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Bush War Rhodesia 1966-1980

Bush War Rhodesia 1966-1980

Series : Africa@War #17

Author : Peter Baxter

Paperback Helion & Company 297mm x 210mm 72 pages 130 colour & b/w photos, maps

Not yet published - in Autumn 2019 list

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It has been over four decades since the Union Jack was lowered on the colony of Rhodesia, but the bitter and divisive civil war that preceded it has continued to endure as a textbook counter-insurgency campaign fought between a mobile, motivated and highly trained Rhodesian security establishment and two constituted liberations movements motivated, resourced and inspired by the ideals of communist revolution in the third world. A complicated historical process of occupation and colonization set the tone as early as the late 1890s for what would at some point be an inevitable struggle for domination of this small, landlocked nation set in the southern tropics of Africa. The story of the Rhodesian War, or the Zimbabwean Liberation Struggle, is not only an epic of superb military achievement, and revolutionary zeal and fervour, but is the tale of the incompatibility of the races in southern Africa, a clash of politics and ideals and, perhaps more importantly, the ongoing ramifications of the past upon the present, and the social and political scars that a war of such emotional underpinnings as the Rhodesian conflict has had on the modern psyche of Zimbabwe. The Rhodesian War was fought with finely tuned intelligence-gathering and -analysis techniques combined with a fluid and mobile armed response. The practitioners of both have justifiably been celebrated in countless histories, memoirs and campaign analyses, but what has never been attempted has been a concise, balanced and explanatory overview of the war, the military mechanisms and the social and political foundations that defined the crisis. This book does all of that. The Rhodesian War is explained in digestible detail and in a manner that will allow enthusiasts of the elements of that struggle - the iconic exploits of the Rhodesian Light Infantry, the SAS, the Selous Scouts, the Rhodesian African Rifles, the Rhodesia Regiment, among other well-known fighting units - to embrace the wider picture in order to place the various episodes in context. AFRICA@WAR SERIESAt any given time, there are at least half a dozen conflicts taking place in Africa, from civil strife and brutal insurgencies to full-blown conventional wars. Yet, apart from the grand campaigns and battles of colonial yesteryear—Omdurman, Isandlwana, Spioenkop et al—little is known outside the Dark Continent of the plethora of brushfire wars that occur with monotonous regularity. Following the Second World War, with the colonial powers—Britain in particular—looking to divest themselves of their burdensome empires, the ‘winds of change’, fuelled by the Cold War, swept through every nook and cranny of the continent. From Algeria to South Africa, from the Congo to Kenya, the continent literally erupted in conflict. Butchery and barbarism, under the guise of Black Nationalism, became bywords of African insurgencies; the tactics of terror, so espoused by Chairman Mao, one of the principal backers—in competition with Soviet imperialism—of African liberation movements, became standard operating procedure.Africa—the continent that gave the world ‘pseudo’ counterterrorist operations as developed in Kenya to combat the Mau Mau, the Rhodesian Fireforce concept, radical innovations in vehicle mine-proofing, South African armour which fought the Cubans to a standstill at Cuito Cuanavale in the largest continental tank battle since Alamein, MiG and Mirage dogfights over the skies of Angola—is not all doom and gloom: it is as rich in its cultural diversity as it is in its martial traditions. Apart from a colourful array of liberation movements, mercenaries, brigands, pirates and terrorists, the cast includes such legendary units as the King’s African Rifles, the Portuguese Flechettes, the French Foreign Legion, the Rhodesian Selous Scouts and SAS, and the South African Recces, 32 Battalion and Koevoet.Africa@War, a ground-breaking series, studies Africa’s post-1945 conflicts and military players in an informative and entertaining manner, examining some of the lesser known campaigns and shedding new light on some of the better known operations. “Africa@War is a ground-breaking series concept, studying Africa’s conflicts and military players in an informative and entertaining manner, examining some of the lesser-known campaigns and shedding new light on some of the better-known operations … great models of what the combination of authors and publishers can produce by way of useable case studies for the market place in a concise illustrated format.  They are recommended as professional military education references.”  Charles D. Melson, Chief Historian, U.S. Marine Corps "Each of the books in this series is a well-documented and researched synopsis of the events that they are focused upon. They layouts and presentation are logical and of a very high quality ... As an introduction to this field of operation, this series is outstanding. A definite asset for those wishing to improve their knowledge and understanding of the development of successful, multi-faceted doctrine in the fight against insurgent/assymetric war."  Major Chris Buckham, Royal Canadian Air Force Journal “ … A concise, balanced account of the political and military events of the warlike activities in Rhodesia’s fight for independence.” Australian Defence Forces Journal  

Additional Information

Publisher
Helion & Company
ISBN
9781912866908
Date of Publication
December 2019
Edition
Revised & Expanded Edition
Binding
Paperback
Book Size
297mm x 210mm
Pages
72 pages
Images
130 colour & b/w photos, maps
Language
English text
Helion Book Code
HEL1176
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