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The Tragedy of Victory: On-the-spot Account of the Nigeria-Biafra War in the Atlantic Theatre

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The Tragedy of Victory: On-the-Spot Account of the Nigeria-Biafra War in the Atlantic Theatre is a chronological narrative of the war that lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970. With about 500 photographs and maps and facts, told with accuracy, the well-organised and efficient Third Marine Commandos, earlier commanded by Col. Benjamin Adekunle (with Lt. Col. G. Alab The Tragedy of Victory: On-the-Spot Account of the Nigeria-Biafra War in the Atlantic Theatre is a chronological narrative of the war that lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970. With about 500 photographs and maps and facts, told with accuracy, the well-organised and efficient Third Marine Commandos, earlier commanded by Col. Benjamin Adekunle (with Lt. Col. G. Alabi-Isama, as the Chief of Staff) had already controlled the Atlantic coast from Bonny to Calabar before Col. Olusegun Obasanjo’s arrival as the new commander . This most revealing book is in three parts. The first part is an account of the author’s early life and his first encounter with the army. Under the watchful eyes of a mother who gave the best in moral education to a son of promise, Alabi-Isama’s life got shaped by a pre-destined career where the cap really fitted. The second part is about the real combat. It outlines, in detail, the strategies and tactics the commandos employed during the historic 480km trek from Calabar to Port Harcourt and narrates the hostile climate, terrain environment, health and survival hazards they had to surmount on the 30-day march. The think-tank, the mapping out of operations and disciplined control of men and materials by Alabi-Isama, the chief of staff, as well as the officers of 3 Marine Commando Division of the Nigerian army, sustained the Nigerian side of the conflict. This section concludes with the final successful push by the commandos into Uli-Ihiala, Biafra’s ‘centre of gravity,’ a move that ended the war following the surrender of Biafra. The third part is an expose on Obasanjo’s book, My Command. The author contests Obasanjo’s claims about the war as being inconsistent with the truth and maintains that it is a tragedy that the real fighters of the war for the unity of Nigeria had not been acknowledged to date. Rather, they wallow in poverty and are discredited by their military leaders who assumed political offices with all the accompanying largesse. The book is a rich manual, a repository of invaluable information, a document that gives a precise and veritable first-person account of the Nigerian civil war, in the Atlantic theatre. It is a must for every serving and retired member of the armed forces to own. Other Nigerians and international bodies will find it particularly useful in reconstructing the events of Nigeria’s civil war.


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The Tragedy of Victory: On-the-Spot Account of the Nigeria-Biafra War in the Atlantic Theatre is a chronological narrative of the war that lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970. With about 500 photographs and maps and facts, told with accuracy, the well-organised and efficient Third Marine Commandos, earlier commanded by Col. Benjamin Adekunle (with Lt. Col. G. Alab The Tragedy of Victory: On-the-Spot Account of the Nigeria-Biafra War in the Atlantic Theatre is a chronological narrative of the war that lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970. With about 500 photographs and maps and facts, told with accuracy, the well-organised and efficient Third Marine Commandos, earlier commanded by Col. Benjamin Adekunle (with Lt. Col. G. Alabi-Isama, as the Chief of Staff) had already controlled the Atlantic coast from Bonny to Calabar before Col. Olusegun Obasanjo’s arrival as the new commander . This most revealing book is in three parts. The first part is an account of the author’s early life and his first encounter with the army. Under the watchful eyes of a mother who gave the best in moral education to a son of promise, Alabi-Isama’s life got shaped by a pre-destined career where the cap really fitted. The second part is about the real combat. It outlines, in detail, the strategies and tactics the commandos employed during the historic 480km trek from Calabar to Port Harcourt and narrates the hostile climate, terrain environment, health and survival hazards they had to surmount on the 30-day march. The think-tank, the mapping out of operations and disciplined control of men and materials by Alabi-Isama, the chief of staff, as well as the officers of 3 Marine Commando Division of the Nigerian army, sustained the Nigerian side of the conflict. This section concludes with the final successful push by the commandos into Uli-Ihiala, Biafra’s ‘centre of gravity,’ a move that ended the war following the surrender of Biafra. The third part is an expose on Obasanjo’s book, My Command. The author contests Obasanjo’s claims about the war as being inconsistent with the truth and maintains that it is a tragedy that the real fighters of the war for the unity of Nigeria had not been acknowledged to date. Rather, they wallow in poverty and are discredited by their military leaders who assumed political offices with all the accompanying largesse. The book is a rich manual, a repository of invaluable information, a document that gives a precise and veritable first-person account of the Nigerian civil war, in the Atlantic theatre. It is a must for every serving and retired member of the armed forces to own. Other Nigerians and international bodies will find it particularly useful in reconstructing the events of Nigeria’s civil war.

