This blog is aims to record the progress of a wargames campaign/project set during the Angolan Civil War 1975-89.
As a schoolboy I remember reading about the infamous 'Colonel Callan', a former NCO in the British Parachute Regiment who was captured and tried by the Angolan government for his actvities as a mercenary. The accounts of Callan's murderous deeds and his subsequent execution seemed at odds with the sympathetic treatment of mercenaries in Africa in some of the popular literature of the time.
I had a brief fascination with the war in Angola during the late seventies, set as it was against the background of the Cold War and the struggle aganist apartheid, devouring books and news articles on the subject. My interest waned by the early eighties and it was on only on a trip to Cuba in 2006, reading Richard Gott's history of the island, that my curiosity was rekindled.
By then I was a born again wargamer and it's taken until now for me to start to assemble the wherewithal to re-fight the war.
This will be an alternative timeline - why? To quote one of the blogs that has inspired this one; 'what did happen, what could have happened, what would have happened, doesn't matter at all. Not a jot.'
As you will discover, if you didn't already know, the war in Angola, is one in which there is little agreement between the former protagonists and their supporters and/or apologists about even the most basic of facts. That provides me with all the excuses I need to take liberties with those facts and use the conflict as background and motivation for a wargames campaign. Cubans against South Africans; the CIA and Chinese backed factions; and a the three cornered fight between the MPLA, the FNLA and UNITA: it's all to play for.
There's no reason not to have more or less foreign intervention than really happened, or for different protagonists to emerge, or for the UN to step in before or after they actually did.
So why end in 1989? Well, with the negotiated end to Cuban and South African intervention, and the subsequent collapse of apartheid and the disappearance of the Soviet Union into the dustbin of history, the conflict loses much of its fascination. So that's one historical constraint we'll be respecting.
So, slot a banana clip into into your AK, climb aboard the Toyota technical, and head off into the bush...