Researcher: Marco Paulo Fortunato Arrifes

Supervisor(s): Nuno Lemos Pires

Participant Institutions: PhD in History, Security and Defense Studies

Keywords: Angola, colonies, military operations, general theory of holistic war command


The present investigation proposes an analysis of the military confrontations between Europeans and Africans, in Central and Southern Angola, in the period between the Berlin Conference of 1885 and the victory of Mongua in 1915, considering the political-strategic, operational and tactical developments. The objective of this investigation is the validation of several major principles of the General Theory of Holistic War Command. To this end, we have tried to answer the following questions: What is the typology of the forces engaged in military operations, and what are the methods used for their coordination? What are the relationships on the ground between military and civilians (Europeans and Africans) and what is their suitability for conducting operations? What were and how were colonial political objectives formed and what’s their evolution in matters of defense and security? Was there consistency between these objectives and operational realities? What are the relationship models between the metropolitan and the colonial political powers? What is the possibility of finding a prospective view in strategic and tactical planning? To answer these questions, the methodology used derives from the holistic principles adopted and it is based on documentary analysis, followinging a qualitative approach, according to the deductive method and appealing to interdisciplinary logics. The purpose of rooting the essentials of research within History requires a composite, tax-based approach to International Relations and Security and Defense Studies. The choice of these theoretical-methodological principles, allowed us to present a new look of these military operations, validating many of the holistic principals, contributing both to a better understanding of the role played by the military effort and enriching the views on the Portuguese colonial experience. We conclude this work by giving some suggestions on possible future paths for investigation.

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