Military Review

Angola Battle-born independence

November 11 Angola celebrates forty years of independence. With this African state, located very far from Russia, nevertheless, much is connected both in the Soviet and in the modern Russian stories. After all, the very independence of Angola was made possible thanks to the political, military, economic support of the Angolan national liberation movement from the Soviet Union. Moreover, thousands of Soviet servicemen, military advisers and specialists, visited Angola. It was another “unknown war” in which the Soviet Union assisted the Angolan government in the fight against the insurgent organization UNITA operating in the country. Therefore, for Russia, Angola’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on November 11 of each year, also has a certain meaning.

"African diamond" of Portugal

Angola’s road to independence was long and bloody. Portugal stubbornly did not want to part with its largest (after the liberation in the XIX century Brazil) overseas colony. Even the economic backwardness of Portugal and the loss of serious positions in world politics did not force Lisbon to abandon territories in Africa and Asia. For too long, Portugal owned its own colonies in order to part with them painlessly and easily. Thus, the lands of Angola were settled and colonized for almost five centuries. Since the Portuguese navigator Diogo Kahn's expedition arrived in 1482 in the Kingdom of the Congo (existing in the northern part of modern Angola and on the territory of the modern Republic of the Congo), these lands have become the object of economic and later military and political interests of the Portuguese power. In exchange for manufactured goods and firearms weapon kings of the Congo began selling ivory to the Portuguese and, most importantly, to black slaves demanded by another important colony of Portugal - Brazil. In 1575, another Portuguese navigator, Paulo Dias de Novais, founded the city of Sao Paulo de Luanda. A fortification was built - the fort of San Miguel, as well as the land occupied by the Portuguese colonists. Together with Novaish, a hundred colonial families and 400 soldiers of the Portuguese army arrived, which became the first European population of Luanda. In 1587, the Portuguese built another fort on the Angolan coast - Benguela. Both of the outposts of the Portuguese colonization soon received city status — Luanda in 1605, and Benguela in 1617. It was from the creation of Luanda and Benguela that the Portuguese colonization of Angola began. Mastering the coast, the Portuguese gradually moved inland. Local rulers bribed or won the wars.

In 1655, Angola officially received the status of a Portuguese colony. Over the centuries of Portuguese rule in Angola, countless Angolans were brought into slavery, primarily to Brazil. One of the leading styles of Brazilian martial art, capoeira, is called “Angola”, since it was developed and cultivated by people from the central and eastern regions of Angola, who were exported to Brazilian slavery. The number of Africans exported from Angola reached 3 million people - a whole small country. At the same time, until the mid-19th century, the Portuguese controlled only the Angolan coast, while slave raids into the inner regions of Angola were carried out with the help of local kings and professional slavers. The leaders of the tribal formations of Inner Angola for a long time resisted the Portuguese colonization, so the Portuguese colonial troops were able to finally complete the conquest of the country only by the 1920 years. Such a long process of colonization of Angola inevitably affected the formation of social and cultural differences of the Angolan population. The African population of Luanda, Benguela and some other coastal cities and regions lived under the rule of the Portuguese for several centuries. During this time, it was Christianized and transferred to Portuguese not only in official, but also in everyday communication. "Asimilados" - as the Portuguese called the Europeanized part of the Angolan population, professed Catholicism and spoke Portuguese. The population of the inner regions of Angola practically did not undergo the processes of cultural assimilation and continued to lead an archaic life style, speak tribal languages ​​and practice traditional beliefs. Of course, the Portuguese language was gradually spreading in the internal regions and the Christian religion was established, but this was happening rather slowly and superficially.

