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A Handful of Hard Men : The SAS and the Battle for Rhodesia
by Hannes Wessels


Overview - During the West s great transition into the post-Colonial age, the country of Rhodesia refused to succumb quietly, and throughout the 1970s fought back almost alone against Communist-supported elements that it did not believe would deliver proper governance.  Read more...

 
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More About A Handful of Hard Men by Hannes Wessels
 
 
 
Overview
During the West s great transition into the post-Colonial age, the country of Rhodesia refused to succumb quietly, and throughout the 1970s fought back almost alone against Communist-supported elements that it did not believe would deliver proper governance.

During this long war many heroes emerged, but none more skillful and courageous than Captain Darrell Watt of the Rhodesian SAS, who placed himself at the tip of the spear in the deadly battle to resist the forces of Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo.

It is difficult to find another soldier s story to equal Watt s in terms of time spent on the field of battle and challenges faced. Even by the lofty standards of the SAS and Special Forces, one has to look far to find anyone who can match his record of resilience and valor in the face of such daunting odds and with resources so paltry. In the fight he showed himself to be a military maestro. A bush-lore genius, blessed with uncanny instincts and an unbridled determination to close with the enemy, he had no peers as a combat-tracker (and there was plenty of competition). But the Rhodesian theater was a fluid and volatile one in which he performed in almost every imaginable fighting role; as an airborne shock-trooper leading camp attacks, long range reconnaissance operator, covert urban operator, sniper, saboteur, seek-and-strike expert, and in the final stages as a key figure in mobilizing an allied army in neighboring Mozambique.

After 12 years in the cauldron of war his cause slipped from beneath him, however, and Rhodesia gave way to Zimbabwe. When the guns went quiet Watt had won all his battles but lost the war. In this fascinating work we learn that in his twilight years he is now concerned with saving wildlife on a continent where they are in continued danger, devoting himself to both the fauna and African people he has cared so deeply about.

REVIEWS

What we saw on the BBC TV news while all this was going on was the various meetings between Harold Wilson, his ministers and Ian Smith, who had declared independence for Rhodesia. We were unaware of what was actually taking place in the country... Hannes Wessels redresses the balance with an amazing tale of daring and courage.
-Books Monthly UK




Hannes Wessels was born in 1956 in Salisbury and grew up on the Mozambique border. He left school to become a combat soldier and saw lots of action. His book is a paean to the greatest soldier he got to know well, Captain Darrell Watt, of the Rhodesian SAS and Special Forces. Watt won all his battles but eventually, thanks to Lord Carrington and gang, lost the war. For 12 long years in the cauldron of war Captain Watt never lost a battle, exhibiting Spartan-like bravery and better than Spartan-like ingenuity in combating far, far superior forces. The Rhodesian SAS amounted to just an incredible-to-believe 250 men. In the book Wessels recounts harrowing incidents perpetrated by Zanu and Zapu (Mugabe and Nkomo forces) soldiers on black and white civilians, and even on their own recruits...

Taki, The Spectator (UK)


A Handful of Hard Men is, first and foremost, an account of the actions of Rhodesian SAS throughout the brief life of that republic; Wessels has a talent for bringing the lengthy list of battles and skirmishes to life. However, his account regularly connects the events in southern Africa to the larger context, and the perceptive reader understands that the war was not lost on the battlefield: iIs end was the result of treachery in Washington, D.C. and London, as well as in New York at the United Nations and even within the halls of government in Salisbury, Rhodesia, where (it is alleged) agents of influence played a role in undermining the nation. The account of the SAS ends with a fading away; deprived of the opportunity to assassinate Robert Mugabe before he could assume control of the nation and transform it into the horrific slaughterhouse called Zimbabwe, the brave men of the SAS stood down. They did their duty; the loss of Rhodesia was a tragedy willed by forces beyond their control. Wessels book is a worthy tribute to their sacrifice, and will be of benefit to all readers who desire a better comprehension of this aspect of the worldwide war against the forces of Marxism-Leninism.
New American Magazine, 02/2016


Focusing on the story of Captain Darrell Watt of the Rhodesian SAS, A Handful Of Hard Men recounts the trials and tribulations he and his team endured while resisting the forces of Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo. Their story is nothing short of mind blowing - drinking their own urine and eating used teabags to survive when resupply missions failed. It's Impossible not to marvel at the bravery and determination of these soldiers the term 'hard men' fails to do them justice.. History of War 1.2016

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781612003450
  • ISBN-10: 1612003451
  • Publisher: Casemate
  • Publish Date: October 2015
  • Page Count: 304


Related Categories

Books > History > Military - Wars & Conflicts (Other)
Books > History > Military - Special Forces
Books > History > Africa - South - General

 
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