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Operation Dingo
Operation Dingo

Africa @ War Series - Volume 1

Author:
Dr JRT Wood

R195.00

Operation Dingo

 

Rhodesian Raid on Chimoio and Tembué, 1977

Operation Dingo Written by Leon Engelbrecht - Defenceweb Saturday, 25 February 2012
Co-issued with a British publisher, "Operation Dingo" is the first of the "Africa @ War" series of which four titles have now been released: three relate to operations - "Operation Dingo", "France in Centrafrique", and "Battle for Cassinga"; and, one focussing on a high-profile unit, the "Selous Scouts".

This suggests the series does not yet have focus - looking either at operations or at units - but then there is no real requirement for such focus. Maybe well the opposite. The publishers say this will be a "ground-breaking series" studying 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." to the matter at hand then: Operation Dingo was - even to its proponents - an almost suicidal air-ground attack on two insurgent bases deep in Mozambique in 1977. Just 184 Rhodesian Special Air Service and Rhodesian Light Infantry commandos, with such aircraft and helicopter support that was available, would attack 10 000 guerillas at their base at "New Farm" at Chimoio, some 90km into Mozambique.

The attack was set for November 23, the plan being a series of of air attacks followed by a parachute and helicopter assault heavily supported by air assets. The troops would move through the base, taking documents, some prisoners and arms and destroying the rest. They would be extracted by helicopter (including ten South African Air Force-crewed Alouette III's) before sunset and return to Rhodesia to reset for another attack the next day - eyebrow-raising in itself. As it was, resistance and the the size of the base forced the commandos to stay overnight and withdraw the next day. The attack on Tembué followed on the 25th. Intelligence credited the base, some 200km inside Mozambique, with some 4000 inmates.

Wood, a master on the subject of the Rhodesian "Bush War", notes that estimates of the losses inflicted vary wildly, but a "figure exceeding 6000 casualties is realistic." The Rhodesians by contrast suffered two dead, eight wounded and lost one aircraft (its pilot being one fatality). Wood says in a short epilogue Dingo was "an extraordinary joint services' operation. I have found, when lecturing on it to professional military audiences, utter disbelief tat such a double blow could be struck so far into hostile territory by less than 200 troops and a collection of aircraft that, by 1977, should have been gracing someone's museum."

"Operation Dingo" - and the rest of the series too - is concise, concrete, educational and gripping. Read it.

Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world.

Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s.

Keep up the good work.
Best regards
Russell A. Burgos


Reviewer: Major Chris Buckham is a Logistics Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

In 1977, Rhodesia was engaged in a full-fledged asymmetric conflict with a number of African rebel groups (ZANLA and ZAMU) operating out of neighbouring countries (Zambia and Mozambique). In an effort to undermine and weaken Rhodesia's main protagonist in this conflict (ZANLA under Robert Mugabe) prior to the announcement of a vote for majority rule in Rhodesia, the government of Ian Smith sanctioned the execution of Op Dingo. Launched Nov 23, 1977, this mission entailed a two part strike on ZANLA training and command and control assets located in camps at Chimoio and Tembue, Mozambique. Rhodesian SAS and RLI (Rhodesian Light Infantry) forces numbering 228 soldiers supported by fixed wing and rotary wing assets armed with 20 mm cannon would be inserted 35 km inside Mozambique by parachute in order to inflict maximum damage and casualties. Following exfill, they would then be reinserted three days later 200km beyond the border to repeat the attack at Tembue. Estimates of rebel forces were 10,000 at Chimoio and 4,000 at Tembue. The attack was an unprecedented success with ZANLA losses being estimated at 6,000 (as well as huge intelligence and material losses). Rhodesian losses were one aircraft, 2 dead and 12 wounded (8 by friendly fire).

Dr JRT Wood's book Operation Dingo is a well documented and researched synopsis of this event. The layout and presentation of the book is logical and of a very high quality. Woods provides a comprehensive overview of the regional environment and international climate (Rhodesia was operating under an international embargo) in order to provide context for the reader. Additionally, he goes into detail regarding the initiatives and efforts that the Rhodesian government and military undertook to overcome the challenges that the international embargo had imposed upon them. To this end, he discusses various innovations such as the Alpha bomb, the Golf bomb and the Flechette; each designed to augment their asymmetric capability utilizing easily obtained material. This, in conjunction with Rhodesia's engagement of non-traditional assets (read mercenary) is indicative of their willingness to accept and exploit the 'real politique' of their situation.