"Racial democracy" and people of three varieties

However, the Portuguese colonial authorities liked to talk about how Portugal worried about the welfare of the black people of Angola. However, until Prof. Oliveira Salazar came to power in Portugal, the Portuguese elite did not think about the ideological justification of the need to be present in the African and Asian colonies. But Salazar was a politically literate person and concerned with maintaining control over overseas possessions. Therefore, during his rule in Portugal, the concept of lusotropicism became widespread. Its foundations were formulated by Brazilian scholar Gilberto Freyri in his work The Big Hut, published in 1933. According to Freyri, the Portuguese occupied a special place among other European peoples, since they had long been in contact, interacted and even mixed with representatives of African and Asian peoples. As a result of the implementation of the civilizing mission, the Portuguese managed to form a unique Portuguese-speaking community that unites representatives of various races and peoples. This happened, among other things, because the Portuguese, according to Freyri, were much more racially tolerant than other European nations. These views impressed Salazaru not because the Portuguese professor saw his relationship with the Angolan peasants or fishermen of East Timor, but because with the help of popularization of Lusotropicism it was possible to overcome the growing anti-colonial sentiments in the African and Asian possessions and extend the domination of Portugal for some time. However, in reality, the policies of the Portuguese state in the colonies were far from the ideal of racial democracy, advertised by the philosopher Freyri and supported by Salazar. In particular, in Angola there was a clear division into three "varieties" of local residents. At the top of the social hierarchy of Angolan society were white Portuguese - visitors from the metropolis and Creoles. Then came the same Asimiladush, which we mentioned a little higher. It is from the “Asimilados”, by the way, that the Angolan middle strata were gradually formed - the colonial bureaucracy, the petty bourgeoisie, the intelligentsia. As for the majority of the inhabitants of the colony, they constituted the third category of the population - “indiznush.” The largest group of Angolan residents was the most discriminated. "Indiznush" was the bulk of the Angolan peasants, "kontraktadadush" - hired workers on the plantations and mines, in fact, in the position of semi-slabs.

Angola Battle-born independence

Portuguese colonial troops stationed in its African possessions — not only in Angola, but also in Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, and Cape Verde — remained the best indicator of genuine “racial democracy” by the Portuguese colonialists. In the colonial subdivisions, the officer and non-commissioned officers were sent from Portugal itself, while the junior sergeant and corporal members were recruited from among the Portuguese Creoles who lived in the colonies. As for ordinary soldiers, they were recruited by recruiting white settlers and by hiring black volunteers. At the same time, the soldiers were divided into three categories — whites, asimiladush — mulattoes, and “civilized blacks”, and “indizhenus” - volunteers from among the inhabitants of the inner provinces. The Portuguese generals did not trust black soldiers and even mulattoes, therefore the number of Africans in the ranks of the Portuguese colonial troops never exceeded 41%. Naturally, in the army units discrimination existed in a very tough form. On the other hand, the army service gave black Angolans the opportunity not only to gain military training, but also to become more familiar with the European way of life, including socialist sentiment, which in one way or another took place among some Portuguese conscripts and even officers. Colonial troops played a major role in the suppression of the rebellions of the indigenous population that were constantly breaking out.

However, not only the natives were a danger to the Portuguese domination in Angola. Much more threatened by the colonial order were the very “Asimilados” whom the Portuguese elite considered to be the agents of Portugal’s cultural influence and the ideas of Lusotropicism among the Angolan population. Indeed, many black Africans, even during the reign of Salazar, were able to study in the metropolis, including in higher educational institutions. Compared with some other countries, this was undoubted progress. But access to education, in turn, opened the eyes of the true state of affairs to indigenous Angolans and people from other African colonies in Portugal. The young Asimilados, who went to study in Lisbon and Coimbra for the purpose of a subsequent bureaucratic career in the colonial administration, working as a doctor or engineer, got acquainted in the metropolis with national liberation and socialist ideas. So, from among the educated young people who possessed certain ambitions, but would never be able to put them into practice under the conditions of the Portuguese colonial administration, the formation of the Angolan “counter-elite” took place. Already in 1920-s. first anti-colonial circles appear in Luanda. Naturally, they were created by asimiladush. The Portuguese authorities were very concerned - in 1922, they banned the Angolan league, which advocated improving working conditions for members of the “indienhus” - the most powerless part of the African population. Then came the Angolan Young Intellectual Movement, led by Viriatu da Cruz - it advocated the protection of Angolan national culture, and later appealed to the UN to turn Angola into a protectorate of the United Nations. The intellectual core of the Angolan national liberation movement, meanwhile, began to form just in the metropolis - among African students who studied in Portuguese universities. Among them were such future key figures of the war of independence of Angola as Agostinho Neto and Jonas Savimbi. Despite the fact that subsequently the paths of the leaders who became the leaders of MPLA and UNITA, diverged, then, in the 1940-s, while studying in Portugal, they formed a single circle of supporters of the independence of Angola.

