Operation Green Sea

Green Sea Operation
Portuguese invasion of Guinea, 1970
Part of Guinea-Bissau War of Independence
Date 22 November 1970
Location Conakry, Guinea
Result Limited Portuguese success, all 26 Portuguese POWs rescued, PAIGC and Guinean ships and air force assets destroyed; failure to capture or kill Amílcar Cabral and Ahmed Sékou Touré.
Portugal Portuguese Military
Guinea Guinean dissident forces
Guinea Guinean People's Militia
Flag of PAIGC.svg PAIGC
Commanders and leaders
Portugal Alpoim Calvão
Portugal António de Spínola
Portugal Rebordão de Brito
Guinea Sekou Toure
Flag of PAIGC.svg Amílcar Cabral
220 Portuguese
200 Guinean opponents[ citation needed]
Casualties and losses
1 Portuguese and 7 Guineans killed[ citation needed] 52 to 500 (according to different sources)[ citation needed]

The Operation Green Sea ( Portuguese: Operação Mar Verde) was an amphibious attack on Conakry, the capital of Guinea, by between 350 and 420 Portuguese soldiers and Portuguese-led Guinean fighters in November 1970. [1] The goals of the operation included the overthrow of Ahmed Sékou Touré's government, capture of the leader of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), Amílcar Cabral, destruction of the naval and air assets of the PAIGC and its Guinean supporters, and the rescue of Portuguese POWs held in Conakry.

The attackers withdrew after rescuing the POWs and destroying some PAIGC ships and Guinean air force infrastructure, but failed to capture Amílcar Cabral, the leader of PAIGC guerrillas, or to topple the regime of Guinean leader Ahmed Sékou Touré.


In 1952, Ahmed Sékou Touré became the leader of the Guinean Democratic Party (PDG). In 1957, Guinea had an election in which the PDG won 56 of 60 seats. The PDG conducted a plebiscite in September 1958 by which Guineans overwhelmingly opted for immediate independence rather than for continued association with France. The French withdrew and, on 2 October 1958, Guinea proclaimed itself a sovereign and independent republic with Touré as its President.

In 1960, Touré welcomed to Guinea and supported Amílcar Cabral and his organization, the PAIGC, which was seeking the independence of Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) and Cape Verde from Portugal. [2] In 1963, the PAIGC began the Guinea-Bissau War of Independence. [3]