The Rhodesian Bush War – a Forgotten African War /// 54

The Rhodesian Bush War was one of the bloodiest conflicts since the Second World War. Tens of thousands were killed. Tens of thousands more were wounded. Hundreds of thousands of African civilians were moved from their ancestral homes and concentrated in “protective villages” – a massive movement of population that in itself demonstrates the tremendous coercive power of the modern state; the story of that massive shift of humanity alone is worth ten podcasts. Today’s show is cross border raids and disintegrating bodies; it’s human flesh melting under a blistering waterfall of cascading white phosphorus; it’s guerillas and European intellectuals bombing coffee shops while oscillating helicopters, as organized as a flock of intuitive ducks, rain .50 caliber death on scattering insurgents, splashing wine-red blood across the tan bush of rural Zimbabwe. Cruel fate. Cruel pain. Cruel world. It’s the opposite of the typical posts on Instagram – it’s the Rhodesian Bush War. 

Today’s show is part three of a three part series. You can find part one here and part two here.

You can download episode 54: here

Maps and Illustrations:

From Pringle (2014)
A display of a Rhodesian bomber’s arsenal. From Pringle, 2014


Collapse of Rhodesia by Josiah Brownwell

Portugal’s Guerrilla Wars in Africa: Lisbon’s Three Wars in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea 1961-74 by Al Venter. 

“Mugabe’s Misrule and How it will Hold Zimbabwe Back.” by Martin Meredith. Foreign Affairs. March/April 2018. 

The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe by David Coltart

Bitter Harvest by Ian Smith 

Mugabe by Martin Meredith

A Martyr Speaks by John Coey

Rhodes and Rhodesia: The White Conquest of Zimbabwe 1884-1902 by Arthur Keppel-Jones

A Short History of Mozambique by Malyn Newitt

Operation Dingo by J.R.T. Wood

Black Fire: Accounts of the guerilla war in Rhodesia by Michael Raeburn

Dingo Firestorm (2014) by Ian Pringle

Years of Renewal by Henry Kissinger

From Rhodesia to Zimbabwe by Lawrence Vambe

White Liberals Moderates and Radicals in Rhodesia, 1953-1980 by Ian Hancock

The Rhodesian Front War by H. Ellert

The Rise and Fall of the British Empire by Lawrence James

Cry Zimbabwe: Independence 20 Years on by Peter Stiff

Mugabe: Power And Plunder In Zimbabwe by Martin Meredith 

The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith

The Rhodesian War: A Military History by Paul Moorecraft and Peter McLaughlin

Bush War Operator: Memoirs of the Rhodesian Light Infantry, Selous Scouts and Beyond  by Andrew Balaam

Fire Force: A Trooper’s War in the Rhodesian Light Infantry by Chris Cocks

Survival Course: Rhodesian Denouement and the War of Self by Chris Cocks

The Saints: The Rhodesian Light Infantry edited by Chris Cocks, Craig Bone, and authored by Alexandre Binda  

Masodja: The History of the Rhodesian African Rifles and its Forerunner, The Rhodesia Native Regiment by John Wynne Hopkins, Brig David Heppenstal, and Alexandre Binda

Pamwe Chete: The Legend of the Selous Scouts by Ron Ried-Daly

Rhodesia: Last Outpost of the British Empire 1890 – 1980 by Peter Baxter

A History of Rhodesia by Robert Blake (1978).

Taming the Land Mine by Peter Stiff

Black Fire: Accounts of the Guerilla War in Rhodesia by Michael Raeburn

Rhodes: The Race for Africa by Antony Thomas

The Founder by Robert Rotberg

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

Dingo Firestorm: The Greatest Battle of the Rhodesian Bush War by Ian Pringle

Sunshine and Storm in Rhodesia by Frederick Selous

Selous Scouts: Rhodesian Counter-Insurgency Specialists by Peter Baxter (1896).

Rhodesian Light Infantryman 1961–80 by Neil Grant

White Liberals, Moderates, and Radicals in Rhodesia, 1953-1980 by Ian Hancock

The Iron Lady : Margaret Thatcher, from Grocer’s Daughter to Prime Minister by John Campbell and David Freeman

The Struggle for Zimbabwe: Battle in the Bush by Lewis Gann

The Struggle for Zimbabwe: The Chimurenga War by David Martin and Phyllis Johnson

Origins of Rhodesia by Stanlake Samkange

At the Going Down of the Sun by Charlie Warren

NATIVE POLICY IN SOUTHERN RHODESIA, 1890-1923 (sic). By DUIGNAN, PETER JAMES. Stanford University Doctoral Dissertation. 1961.

‘“It was Difficult in Zimbabwe”: A History of Imprisonment, Detention and Confinement during Zimbabwe’s Liberation Struggle, 1960-1980’ by Munyaradzi Bryn Munochiveyi. University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation. 2008.

History of Africa by Kevin Shillington

Cecil Rhodes: Flawed Colossus by Brian Roberts

The Founder: Cecil Rhodes and the Pursuit of Power by Robert Rotberg

“After Two Decades of Rot, Zimbabwe Is Coming Apart at the Seams” by Antony Sguazzin, Ray Ndlovu, and Brian Latham. 

The Rise and Fall of the British Empire. 36 Lectures by Patrick  Allitt. Produced by the Great Courses.

All our yesterdays, 1890-1970: a pictorial review of Rhodesia’s story from the best of ‘illustrated life Rhodesia’ by Various. 

A Martyr Speaks by John Coey

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