The formation of the national liberation movement

A new page in the history of the national liberation movement of Angola was opened in the 1950-ies. It was at the beginning of this decade that Professor Salazar decided to intensify the settlement of Angola by European colonists. 11 June 1951. Portugal adopted a law granting the status of overseas provinces to all colonies. But in the real situation of the local population, this decision did not change much, although it gave impetus to the further development of the national liberation movement of Angola. In 1953, the Angolan African Struggle Union (Partido da Luta Unida dos Africanos de Angola) - PLUA was created, which was the first political party of the black population, who spoke for the full independence of Angola from Portugal. The next 1954 was the Union of the Peoples of Northern Angola, which united Angolans and Congolese, who advocated the restoration of the historic Kingdom of the Congo, whose lands were partly part of Portuguese Angola, partly part of the French and Belgian Congo. In 1955, the Angolan Communist Party (CPA) was founded, and in 1956, PLUA and CPA were merged into the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). It was the MPLA that was destined to play a key role in the struggle for independence and to win the post-colonial civil war in Angola. At the origins of the MPLA were Mario Pinto de Andrade and Joaquim de Andrade - the founders of the Communist Party of Angola, Viriato de Cruz, Ilidio Machado and Lucio Lara. Agostinho Neto, who returned from Portugal, joined the MPLA. The first chairman of the MPLA became Viriat de Cruz.

Gradually, the situation in Angola became tense. In 1956, after the creation of the MPLA, the Portuguese authorities intensified repression against supporters of the country's independence. Many MPLA activists, including Agostinho Neto, were imprisoned. At the same time, the Union of the Peoples of Angola was gaining strength, headed by Holden Roberto (1923-2007), aka José Gilmore, the representative of the Congolese royal family of the Bakongo tribe. It was the Bakongo who once created the Kingdom of the Congo, whose lands were then occupied by Portuguese and French colonial possessions. Therefore, Holden Roberto advocated the liberation of only the territory of Northern Angola and the restoration of the Kingdom of the Congo. The ideas of the common Angolan identity and the anti-colonial struggle of Roberto together with other peoples of Angola were of little interest. And he was alien to the rest of the leaders of the Angolan independence movement. Firstly, the life path of Holden Roberto - a representative of the Bacongo aristocracy - was different. Since childhood, he lived not in Angola, but in the Belgian Congo. There he graduated from a Protestant school and worked as a financier in the Belgian colonial administration. Secondly, unlike other Angola independence fighters, Holden Roberto was not a socialist and a republican, but advocated the revival of African traditionalism. The Union of the Peoples of Angola (UPA) created its bases on the territory of the Belgian Congo. Ironically, it was this organization that was destined to open the first page of a long and bloody war for the independence of Angola. After the workers of the cotton plantations in Baixa de Cassange (Malange) declared a strike on January 3, 1961, demanding higher wages and better working conditions, mass unrest broke out. Workers burned their passports and attacked Portuguese businessmen, for which Portuguese aviation bombed several villages in the area. From a few hundred to several thousand Africans died. In retaliation, MPLA fighters of 50 people attacked the police department in Luanda and the São Paulo Prison on February 4, 1961. Seven policemen and forty MPLA fighters died in the clashes. At the funeral of the dead police, clashes continued between white settlers and blacks, and on February 10, MPLA supporters attacked a second prison. The riots in Luanda took advantage of the Union of Peoples of Angola Holden Roberto.

