Stories Of Rhodesia:SAS attack on a FRELIMO radio transmitter

This week’s blog is from Hannes Wessel’s ‘A few hard men’, describing an SAS attack on a central and very important communications centre in the middle of Mozambique, on the ‘Russian Front’.



Destruction of the facility would hamper fluid enemy movements and slow down their ability to mobilize against Rhodesia, which was a very big threat in 1979.

In addition to this, a few lovely paintings of a Fireforce action (see earlier blogs on this type of vertical envelopment) will be shown here, for interest.

This painting depicts a typical Rhodesian African Rifles fireforce scene where heli-borne troops are dropped on strategic escape routes around a terrorist camp, while in the background paratroopers are dropped to form an assault group. The world record for jumps into combat is held by a Rhodesian, totalling 75 in all.

I will never forget the smell of the African bush, it’s dusty dryness in winter followed by a smell of wet grass and dust mixed at the beginning of the rainy season.

another four-man stop group is inserted
The battle hots up. K-cars hammer the gooks with 20mm cannon while helicopters drop stop groups and old world war 2 Dakotas from Arnhem days (literally) drops Paras.
The Rhodesians called America’s O-2 twin-engine Cessna the “Lynx” and due to sanctions on more suitable aircraft, adopted it to carry many weapons, including rockets and machine guns, making it a perfect bush war aerial platform It also dropped a bomb that Rhodesia developed called the Alpha or bouncing bomb. This bomb bounced three metres into the air on contact with the ground before exploding, making it hugely successful against infantry. In the scene above it’s quite possible men had been positioned on the hillock in the foreground as an OP and upon seeing enemy movements would call in a fireforce action.
A Rhodesian golf bomb – 450kg. The pole made it explode just above the ground, similar to the Alpha bomb, making it devastating to standing infantry. It was also necessary to compensate for soft sand which would reduce the blast vector quite a lot. The Rhodesians used this to great effect when they dropped dozens of golf bombs on Nkomo’s troops in Zambia while on morning parade, killing many hundreds of them.
An Alpha bomb. It would bounce up due to rubber balls in an inner casing and then explode at 3 metres in the air.

Now to the blog…..

Next week…the Russians are coming. One of my previous blogs explains my experience watching one of the invasions listed above, at Victoria Falls, being thwarted.

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