Oilfields and Airpower in African Conflict: The Case of Biafra


Ignatus, Onianwa Oluchukwu, Ph.D., Department of History, University of Ibadan (Nigeria)


Author of Britain’s Injurious Peace Games in the Nigerian Civil War, 1967-1970, Once Upon a Time in Biafra: Memories, Foreign Visitations, and Life Experiences in the Nigerian Civil War, 1967-1970, and British Women and the Nigerian Civil War

In this intrepid study, noted Nigerian historian Onianwa Oluchukwu Ignatus investigates the air war component of the Nigerian-Biafran War, a crucial postcolonial conflict in Africa. It focuses on the Biafra’s air operations against oil installations and facilities owned by multinational oil companies in Nigeria. In addition to exploring global airpower historiography, this study explores the tactical aspects of how the renewed air war changed the military equation of the conflict when both sides were at loggerheads in peace settlement and relief arrangements. This episode was important in postcolonial military history of Africa, when modern air weapons were developed at the local level for offensive military capability.
While the air operations of the Biafrans were sporadic yet destructive, they caused considerable damage to public utilities in Nigeria. Internally, the air attacks paved the way for internal disturbances in the oil producing areas by damaging oil companies’ activities and the reducing foreign investment. Externally, it caused a loss of confidence in Nigeria. The Biafran air offensive proved to be the key strategy in Nigeria’s response to the crisis, which focused on neutralizing Biafran airpower.

Africa, African Studies, African History, International History, Colonialism, Post-Colonialism, British Studies, British History, Nigeria, Nigerian Civil War, Biafra, Civil Conflict, Diplomacy, Military History, Air Power, War Studies
Release Date: 
January 15, 2020
978-1680532203 Hardcover
Trim Size: 

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