Modern Africa Wars (5) - The Nigerian-Biafran War 1967-70, Philip S. Jowett

Modern Africa Wars (5) - The Nigerian-Biafran War 1967-70, Philip S. Jowett

Men-at-Arms 507

I must admit I didn’t know much about this war – its one of those conflicts I’ve been aware of more through its impact on popular culture than as a conflict in its own right. This book begins with a brief history of the war, which will be of use for those like me who have little idea of what happened, then a more detailed examination of the armed forces on both sides.

One surprise was just how small the Nigerian army was at the start of this civil war – only a few thousand men, and a very small officer corps (mainly due to a purge in the aftermath of a military coup). Even so the Nigerian (or Federalist) side did have most of the regular army, and almost all of the Navy and Air Force.

This is a studious neutral account of this war, largely ignoring the accusations of war crimes levelled again both sides (other than a brief mention in a picture caption that both sides tended not to take prisoners of war). It’s most interesting feature is the comparison between the pre-existing Nigerian Federal Army and its Biafran opponents, who had to create most of their army almost from scratch, and were desperate to purchase arms overseas.
Nigerian Federal Army
Biafran Army
Other Services
Weapons & Equipment

Author: Philip S. Jowett
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 48
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2016

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