The beginning of the war of independence

15 March 1961. About 5 thousands of militants under the command of Holden Roberto himself invaded Angola from the territory of the Congo. The rapid raid of the UPA took the Portuguese colonial troops by surprise, so Roberto’s supporters succeeded in capturing a number of villages, destroying the officials of the colonial administration. In North Angola, UPA massacred white settlers and 1000 Africans, who did not belong to the Bakongo people and accused Roberto of having occupied the lands of the Kingdom of Congo, around 6000. So began the war for the independence of Angola. However, the Portuguese troops soon managed to take revenge and already September 20 fell Holden Roberto's last base in North Angola. The UPA began a retreat into the territory of the Congo, and the Portuguese colonial troops destroyed indiscriminately both the militants and the civilian population. In the first year of the war of independence, 20-30 thousands of civilian Angolans perished, and about 500 thousands of people fled to neighboring Congo. One of the columns of refugees was accompanied by a squad of 21 MPLA militants. They were attacked by fighters of Holden Roberto, who were captured by MPLA militants, and then executed by 9 on October 1961. From that moment began the confrontation between the two national organizations, which later grew into a civil war that went parallel to the anticolonial war. The main reason for this confrontation was not so much the ideological differences between the nationalist monarchists from the UPA and the socialists from the MPLA, as the tribal strife between the Bakongos, whose interests were represented by the Union of Peoples of Angola, and the northern mbunda and the Asimilados, who formed the majority of activists of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola .

In 1962, Mr. Holden Roberto created a new organization on the basis of the Union of Peoples of Angola and the Democratic Party of Angola - the National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA). He enlisted the support of not only the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), where the nationalist Mobutu, taking the post of commander-in-chief of the armed forces, was gaining ever stronger positions. In addition, Israeli security services began to provide assistance to Roberto, and the United States of America began tacit patronage. 1962 year was decisive for the future political path of the MPLA. This year, Viriato da Cruz was re-elected as the chairman of the MPLA. Agostinho Neto (1922-1979) became the new chairman of the MPLA. By Angolan standards, he was a very educated and unusual person. The son of a Methodist preacher in Catholic Angola, from a young age Neto was doomed to be in opposition to the colonial regime. But he brilliantly studied, received a complete secondary education, which was rare for an Angolan from an ordinary family, and in 1944, after graduating from high school, he began working in medical institutions. At 1947, the twenty-five-year-old Neto went to Portugal, where he entered the medical faculty of the famous University in Coimbra. Being in anti-colonial positions, Neto established contacts not only with Africans living in Portugal, but also with Portuguese anti-fascists from the United Democratic Movement. The wife of Agostinho Neto became the Portuguese Maria-Eugene da Silva. Neto not only combined studies for a doctor with social activities, but also wrote good poems. Subsequently, he became a recognized classic of Angolan poetry, singling out among his favorite authors the French poets Paul Eluard and Louis Aragon, the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet. In 1955-1957 for his political activities, Neto was imprisoned in Portugal, and after his release, in 1958, he graduated from the University of Coimbra and returned to Angola. In Angola, Neto opened a private clinic where most patients received medical services for free or for a very small fee. In 1960, he was arrested again, and during the arrest of Neto, the Portuguese police killed more than thirty clinic patients who tried to protect their chief physician. The policy was transferred to Lisbon and put in prison, then allowed to go under house arrest. In 1962, Neto fled to the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the congress of the party in the same 1962, the main points of the program of the national liberation movement of Angola - democracy, multi-ethnicity, non-alignment, nationalization, national liberation struggle, preventing the creation of foreign military bases in the country were adopted. The progressive political program of the MPLA promoted support from the Soviet Union, Cuba and the German Democratic Republic. The historic meeting of Agostinho Neto with Ernesto Che Guevara took place in 1965.

In 1964, the third national liberation organization appeared in Angola - the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), which was created by Jonas Savimbi, who by this time emerged from FNLA. The Savimbi organization expressed the interests of the third largest people of Angola, the Ovimbunda, and acted primarily in the southern provinces of Angola, fighting against FNLA and MPLA. Savimbi’s political concept was a “third way”, alternative to both Holden Roberto’s traditionalist conservatism and Agostinho Neto’s Marxism. Savimbi professed a bizarre mixture of Maoism and African nationalism. The fact that UNITA soon entered into an open confrontation with the pro-Soviet MPLA provided the organization with the support of the United States and then South Africa.

