Santuary Lost

Volume 1: The Air War for Guinea 1961-1967

Matthew M. Hurley, José Augusto Matos

A detailed, blow-by-blow account on the operational history of Portuguese air power during the Colonial War in Guine (Guinea) of the 1960s and the 1970s, and of the guerrillas' reaction - by establishing organized and coordinated air defenses - to the complete enemy aerial superiority.
Date Published :
November 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Africa@War
Illustration :
80 photos, 4 maps, 18 color profiles
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781914059995
Pages : 80
Dimensions : 11.75 X 8.25 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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$29.95

Overview
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From 1963 to 1974, Portugal and its nationalist enemies fought an increasingly intense war for the independence of "Portuguese" Guinea, then a colony but now the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. For most of the conflict, Portugal enjoyed virtually unchallenged air supremacy, and increasingly based its strategy on this advantage. The Portuguese Air Force (Força Aérea Portuguesa, abbreviated FAP) consequently played a crucial role in the Guinean war. Indeed, throughout the conflict, the FAP – despite the many challenges it faced – proved to be the most effective and responsive military argument against the PAIGC, which was fighting for Guinea's independence.

The air war for Guinea is unique for historians and analysts for several reasons. It was the first conflict in which a non-state irregular force deployed defensive missiles against an organized air force. Moreover, the degree to which Portugal relied on its air power was such that its effective neutralization doomed Lisbon's military strategy in the province. The FAP's unexpected combat losses initiated a cascade of effects that degraded in turn its own operational freedom and the effectiveness of the increasingly air-dependent surface forces, which felt that the war against the PAIGC was lost. The air war for Guinea thus represents a compelling illustration of the value – and vulnerabilities – of air power in a counter-insurgency context, as well as the negative impacts of overreliance on air supremacy.

About The Author
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Matthew M. Hurley is a military historian (PhD, The Ohio State University, 2009) and retired US Air Force colonel (US Air Force Academy, 1990). His 24-year military career included intelligence assignments worldwide, as well as instructor tours at the NATO Tactical Leadership Programme and USAF Air Command and Staff College. He has published and presented numerous works regarding military and air power history, operational design, and intelligence matters, most recently with the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.

José Matos is an independent researcher in military history in Portugal with a primary interest in operations of the Portuguese Air Force during the colonial wars in Africa, especially in Guinea. He is a regular contributor to numerous European magazines on military aviation and naval subjects, and has collaborated in the major project ‘The Air Force at the end of the Empire’, published in Portugal in 2018. This is his first instalment for Helion.

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