The strength/core of this book centres on the doctrinal development of the Rhodesian military's counter insurgency capability. Rhodesia was faced with a number of challenges that demanded innovation. Two factors served to drive the doctrinal development: a0 it was fighting an increasingly violent insurgent war that was divided very clearly along race lines; therefore, their pool of soldiers to draw upon was limited and, b: Rhodesia was operating under a comprehensive international embargo. To counter these, they developed light, extremely mobile infantry operating under a joint doctrine that focused on parachute and rotary wing infil and exfil supported by fast air and 'flying column's' of heavily armed jeep convoys; the so-called 'FireForce" concept. Additionally, comprehensive intelligence gathering techniques were implemented and the decision making process between the political and military branches was streamlined and shortened.

Woods' book whets the appetite as it touches upon a series of themes that, due to its length, were unable to be explored in depth. For example, things such as the circumstances surrounding the international crisis that Rhodesia found itself in resulting in Prime Ministers Ian Smith's unilateral declaration of independence from Great Britain and the subsequent challenges that faced Rhodesia as it progressed through the 1960's and early 1970's are identified but not extensively explored. Nonetheless, this does not detract from the focus or quality of this book; it merely raises questions and the interest of the reader.

Once the background has been painted for the reader and therefore the understanding of why such a risky and breathtaking operation was necessary, Wood focuses his attention on the planning and execution of the raids themselves. The strength of the narrative comes through in this regard. The reader is led through the operational planning process of the RLI, SAS and the RRAF (Royal Rhodesian Air Force) in anticipation of the execution of Op Dingo. This is particularly interesting because it displays the maturity of the joint capability of the Rhodesian Forces, honed after nearly 15 years of asymmetric warfare. Additionally, the level of risk acceptance within the Rhodesian military and Government is noteworthy given the lack of depth of resources at their disposal and therefore the potential downside of failure.

The lessons and tactics of asymmetric warfare developed and learned through the Rhodesian experience form the basis of much of the joint operational doctrine used today. Dr Woods does an admirable job encapsulating the atmosphere under which the operation was conceived and executed. Op Dingo represents one of the most stunningly, one-sided successes ever undertaken. Dr Woods' work gives the reader a valuable insight into the high pressure environment of the special ops world where the ramifications of failure are dramatic and far-reaching. A must for those wishing to understand the intricacies and challenges of this style of operation.

Major Chris Buckham is a Logistics Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He has experience working with all elements including SOF. A graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, he holds a BA in Poli Sci and an MA in International Relations. He is presently employed as a ILOC Officer with the multinational branch of EUCOM J4 in Stuttgart, Germany.

 
 
France in Centrafrique
France in Centrafrique

Africa @ War Series - Volume 2

Author:
Baxter, Peter

R195.00

France in Centrafrique

France in Centrafrique explores the early colonial and post-colonial history

Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world.

Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s.

Keep up the good work.
Best regards
Russell A. Burgos


Book review: France in Centrafrique Written by Leon Engelbrecht - Defenceweb Saturday, 25 February 2012

"France in Centrafrique" is the second in a new series on African conflict, "Africa @ War", and concentrates on French misadventures in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Peter Baxter chronicles the CAR's turbulent path to independence, notably the public beating to death of a chief in late 1927! That chief was a distant uncle to one Jean Bokassa - and his rise to power is the second strand of this tale of woe. Bokassa joined the French Army just before World War Two and served with Free French forces during that time. He would later imagine much about this service, including the grateful thanks for Free French leader Charles de Gaulle.

He served in Vietnam after the war and was commissioned, serving in the signal service. In 1962 he transferred to the CAR armed forces and was appointed battalion commander. In December 1964 he was promoted the CAR's first colonel. "Most historians would agree that the deeloping tragedy of the CAR began at this moment. It is not the intention to summarise Baxter's work, suffice to say Bokassa next became army chief I what was now a one-party dictatorship marked with a withering state, kleptocracy, corruption and a consuming paranoia. On New Year 1966 President David Dacko's fears realised when Bokassa took power. In 1972 he was "president for life" and in 1977, in a replay of the Brothers Grimm fairytale The Fisherman and His Wife, this too was soon not enough. In 1977 he became "emperor" In a lavish ceremony paid for mostly by France.