However, thanks to serious financial and military assistance from the USSR, Cuba, the GDR, other socialist countries and even Sweden, the leading position in the national liberation movement of Angola finally won the MPLA. This was facilitated by the presence of a coherent political program, and the absence of primitive nationalism characteristic of FNLA and UNITA. The MPLA openly proclaimed itself a left-wing, socialist organization. Back in 1964, the banner of the MPLA was adopted - a red-black cloth with a big yellow star in the center, based on the red-black flag of the July July 26 Cuban movement in combination with a star borrowed from the flag of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam. The MPLA rebels underwent military training in the socialist countries - the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and also in Algeria. In the USSR, MPLA fighters studied at the 165 training center for training foreign troops in Simferopol. In 1971, the MPLA leadership proceeded to the formation of mobile squadrons for 100-150 fighters each. These squadrons, armed with 60-mm and 81-mm mortars, used the tactics of surprise attacks on the posts of the Portuguese colonial troops. In turn, the Portuguese command responded with the merciless destruction of not only the MPLA camps, but also the villages where militants could be hiding. The South African Defense Forces came to the aid of the Portuguese colonial forces, because the South African leadership was extremely negative about the possible victory of the national liberation movement in Angola. According to the Boer nationalists, who were in power in South Africa, this could be a bad and infectious example for the African National Congress, which also fought against the apartheid regime. With the help of the South African troops, by the beginning of 1972, the Portuguese managed to squeeze the MPLA troops substantially, after which Agostinho Neto led the 800 squad of fighters to withdraw from Angola and retreat to the Congo.

"The revolution carnations" gave freedom to the colonies

Most likely, the war for the independence of Angola would have continued even further if political changes had not started in Portugal itself. The decline of the Portuguese right-wing conservative regime began as early as the end of the 1960s, when Salazar suffered a stroke in 1968 and actually withdrew from government. After 27 in July 1970. 81-year-old Salazar passed away, Marcel Caetanu became the new prime minister of the country. He tried to continue the policy of Salazar, including in terms of keeping the colonies, but it became increasingly difficult to do it every year. Recall that the protracted colonial wars of Portugal led not only in Angola, but also in Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. In each of these countries, significant troop units were concentrated, the maintenance of which required colossal funds. The economy of Portugal simply could not bear the burden that lay on her in connection with the nearly fifteen years of colonial war. Moreover, the political expediency of the colonial war in Africa was becoming less and less understandable. It was clear that after fifteen years of armed resistance, the Portuguese colonies would no longer be able to maintain the social and political order that existed in them before the start of the anti-colonial wars. Not eager to go to war in Africa and the Portuguese conscripts, and many officers of the colonial troops were embittered at the command, because they did not receive the desired promotion and, risking their lives on foreign African lands, grew in ranks much slower than the "parquet" officers from headquarters units in lisbon. Finally, the death of thousands of servicemen in the African wars caused the natural discontent of their families. The social and economic problems of the country, which had to wage long wars, were aggravated.

As a result of dissatisfaction with the military, an illegal organization was created among the junior and middle commanders of the Portuguese army, called the Captain Movement. She gained great influence in the country's armed forces and secured support from civilian organizations, primarily Portuguese leftist and democratic youth organizations. As a result of the activities of the conspirators, on 25 on April 1974, the "captains", among whom were, of course, lieutenants, majors, and lieutenant colonels, appointed an armed uprising. The opposition has secured support in a whole number of units of the Portuguese armed forces - an engineering regiment, an infantry regiment, a cavalry regiment, a light artillery regiment, a Casadorish light infantry battalion, the 10 commando group, a special operations training center, a military administrative school and three military schools. The conspiracy was led by Major Otel Nun Saraiva de Carvalho. 26 on April 1974. The Captain Movement was officially renamed the Armed Forces Movement, which was led by the Coordination Commission of the ICE: Colonel Vashka Gonsalves, Majors Vitor Alves and Melou Antunish from ground forces, Lieutenant Commander Vitor Kreshpo and Almeida Contreras - from the naval forces, Major Pereira Pinto and captain Costa Martins - from the air forces. The government of Caetanu was deposed, a revolution occurred in the country, which went down in history as the “revolution of carnations”. Power in Portugal was transferred to the Council of National Salvation, which was headed by General Antonio de Spinola - the former governor-general of Portuguese Guinea and one of the main theorists of the concept of the colonial war in Africa. 15 May 1974 was formed by the Provisional Government of Portugal, headed by Adeline and Palma Carlos. Almost all the instigators of the “revolution of carnations” demanded the granting of independence to the African colonies of Portugal, which would put an actual end to the Portuguese colonial empire that had existed for almost half a century. However, this decision was opposed by General di Spinola, so he had to be replaced by General Francisco da Costa Gomes, also a veteran of the African wars who commanded the Portuguese troops in Mozambique and Angola. The Portuguese leadership agreed to grant political independence to all African and Asian colonies in the country at 1975.

