Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review: Battle of the Lomba 1987

"And then the yelling began"

Another one of those historical events completely ignored in the US was the Angolan Civil War which lasted for nearly 20 yrs.  Roughly it was the Communist MPLA/FAPLA vs the loosely western/SA supported UNITA. Needless to say it is somewhat difficult to get any material on this so anything I find is eagerly picked up.

This is the story of an armored unit from South Africa during 'Operation Modular' of the largest armored battle in Africa since WWII, the Battle of Cuito Cuanevale. 4 Brigades of Soviet, East German, and Cuban supported forces including MiG's, T-55 tanks, APC's, and anti-aircraft vs a battalion of South African Ratel IFV's.

Written by one of the vehicle commanders, David Mannell, this is a 'soldier's point of view' book and not a history of the entire conflict, just his two years of service focused on his units' actions during the Battle of the Lomba river.  Clear, descriptive narration makes this a comfortable and easy read for even those not versed in military jargon.  The regular use of 'Afrikaans' is offset by the English definition next to it in parenthesis.

I really enjoyed this book not only for the history but also for the writing style.  It's hard enough to find information on this area of the world nevermind a book that I actually LIKE to read, not a boring textbook style. 

5/5 stars. 

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Angus McThag said...

I know someone who was there at Cuito Cuanava and I am in mid-composition about his exploit.

What a coincidence!

Anonymous said...

It wasn't ignored if you were a reader of Soldier of Fortune back then.