COLD WAR -the forgotten front
It is commonly believed that there were no shots fired in the cold war and that it was a pure political and ideological conflict. That is a convenient untruth. The provision of equipment, guns and ammunition by Soviet Forces into Angola led to the largest battles in Africa since the Second World war.
From 1958 to 1966 some 58 countries gained independence. With this came large scale political instability. The new govts were prone to socialist and communist thinking and distrusted its old colonial masters.
By 1968 the only area that had not gone through drastic political change was the Southern part of Africa. Angola and Mozambique was still under Portuguese rule, Rhodesia still held out and South Africa, with South West Africa was still not in new hands. In this the stage was set for the Soviet Block to enter the continent. The soviets actively sponsored the MPLA in Angola. Their proxy nation that executed the mission was the Cubans. At the same time they supported SWAPO with many members being trained in the USSR.
By 1974 they had achieved their objectives and the civil war in Angola saw the Portuguese leave with the soviet backed MPLA in power fighting Unita. With the new govt of Angola not settled it allowed SWAPO to set up bases – again with Russian support. The region was now actively unstable and escalated slowly – one landmine at a time. With every landmine or bomb the divide grew wider and political war turned into pro-active defense and then attack and thus East meets wests on the Angolan battlefront.