Fighting for Luanda and the proclamation of independence

As for Angola, it was envisaged that the country’s political independence would be 11 on November 1975, but before that the three main military-political forces of the country - MPLA, FNLA and UNITA - were to form a coalition government. In January, 1975 met in Kenya with the leaders of the three leading military-political organizations of Angola, who decided after the formation of a coalition government to take up the issue of creating government bodies, police, and armed forces of an independent Angolan state. But already in the summer of 1975, a serious aggravation of relations between the MPLA on the one hand and UNITA and FNLA on the other hand occurred. The opposition of organizations was explained very simply. The MPLA hatched plans to turn Angola into a country of socialist orientation under the auspices of the Soviet Union and Cuba and did not want to share power with nationalists from FNLA and UNITA. As for the latter groups, they also did not want the MPLA to come to power, especially since foreign sponsors demanded that they not allow pro-Soviet forces to come to power in Angola.

In July, 1975, in the capital of Angola, Luanda, where by this time armed units of all three groups were present, clashes began between the MPLA, FNLA and UNITA fighters, which quickly developed into real street battles. The overwhelmingly large units of the MPLA managed to quickly dislodge detachments of their opponents from the capital and establish complete control over Luanda. Hopes for a peaceful solution to the conflict of the three military-political organizations and the creation of a coalition government were completely dispelled. Angola was to have a long and more bloody war than the war of independence, a civil war of “all against all”. Naturally, all three organizations after the July battles in Luanda turned for help to their foreign patrons. Other states entered the Angolan confrontation. So, on September 25 1975, units of Zaire’s armed forces invaded Angolan territory from the north. The Mobutu Sese Seko, who had become president of Zaire by this time, had been assisting FNLA since the sixties, and Holden Roberto was related to the Zairian leader, prudently at the beginning of the 1960s. marrying a woman from the clan of Mobutu's wife. From the south, units of the armed forces of the Republic of South Africa, which defended UNITA, invaded the territory of Angola on October 14. The South African leadership also saw the danger in the coming to power of the MPLA, since the latter supported the national liberation movement SWAPO, which operated in the territory of South Africa-controlled Namibia. Also, armed forces of the Portuguese Liberation Army (ELP), who opposed the MPLA, invaded from the territory of Namibia.

Aware of the danger of his position, the MPLA chairman Agostinho Neto officially appealed to the Soviet Union and Cuba for help. Fidel Castro responded instantly. In Cuba, volunteers began to join the expeditionary corps, which was soon delivered to Angola - to the aid of the MPLA. Thanks to Cuba’s military support, the MPLA was able to form 16 infantry battalions and 25 anti-aircraft and mortar batteries, which entered the fighting. Until the end of 1975, about 200 Soviet military advisers and specialists arrived in Angola, and warships of the Soviet Navy approached the shores of Angola. The MPLA received a significant amount of weapons and money from the Soviet Union. The advantage was again on the side of the Angolan socialists. Moreover, the FNLA armed forces opposed to the MPLA were much less armed and poorly trained. The only full-fledged combat unit FNLA was a detachment of European mercenaries led by a kind of "Colonel Callen." So introduced the young Greek Kostas Georgiou (1951-1976) - a native of Cyprus, who served as a soldier in the British parachute regiment, but retired from military service because of problems with the law. The unit was based on mercenaries - the Portuguese and Greeks (later the British and Americans also arrived, who, however, did not have combat experience, and many didn’t do military service, which significantly worsened the unit’s combat capability). The participation of European mercenaries did not help Holden Roberto to resist the MPLA. Moreover, on the side of the MPLA, well-trained Cuban soldiers performed. On the night of 10 on 11 on November 1975, the forces of FNLA and units of the Zaire armed forces suffered a crushing defeat in the battle of Kifangondo, which predetermined the further fate of Angola. The capital of the country remained in the hands of the MPLA. The next day, 11 in November 1975, the independence of the People’s Republic of Angola was officially proclaimed. Thus, the declaration of independence was carried out under the authority of the MPLA and the movement became ruling in the new independent Angola. The first president of Angola on the same day was proclaimed Agostinho Neto.

