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AFRICA@WAR SERIES: VOLUME 50

War of Intervention in Angola - Volume 3: Angolan and Cuban Air Forces 1975-1985 - Tom Cooper, Adrian Fontanellaz, Jose Augusto Matos

Most accounts of the conflict known in the West as the ‘Border War’ barely mention the operations by the FAPA/DAA. A handful of published histories mention two MiG-21s claimed as shot down by Dassault Mirage F.1 interceptors of the South African Air Force in 1981 and 1982, and perhaps something of the activities of its MiG-23 interceptors during the battles of the 1987-1988 period.

The story told by Angolan and Cuban sources reveals an entirely different image of the air war over Angola in the 1980s: indeed, it reveals to what degree this con­flict was dictated by the availability – or the lack – of air power and shows that this issue dictated the way that the commanders of the Cuban contingents in Angola – whether as advisors or as combat troops – planned and conducted their operations.

The first contingent of Cuban troops deployed to Angola during Operation Carlota, in late 1975, included a sizeable group of pilots and ground personnel who subsequently helped build-up the FAPA/DAA from virtually nothing. They continued that work over the following 14 years – sometimes with the cooperation of Soviet advisors and others from East European countries – eventually establishing an Angolan air force that by 1988 maintained what South African military intelligence and the media subsequently described as the ‘most advanced air defence system in Africa’. The air defence system and aircraft ultimately managed a unique feat in contemporary military history: they enabled an air force equipped with Soviet-made aircraft and trained under Soviet doctrine to establish at least a semblance of aerial superiority over an air force equipped with Western-made aircraft and operating under Western doctrine.

Based on extensive research with the help of Angolan and Cuban sources, War of Intervention in Angola, Volume 3, traces the military build-up of the FAPA/DAA in the period 1975-1985, its capabilities and its intentions. Moreover, it provides a unique, blow-by-blow account of its combat operations and experiences. The volume is illustrated with rare photographs, and maps and colour profiles, and provides a unique source of reference on this topic.

The volume is illustrated with over 81 b/w photos, 8 b/w & 1 colour maps, 23 colour profiles, 11 tables

Paperback, 72 pages. 

THIS TITLE WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM 15 FEBRUARY 2021

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