This and Bokassa flirting with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi - thereby threatening the French position in Chad - meant his number was up. France decided to restore Dacko while Bokassa was in Libya in September 1979. This largely set the tone to the present day, with Chad and the DR Congo and Sudan sometimes drawn into the fray too. However, Baxter believes (the insecurity I the CAR [remains] a phenomenon related more to banditry, the internal political see-saw and the revolving carousel of ethnic ascendency and decline."

As France gradually tired of interventionism - in the CAR at least, Organisation of African Unity troops were deployed (with little success) and when the latest round of trouble broke out in 2007, a UN force, MINURCAT was deployed, with a "European Union Force" (EUFOR) in support. "It was the French, as might be expected, who were the primary force behind the deployment, and they who contributed the lion's share of troops, equipment and logistical support. The launch of the operation as somewhat fated from the onset, with numerous delays experienced in generating troops and equipment . which was seen by many as symptomatic of a noticeable reluctance on the part of EU members other than France to throw their weight behind an operation that few trusted an fewer wanted to be part of."

And MINURCAT? "On the whole the mission attracted very little positive reportage, with the exception perhaps of the airy and institutionalised optimism of the United Nations itself. It could not, therefore be reasonably claimed that the deployment was a success. Certainly, the operational and logistical, and indeed perhaps more importantly, the geographical difficulties, rendered much of what was attempted symbolic, expensive an irrelevant. An apt epitaph for UN missions - an expensive fraud.

Tought-provoking to say the least and excellent pictures by veteran combat photographer Yves Debay.

Review in: Gorilla Journal 42, June 2011
Editor: Dr. Angela Meder
Stuttgart, Germany

Tamar Ron, the biologist who has been working on the conservation of the Maiombe Forest, and Tamar Golan, the first Israelian ambassador in Angola, wrote a book on their experiences in this difficult and exciting country. The fascinating stories of each author are printed in a certain type, and the different themes they cover comple ment each other very nicely.

 
 
Battle for Cassinga
Battle for Cassinga

Africa@War Series Volume 3

Author:

Mike McWilliams

R195.00

Battle for Cassinga

South Africa’s Controversial Cross-Border Raid, Angola 1978

Battle for Cassinga
Written by Leon Engelbrecht - Defenceweb
Saturday, 25 February 2012

Battle for Cassinga" is the third in a new series on African conflict, Africa @ War", and examines South Africa's still-very controversial cross-border parachute raid in Angola in May 1978.

This controversy relates to the ongoing "battle of history" in Southern Africa. In George Orwell's novel, "1984", the motto of the Ministry of Information proclaimed "He who controls the present, controls the past. He, who controls the past, controls the future." To this one can add the observation of Frederik van Zyl Slabbert in his "The Other Side of History" (Jonathan Ball, Jeppestown, Johannesburg, 2006) that "One thing the 'old' and 'new' South Africa have in common is a passion for inventing history. History is not seen as a dispassionate inquiry into what happened, but rather as part of political mobilisation promoting some form of collective self-interest."

Cassinga is a text book case of such myth-making and the result, today, is two parallel sets of fervently-held history. McWilliams was one of the Citizen Force paratroopers that dropped on the People's Liberation Army of Namibia's base at Cassinga on May 4. A rifleman (private) he was assault commander Colonel Jan Breytenbach's official photographer and in addition to all his equipment, ammunition and medical kit carried several cameras (some his own) and a cine camera. The result is some spectacular pictures, including many colour shots, taken during the parachute drop, the battle in the base and in its immediate aftermath. The cover picture may be the most jaw-dropping: Taken by photographer Sergeant Des Steenkamp it shows McWilliams himself half out of his parachute harness, pulling himself up the left lift web of his "pumpkin" parachute.

The author records the Air Force misdropped the 210 attackers (the paltry number was dictated by the amount of helicopters available to evacuate them. Breytenbach wanted 450 to take on up to 3000 insurgents on the ground) and he was drifting towards the Culonga River and would likely splash down in it. This was no-where near his allocated drop zone...

The "Battle for Cassinga" is spirited account of the events that day. If one is seeking a concise, concrete, educational but readable source on the attack on Moscow base, as PLAN called Cassinga, this is it.


Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world.

Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s.

Keep up the good work.
Best regards
Russell A. Burgos

 
 
Selous Scouts
Selous Scouts

Africa @ War Series - Volume 4

Author:
Peter Baxter

R195.00

Selous Scouts

Rhodesian Counter-Insurgency Specialists

Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world.

Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s.

