In This Review

Africa: War and Conflict in the Twentieth Century
Africa: War and Conflict in the Twentieth Century
By Timothy Stapleton
Routledge, 2018, 202 pp

This concise history of warfare in Africa in the twentieth century covers a large number of conflicts, from the wars of colonial conquest waged by European armies in the earliest parts of the century, to the participation of African troops in World War I and World War II, to interstate wars since decolonization. Some of these conflicts are well known; others, such as the wars to quell various rebellions during the colonial era, get little academic or popular attention. Given Stapleton’s previous scholarly work on South African military history, it is not surprising that the long section on the Second Boer War, from 1899 to 1902, is rather more detailed than the book’s cursory treatment of several bloodier conflicts, most notably the First and Second Congo Wars, from 1996 to 2003. Although maps of the different campaigns would have made the book easier to follow, Stapleton nonetheless offers a useful introduction to an important topic.