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War of Intervention in Angola, Volume 3

War of Intervention in Angola, Volume 3 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review April 2021 Title War of Intervention in Angola, Volume 3
Author Adrien Fontanellaz, José Matos, Tom Cooper Publisher Helion
Published 2020 ISBN 9781913118617
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (GBP) $29.95


The landmark 50th installment in Helion’s superb “Africa@War” series continues the publisher’s vast range of studies on post-colonial, Cold-War, sub-Saharan conflict.

And the subtitle tells it all.

Subtitled “Angolan and Cuban Air Forces, 1975-1989”, War of Intervention in Angola, Volume 3 expands and illumines coverage in both previous Helion volumes.

And across 80 fact-packed, pithy pages, authors Adrien Fontanellaz, José Matos, and Tom Cooper leave no proverbial stone unturned.

Charting both events and strategy, coverage competently chronicles Angolan and Cuban aerial assets, training, tactics, combat, and personalities in actions against both insurgents and invaders. Authors naturally address political and economic concerns, too.

Revelations abound.

I thought I knew much about aerial warfare over Angola. But I didn’t fully fathom, for instance, the vital role impressed, militarized civilian aircraft played in the survival of Angola’s inchoate air arm.

Dozens of rare, fascinating photos sumptuously season the survey. Maps nicely contextualize combat coverage. And 16 superb color profiles and insets – three antiaircraft vehicles by David Bocquelet and 13 aircraft by Tom Cooper – provide potent project possibilities.

The admirably annotated effort sports action accounts, personal anecdotes, explanatory captions, and informative sidebars. Tables conveniently distill commentary. And references confirm the paucity of primary subject sources.

Finally, a helpful abbreviations and acronyms glossary mercifully decodes text. But read carefully: not all narrative contractions appear on that list. For many of those, consult Table 1, page 7.

I loved this mother lode of gen. And until Angola and Cuba open official archives, Helion’s superb series will likely remain the best, popular, English-language studies of late 20th-century Angolan conflicts.

In fact, text promises at least one more War of Intervention in Angola installment. I can’t wait.

But on behalf of punctilious pedants everywhere: that’s “Who was Who in Angola, 1975-1985” – not “Who Was Whom”!

Robustly recommended!

With thanks to Helion for the review copy!