Keep up the good work.
Best regards
Russell A. Burgos


Selous Scouts Written by Leon Engelbrecht - Defenceweb Saturday, 25 February 2012
"Selous Scouts" is the fourth in a new series on African conflict, "Africa @ War" and unlike the other three volumes in the series that look at specific operations, focuses on a unit, the Rhodesian Selous Scouts regiment.

"There can be no doubt that the Selous Scouts Regiment fast-tracked into legend", writers author Peter Baxter, "and in doing so drew attention to itself in a manner most unbecoming of a covert reconnaissance unit in the in the special forces stable of any army. In fact, in the words of British historian and journalist David Caute, commenting in his 1983 book "Under the Skin", about the decline of white Rhodesia, the Selous Scouts were "upstarts in a hurry to describe themselves as legendary." Baxter replies that the Selous Scouts "were an elite regiment, and bearing in mind that the legend has survived three decades beyond the existence of a regiment that was operational for a mere six years, there can be few who could effective argue against that."

Baxter argues that the principal weakness of the Rhodesian army and security system in general was its limited size. The response was the "fire force", a formidable combination of air and ground forces that could close with, and destroy guerilla groups. The rub was finding them. This would be the task of the Scouts.

"The successful symbiosis of the Selous Scouts and Fireforce was undeniable, and remained in deadly use until the war ended. In simple terms, a Selous Scouts call-sign would be deployed covertly . after which the team would move either to an observation post, normally situated on high ground, or into an insurgent operational area posing as an incoming [guerilla] group." A fascinating primer for those interested in counter-guerilla warfare and the Scouts.

Review in: Gorilla Journal 42, June 2011
Editor: Dr. Angela Meder
Stuttgart, Germany

Tamar Ron, the biologist who has been working on the conservation of the Maiombe Forest, and Tamar Golan, the first Israelian ambassador in Angola, wrote a book on their experiences in this difficult and exciting country. The fascinating stories of each author are printed in a certain type, and the different themes they cover comple ment each other very nicely.

 
 
Zambezi Valley Insurgency
Zambezi Valley Insurgency

Early Rhodesian Bush War Operations Africa@War

Volume 5

Author:
Dr JRT
Wood

R195.00

Zambesi Valley Insurgency

Across Africa in the post-1956 era, the aspirations of African nationalists to ...

Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world.

Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s.

Keep up the good work.
Best regards
Russell A. Burgos

 
 
Congo Unravelled
Congo Unravelled

Africa@War

Volume 6

Author:
Andrew Hudson

R195.00

Congo Unravelled

Military Operations from Independence to the Mercenary Revolt, 1960–68

Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world.

Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s.

Keep up the good work.
Best regards
Russell A. Burgos

   
Mau Mau
Mau Mau

The Kenyan Emergency, 1952–60

Africa@War Volume 7

Author:
Peter Baxter

R195.00

Mau Mau

Mau Mau was less than a liberation movement, but much more

Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world.

Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s.

Keep up the good work.
Best regards
Russell A. Burgos

   
SAAF's Border War
SAAF's Border War

Africa@War Volume 8

Author:
Peter Baxter

R195.00

SAAFs_Border_War.htm

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War

Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world.

Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s.

Keep up the good work.
Best regards
Russell A. Burgos

   
Somalia
somalia, Peter Baxter

Africa @ War vol. 9

Author:
Peter Baxter

R195.00

South Africa

The end of the Cold War introduced an altered global dynamic. The old bond of...

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The Flechas
The Flechas, John P. Cann, Africa@War vol 11

– Africa@War Vol. 11
Insurgent Hunting in Eastern Angola, 1965–1974

Author:

John P. Cann

 

R195.00

The Flechas, John P. Cann

In 1961, Portugal found itself fighting a war to retain its colonial possessions and preserve the remnants of its empire

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The Great Lakes Holocaust
The Great Lakes Holocaust, Tom Cooper, Africa @ War volume 13

– Africa@War Vol. 13
First Congo War, 1996 - 1997

Author:

Tom Cooper

 

R195.00

Great Lakes Holocaust

Great Lakes Holocaust is the first in two volumes covering military operations in Zaire

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The Great Lakes Conflagration
The Great Lakes Holocaust, Tom Cooper, Africa @ War volume 13

– Great Lakes Conflagration – Africa@War Vol. 14

Author:

Tom Cooper

 

R195.00

Great Lakes Conflagration

Great Lakes Conflagration is the second in two volumes covering military operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

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