This is a very balanced book. The author did 8 years of research, and interviewed participants from each side, covering South Africa, UK, USA and Cuba. He actually made many trips to Cuba and spent a long time talking with Angola's veterans.
He dismisses many inflated casualty numbers coming from both sides. The author exposes Castro's intervention in Angola as nothing more than a desperate attempt to prevent the total defeat of the MPLA, and capture as much land as possible to strengthen the MAPLA militarily legitimacy, as well as their position as the "representative" of its people, while helping the Marxist group to overpower the two other liberation movements UNITA and FNLA before the national election. Castro used the Cubans troops and the military support of the Russians to intervene and extend a civil war, where the Cubans didn't belong.
As well, the author dismissed all claims of the Cuban troops defeating the South Africans and pushing them out of Angola and into (South West Africa) Namibia in Operation General Antonio Maceo in April 1976. In reality, the South Africans had already withdrawn under pressure from their own politicians, so the Cubans were basically fighting against the weak UNITA forces, holding towns given to them by the South Africans Defense Forces.
The only Cuban-FAPLA victories were when they defeated the FLEC-Zairian forces and forced them across the border, in the battle for Cabinda. The FNLA was unquestionably defeated at Quifangondo and the South African Foxbat were ambushed at Ebo and forced to retreat with light casualties. The South African-UNITA with inferior forces destroyed the SWAPO-FAPLA-Cubans and achieved almost every military objective. They used clever strategies to outsmart the enemy, inflicting high casualties while sustaining minimal ones, in a ratio almost unheard of in military history. They lost the political battle but not the military one.
Someday Castro's propaganda version of the Cuban intervention in Angola will come to an end, and history will be corrected, exposing to the world the crushing military victories the South African army achieved over SWAPO and FAPLA-Cubans, with numerically smaller forces like Catengue (November 1975), Cassinga (May 1978), Cuvelai (January 1984), the Lomba river (September-October 1988), Tchipa (June 1988) etc.
The truth will come out as well about the controversial battle of Cuito Cuanavales. After the South Africans gave incredible blow after blow, producing high casualties to the FAPLA-Cubans forces, that were forced to retrieve 250 miles in their failed attempt to advance into Jamba-UNITA Head Quartes.
One of the things that saved the remainder of the retreating Cubans-MAPLA from total annihilation, was the rotation of the South African fighting forces after the end of a military services cyscle, that gave the Marxist enough time to hunker down on the other side of the Cuito River, after laying a giant minefield. Their only counter attack was by some Cubans tanks in what seem to be a suicidal or very ill planned mission because they were easily picked apart and destroyed by their South African counterparts. The MAPLA-Cubans didn't force South Africans to withdrawn or defeat them by any means. They just defended their position against a few South African-UNITA attacks, saving themselves from the final South African onslaught, but that was it!!!
This became a golden opportunity for Castro to run his propaganda machinery around the world, proclaiming a victory that wasn't there and capitalizing on the opportunity to leave Angola with some kind of dignity after so many years of constant defeat on the battlefield. Castro left Angola with UNITA stronger than ever after so many years of failed attempts to destroy them.
I strongly recommend this book for those that want to read some serious research of what really took place during Castro's intervention in Angola.