Mobile Warfare for Africa

On the Successful Conduct of Wars in Africa and Beyond - Lessons Learned from the South African Border War

Roland DeVries, Camille Burger, Willem Steenkamp

Presents detailed case studies from South Africa's Border War, supported by an extensive number of photographs and maps, for historians, and contemporary military practice.
Publication date:
December 2017
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
34 ills, 330 photos, 40 maps
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781912174089

Dimensions : 245 X 170 mm
This book is temporarily out of stock.


• A series of detailed case studies based on the South African Defence Force and the Border War, providing a wealth of insights on historical practice of interest to historians, and military professionals today
• It provides new insights on how to wage conventional and semi-conventional warfare in Africa, about which little is known in Western and other non-African military circles - or even, in some respects, within Africa itself
• It proposes a combined strategic and tactical approach which is not a clone or superficial adaptation of Western or other military doctrines, but the product of deeply pondered research and intensive, battle-proven hands-on experience which is not to be found anywhere else
• It addresses a new type of conflict which is likely to be one of the dominant forms of conflict in the 21st Century: 4th-Generation or "asymmetric warfare”, an emerging concept requiring an infinitely flexible amalgam of all the currently accepted methods and practices, and investigates the relevance of an integrated form of combat based on mobility and agility
• It takes Sun Tzu's famous dictum, "know your enemy” to a new level by adding the caveat "know the people”, because no military effort can succeed without a deep understanding - unbiased and uncluttered by non-African mind-sets - of the continent and its astonishingly diverse population."

Presenting a remarkable amount of experience drawing primarily from South Africa's Border War in the form of case studies, supported fully by an extensive number of photographs and specially commissioned maps, this study has applications for historians, researchers, and contemporary military practice.

This is an easy-to-read book with many real-life case-studies and examples which presents a yardstick for the enhancement of contemporary combat practises. In this context, the Namibian-Angolan-South African Border War serves as one of the principal benchmark studies. It was an armed struggle which typically evolved into a transnational conflict over time and which brought about all the imaginable political, diplomatic, military and social ramifications and complexities of African warfare. More so, this war included low as well as high intensity engagements across the full spectrum of warfare, playing out within a vast geographical expanse over an extended period - all elements holding valuable lessons to be learned from.

The book therefore provides a knowledge resource for enrichment of the intrinsic know-how of commanders and young leaders for the successful conduct of warfare in Africa and similar battlefield environments. In this regard the pages contain a wealth of hands-on military concepts to be used for the conduct of conventional, unconventional or peace support operations or the more integrated form thereof.

It is also significant to realise that southern Africa served as a leading laboratory for counterinsurgency warfare at the time of the South African Border War, from which much can be learned by military practitioners, historians and scholars worldwide.

Many valuable lessons can be learned from the African way of warfare and what is referred to today as ‘4th Generation' and/or asymmetric warfare, besides providing insights as to how this will influence future military needs and requirements, for instance the development of forces and the incorporation and employment of advanced technology.


I found the book extremely interesting. […] Throughout the book the authors use excellent personal and historical examples to bring the book to light.
Army Rumour Service