books on the Rhodesian conflict

books on the Rhodesian conflict

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texaxile

Original Poster:

2,622 posts

117 months

Saturday 20th March
quotequote all
Hi,
I have an interest in historical conflicts such as this, I've got a chunk of literature on the Dhofar confflict (an interest started during my dad's tenure in Oman in the 70's) where I met a couple of Rhodesians socially. To begin with, I'd like suggestions for initially an impartial and factual source on why it began and how it developed, and also any "boots on the ground" sources of information or accounts.

I have a copy of "The great betrayal" and am half way through. I've yet to read "Dingo Firestorm" on my Kindle.

I'd also like to research further the Rhodesian Rifles, so any worthwhile suggestions would be appreciated.

Virtual covid free pints all round.

cheers.

Levin

1,406 posts

91 months

Tuesday 23rd March
quotequote all
texaxile said:
Hi,
I have an interest in historical conflicts such as this, I've got a chunk of literature on the Dhofar confflict (an interest started during my dad's tenure in Oman in the 70's) where I met a couple of Rhodesians socially. To begin with, I'd like suggestions for initially an impartial and factual source on why it began and how it developed, and also any "boots on the ground" sources of information or accounts.

I have a copy of "The great betrayal" and am half way through. I've yet to read "Dingo Firestorm" on my Kindle.

I'd also like to research further the Rhodesian Rifles, so any worthwhile suggestions would be appreciated.

Virtual covid free pints all round.

cheers.
There aren't a long list of books written on the subject of the Rhodesian Bush War. David Kenrick's Decolonisation, Identity, and Nation in Rhodesia would be worth your attention, if it isn't prohibitively expensive to purchase. You have done well to find a copy of The Great Betrayal, for it is by no means a common book. Just be aware there is an updated version entitled A Bitter Harvest with an additional afterword. It doesn't add an enormous amount to the book and, odds are, someone has scanned or reposted the entire afterword somewhere on the Internet.

When you say the 'Rhodesian Rifles,' how do you mean this? There was the Rhodesian African Rifles, a majority-African regiment, and the Rhodesian Light Infantry, which was basically exclusively white until very late in the war. If you mean the RAR, off-hand I cannot think of a book on the subject. I've no doubt that one exists but you may find you're looking at booksellers and publishers in Zimbabwe. For the RLI, take a look for A.J. Balaam's Bush War Operator and Chris Cocks' Fireforce.

If you mean the actual service rifles of the Rhodesian security forces, Osprey Publishing has a good work on the FN FAL. With Rhodesia landlocked and under sanction, there was a variety of weaponry employed based on where they could obtain weapons. For this reason, photographs exist of soldiers holding H&K G3 rifles as well. For a closer look at a Rhodesian FAL, YouTube will prove your best bet: Ian McCollum (Fireforce Ventures) and Larry Vickers (Vickers Tactical) have taken a closer look at Larry's genuine Rhodie rifle.

Hopefully this helps!

Coolbananas

3,268 posts

167 months

Tuesday 23rd March
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Anything on the Selous Scouts would be very interesting. I think there was a book on the subject that you might try to find.

One of my best friends whom I've known since we were kids in South Africa is Rhodesian, family left there in 1980, his father was a Scout as was our English teacher funnily enough, a haunted man, we later discovered.

I later had a neighbour who served in the Scouts, the few stories he told me about his time in the War were incredibly interesting but it took a bit to get him talking. All three men didn't volunteer much, just not something they wanted to dwell upon.

Levin

1,406 posts

91 months

Tuesday 23rd March
quotequote all
Coolbananas said:
Anything on the Selous Scouts would be very interesting. I think there was a book on the subject that you might try to find.

One of my best friends whom I've known since we were kids in South Africa is Rhodesian, family left there in 1980, his father was a Scout as was our English teacher funnily enough, a haunted man, we later discovered.

I later had a neighbour who served in the Scouts, the few stories he told me about his time in the War were incredibly interesting but it took a bit to get him talking. All three men didn't volunteer much, just not something they wanted to dwell upon.
Balaam's Bush War Operator deals with both the RLI and the Selous Scouts so might be of interest. The other book you're thinking of might be Timothy Bax's Three Sips of Gin. For you to have known three Scouts is very impressive, and I am intensely jealous for I have no doubt they would have fascinating stories to tell.

Haddock82

434 posts

105 months

Friday 2nd April
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Not sure if it's totally what you are after but my old work colleague (He's retired now) wrote a book about his experiences in Rhodesia

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Part-Time-War-Recollect...

Amazon link if you are interested.

texaxile

Original Poster:

2,622 posts

117 months

Saturday 3rd April
quotequote all
Thanks for the replies Gents, most helpful, and Levin I did mean the RAR, sorry. I recall meeting a gent many years ago who had served with them, he had a few interesting stories on his time there, so I'll keep on searching for sources.

I've ordered a copy of "Bush War Operator" for my Kindle, along with a free copy of "Sitting Target" which should keep me out of trouble, as well as getting Rods book that you linked for me Haddock82 , thanks for that bud!.

cheers chaps smile


Levin

1,406 posts

91 months

Sunday 4th April
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The only work I've been able to think of on the RAR is John Wynne Hopkins' Masodja although it is hideously expensive (circa £200 on Amazon). Although it pre-dates Rhodesian independence the other work I might suggest considering is John Fitzmaurice's 'The Consolidation of the Rhodesian African Rifles.' Fitzmaurice's work is a thesis published through the University of Colorado; at the time of writing simply searching the title returns a .pdf link on Google.

I haven't read Fitzmaurice's work so I couldn't possibly comment on the quality but it's by far the cheapest entry point into reading about the RAR, at a grand total of free (legally, too!)