The next two decades of Angolan independence were marred by a bloody civil war, which in its glow was comparable to the war for independence. The civil war in Angola killed at least 300 000 people. Cuban troops and Soviet military advisers and specialists took an active part in the war on the side of the Angolan government. MPLA managed to maintain power in a military confrontation with the forces of opposition groups supported by the United States and South Africa. The modern Angolan statehood is rooted precisely in the national liberation struggle of the MPLA, although at the present time Angola is no longer a country of socialist orientation. Jose Eduardo dos Santos (born 1942) - one of the closest associates of Agostinho Neto, who graduated from the Azerbaijan Institute of Oil and Chemistry in the USSR (in 1969) and who occupied the post of President of Angola in 1979 - is still the President of the country. after the death of Agostinho Neto. The ruling party of Angola, until now, remains the MPLA. Officially, the party is considered social democratic and is a member of the Socialist International.

By the way, at the same time, 11 November 1975, the independence of Angola recognized the Soviet Union and on the same day Soviet-Angolan diplomatic relations were established. So, this day marks forty years and the official relations of our country with Angola.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 11 November 2015 07: 56
    I had such a brand in my time .. And the magazine Horizon .. in one of the numbers were records that were flexible with the songs of the Angolan partisans .. Thank you, Ilya ..
  2. mishastich
    mishastich 11 November 2015 09: 17
    I remember in the Soldier of Fortune articles about Angola, sometimes there were more than about Afghanistan.
    1. saygon66
      saygon66 12 November 2015 01: 17
      - And no wonder! They were there ... At one time, two GDR Germans wrote the book "About, STI, Here_ki Wars" In our edition "Soldiers for Sale" - an interesting thing ...
  3. Army soldier2
    Army soldier2 11 November 2015 10: 10
    Thank you for the article! We will wait for the continuation.
    1. Secta haki
      Secta haki 12 November 2015 09: 29
      The theme of the liberation of Namibia by the Angolans and Cubans, after which the apartheid government in South Africa crumbled, is not covered. The troops of the latter at different times occupied from half to 2/3 of the Angolan territory.
  4. vk77
    vk77 11 November 2015 12: 06
    So you fight for independence, you get it, and then what? So at least the protectorate is watching over you, but no one will feed the independents. So what else to think about is whether individual countries really need independence. Just like in the movie:
    .... reward generously. Maybe I'll give you a free one. Do you want to be free?
    - No! No way! Why haven’t I seen there ?!
  5. zamyatin
    zamyatin 11 November 2015 12: 12
    My fellow countryman, Mr. Danilov, died in the provision of international assistance to Angola. The kingdom of heaven.
    1. saygon66
      saygon66 12 November 2015 01: 21
      - An Angola veteran lives in our region - Ensign Nikolai Pestetsov ... was wounded in Angola, spent several years in a South African prison ...
  6. Gomunkul
    Gomunkul 11 November 2015 12: 16
    The MPLA was able to maintain power in a military confrontation with forces of opposition groups supported by the United States and South Africa.
    In Angola, China and the DPRK also noted with their arms supplies, if memory serves, they supplied FNLA weapons.
    In 1976, in one of the battles with the FNLA in Angola near Luanda, a Chinese T-59 tank was captured.
    Thanks to the author for the article, but in one such article you will not tell about everything that was in Angola.hi
    PS If anyone is interested in becoming more familiar with this topic, you can read this book here: http: //
  7. Grigorievich
    Grigorievich 11 November 2015 13: 35
    My cousin, serving in a submarine, visited Angola. He brought Cuban camouflage and flaunted it. He told how they carried out prophylaxis against South African saboteurs in the port water area, from time to time they threw anti-tank grenades into the water .-
    1. brelok
      brelok 11 November 2015 16: 34
      Not in 66 oh by accident? My father spent 11 months there, the same on a submarine. On the way back they sank near Norway.
    2. saygon66
      saygon66 12 November 2015 00: 56
      “Not by chance?”
  8. Pissarro
    Pissarro 11 November 2015 16: 22

