Great Lakes Holocaust
First Congo War 1996-1997
Series : Africa@War #13
Author : Tom Cooper
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General - Pages : 80 | Images : 16pp colour profiles & photos, c 100 b/w photos, maps
Paperback - Date of Publication : September 2013 | Size : 297mm x 210mm | ISBN : 9781909384651 | Helion Book Code : HEL0422
eBook - ISBN : 9781913336837
Great Lakes Holocaust is the first in two volumes covering military operations in Zaire - as the Congo was named from 1971 until 1997 - and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the turn of the 21st century. This volume explores the events of the 1980s and 1990s in Rwanda and Uganda, which eventually spilled over the borders into Zaire, resulting in one of the worst tragedies ever to befall an African region.
The narrative traces the ascent of crucial Rwandan, Congolese and Ugandan military and political figures, and their connections within influential business and political circles in and outside Africa. It examines the build-up of the Zairian military under the government of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in the 1960s and 1970s, and provides an in-depth study into reasons for its near-collapse in the early 1990s.
The military build-up of Rwanda and Uganda is discussed in detail as is their planning for operations inside Zaire, and the global logistic tail that provided the Rwandan military, particularly, but also most of its opponents, with a capability of not only waging war beyond their borders, but - in the case of Rwanda - of invading and practically conquering a country the size of Western Europe or the USA east of the Mississippi.
The book further traces the covert Rwandan military actions inside Zaire, initially run under the guise of an insurgency by one of Zaire's ethnic minorities; how ever-deepening Rwandan operations inside Zaire were practically dictated by concentrations of Hutu refugees; and how the insurgency - led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila who was installed by key Rwandan and Ugandan military and political figures - developed into an organization that sought autonomy from the military and political dictates of Rwanda, in turn delivering a direct reason for the Second Congo War which was fought from 1998-2003.
"For an adept, balanced briefing on the "First Congo War", get this terrific tome. Cooper masterfully distills the conflict's complexities. Roundly recommended!" David L. Veres, Cybermodeler website
" ... For military historians there is much reading material to digest and absorb, while those contemplating building something different by way of scale models or dioramas will find lots of inspiration from the included photos. This is an interesting insight of a war about which very little was known, until this was published." Model Art Australia
At any given time, there are at least half a dozen conflicts taking place in Africa, from civil strife and brutal insurgencies to full-blown conventional wars. Yet, apart from the grand campaigns and battles of colonial yesteryear—Omdurman, Isandlwana, Spioenkop et al—little is known outside the Dark Continent of the plethora of brushfire wars that occur with monotonous regularity. Following the Second World War, with the colonial powers—Britain in particular—looking to divest themselves of their burdensome empires, the ‘winds of change’, fuelled by the Cold War, swept through every nook and cranny of the continent. From Algeria to South Africa, from the Congo to Kenya, the continent literally erupted in conflict. Butchery and barbarism, under the guise of Black Nationalism, became bywords of African insurgencies; the tactics of terror, so espoused by Chairman Mao, one of the principal backers—in competition with Soviet imperialism—of African liberation movements, became standard operating procedure.
Africa—the continent that gave the world ‘pseudo’ counterterrorist operations as developed in Kenya to combat the Mau Mau, the Rhodesian Fireforce concept, radical innovations in vehicle mine-proofing, South African armour which fought the Cubans to a standstill at Cuito Cuanavale in the largest continental tank battle since Alamein, MiG and Mirage dogfights over the skies of Angola—is not all doom and gloom: it is as rich in its cultural diversity as it is in its martial traditions. Apart from a colourful array of liberation movements, mercenaries, brigands, pirates and terrorists, the cast includes such legendary units as the King’s African Rifles, the Portuguese Flechettes, the French Foreign Legion, the Rhodesian Selous Scouts and SAS, and the South African Recces, 32 Battalion and Koevoet.
Africa@War, a ground-breaking series, studies Africa’s post-1945 conflicts and military players in an informative and entertaining manner, examining some of the lesser known campaigns and shedding new light on some of the better known operations.
“Africa@War is a ground-breaking series concept, studying Africa’s conflicts and military players in an informative and entertaining manner, examining some of the lesser-known campaigns and shedding new light on some of the better-known operations … great models of what the combination of authors and publishers can produce by way of useable case studies for the market place in a concise illustrated format. They are recommended as professional military education references.” Charles D. Melson, Chief Historian, U.S. Marine Corps
"Each of the books in this series is a well-documented and researched synopsis of the events that they are focused upon. They layouts and presentation are logical and of a very high quality ... As an introduction to this field of operation, this series is outstanding. A definite asset for those wishing to improve their knowledge and understanding of the development of successful, multi-faceted doctrine in the fight against insurgent/assymetric war."Major Chris Buckham, Royal Canadian Air Force Journal