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Sanctuary Lost

Sanctuary Lost Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review August 2023 Title Sanctuary Lost
Author Matthew M. Hurley, José Augusto Matos Publisher Helion
Published 2022 ISBN 9781914059995
Format 100 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $29.95


Matthew M. Hurley and José Matos launch the first of their two-part study of Portugal’s Air War for Guinea 1961-1974 in Sanctuary Lost, Volume 1, “Outbreak and Escalation (1961-1966)” – 58th in Helion’s superb “Africa@War” range – available in North America from Casemate.

Clearly written, competently researched, and thoroughly annotated, coverage neatly divides into five sections – commencing with two background chapters.

The first conveniently recaps Portuguese colonial history and the Partido Africano para a Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde, (PAIGC, or African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde) – Portugal’s chief insurgent opponent.

The second succinctly surveys participating Portuguese airpower assets: warplanes, basing, and personnel – including intruding political and economic factors.

Authors chronicle the first phases of combat in the final three chapters. Coverage not only highlights actions, but chronic and “systemic” Força Aérea Portuguesa (FAP) manpower, equipment, armament, readiness, logistic, command, and inter-service “challenges”.

Fifteen color aircraft profiles – including three FIAT G.91 R4s, which barely entered Portuguese service during the book’s timeline – provide potent project possibilities. Maps help chart events. And rare period photos and archival images further augment the account.

But were those really Browning 0.50 caliber machine guns “salvaged from scrapped Hurricane and Spitfire fighters” that replaced “mechanically-unreliable” French MAC weapons on FAP T-6s?


My sincere thanks to Casemate for this review sample!