- Roland De Vries , Camille Burger , Willem Steenkamp
- ARRSE Rating
- 2.5 Mushroom Heads
The book starts with some pretty heavy almost doctrinal explanations of different forms of warfare, force structure, terrain through to training a force for the African environment. This is some pretty heavy reading but the authors have tried to make it not as dull as just reading doctrine, but even then, it’s not for the casual reader.
The next part of the book the goes into depth on the different types of warfare that could be encountered in Africa through conventional, counter insurgency, unconventional, night warfare to name a few. This I found the most enjoyable part of the book with all the different examples of warfare being underpinned with the authors' personal experiences in the border war and with other historical examples (not African specific).
Part 3 of the book delves into command and leadership and force preparation for the African environment again some pretty heavy reading where the book almost takes the risk of going off on a tangent and becoming a leadership guide. This part is wrapped up with the conclusions of the book where they hammer home the salient points from the book. The book wraps up with a fantastic appendix section with numerous operational vignettes.
All in all, I found the book extremely interesting but I would imagine it not to be everyone’s cup of tea. Certainly, not for the casual ARRSE reader but food for thought for any force commander who could potentially deploy to the African continent on operations. Throughout the book the authors use excellent personal and historical examples to bring the book to light.
If I could whine about one thing it’s that they sometimes harp on about some of the examples and give the complete story again and again when you’ve been told Cuito Cuanavale wasn’t assaulted by the South Africans because it was put out of action by artillery there’s no need to be reminded in detail in each chapter.