    Angola is the last victory of the USSR
  9. cosmos111
    cosmos111 11 November 2015 17: 52
    South African army in 70's / 80's, was the best on the African continent ....

    the war was modern maneuverable, with the use of aviation artillery and the massive use of mines((((it’s a pity only in the USSR, they didn’t draw conclusions in Afghanistan / WE / USSR, the SA entered armored vehicles that did NOT have any mine protection)))))

    which led to numerous casualties ..... if you had made conclusions, the loss could be reduced at times !!!!

    BATTLE FOR QUITO-KUANAVALE. South African armored personnel carrier "Kasspir", captured by Angolans and Soviet specialists ....
  10. Grigorievich
    Grigorievich 11 November 2015 19: 28
    Quote: brelok
    Not in 66 oh by accident? My father spent 11 months there, the same on a submarine. On the way back they sank near Norway.

    He would later not have drowned, otherwise he would have told. He sailed a lot in the Mediterranean Sea.
    1. brelok
      brelok 12 November 2015 07: 04
      Quote: Grigorievich
      Quote: brelok
      Not in 66 oh by accident? My father spent 11 months there, the same on a submarine. On the way back they sank near Norway.

      He would later not have drowned, otherwise he would have told. He sailed a lot in the Mediterranean Sea.

      About events 65-66 there is nothing in the air. The only thing I found was that our specialists suffered heavy losses. Dad revealed it after the 90s. He was silent. We didn’t even know that he was there. At the request, the answer came to the WMO that the materials would be declassified in 2040. But it seemed like he had to fight seriously: he was an elder -A conscript was assigned a junior lieutenant. And after the demobilization, two more stars were added.
  11. cosmos111
    cosmos111 11 November 2015 22: 20
    the article is not poorly written .... BUT all known facts are listed, NOT something new .....

    anyone interested (for more details): the 32nd battalion "Buffalo" - the history of the South African special forces ...
    1. aviator1913
      aviator1913 12 November 2015 12: 45
      good articles, thank you, you can even put it in VO, with a reference to the authors.
      1. Secta haki
        Secta haki 12 November 2015 21: 24
        Articles on the links are propaganda, and in fact, they grind the fact that the South African soldier was defeated by the Cubans and Angolans during their march to Luanda, after which having lost half of its armored vehicles, South Africa was forced to withdraw not only from the south of Angola, but also from Namibia, to abandon its Nuclear weapons (joint South African-Israeli development), and in general the apartheid regime in South Africa collapsed.
        The racists decided to seize the capital of Angola after world socialism was abolished by Gorbachev, and they hoped that Cuba and Angola would not stand up to their aggression without much help from the USSR. Instead, they fell apart themselves, because aircraft, like in the Doomsday War, can still be quickly overtaken, but tanks and armored personnel carriers and anti-aircraft systems - no.

        A strange video about the Australian army and bravo shooting American tanks in a rare bush is now hanging on YouTube’s VO channel on YouTube. In fact, even in such a bush they will be quickly knocked out by grenade launchers and ATGMs.

        Also, Cuban pilots successfully fought in Angola, but of course there are no links to them here.
    2. saygon66
      saygon66 12 November 2015 19: 44
      - And what is the emblem of the Sellus Scouts changed color? smile
  12. saygon66
    saygon66 12 November 2015 19: 42
    - By the way, it turns out that the chairman of RosNeft, II Sechin, also took part in the hostilities in Angola.
  13. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 17 November 2015 12: 01
    Very good article. Thank you! I regret that I didn’t read right away. I thought about the Russian history of the beginning of the last century.