Total Onslaught (Kindle)
War and Revolution in Southern Africa Since 1945
The end of the Second World War may have heralded peace in Europe but conflicts in Southern Africa were about to begin. The imperial powers were weakened by the cost of war and a string of wars challenged colonial rule in countries such as Namibia, Angola and Rhodesia. Once independence was achieved, civil wars between rival factions unfamiliar with democratic principles resulted. Liberation movements such as those in South Africa demanded self-rule and end to Apartheid. Tribal feuds, corruption and the ambitions of dictators led to more conflicts such as the protracted fighting in the Congo. These were wars that ran on until both sides were exhausted often only to be re-kindled after short periods of uneasy peace. The cost in human and material terms has been devastating and in too many cases remain so. Economic development has been frustrated and the result is often poverty, abuse and genocide. The Author who knows Southern Africa as a native is superbly equipped to tell this fascinating if tragic record.
This authoritative book…is part grand narrative and part personal recollection as he interviewed a large number of the protagonists and participants in these long conflicts…Broad lessons for counterinsurgency (both in theory and practice) are embedded in the text, although Moorcraft is careful to emphasise the unique aspects of each state…Overall this book is for the generalist rather than the specialist…He presents a sustained and powerful argument of creeping militarisation in the process of policy formulation…There are many warnings from history in this book, most of all, on the danger of attempts at military solutions to political problems…His trenchant conclusion is that “appalling governance has emasculated the continent”. It is hard to argue with this judgement.RUSI Journal
If you are looking for an all embracing account of all the various players with their frequently evolving alliances and disputes you will be well rewarded, although you will need to concentrate if you really want to understand the ZANU, ZANLA and ZIPRAS of that particular world!Amazon Customer
If that is the level of detail that you want it is difficult to imagine a better source.There are the usual anecdotes and insights from someone who was well connected and close to the action.
Well worth a read for the specialist.
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Total Onslaught is a very welcome addition to scholarship on conflict in Africa, a continent rapidly emerging as of pivotal strategic, political and economic interest to Europe... This book will become compulsory reading not just for aspiring foreign correspondents but also in western (and African and Chinese) military academies.Amazon Customer
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