War of Intervention in Angola...

... Volume 2: Angolan & Cuban Forces at War, 1976-1983, from Helion Books, via Casemate Books

Title:  War of Intervention in Angola, Vol.2

Author: Adrien Fontanellaz

Publisher:  Helion Books

ISBN:  978-1-911628-65-1

Number 34 in their Africa at War series continues the story of the War in Angola, this time between the years 1976 and 1983. Angola, one of the largest countries in Africa had been a Portuguese colony but gained independence in 1975. After that, the various internal factions started to fight among themselves, but looking to outside help for their causes.

I remember the civil war taking place, and as very clear from this book, notable for their use of initials to identify the different factions. The ruling MPLA and opposing UNITA and FNLA. Each had different supporters, perhaps due not only to politics but also for the benefits of the rich natural resources of the country. In the book we get the story behind the events of the civil war, through to 1983, though that was not the end of the conflict.  The MPLA were supported by the Soviet Union with equipment and advisors, while Cuba provided additional help, which included ground troops. UNITA had support from both China and South Africa, while the FNLA had support from US, French and Zaire governments.  With lots of outside support, the Angolan Civil War was one of the major hotspots of the era. The period covered ends with the significant battle at Cangamba.

The book gives us the historical story of the period, and the involvement of the various groups and personalities, and in common with the series, features archive photos, maps, data tables and a section of colour profile artwork, illustrating a mix of equipment operated in the country and particularly with Soviet supplied armoured vehicles.

This makes for some interesting reading, and fills out the story which I can remember in part from news stories at the time. It isn't the end of the story of the Angolan civil war, so we should expect more to follow. Another fine addition to the Africa@War series.

Distributed by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.