The Biafran Army 1967-70

Build-Up and Downfall of the Secessionist Military

Philip Jowett

Synonimous with the starvation that killed almost two million people, Biafra was a parastate that voted to secede from Nigeria in May 1967. Formally recognized by Gabon, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, and Zambia, and supported by France, Israel, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Rhodesia, and even the Vatican, Biafra's attempt to leave Nigeria resulted in the
Date Published :
April 2022
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Series :
Africa@War
Illustration :
110 photos, 10 maps, 12 color profiles
No associated books available.

Overview
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Synonimous with the starvation that killed almost two million people, Biafra was a parastate that voted to secede from Nigeria in May 1967. Formally recognized by Gabon, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, and Zambia, and supported by France, Israel, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Rhodesia, and even the Vatican, Biafra’s attempt to leave Nigeria resulted in the Nigerian Civil War, which was to last until January 1970.

Although lacking official support from abroad, the Biafran authorities quickly built up a military. Their efforts to set up an air force, supported by numerous Europeans – were widely publicised. Indeed, Biafra-related adventures of Polish World War II ace Jan Zumbach, or the Swedish pilot Carl Gustaf von Rosen reached the status of legends before long.

Far less is known about the Biafran Army and Navy, their capabilities and intentions, or the conduct of their combat operations. Indeed, the establishment of multiple commando units, and a special guerrilla outfit designed to emulate the Viet Cong, but especially the local manufacture of weapons – including armoured vehicles – remain largely unknown to the public.

Based on years of thorough research, ‘Biafran Army’ is the first work ever to offer a comprehensive, in-depth study of the build-up, training, composition, equipment, and combat operations of all the three branches – the army, the air force, and the navy – of the secessionist military during the Nigerian Civil War.

Illustrated by more than 120 rare photographs, maps, and colour profiles, this account provides a unique source of reference for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

About The Author
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Military historian and aviation-journalist Albert Grandolini was born in Vietnam and gained an MA in history from Paris 1 Sorbonne University. His primary research focus is on contemporary conflicts in general and particularly on the military history in Asia and Africa. Having spent his childhood in South Vietnam, the Vietnam War has always been one of his main fields of research. He authored Fall of the Flying Dragon: South Vietnamese Air Force (1973-1975), two volumes on Vietnam’s Easter Offensive of 1972 for Helion’s Asia@War Series, and three volumes on Libyan Air Wars for the Africa@War Series, and has written numerous articles for various British, French, and German magazines.

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