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Nick Downie - Rhodesian Bush War 1978

Just giving a graphic warning content. You get to see just how much 7.62 Russian and 7.62 NATO rounds can fuck up a body.

Selous Actions: Major Foreign Operations

Foreign Operations Map


1. The kidnapping of terrorists (ZIPRA) Francistown, Botswana, March 1974 (target A). A team of eight Scouts composed of four white and four Africans clandestinely infiltrated into Francistown to kidnap several terrorists and bring them back to Rhodesia for interrogation. The attackers captured four occupants ZIPRA headquarters and forced them back across the border to Rhodesia without incident.

2. The Kidnapping of a ZIPRA officer in Francistown, Botswana in September 1974 (target A). Another team of Scouts (two whites and one African) infiltrated into Francistown to locate and kidnap a senior official ZIPRA. After several false leads and some recognition, the team finally found their man and abducted him after a fierce fight. He was then placed in the back of a car and taken across the border to Rhodesia. However, the Selous team had forgotten in the hotel from where they operated their false passports, a radio, and some of their weapons. One of the white team members had to return to the hotel to retrieve the equipment and pay the hotel bill … then he went to Rhodesia without incident.

3. Raid in Caponda, Mozambique, March 1975 (target B). Twenty Scouts organized an assault on a ZANLA base located 55 km north of the border to Rhodesia. The Selous traveled to and from the white walk. After 24 hours running, the unit arrived at the terrorist base only to find it deserted. A cholera epidemic had broken out between the terrorists and the camp had been evacuated. The healthy return unit and saves Rhodesia.

4. Mozambique, January 1967 (goal G). In this operation helicopter assault which charge a 15 Scouts attacking and destroying a transit camp destroyed ZANLA being this involved.

5. Operation Traveler: Attack on the basis Caponda, Mozambique, April 1976 (target B). The strike force consisted of a patrol of 20 men who marched in Mozambique, they attacked and destroyed the camp, killing seven terrorists and injured 16 others.

6. Operation Detachment: Raid in Chigamane, Mozambique, May 1976 (Objective C). This operation involved an attack on a base located 108 ZANLA (km) within Mozambique. Twenty Scouts (white and African) FRELIMO uniforms traveling in four military vehicles disguised as FRELIMO vehicles. The ZANLA terrorist base was attacked and destroyed with rockets, mortars and machine guns. (This is strictly an operation under the “pseudo-gang” mode feature of the Selous, where pretending to be guerrillas to infiltrate and operate on their territory) The assailants returned to Rhodesia safely.

7. Operation Long John: Attack of Mapai, Mozambique, June 1976 (target D). This operation involved an attack on a base ZANLA Mapai, 72 (km) into Mozambique by 58 Scouts traveling in four trucks and two jeeps, all disguised as vehicles belonging to FRELIMO. Along the way, the Selous disconnected telephone lines and sabotaged the railway line. The guerrillas who fulfilled the role of guards thought it was a column itself and the Selous allowed into the camp. Once inside, sappers destroyed 13 Mercedes buses used to transport terrorists to the border (a bus was saved and was taken back to Rhodesia as a souvenir). In addition, they captured much of the arsenal of the guerrillas and brought back to Rhodesia before it was called an airstrike to destroy the base. Nineteen terrorists were killed and 18 wounded, a member of the raid was killed and some wounded.

8. Raid Nyadzonya / Pungwe, Mozambique
August 1976 (Objective E). This operation involved a large raid ZANLA base 90 (km) into Mozambique by a delegation comprising ten trucks Scouts “Pigs” and four armored cars, again disguised as FRELIMO vehicles column. Scouts in the first four vehicles were also FRELIMO uniforms. The main city telephone lines are cut, then drove directly to the camp. The guerrillas were in the center of the camp making a parade, Selous opened fire, reportedly caused a staggering 1184 guerrillas killed. He also captured 14 guerrillas ZANLA and taken to Rhodesia for interrogation. Leaving Mozambique, he flew column Pungwe Bridge to avoid search and returned to Rhodesia safely. During the same operation, an ambush unit whose mission was to cover the retreat of the main column, ambushed a Land Rover whose six occupants were high officials ZANLA; six were killed. The Selous forces suffered only six wounded.


