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Marinha de Portugal (Command).svg

Admiral's Flag

Order of Christ

Cross of the "Order of Christ", featured on the sails of Portuguese ships during the Age of Discovery

The Portuguese Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of Portugal, founded in the 12th century. The navy was founded around 1180, the year that King Afonso I of Portugal's fleet defeated a Moorish fleet near Cape Espichel during the Reconquista. In 1317, the navy became the permanent navy of Portugal during the reign of King Denis of Portugal, and the navy attacked Muslim ports in North Africa in 1321. At the end of the 14th century, Portugal became the world's first naval power due to its role in the exploration of the oceans and the expansion of Portugal's colonial empire. In 1415, Portugal conquered Ceuta in Morocco, and exploration in West Africa began in 1412 before the Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. Prince Henry the Navigator established a school of exploration in Portugal, encouraging explorers to travel the seas and find new lands. In 1500, Portugal claimed Brazil as a colony, and it conquered Diu in India in 1509, conquered the Moroccan cities of Safim, Azamor, Mazagao, and Mogador, destroyed an Ottoman armada near Suez in the Red Sea in 1542, and conquered Tunis, Tunisia in 1535. From 1580 to 1640, Portugal and Spain were united under a "dual monarchy", the Iberian Union, and France, England, and the United Provinces began to attack Portuguese shipping and colonial possessions as a part of the Dutch Revolt and the Thirty Years' War. Although Portugal gained its independence from Spain in 1640, its navy was no longer the most powerful in the world, and its role would become solely to defend the empire, not to expand it. In the 19th century, the Portuguese Armada gradually replaced its sail ships with ironclad warships and took part in the exploration of the African interior.

Notable chiefs of the navy:

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