Nominated for the NYMAS Arthur Goodzeit Book Award 2013 Portugal's three wars in Africa in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea (Guiné-Bissau today) lasted almost 13 years - longer than the United States Army fought in Vietnam. Yet they are among the most underreported conflicts of the modern era. Commonly referred to as Lisbon's Overseas War (Guerra do Ultramar) or in the former colonies, the War of Liberation (Guerra de Libertação), these struggles played a seminal role in ending white rule in Southern Africa. Though hardly on the scale of hostilities being fought in South East Asia, the casualty count by the time a military coup d'état took place in Lisbon in April 1974 was significant. It was certainly enough to cause Portugal to call a halt to violence and pull all its troops back to the Metropolis. Ultimately, Lisbon was to move out of Africa altogether, when hundreds of thousands of Portuguese nationals returned to Europe, the majority having left everything they owned behind. Independence for all th Indeed, on a recent visit to Central Mozambique in 2013, a youthful member of the American Peace Corps told this author that despite have former colonies, including the Atlantic islands, followed soon afterwards. Lisbon ruled its African territories for more than five centuries, not always undisputed by its black and mestizo subjects, but effectively enough to create a lasting Lusitanian tradition. That imprint is indelible and remains engraved in language, social mores and cultural traditions that sometimes have more in common with Europe than with Africa. Today, most of the newspapers in Luanda, Maputo - formerly Lourenco Marques - and Bissau are in Portuguese, as is the language taught in their schools and used by their respective representatives in international bodies to which they all subscribe. ing been embroiled in conflict with the Portuguese for many years in the 1960s and 1970s, he found the local people with whom he came into contact inordinately fond of their erstwhile 'colonial overlords'. As a foreign correspondent, Al Venter covered all three wars over more than a decade, spending lengthy periods in the territories while going on operations with the Portuguese army, marines and air force. In the process, he wrote several books on these conflicts, including a report on the conflict in Portuguese Guinea for the Munger Africana Library of the California Institute of Technology. Portugal's Guerrilla Wars in Africa represents an amalgam of these efforts. At the same time, this book is not an official history, but rather a journalist's perspective of military events as viewed by somebody who has made a career of reporting on overseas wars, Africa's especially. Venter's camera was always at hand; most of the images used between these covers are his. His approach is both intrusive and personal and he would like to believe that he has managed to record for posterity a tiny but vital segment of African history.
The Portuguese planning for and conduct of its 1961-1974 counterinsurgency campaign in Africa.
When Portugal's colonial rule in Angola ended in 1974, three liberation groups--UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), FNLA (National Front for the Liberation of Angola), and MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola)--agreed to a tripartite movement for the fledgling nation. Conflicts quickly arose and the MPLA, with Cuban and Soviet assistance, drove its rivals from the capital, instigating a civil war, which continues into three periods (1975-1991, 1992-94, and 1998-2002). This volume covers the first period, focusing on the political history of the UNITA movement and its struggles with the MPLA. The Angolan civil war was the product of personal jealousies, contrasting ideologies, and ethnic animosities. From its inception, the conflict between UNITA and Angola's Marxist government was an international affair involving the U. S., the USSR, China, and many African states: W. Martin James III, who wrote his book near the close of the first period of civil war, contends that despite Gorbachev's "new thinking" and talk of peaceful solutions to regional conflicts, Soviet policy toward Angola marked a reversion to the Brezhnev Doctrine. The biggest MPLA-Cuban offenses occurred during Gorbachev's tenure with Soviet advisers at the brigade level directing an MPLA offensive. American policy toward Angola is also examined here. This is the first book to emphasize the dynamic role of UNITA in the Angolan liberation movement. James acknowledges that the importance of foreign powers in guaranteeing a government of national reconciliation. Just as important are strategies of compromise requiring trust in a political context where it is violated and submission for the common good where defiance is a remnant of the colonial past. Foreign policy analysts, African area specialists, and scholars of post-colonial history find this volume indispensible.
