By Stephen L. Weigert (auth.)
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Extra resources for Angola: A Modern Military History, 1961–2002
Emphasizing tactics reminiscent of those employed in Maria’s War, workers 24 Angola were expected to limit their activity to the destruction of crops, buildings and bridges; and they were to refrain from attacks on personnel. This plan was quickly abandoned, perhaps intentionally, but possibly due to the provocation of plantation owners who shot at striking workers. Violence escalated rapidly, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of colonial settlers and thousands of Africans. Unarmed civilians on both sides were slaughtered over the next eight months.
18 Mulele’s association with traditional magico-religious precepts and their application to military operations elevated him to the status of a national leader. His influence, and that of his “bulletproof” troops, soon spread to supporters of the National Liberation Council (CNL) insurgency. In early 1964, the CNL rebellion had advanced rapidly through Congo’s eastern T h e Q u e s t f o r a S t r at e g y o f G u e r r i l l a Wa r fa r e 19 provinces, where rebel groups reportedly were chanting “Mulele mai” as they charged into battle.
History and Geography Modern nationalists had many heroic, albeit often tragic, historic figures whose struggles still lived in the memories of contemporary Angolans. The heroes and heroines of previous wars could be recalled to inspire and improve morale but they could also highlight key obstacles to effective insurrection. Like their political/military ancestors, all modern Angolan guerrilla leaders found that their initial appeals for support evoked a limited popular response. They led combatants drawn from a relatively narrow ethnically, linguistically, or geographically defined segment of the population at a time when the concept of a “nation-state” had not yet been carefully defined or thoroughly articulated in the minds of many Angolans.