Africa: War and Conflict in the Twentieth Century: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Africa: War and Conflict in the Twentieth Century

1st Edition

By Timothy Stapleton


202 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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This book examines the causes, course and consequences of warfare in twentieth century Africa, a period which spanned colonial rebellions, both World Wars, and the decolonization process. Timothy Stapleton contextualizes the essential debates and controversies surrounding African conflict in the twentieth century while providing insightful introductions to such conflicts as:

  • African rebellions against colonial regimes in the early twentieth century, including the rebellion and infamous genocide of the Herero and Nama people in present-day Namibia;
  • The African fronts of World War I and World War II, and the involvement of colonized African peoples in these global conflicts;
  • Conflict surrounding the widespread decolonization of Africa in the 1950s and 1960s;
  • Rebellion and civil war in Africa during the Cold War, when American and Soviet elements often intervened in efforts to turn African battlegrounds into Cold War proxy conflicts;
  • The Second Congo Civil War, which is arguably the bloodiest conflict in any region since World War II;

Supported by a glossary, a who’s who of key figures, a timeline of major events, a rich bibliography, and a set of documents which highlight the themes of the book, Africa: War and Conflict in the Twentieth Century is the best available resource for students and scholars seeking an introduction to violent conflict in recent African history.

Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction

Part Two: War and Conflict in Africa (1900-1945)

Chapter 1: Wars of Colonial Conquest (1900-36)

Chapter 2: Africa and the World Wars (1914-18 and 1939-45)

Part Three: War and Conflict in Africa (1945-2000)

Chapter 3: Decolonization Wars (1947-90)

Chapter 4: Civil Wars (1955-2000)

Chapter 5: Inter-state Wars (1960-2000)

Part Four: Documents



Who’s who?

Select Documents


About the Author

Timothy J. Stapleton is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Calgary. He is the author of A History of Genocide in Africa (2017), the three-volume A Military History of Africa (2013) and A Military History of South Africa: From the Dutch-Khoi Wars to the End of Apartheid (2010).

About the Series

Seminar Studies

Each book in the Seminar Studies series provides a concise and reliable introduction to a wide range of complex historical events and debates, covering topics in British, European, US and world history from the early modern period to the present day. Written by acknowledged experts and including supporting material such as extracts from historical documents, chronologies, glossaries, guides to key figures and further reading suggestions, Seminar Studies titles are essential reading for students of history.

Almost half a century after its launch, the series continues to introduce students to the problems involved in explaining the past, giving them the opportunity to grapple with historical documents and encouraging them to reach their own conclusions. To submit proposals for new books in the Seminar Studies series, please contact the series editors:

Clive.Emsley: clive.emsley @

Gordon Martel: Gordon.Martel @

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Africa / General
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
HISTORY / Modern / 21st Century