May 12 2020 | Radio Biafra
The chronology of the man called Hugh “Taffy” Williams as a Biafran soldier. Hugh Taffy Williams was born in the year 1933- and died in the year 1996, Taffy Williams was a professional mercenary who served in the Congo with Mike Hoare and 5 Commando ANC as well as a Major in Biafra during the Nigeria Civil War. Born in Wales, he grew up and received his military training in South Africa.
Noted for his bravery under fire he served two tours of duty with the Biafran Army, rising to the rank of a Major, and was the last white mercenary to leave the country as Biafra genocidal war ended.
Hugh Taffy Williams found his Biafran troops to be completely different from those whom he commanded in Katanga. “I have seen a lot of Africans at war,” he was quoted as saying. “But there is nobody to touch these people. Give me ten thousand [10,000], Biafrans for six months, and we will build an army that would be invincible on this continent. I have seen men die in this war who would have won the Victoria Cross in another context”.
An irascible man, he was known for constantly screaming at his men and threatening to kill them if they don’t obey his orders. The Times Newspaper correspondent in 1968 observed him to shout at his troops: “You rotten bastards! You bloody, treacherous morons!”. Taffy Williams was known in Biafra as being “bullet proof” due to his ability to survive multiple wounds and was five times reported to be killed in action between December 1967 and October 1968, only for him to turn up alive.
Taffy Williams was assigned to handle one hundred , Biafran fighters in early 1968, and managed to keep two battalions of Chadian mercenaries serving with the Nigerian Federal Army at bay for twelve weeks with only obsolete and antiquated weapons. After Williams redeployed his forces in early April, the Chadians forded the Cross River at two locations, and captured Afikpo, a main town on the western side.
Completing his first contract and following a brief stay in the UK, Hugh Taffy Williams returned to Biafra on 7th July 1968. He was assigned to the 4th Commando Brigade led by Lt. Col. Rolf Steiner. Rolf Steiner had command of three thousand  Biafran men, and was assigned to the area around the Enugu – Onitsha road. Taffy Williams, who liked to joke that he was “half-mad”, would personally lead his troops into battle, sometimes standing in a hail of Federal gunfire, just to prove to his troops that he was indeed “bullet-proof”.
His persistent resolve under fire would often unnerve the more superstitious of Nigerian soldiers and serve to rally his own. On 24 August 1968 Hugh Taffy Williams was drawn into a critical battle of the conflict. At this point, he had one thousand , Biafran soldiers under his command which carried out counter offensives against two battalion-sized enemy units attempting to cross the Imo River Bridge with Soviet military advisers.
When Taffy Williams returned to Aba for additional ammunition to continue the fight, he was told that there was simply none to be had. The Nigerian Air Force had become quite successful in blocking supplies into the beleaguered Biafra State. Some of Hugh Taffy Williams’ men had only two rounds left for their rifles and many were forced to withdraw. Following the arrest and expulsion of Col. Rolf Steiner and four others, Major Hugh Taffy Williams was allegedly the only European still left serving with the Biafran army.
He left the Biafran State shortly before its collapse to the Nigerian government Federal troops. Before Hugh Taffy Williams left, it was observed and noted that the Nigerian Federal side hired almost every mercenary from every part of the world to fight against the Biafran people in their home towns. The British Labour Party under Baron James Harold Wilson made it possible for these hired mercenaries (recruits), to work on the Nigerian Federal troops side just to kill and force Biafrans to surrender so that the British government will have free access to the oil domicile in Biafra land in quantum numbers using the Fulani stooges and her Yoruba puppets as a new proxy government of Nigeria.
For Hugh Taffy Williams believe and struggle for freedom, to free Biafrans from Nigeria even when he would have been paid better by the Nigerian State yet he didn’t switch sides, we will remember him – Major Hugh Taffy Williams for his enormous sacrifices come 30th May 2020.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media