Book "Berliet, Chaimite and UMM - The Great Portuguese Military Vehicles"

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The book "Berliet, Chaimite and UMM - The Great Portuguese Military Vehicles", by Pedro Manuel Monteiro, is unique and original in the Portuguese editorial panorama. It will be published by Contra a Corrente.

We already knew for long that the great national military vehicles’ life would be subject of a book. The challenge was: what kind of book? Because their history was so long, fascinating, polemic and full of secrets. Loved by some, hated by others, the Berliet-Tramagal trucks, the armored Chaimite and the Cournil and UMM Alter jeeps fulfill missions both in war and in peace and were exported to different parts of the world. Their image is familiar far beyond the military headquarters, even among simple citizens that weren’t in the army. The national military History necessarily covers these names. They belong to the country’s history most fascinating decades.

This book is all about the history and the secrets of these great vehicles, but also those who made them, used them in tough conditions and those who preserve them for the future generations.

Pedro Monteiro recovers the memories and historical episodes from all the military vehicles build or assembled in Portugal. An opportunity to tell much more than just about machines. This is also a book about the key moments of our History, that many readers experienced themselves like the Colonial War, the April Revolution and the PREC (acronym for Revolutionary Process in progress).

Chaimite e Pandur em missão de paz no Kosovo (foto: Pedro Monteiro)

Chaimite e Pandur em missão de paz no Kosovo (foto: Pedro Monteiro)

The partnership between Duarte Ferreira and Berliet in Tramagal. The industrial spying case behind the Chaimite. The Tramagal prototype of a half-caterpillar vehicle. The war and peace operations all over the world. The Brazilian and South-Africans interest in the Chaimite. The role of the Berliet and the Chaimite during the 25th April uprising and the 25th November counterattack. The UMM history told by their founders. The last military order at Tramagal. The Dutch’s military Cournil. Pinochet’s interest regarding the Portuguese jeeps. The Chaimite farewell in Kosovo and Lithuania. The plants’ destiny. This book also includes the Pandur’s 10 years history, from its manufacture to its use in Portugal and abroad.

A book based in the people and the locations. More than 40 testimonies from who designed and build these vehicles, but also from overseas fighters and participants in the 25th April Revolution, the PREC and the peace missions abroad, including two exclusive reportages in Kosovo and Lithuania.

This is a prestige edition, limited to 750 numbered copies with 144 pages, densely illustrated with archive and actual pictures. According to the concept presented and the contents proposal, the book “Berliet, Chaimite and UMM – The Great Portuguese Military Vehicles” will be printed in a slightly quadrangular format (290 mm x 260 mm), in couché paper of higher weight (170 g), and hard cover.

About the author

The Author – Pedro Monteiro - Contributor of military subjects magazines, he is the Spanish magazine “Fuerzas Militares del Mundo” Portugal’s correspondent. In 2011, he published the monography “Military Vehicles of the Portuguese Army” and between 2008 and 2013, he published articles regarding military vehicles in “Motor Clássico” magazine. Specialized in photography reports (, he worked with military forces and nationals in Portugal, Lithuania and Kosovo. He lives currently in Holland, where he works for a large consumer goods multinational company.

The Editor - Alexandre Coutinho - Freelance journalist, 54, was born in Lisbon, where he completed a Mass Communication Degree and Master. He started his career in 1986, at the newspaper O Jornal, followed by the economic folder of the newspaper Expresso, as a journalist and editor (1998-2000), where he worked until 2010. From 2007 to 2014, he was “Sirius” magazine editor and, from 2015 to 2016, “Avião” magazine director. He is co-owner of the Contra a Corrente publishing house, founded in 2011. In 1995, he launched the webpages Viagens no Meu Planeta and Volta ao Mundo de Faca e Garfo in Janela na Web; and, in 2009, the blog Vida na Terra, at the Expresso website. He is also the author or co-author of several books like "O Mensageiro de Fidel", "Como se Faz um Presidente", "Chevrolet em Portugal", "Microcrédito em Portugal - Uma Nova Oportunidade", “Auto Palace – Um Século de Vida”, “A Irmandade dos Romeiros”, “F-16 Falcões e Jaguares”, “100 Anos Chevrolet”, “Opel Ampera – Nova era na mobilidade eléctrica”, “TAP Air Portugal”, “50 Anos Alouette III na Força Aérea”, “50 Anos Porsche 911 em Portugal”, “ÓculOs – História da óptica”, “Grupo OMNI – 25 Anos de Operação em Portugal” and “Land Rover em Portugal”. He was the editor of the collective book "50 Lojas com Histórias", for Expresso.

Berliet, Chaimite e UMM no Museu Militar de Elvas (foto: Pedro Monteiro)

Berliet, Chaimite e UMM no Museu Militar de Elvas (foto: Pedro Monteiro)

Budget and due dates

The Berliet, Chaimite and UMM – The Great Portuguese Military Vehicles’ edition has a perspective cost of €5325 for 750 copies printed. The amount raised through this crowdfunding campaign aims to secure, at least, 50% of the printing costs, the remaining to be covered by the book’s sales. To this cost adds the design and page making (€1500), pictures treatment (€300), copydesk and review (€350).

The PPL’s 5% commission cost (+ VAT) and the 2% bank transfers cost from the participants for a minimum €2500 minimum amount of €2500: €215,25.

This project work schedule will be six months (from November 2017 to April 2018), although a lot of the documentation and base material collection, as the interviews were made during 2016 and 2017.