The Last of Africa's Cold War Conflicts

Portuguese Guinea and its Guerilla Insurgency

Al J Venter

Portugal was the first European country to colonize Africa. It was also the last to leave, almost five centuries later.
Date Published :
July 2020
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
40 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526772985
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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$42.95
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Overview
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Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, Al Venter examines the Soviet-led guerrilla conflict in Portuguese Guinea which sought to expel the Portuguese colonials over a brutal 10-year war.

Portugal was the first European country to colonize Africa. It was also the last to leave, almost five centuries later. During the course of what Lisbon called its “civilizing mission in Africa” the Portuguese weathered numerous insurrections, but none as severe as the guerrilla war first launched in Angola in 1961 and two years later in Portuguese Guinea. While Angola had a solid economic infrastructure, that did not hold for the tiny West African enclave that was to become Guinea-Bissau. Both Soviets and Cubans believed that because that tiny colony- roughly the size of Belgium - had no resources and a small population, that Lisbon would soon capitulate. They were wrong, because hostilities lasted more than a decade and the 11-year struggle turned into the most intense of Lisbon's three African colonies.

It was a classic African guerrilla campaign that kicked off in January 1963, but nobody noticed because what was taking place in Vietnam grabbed all the headlines. The Soviet-led guerrilla campaign in Portuguese Guinea was to go on and set the scene for the wars that followed in Rhodesia and present-day Namibia.

About The Author
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Al J. Venter is a specialist military writer and has had 50 books published. He started his career with Geneva’s Interavia Group, then owners of International Defence Review, to cover military developments in the Middle East and Africa. Venter has been writing on these and related issues such as guerrilla warfare, insurgency, the Middle East and conflict in general for half a century. He was involved with Jane’s Information Group for more than 30 years and was a stringer for the BBC, NBC News (New York) as well as London’s Daily Express and Sunday Express. He branched into television work in the early 1980s and produced more than 100 documentaries, many of which were internationally flighted. His one-hour film, 'Africa’s Killing Fields' (on the Ugandan civil war), was shown nationwide in the United States on the PBS network. Other films include an hour-long program on the fifth anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, as well as 'AIDS: The African Connection', nominated for China’s Pink Magnolia Award. His last major book was 'Portugal’s Guerrilla Wars in Africa', nominated in 2013 for New York’s Arthur Goodzeit military history book award. It has gone into three editions, including translation into Portuguese.

REVIEWS
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"Venter was one of the few journalists who had the opportunity to visit the Portuguese areas affected by the conflict and report on the events there without restriction."

- Terrorism and Political Violence

"This volume’s numerous insights about the components of effective counterinsurgency also apply to the current management of counterinsurgencies in Afghanistan and elsewhere."

- Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International

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