Operations ‘Leopard’ and ‘Red Bean’ - Kolwezi 1978

French and Belgian intervention in Zaire

Daniel Kowalczuk

The Battle of Kolwezi in Zaire in 1978 between FNLC (ex-Katanga Gendarmerie) and a Zaire Army, French and Belgian task force.
Date Published :
January 2019
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Illustration :
15 color profiles, 3 color photos, 2 color maps, 3 color ills, 105 b/w photos, 4 b/w maps, 8 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781912390595
Pages : 80
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : In stock


This book provides a history of the roots of FNLC (Front for the National Liberation of the Congo: ex-Katanga Gendarmerie) in Angola and Zaire, political situation under Mobutu regime, FNLC incursions into Zaire border since 1977 (“Shaba Wars I and II”) and subsequent hostage taking in mining town of Kolwezi. The author describes the subsequent French Foreign Legion and Belgian Para Commando airborne operation and freeing of the hostages, together with practical destruction of the FNLC as fighting force.

About The Author

Daniel Kowalczuk is a Polish analyst of post-colonial wars around the Globe, with special interests in Biafra, the Congo, Sub-Saharan Africa and Indochina since 1945. He has published dozens of related articles in the specialized press and is widely acknowledged for his often pioneering work. Furthermore, he has researched and authored studies of several other little-known conflicts, including the Coconut Revolution (Bougainville, 1980-1988), and the Noumea Hostage Crisis (New Caledonia, 1988), the commercial use of helicopters during the Biafran War, the ‘Brown Water Navy’ operated by France during the I Indochina War (1945-1954), and the history of the Katanga Air Force. Following ‘Kolwezi, 1978’, ‘Air Wars over the Congo, Volume 1’, is his second instalment for Helion’s Africa@War series.


“This illuminating "Africa@War" installment superbly summarizes these Cold War conflicts. On so many levels, Kowalczuk's slim study neatly covers key issues of post-WWII African political and military history. It's an effective introduction to these. And I loved it.”

- Cybermodeler

A lavishly photo-illustrated and detailed account of the history of the FNLC (Front for the
National Liberation of the Congo: ex-Katanga Gendarmerie) in Angola and Zaire...In addition to the black-and-white and color photos, the book includes illustrations of the military equipment used in the operation, including fighter aircraft, and battlefield maps.

- Perspectives on Terrorism

More from this publisher