The Last Empire
Author: Stewart Lloyd-Jones
Publisher: Intellect Books
This book is the result of a conference organised by the Contemporary Portuguese Political History Research Centre (CPHRC) and the University of Dundee that took place during September 2000. The purpose of this conference, and the resulting book, was to bring together various experts in the field to analyse and debate the process of Portuguese decolonisation, which was then 25 years old, and the effects of this on the Portuguese themselves. For over one century, the Portuguese state had defined its foreign policy on the basis of its vast empire – this was the root of its 'Atlanticist' vision. The outbreak of war of liberation in its African territories, which were prompted by the new international support for self determination in colonised territories, was a serious threat that undermined the very foundations of the Portuguese state. This book examines the nature of this threat, how the Portuguese state initially attempted to overcome it by force, and how new pressures within Portuguese society were given space to emerge as a consequence of the colonial wars. This is the first book that takes a multidisciplinary look at both the causes and the consequences of Portuguese decolonisation – and is the only one that places the loss of Portugal's Eastern Empire in the context of the loss of its African Empire. Furthermore, it is the only English language book that relates the process of Portuguese decolonisation with the search for a new Portuguese vision of its place in the world. This book is intended for anyone who is interested in regime change, decolonisation, political revolutions and the growth and development of the European Union. It will also be useful for those who are interested in contemporary developments in civil society and state ideologies. Given that a large part of the book is dedicated to the process of change in the various countries of the former Portuguese Empire, it will also be of interest to students of Africa. It will be useful to those who study decolonisation processes within the other former European Empires, as it provides comparative detail. The book will be most useful to academic researchers and students of comparative politics and area studies.
An in-depth examination of Portugal's bloody, thirteen year war in Angola, and the reasons Portugal lost the hearts of its own citizens.
During the decolonization wars in East and Southern Africa, tracking became increasingly valuable as a military tactic. Drawing on archival research and interviews, Stapleton presents a comparative study of the role of tracking in insurgency and counter-insurgency across Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
This two-volume history of counterinsurgency covers all the major and many of the lesser known examples of this widespread and enduring form of conflict, addressing the various measures employed in the attempt to overcome the insurgency and examining the individuals and organizations responsible for everything from counterterrorism to infrastructure building. • Provides an extremely broad coverage of counterinsurgency that spans the period from 1900 to the present day and addresses geographical areas such as Algeria, India, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Malaya, Cyprus, Vietnam, and many other regions and countries • Supplies historical and geographical perspectives that enable the reader to examine each chapter as an independent case study and compare and contrast each event with others to draw lessons across time • Includes an extensive bibliography that covers all aspects of modern counterinsurgency-based themes, including geographical regions, theory, and tactics
Author: John P. Cann
Publisher: Helion and Company
In 1961, Portugal found itself fighting a war to retain its colonial possessions and preserve the remnants of its Empire. It was almost completely unprepared to do so, and this was particularly evident in its ability to project power and to control the vast colonial spaces of Africa. Following the uprisings of March 1961 in the north of Angola, Portugal poured troops into the colony as fast as its creaking logistic system would allow; however, these new arrivals were not competent and did not possess the skills needed to fight a counterinsurgency. While counterinsurgency by its nature requires substantial numbers of light infantry, the force must be trained in the craft of fighting a ‘small war’ to be effective. The majority of the arriving troops had no such indoctrination and had been readied at an accelerated pace. Even their uniforms were hastily crafted and not ideally suited to fighting in the bush. In reoccupying the north and addressing the enemy threat, Portugal quickly realized that its most effective forces were those with special qualifications and advanced training. Unfortunately there were only very small numbers of such elite forces. The maturing experiences of the Portuguese and their consequent adjustments to fight a counterinsurgency led to the development of specialized, tailored units to close the gaps in skills and knowledge between the insurgents and their forces. This book is about the Fuzileiros or Portuguese marines, a naval force that operated in the riverine littorals of Africa and that was both feared by the enemy and loved by those loyal to Portugal. The Fuzileiros underwent one of the longest and most physically demanding specialist infantry training regimes in the world, lasting some forty-two weeks. Perhaps only 15 to 35 percent of the inductees eventually passed the course and were awarded the traditional and highly coveted navy blue beret. When deployed to Africa, they underwent further acclimation for weeks until they were able to move through the slime and mud of a riverbank with ease, as their lives depended on it. They became experts at riverine warfare and regularly ranged inland on extended patrols, many of which are recounted here. They were comfort able with the uncomfortable fighting environment, and this ability translated into an unpredictability that the enemy feared. This book is the story of how they came to be formed and organized, the initial teething difficulties, and their unqualified successes.