9. Operation Maradon: Attack Massengena Gorge and Limpopo, Mozambique, October 1976 (target D). This operation involved an attack on a base in the ZANLA in Limpopo, 54 (km) into Mozambique. The strike force tortuous path 350 back and 400 km of route reconnaissance and two teams (one of three and one of two men) parachuted into Mozambique in front of the column. Upon entering Mozambique, Claymore mines placed on roads and traps on the railway line. The telegraph and telephone lines were also cut. The column then began a series of attacks, I destroyed a FRELIMO garrison, I derailed a train (killing 36 guerrillas on board), and destroyed a large water reservoir, along with several military vehicles of the enemy. A senior FRELIMO commander was also killed. On November 2, the Selous Scouts returned to Rhodesia, after destroying a logistical support base. Communications between George, Limpopo, Malvernia and Massengena were discontinued, they destroyed two trains, and destroyed all vehicles in the area, and planted landmines in several points. This operation effectively directed against the ZANLA was aimed at undermining its operational capacity and weakening the morale of the insurgents.

10. Start Operation: Attack ZIPRA, Francistown, Botswana, November 1976 (target A). This operation represented an attack on the headquarters of ZIPRA in Francistown by a group of Selous Scouts. Its aim was to destroy an arsenal of bombs and explosives intended for use in Rhodesia. The unit captures the tank and detonate explosives destroyed the building and the arsenal of bombs, wounding five insurgents in the process.

11. Aztec Operation: Attack George Limpopo, MPAI and Madulo Pan, Mozambique, May-June 1977 (target D). This operation involved an attack on several bases ZANLA penetrating more than 200 (km) in Mozambique with a power of 110 Selous soldiers disguised as FRELIMO column. A railway line, several bases and a supply tank is destroyed. They are also destroyed several enemy vehicles and equipment. The Selous attacks were supported by aviation Rhodesia by Hawker Hunter FLG9.

12. Operation Vodka: raid on the camp Mboroma ZPA, Zambia, December 1979 (the exact location is not known). This operation involved a raid on a prison camp located some 145 ZPA (km) within Zambia. A team of 42 Selous Scouts were parachuted into the camp after they had softened the defense of the base with an airstrike. Resistance was quickly surpassed 18 guards were killed and six were captured. Only 32 prisoners were released, and the rest was performing work outside the camp. At night, the Selous and the freed prisoners were airlifted back to Rhodesia from a nearby airfield.

13. Operation Petal I: Botswana, March 1979 (objective F). In this operation kidnap Elliot Sibanda, a senior operational intelligence ZPA, by a team of Scouts who infiltrated across the border with Botswana and ambushed. Although seriously wounded, Sibanda was captured and taken back to Rhodesia alive.

14. Operation Petal II: Francistown, Botswana, April 1979 (a target). This transaction gave rise to an ambitious raid to kidnap ZAPA throughout southern command. The raid was a small column of two armored vehicles and a couple of trucks disguised as military forces of Botswana. The column penetrated to the house where they had detected the leaders were staying and kidnapped returning to Rhodesia.

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Rhodesians and their use of the Alouette III.

The Aerospatiale Alouette III was initially designed as a Light Utility helicopter by the French Military. With a crew of two, and seating for five additional passengers, the Rhodesians had seen this helicopter as a workhorse aircraft that would be used to provide CAS, Aerial Observation, and MEDEVAC, while also doubling as mobile command posts. They would fit these aircraft into their venerable “Fire Force” roles, where Alouette III’s from the No. 7 Squadron would drop in RLI fire teams before guiding them to their targets when airborne again, often providing CAS during their orbits around the AO.