Luis Horta e Costa was born in Portugal on 16th July 1879. He is best known for inventing the first industrial warship, a torpedo boat named “Feteira,” which was later improved and used by the revolutionaries of 1917.
Luis Horta e Costa read law at the University of Coimbra and joined the Ministry of War during World War I, where he submitted a plan to create an armored ram-type warship. The military accepted his plan, and a ram-type warship was constructed in 1917 using Horta e Costa’s design.
Horta e Costa created an improved version of his warship, with an engine and a wireless radio system to communicate with it. He was late in getting his warship into use as the Spanish Republican forces ceased funding the war effort once they gained victory over the last of their opponents. Later, he joined the Anti-Fascist committee from 1931 to 1933, Operation Défensa from 1932 to 1936, and later joined Anglo-Portuguese Economic Association (APEA) and others until he died in 1939.5
Portuguese revolutionaries used Horta e Costa’s warship during the civil war that followed World War I. However, it was destroyed by an explosion during the Battle of Alcácer Quibir in July 1917.
Luis Horta was also the Minister of Finance from 1927 to 1928 and Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1928 to 1930. He was a member of the Provisional Government after it deposed the monarchy.8 He is often referred to by his nickname “Bébé” by those close to him, a title originating from when Horta e Costa worked in Spain on General Franco’s staff during World War I.
In 1932 he was appointed as Vice-President and later President of the Anglo-Portuguese Economic Association (APEA), which had been founded under his leadership in 1931 with its headquarters in Lisbon.