele Martínez) surrenders his P38 to Capt. Maio.
Capt. Manuel Navais (Frédéric Pierrot) holds a radio announcer at gunpoint.
Capt. Chamarro (António Capelo) takes Silva (Marcantonio Del Carlo) as hostage.
Silva holds two P38s.
Manuel with a P38.
Two of Manuel's commandos arrest Chamarro.

Luger P08

General Pais' (Luís Miguel Cintra) personal handgun appears to be Luger P08.

Luger P08 - 9x19mm
Gen. Pais aims his pistol at Capt. Maia.
He lowers the pistol. Blurry but still identifiable image of Luger.

Submachine Guns

FBP m/948

FBP m/948s are used by two of Manuel Navais' commandos, Botelho (Emmanuel Salinger) and Silva (Marcantonio Del Carlo), during the taking of radio station.

FBP m/948 - 9x19mm
Two m/948s (one with disassembled barrel) are seen in the trunk of Manuel's car together with a Heckler & Koch G3.
One of Manuel's commandos aims his m/948 at radio station personnel.
Botelho with an m/948.
One of Manuel's commandos holds a group of policemen under arrest.

Star Z-45

In one scene Salieri (Henrique Canto e Castro), the chief of the DGS (Portuguese secret police), fires a submachine gun from the window of his headquarters. The SMG appears to be a Star Z45 fitted with an MP 40 barrel. Similar guns can be seen in the 1973 French movie La Valise, though it's hard to tell the reason for such a modification.

Star Model Z-45 folding stock - 9x23mm
MP 40 submachine gun - 9x19mm
The barrel looks like the MP 40's.
But the receiver is definitely from the Z-45.


Mauser Karabiner 98k

In the scene at the DGS headquarters, one of the agents is armed with a Mauser-style rifle with sniper scope. It appears to be a Karabiner 98k, which was the standard service rifle of the Portuguese army (as the m/937) until it was replaced with the Heckler & Koch G3.

Karabiner 98k Sniper with Zeiss ZF42 scope - 7.92x57mm Mauser
An agent with the sniper rifle.
Another view of the same scene.

Assault Rifles

Heckler & Koch G3

Portuguese soldiers are armed with Heckler & Koch G3 battle rifles (license-manufactured as the FMP m/961 (G3) and FMP m/963 (G3A3)). A G3 with sniper scope is carried by Capt. Salgueiro Maia (Stefano Accorsi) during the events.

Heckler & Koch G3A3 with slimline handguard - 7.62x51mm NATO
A G3 is seen in the trunk of Manuel's car together with two FBP m/948s.
Fonseca (Manuel João Vieira), one of Manuel's commandos, holds a G3 during the taking of radio station (at the left).
Lt. Fernandes (Manuel Lobão) holds a G3.
Numerous soldiers carry G3s, decorated with red and white carnations that became the symbol of the revolution.
A close view of the barrel of G3.
Soldiers with G3s.
G3A3ZF with Hensoldt 4x24 optical sight - 7.62x51mm NATO
Capt. Maia holds his G3 with sniper scope in the opening scene.
Capt. Maia carries a G3 with sniper scope. Next to him, one of his soldiers holds a standard G3.
Capt. Maia enters a room with rifle in hands.


In the scene at the DGS headquarters, one of the agents is armed with a folding-stock AKS-47 or AKMS. Such a weapon could be a trophy from the Portuguese Colonial War that was being fought in Africa during the film's events.

AKMS, stamped steel receiver w/ slant muzzle brake and under-folding stock - 7.62x39mm
A folding stock can be seen.
The distinct shape of an AK is seen.

Machine Guns


Some soldiers are seen with MG3 machine guns (known as the m/962 in Portuguese service).

MG3 Machine Gun - 7.62x51mm NATO
A marine at the left holds an MG3 when a marine squad arrests a group of DGS agents.
Another view of the same scene.
An MG3 is seen in DGS headquarters.
A marine at the right holds an MG3.


M60D machine guns are fitted on the turrets of M48A5 tanks.

M60D machine gun - 7.62x51mm NATO
Two M60D are seen atop the turret of M48A5.
A gunner readies his M60D at the order of Gen. Pais...
...but refuses to fire at Capt. Maia.

MAS AA-52 NF-1

MAS AA-52 NF-1 in 7.62x51mm caliber are mounted on AML-60 light armored cars coaxial with 60-mm breech loading mortars.

MAS AAT-52 Char - 7.5x54mm French
AML-60 with 60-mm main gun and AA-52 machine gun in turret.

Browning M2HB

A Browning M2HB is seen mounted atop of the turret of an M60 tank. It looks like an improvisation as the machine gun is mounted not on a pivot but on a standard infantry tripod. The M2HB is also seen mounted in AML-60 light armoured cars with HE-60-12 turrets.

