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Selous Scouts in Rhodesian War
Parade Grounds of the Dead
The Rhodesian War
© 2003
278 pages; 16 chapters and 7 appendixes
In the mid 1980s, the USSR and its Warsaw Pact puppets, as well as
communist Cuba, organized gangs of African communists into well
armed armies. Those armies, operating from nations bordering
Rhodesia, invaded that tiny whitenation and initiated the
Rhodesian War. For years, Soviet led conventional and
unconventional African troops
attacked the people of Rhodesia,
slaughtering white families whenever possible. A thin line of
warfighting professional soldiers was all the Rhodesians had to
defend themselves against such depredations. Among those troops were the squadrons of the elite
Rhodesian SAS, the
Selous Scouts special forces, the Rhodesian Light Infantry Battalion
, the tiny Rhodesian air force and armored
, and the horse cavalry battalion known as Grays Scouts, who excelled at close combat. That handful of battalions
led by the elite
Rhodesian SAS and Selous Scouts took the fight to the communists during the Rhodesian War. They
conducted continuous desant operations behind enemy lines and inside enemy nations. Their practically unmentioned
achievements are now legendary, but you can discover them in this book. You will also learn how the
Rhodesian high
command, intelligence and special operations leadership
was infiltrated by traitors that sabotaged the
Rhodesian war effort
. The reader will also learn the details of the backstabbing carried out by American, British and
Soviet spies.
Review Table of Contents
“The Rhodesian military utilized desant operations both internally and externally during the Rhodesian War. Internal
desant operations were called
Fire Force Operations and they accounted for 75% of all enemy kills within Rhodesia. A
Rhodesian Army officer described Fireforce In 1977: "There are normally five fireforces operating in the country. Each
fireforce is located close to a Joint Operations Command (JOC), which is the combined army, police and regional
administration headquarters for a designated operational area. The ground element of the fireforce normally consists of
four troops of 28 men each plus a headquarters troop. Each troop is divided into seven four-man teams (four armed
soldiers is the maximum load for the French Alouettes). The
fireforce task is to make a lightening response to a guerrilla
sighting or attack and destroy the guerrilla force." One reason was that four was the number that the Alouette III
helicopter could carry. Each 'stick' was commanded by a corporal carrying a VHF radio and an FN 7.62mm rifle (NATO).
The corporal had under him an MAG general purpose machine-gunner and two riflemen, one of whom trained as a
medic. Out in the bush, the corporal commanding each stick was given decision making power and responsibilities not
known in many armies at that level.
Fireforces were always set up for a six-week to several months’ tour of duty. They were co-located at a landing strip near
their superior command echelon. The base was usually strategically sited according to the current intelligence picture
related to enemy activity. It was also tactically sited for defense of the fire force and aircraft.
Fireforces used helicopters and Dakota transport aircraft (five were usually available for internal operations) to land
airmobile and/or parachute teams in the vicinity of enemy gangs.
Fireforces were earmarked for immediate reaction to
any guerrilla incident.
Fireforce troop requirements were considered to be a great manpower drain on the Rhodesian
because the Rhodesian Army was essentially defensively-oriented. The ground element of the fireforce
normally constituted a rifle company of 120 men in four troops plus a headquarters troop. Usually, only five or more
companies were tied down in fire force duty.
Fireforce units were drawn from the Rhodesian Light Infantry,
Rhodesian African Rifles, Special Air Service, Selous Scouts and territorial companies
. The Rhodesian SAS never
served in the
FireForce while the Selous Scouts made a contribution.”
Excerpt from Parade Grounds of the Dead
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