Ethiopia, a country of ancient origins in eastern Africa, remains a military powerhouse of that continent until our days. Nowadays involved in the war in neighbouring Somalia, Ethiopia was also involved in half a dozen of other armed conflicts over the last 60 years.
Crucial between these was the Eritrean War of Independence. Fought 1961-1991, this was one of biggest armed conflicts on the African continent, especially if measured by numbers of involved combatants. 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 most 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, along well-thought-out plans, based on home-grown doctrine. The air power played a crucial - although not necessarily decisive - role in many of battles.
Nevertheless, most of details about this conflict remain unknown in 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.
While the first volume in this mini-series spanned the history of wars between Ethiopia and Eritrea between 1961 and 1988, the second covers the period since. Correspondingly, it is providing coverage of military operations that led to the fall of the Derg government in Ethiopia of 1991, the period of Eritrean military build-up and a complete re-organization of the Ethiopian military in the 1990s, and concludes with the first detailed account of the so-called Badme War, fought between Ethiopia and Eritrea in period 1998-2001.
It is illustrated by many 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. This has 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 about a dozen of titles for Helion's @War series - and over 1000 articles, Cooper is a regular correspondent for multiple defence-related publications.