Tuesday, May 30, 2017
"The last hot battle of the Cold War"
That's how one author referred to the 1987-88 battles between Cuban and South African forces (with support from, respectively, Angolan and UNITA troops). I was there, and remember it well.
Fred Bridgland wrote a book shortly after the fighting, titled 'The War for Africa: Twelve Months that Transformed a Continent'.
I bought it as soon as it was published, and enjoyed it very much. He was accurate in his facts, incisive in his analysis, and brought together many threads (some of which, as in most wars, many of us 'on the ground' had been unaware) to produce a cohesive account of the fighting and its geopolitical and geostrategic implications.
I'm delighted that the book has now been republished in a new edition, with an updated introduction and the inclusion of some more threads of events that didn't make it into the first edition. (Mr. Bridgland still doesn't know about some of the things that went on, in some of which I was involved - but since we were all sworn to secrecy, those stories may never be told.) It's as good as I remember it to be, and it brought back many memories (some of which I'd rather not have, thank you very much) as I paged through it.
I recommend this book very highly to those interested in military history, in the Cold War, and in one of the lesser-known combat zones of that not-very-frigid-at-all conflict. This was the climax of my war. It shaped and formed the rest of my life.