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Mar Verde

Mar Verde Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review June 2022 Title Mar Verde
Author José Augusto Matos Publisher Helion
Published 2021 ISBN 9781914377006
Format 60 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $29.95

Review

In November 1970, colonial forces in Portuguese Guinea staged a daring commando strike against Conakry, capital of neighboring Republic of Guinea in West Africa.

Dubbed Operation Mar Verde – “Green Sea” – the assault ambitiously aimed at toppling the former French colony’s régime, decapitating Soviet-supported guerrilla leadership there, and rescuing Portuguese military captives.

Now José Augusto Matos tells the terrific tale in Mar Verde, 55th entry in Helion’s superb “Africa@War” series – available in North America from Casemate.

Subtitled “The Portuguese Amphibious Assault on Conakry, 1970”, contents span four chapters across 60 lavishly illustrated pages.

Coverage commences with the raid’s historical and political setting, segues to its planning and execution, and ends with the action’s mixed outcomes and ramifications – for both Portugal and Guinea-Conakry. April 1974 events would eventually resolve the former’s African colonial conflicts.

Text traverses timelines, politics, and military factors – including key equipment and personnel details.

Color plates – warships, aircraft, and uniforms – provide potent project potential. Maps help graphically chart events. And rare period photos and archival images further adorn the account.

But I disagree that the only existing photo of Force Aerienne de Guinea MiG-17 “513” depicts two-tone camouflage. The published color shot shows the dusty, dingy aircraft in overall Soviet blue-gray – the period’s typical Fresco export scheme.

A handy acronym glossary helps distill and distinguish factions and forces. And endnotes and references neatly conclude the chronicle.

Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Casemate for this review sample!