Great Lakes Conflagration: Second Congo War, 1998-2003by Tom Cooper
Great Lakes Conflagration' is the second in two volumes covering military operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the turn from the 21st century. This volume explores developments in the DRC that led to the outbreak of violence in August 1998, and systematically details the continued build-up and status of the Congolese, Rwandan and Ugandan armies,
Great Lakes Conflagration' is the second in two volumes covering military operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the turn from the 21st century. This volume explores developments in the DRC that led to the outbreak of violence in August 1998, and systematically details the continued build-up and status of the Congolese, Rwandan and Ugandan armies, as well as the forces of Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe and other African countries that were sucked into the conflict.
Recounted is the Rwandan attempt to topple the government of Laurent Kabila through an operation that saw a redeployment of some of best Rwandan units from Kigali and Goma to the western DRC, resulting in a series of fierce air-land clashes with Zimbabwean and Angolan forces and culminating in the Battle of Kinshasa. Also described is the fighting along what became the 'Eastern Front' in the DRC, as Zimbabwean and allied troops attempted to stop Rwandan, Ugandan and rebel advances out of Kivu Province in the direction of the Congo River through 1998 and 1999.
These early phases of the war, or 'The First African War' as it has come to be known, were characterized by surprising outflanking and infiltration maneuvers; foreign mercenaries; Zimbabwean Hawk and Lynx light strikers flying intensive combat operations from N'Djili airport, half of which was occupied by Rwandans, Ugandans and Congolese rebels; interdiction strikes guided by special forces deployed deep behind enemy lines; operations of helicopter gunships and transport aircraft under intense ground attack in support of troops cut off by advancing opponents; use of transport aircraft as makeshift bombers in bad weather and by night and clashes of armored forces and many other elements of 'high-technology' warfare.
All the protagonists deployed their best military units, their best equipment and some of their best military commanders, yet despite their best efforts, and hampered by in-fighting, the conflict ultimately resulted in a stalemate which dragged on for a further three years while negotiations bogged down.
This book is illustrated with an extensive selection of exclusive photography, color profiles and markings, making it of special interest to enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Cooper capably tells the tragic tale. Photos, maps, tables and annotations augment text. The author's excellent color plates of participating aircraft and vehicles will really rouse your modeling muse. And a concise "conclusion", acronym glossary and selected bibliography complete contents. Few have so illumined Third World conflicts as Tom Cooper. His incandescent insights perfectly complement Helion's splendid "Africa@War" series. And I thoroughly enjoyed this absorbing account. Read it with Cooper's companion title, Great Lakes Holocaust: First Congo War, 1996–1997 – the 13th "Africa@War" installment.
“ … a stunning piece of work and is highly recommended to any serious student of modern warfare.” Air Forces Monthly
"This is a must for historians and for model builders who seek alternative subjects for future projects."
Model Art Australia
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this is a brief, yet well written and informative work. It covers a period of time when Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda fought against Angola, Namibia, Chad, and Zimbabwe fought a war for the control of the Congo. The stories of massacres, mass rapes, and international looting of the Congo was given minimal coverage in the news due to the medias infatuation with President Clinton's affairs. This book gives coverage to both sides and point out that both sides had blood on their hands.