Ethiopia, a country of ancient origins in eastern Africa, has remained a military powerhouse of that continent until the present day. Currently involved in the war in neighbouring Somalia, Ethiopia was also involved in half a dozen of other armed conflicts during the last 60 years. One of the most significant was the Eritrean War of Independence. Fought 1961-1991, this was one of the biggest armed conflicts on the African continent, especially if measured by numbers of combatants involved. It included a wide spectrum of operations, from `classic' counter-insurgency (COIN) to conventional warfare in mountains - with the latter being one of the most complex and demanding undertakings possible to conduct by a military force. Campaigns run during the Eritrean War of Independence often included large formations of relatively well-equipped forces, led by well-trained commanders, utilising complex plans based on home-grown doctrine. Airpower played a crucial - although not necessarily decisive - role in many of battles. Nevertheless, most of details about this conflict remain unknown to the wider public. Similarly, relatively few Western observers are aware of relations between the Eritrean liberation movements, and various dissident and insurgent movements inside Ethiopia - although the synergy of these eventually led the downfall of the so-called Derg government, in 1991. Reaching back to extensive studies of Ethiopian and Eritrean military history, this volume provides a detailed account of the first 25 years of this conflict: from the outbreak of armed insurgency in 1961 until the crucial battle of Afabet, in 1988. It is illustrated by over 100 contemporary photographs, maps and colour profiles.
Adrien Fontanellaz, from Switzerland, is a military history researcher and author. He developed a passion for military history at an early age and has progressively narrowed his studies to modern-day conflicts. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Pully-based Centre d'histoire et de prospective militaries (Military History and Prospective Centre), and regularly contributes for the Revue Militaire Suisse and various French military history magazines. He is co-founder and a regular contributor to the French military history website L'autre cote de la colline, and this is his third title for Helion's `@War' series. Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in worldwide transportation business - during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa - he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts, about which he has collected extensive archives. That resulted in specialisation in such Middle Eastern air forces as of those of Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, plus various African and Asian air forces. Except for authoring and co-authoring more than 30 books - including an in-depth analysis of major Arab air forces at wars with Israel in period 1955-1973 - and over 1000 articles, Cooper is a regular correspondent for multiple defence-related publications.