n Journal for Contemporary History - War, popular memory and the South African literature of the Angolan conflict




Southern Africa was ravaged by war for much of the second half of the twentieth century. Great changes followed World War II. Black consciousness and Pan-Africanism grew alongside and in southern Africa at least partly in response to the consolidation of Afrikaner political and military power. As South Africa moved down the path to ''garrison statehood'' and ''total strategy'', the liberation movements in southern Africa, invigorated, funded and supplied with arms by one or other party of the bipolar Cold-War world, formed armed movements with the aim of overthrowing white rule on the subcontinent. The result was an interconnected series of wars fought in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), in the then Portuguese territories of Mozambique and Angola, and in the northern part of the territory of South West Africa (SWA) (now Namibia), combined with an armed struggle against South Africa itself.


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