30 review for The Tragedy of Victory: On-the-spot Account of the Nigeria-Biafra War in the Atlantic Theatre

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bodosika Bodosika

    An account of how the Nigeria civil war was fought...An interesting read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tunde Ajao

    I have just finished reading a book by General Alabi-Isama about the Nigerian civil war it was described as an “On-the-stop account of the Nigeria-Biafra War in the Atlantic Theatre”. This is an unusual to me, and it seems a unique book as it has five people writing forwards, Sulu Gambari Emir of Ilorin, General Adeyinka Adebayo (a general in the Nigeria Army), Dr Nowamagbe A. Omoigui (a Nigerian military historian and medical doctor), General Dr Yakubu Jack Gowon (Former Head of State in Nigeri I have just finished reading a book by General Alabi-Isama about the Nigerian civil war it was described as an “On-the-stop account of the Nigeria-Biafra War in the Atlantic Theatre”. This is an unusual to me, and it seems a unique book as it has five people writing forwards, Sulu Gambari Emir of Ilorin, General Adeyinka Adebayo (a general in the Nigeria Army), Dr Nowamagbe A. Omoigui (a Nigerian military historian and medical doctor), General Dr Yakubu Jack Gowon (Former Head of State in Nigeria, and Head of state during the conflict), and a General of the Biafrian Army. Who indicated it “may well be the first truly military account of the Nigeria Civil War to come from the Nigerian side”. He said that the account of the Mid-Western offense was incomplete since the author did not have access to Biafrian Army information and it more of the side show than the main event. The invasion of the Mid-West was by “scantily armed militiamen”and a personal crusade of Col Victor Banjo, unknown to the Biafrian army commander. He was then planing to overthrow Gen Ojukwu after discussing with some foreign powers. This book at that time is very important to see how emotions can run high and it is better we take a step back and reassess our situation. And it is a very emotional story and you could feel the pain of the writer throughout the pages. From a story of a young solider dying in his arms, till he became critical of Adekunle and his OAU plan. But the main venom is reserved for OBJ from their very first meeting and through out some of the pages. It seemed he did not praised OBJ or maybe he did and it was lost in so many pages. Gen Alabi’s book I will recommended for anyone who wants a detail fact by fact on how the war was won. He went into detail and with the maps, diagrams and pictures you are in no doubt that this man was really there. I would recommend the book for those who have read OBJ’s “My Command” and want to get more information. I would recommend the book for lovers of Military History who wanted to follow each battle in the Atlantic front to some degree of detail. People who wanted to know the role of certain officers during the counter coup of 1966.Some people may feel that the editing is poor, but I feel it gives the book life and a personal touch.