Browning M2HB on M3 tripod - .50 BMG
An M2HB on a tripod is seen on the turret of M60 in center, next to the cupola with an M85 heavy machine gun.
An M2HB on a tripod is seen on the turret of M60 in center.
Major Gervásio (Joaquim de Almeida) atop the turret of AML-60. The comparative length of both guns allows to identify the turret as an HE-60-12 (see below for more about the HE-60-20).


M85 heavy machine guns are mounted in the cupolas of M60 tanks.

M85 heavy machine gun - .50 BMG
M85 machine guns are mounted on the M60s of Gen. Pais' unit.

Heckler & Koch HK21

A 6x6 armoured personnel carrier of Capt. Maia's unit (model unclear, maybe a French VAB) is fitted with a turret with twin machine guns. The turret is the same as used on the 4x4 Chaimite V-200, which is armed with two Heckler & Koch HK21 machine guns and a quintuple 60mm grenade launcher (a so-called "anti-ambush device", widely used during the war in Africa).

Heckler & Koch HK21 Machine Gun - 7.62x51mm NATO
Capt. Maia (Stefano Accorsi) sits atop the turret with twin machine guns.
A closer view of one of machine guns.
The APC with twin machine gun turret.

Browning M1919A4

A machine gun is mounted in the rear part of Bravia Chaimite light APC. Due to its general appearance, it appears to be a Browning M1919A4.

Browning M1919A4 - .30-06 Springfield
A machine gun is seen mounted on the Chaimite in the background.

Madsen Machine Gun

In the scene at the DGS headquarters, a machine gun with a top mounted magazine and a carry handle can be seen on the table with firearms. It is most likely a Portuguese version of the Madsen machine gun in 7.92mm caliber.

Portuguese Madsen machine gun - 7.92x57mm
The curved top-mounted magazine and carry handle are seen at the right.

Unknown 20mm Autocannon

Several AML-60s of Capt. Maia's unit are fitted with HE-60-20 turrets with 60mm mortars and 20mm autocannons. The exact model of 20-mm cannon is unclear as the HE-60-20 was manufactured with two different guns, the GIAT M693 or Oerlikon KAD-B16. The HE-60-20 can be identified from the HE-60-12 (with .50 BMG M2HB) due to the comparative barrel length: a 20mm barrel is longer than the one of the 60mm mortar while a .50 BMG barrel is shorter.

AML-60 with HE-60-20 turret. Note the comparative length of both guns.
A closer view of the turret with two barrels.

Bofors L/70 40mm

Bofors L/70 40mm autocannons are mounted on the corvette General Pereira D'Eça (F477).

Bofors 40mm L/70 - 40x365R mm
A twin mounting is seen behind the funnel.


Mk 2 Hand Grenade

In one scene, Capt. Salgueiro Maia (Stefano Accorsi) draws an Mk 2 Hand Grenade.

Mk 2 "Pineapple" High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
Capt. Maia takes a grenade before going to negotiate with Gen. Pais.
A close view of the grenade.


M40 Recoilless Rifle

Several jeeps of Capt. Maia's unit are armed with M40 Recoilless Rifles.

M40 Recoilless Rifle (Licensed in Japan as the Type 60) mounted on Type 73 Kyu jeep - 106mm Rocket
A jeep with an M40 recoilless rifle is seen in the motorpool.
A jeep with an M40 recoilless rifle on a Lisbon street.
A jeep with M40 is partially seen at the right.

60mm grenade launcher

A quintuple 60mm grenade launcher (a so-called "anti-ambush device", widely used during the war in Africa) is mounted atop the turret of a 6x6 armoured personnel carrier of Capt. Maia's unit.

A launcher is fitted atop the turret.
A closer view.


Tanks and Armored Cars

The mainstay of Capt. Maia's unit are two EBR-75 heavy armoured cars. They are accompanied by several AML-60 light armoured cars and armoured personnel carriers. During the confrontation with General Pais' troops, the latter have two M48A5 and three M60 tanks.

An EBR-75 on a Lisbon street.
A front view of an EBR-75.
An EBR-75 during the confrontation with Gen. Pais' tanks. Soldiers atop the turret are armed with Heckler & Koch G3 rifles.
An AML-60 on a Lisbon street.
The muzzle of a 60mm Brandt LR mortar. Capt. Maia (Stefano Accorsi) and Major Gervásio (Joaquim de Almeida) sit atop the turret.
AML-60 with HE-60-20 turret (60mm mortar and 20mm autocannon).
The APC of unclear model.
A Bravia Chaimite light APC is seen in the background.
General Pais' tanks: two M48A5 in the front row and three M60s behind them.
Two M48A5s.


The João Coutinho-class corvette General Pereira D'Eça is involved in the events. It is armed with a twin 76.2mm automatic cannon Mk.33 and two twin 40mm Bofors cannons.

Capitaes de Abril-Navy-1.jpg

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