Author: S. Weigert
This study is the first comprehensive assessment of warfare in Angola to cover all three phases of the nation's modern history: the anti-colonial struggle, the Cold War phase, and the post-Cold War era. It also covers, in detail, the final phase of warfare in Angola, culminating in Jonas Savimbi's death and the signing of the Luena Accord
Author: Robert Gaudi
The incredible true account of General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck and his exploits in World War I Africa with the legendary "Schutztruppe." As World War I ravaged the European continent, a completely different theater of war was being contested in Africa. And from this very different kind of war, there emerged a very different kind of military leader... At the beginning of the twentieth century, the continent of Africa was a hotbed of international trade, colonialism, and political gamesmanship. So when World War I broke out, the European powers were forced to contend with each other not just in the bloody trenches—but in the treacherous jungle. And it was in that unforgiving land that General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck would make history. With the now legendary "Schutztruppe" (Defensive Force), von Lettow-Vorbeck and a small cadre of hardened German officers fought alongside their fanatically devoted native African allies as equals, creating the first truly integrated army of the modern age The Lion of Africa is the almost-forgotten true account of Wiemar Germany’s military escapades on the dark continent. A story of thousand-mile marches through the harshest landscapes; of German officers riding bicycles into battle through the bush; of battleships hidden in jungle rivers teeming with crocodiles; of improbable Zeppelin voyages; of desperate men living off hippo lard and facing dangers in both man and nature. But mostly it is the story of von Lettow-Vorbeck—the only undefeated German commmander in the field during World War I, and the last to surrender his arms in final defeat.
In his in-depth and compelling study of perhaps the most famous of Portuguese colonial massacres, Mustafah Dhada explores why the massacre took place, what Wiriyamu was like prior to the massacre, how events unfolded, how we came to know about it and what the impact of the massacre was, particularly for the Portuguese empire. Spanning the period from 1964 to 2013 and complete with a foreword from Peter Pringle, this chronologically arranged book covers the liberation war in Mozambique and uses fieldwork, interviews and archival sources to place the massacre firmly in its historical context. The Portuguese Massacre of Wiriyamu in Colonial Mozambique, 1964-2013 is an important text for anyone interested in the 20th-century history of Africa, European colonialism and the modern history of war.
This comprehensive overview traces the evolution of modern Mozambique, from its early modern origins in the Indian Ocean trading system and the Portuguese maritime empire to the fifteen-year civil war that followed independence and its continued after-effects. Though peace was achieved in 1992 through international mediation, Mozambique's remarkable recovery has shown signs of stalling. Malyn Newitt explores the historical roots of Mozambican disunity and hampered development, beginning with the divisive effects of the slave trade, the drawing of colonial frontiers in the 1890s and the lasting particularities of the north, centre and south, inherited from the compartmentalized approach of concession companies. Following the nationalist guerrillas' victory against the Portuguese in 1975, these regional divisions resurfaced in a civil war pitting the south against the north and centre, over attempts at far-reaching socioeconomic change. The settlement of the early 1990s is now under threat from a revived insurgency, and the ghosts of the past remain. This book seeks to distill this complex history, and to understand why, twenty-five years after the Peace Accord, Mozambicans still remain among the poorest people in the world.