  3. 5 out of 5

    NKENNA ANEKE

    The tragedy of Victory, Brings to plain view, the truth about some of the closely guarded mysteries of the civil war, exposing corruption present in the military ranks as at the 70's. The book no doubt offers the other half of the coin, the first half being the book "My command among others" though i was not there present to confirm nor deny any of what has been written, the existence of this literature can give any independent observer some clues as to what truly transpired in those 3 years. ex The tragedy of Victory, Brings to plain view, the truth about some of the closely guarded mysteries of the civil war, exposing corruption present in the military ranks as at the 70's. The book no doubt offers the other half of the coin, the first half being the book "My command among others" though i was not there present to confirm nor deny any of what has been written, the existence of this literature can give any independent observer some clues as to what truly transpired in those 3 years. excellent documentation, brilliant expressions and a humble presentation. its a job well done indeed, and a must read for every Nigerian.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Agahdosamuelgmail.Com

    How can I get the book

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yakubu Danhassan ii

    Alabi Isama tells the story of the Nigerian civil war in great detail showing off his interest in military strategy, tactics and history. He also takes pains to explain with a lot of pictures and anecdotal evidence that he was the brain behind "Operation Pincer 2" which ultimately ended that war as opposed to "Operation Tailwind" which he says Olusegun Obasanjo just made up to claim credit. The final part of the book focuses entirely on the author's "corrections" to many of the claims made by Ob Alabi Isama tells the story of the Nigerian civil war in great detail showing off his interest in military strategy, tactics and history. He also takes pains to explain with a lot of pictures and anecdotal evidence that he was the brain behind "Operation Pincer 2" which ultimately ended that war as opposed to "Operation Tailwind" which he says Olusegun Obasanjo just made up to claim credit. The final part of the book focuses entirely on the author's "corrections" to many of the claims made by Obasanjo in his book titled "My Command" and it includes some humorous but unflattering stories including one about the GOC being "shot in the buttocks as he ran away". Alabi-Isama also gives voice to many of the unsung heroes of the war like the Benjamin Adekunle aka "the Black Scorpion", the courageous women who worked with the 3rd Marine Commando division and many others who were forgotten as others took the fame, glory and even power after the war. It gives rare insights into some of the struggles withing the Nigerian army during and after the civil war.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Isaac Oyebanji

    After reading this and having read the book Olusegun Obasanjo “my command” I have to earnestly pray that my country Nigeria should not be doomed as analyzed by the context below “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produces nothing - When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods , but in favour - When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them , but protect them agai After reading this and having read the book Olusegun Obasanjo “my command” I have to earnestly pray that my country Nigeria should not be doomed as analyzed by the context below “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produces nothing - When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods , but in favour - When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them , but protect them against you - When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice- YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOUR SOCIETY IS DOOMED” By Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged, 1957

  7. 4 out of 5

    Opeyemi

    The book needs a better editor but all in all, it was very informative about the Nigerian Civil war. Most of the books I've read about the war were from the Biafran point of view and it was very refreshing reading about the war from soldier in a division of the Nigerian army involved in the fight. The war shouldn't have happened and shouldn't have lasted as long as it did. The book needs a better editor but all in all, it was very informative about the Nigerian Civil war. Most of the books I've read about the war were from the Biafran point of view and it was very refreshing reading about the war from soldier in a division of the Nigerian army involved in the fight. The war shouldn't have happened and shouldn't have lasted as long as it did.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Abdulfattah Popoola

    Some of the sections of the book were incredible and hard to believe. The account exposed me to a lot of new information about the Nigerian civil war as well as the issues the author had with his commanders. A good memoir albeit superlative.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Olukayode Ashade

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nnam Emmanuel

  11. 5 out of 5

    Oketoobo Adebayo

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lukman Joseph

  13. 5 out of 5

    Emmanuel

  14. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Ogbebor

  15. 5 out of 5

    Adesanya Ajao

  16. 4 out of 5

    Owioba

  17. 5 out of 5

    Friday Otuya

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emmanuel Olawale Olabisi

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mr. I. Ogunbayo

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emmanuel Kotei

  21. 5 out of 5

    David

  22. 4 out of 5

    Juwon Olanrewaju

  23. 5 out of 5

    Abimbola Temitope

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cato Michael

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adebayo Oyagbola

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shehu Hammad

  27. 4 out of 5

    Fola Owamoboye

  28. 4 out of 5

    Pius Onoja

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lincoln Salawu

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paddyololade

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