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War for Africa: Twelve Months That Transformed a Continent.

Fred Bridgland .

9 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 187480012X / ISBN 13: 9781874800125
Published by Ashanti Publishing Ltd., Queensway, Gibraltar, 1992
From Black Cat Hill Books (Oregon City, OR, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Very Good in Very Good DJ: Both book and DJ show indications of moderate use. The Book shows moderate wear to the extremities, very slight spine lean; considerable rubbing to the panels; the faintest soiling; the binding is secure; the text clean, but an inked price and another small bit of writing have been blacked out with marker pen at the front free endpaper. The DJ shows moderate rubbing and a hint of soiling; considerable wear to the extremities, with several short, closed tears and scant loss to chipping and rubbing; unclipped. A structurally sound and tightly bound copy, showing some wear, but with a clean text in a lightly worn but intact DJ. NOT a Remainder, Book-Club, or Ex-Library. 8vo. 403 pages. Endpaper Maps. Liberally illustrated with photographs in Color and black & white. Numerous Maps in black & white. First Edition [1990]; Second Printing [1991]. Hardback with DJ. An ambitious title but one that in retrospect may be accurate. This book covers the period from summer 1987 to summer 1988, encompassing South African Defense Force Operations Moduler, Hooper, and Packer, also known more widely for the fighting around Cuito Cuanavale, Angola. It is that last, Cuito Cuanavale, that remains even today, some 24 years later, a hotly debated and contentious topic fraught with issues of race, ideology, memory, and pain. There is a struggle, a war over memory when it comes to this twelve-month period in history. The author addresses some of that in the end of the book. But it is best probably to let the reader make up their own mind about victory, defeat, the tactical, the political, goals met and goals unachieved. To quote Trotsky, "If you want the truth you must first compare the lies." Not to say that this is a book full of lies. It is actually very even handed sticking more to the experience of the events than an evaluation of the events. What the author does very well in this text is take you into the fighting on the ground and in the air in southern Angola in 1987-1988. The author is a journalist but the writing approach is less hard, factual, pyramid journalism and more akin to the personal interest and storytelling model. The writing makes for very easy and quick reading in its choice of anecdotes, syntax, and organization. The author was limited in his access to the Angolan and Cuban/Soviet side of the story so it is mostly told from the South African experience. It must be remembered that the author was responsible at the time for revealing that South Africa indeed had troops in Angola contrary to the official reports. He expressed hope in the introduction that someday the other side of the story will be fully told. What the reader gets is a good narrative of the operations at all levels from the front line troepie to the heads of state and their representatives negotiating a settlement. The personal stories . usually two or three pages each, are compelling and honest. Especially riveting is the violence and the frustration that occurred in the Three Battles for the Tumpo Triangle. The attentive reader will gain a great understanding not just of the organization, methods, and ethos of the various sides engaged in this epic Cold War struggle for Southern Africa but of the Clausewitzian nature of war itself. How the actions of a few on the ground reverberate in the policy choices and negotiations at the strategic level and how sometimes the frustrating limitations at the tactical level are required at the strategic in order to achieve the political goals of the state. Basically you gain a full understanding that war is a continuation of politics and is conducted ultimately with a political aim. This book is one of the best at laying this out and explaining it through real events, actions, and restrictions that I have encountered. Returning to the title and its claim of continental transformation it is important to remember that the events in this book occurred near the end of the Col War - that they are part of t. Bookseller Inventory # 44779

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Bibliographic Details

Title: War for Africa: Twelve Months That ...

Publisher: Ashanti Publishing Ltd., Queensway, Gibraltar

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Before southern Africa's peace there came the war. Between August 1987 and July 1988 Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, the south African Defence Force, Angolan government forces directed by Soviet officers and an Angolan opposition guerrilla army trained by Red China, France and the United States clashed in the biggest land battles in the history of black Africa. It was a fierce collision of ideologies and of modern warplanes, missiles and tanks across one of the world's most remote and undeveloped terrains known to Angola's former Portuguese colonial rulers as the Land at the End of the Earth. Thousands of men died and thousands more were terribly maimed. Weapons and ammunition worth billions of collars were destroyed and expended. The Angolan economy was crippled. The budgets of Cuba, South Africa and the Soviet Union were subjected to terrible strains. It was a War for Africa's very soul. It culminated in a peace agreement, the New York Accords, signed on 22 December 1988,. The reader will learn what it is like to encounter an advanced Soviet MiG fighter in a French Mirage warplane 30,000 feet above the forests of Africa; what emotion grip a reconnaissance commando lying unseen inside Cuban lines within feet of enemy soldiers; how it feels in an armoured car to face a Soviet T-55 tank at just 30 feet in burning bush and swirling dust and smoke. This is, however, far more than just an account of men in battle. Woven through are details of the political background to the conflict and the diplomatic initiatives which governed the lives and deaths of young Cuban, South African and Angolan men at the front. It is, all in all, a story of African fighting on an unprecedented scale, the international intrigue spanning several continents, and the new opportunities it opened up for democracy to 100 million people in five countries.

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