JRTWood.com - the website of Dr JRT Wood, So Far and No Further, Rhodesian History, UDI
 
HomeBooksArticlesMapsIn progressBioContact
   
Books

Counter-Strike from the Sky: The Rhodesian All-Arms Fireforce in the War in the Bush 1974–1980
Counter-Strike from the Sky
The Rhodesian All-Arms Fireforce in the War in the Bush 1974 – 1980
JRT Wood
Includes 90 minute DVD documentary
30 Degrees South Publishing, 2009
Book: 248 pages, ZAR R350.00
Click here to buy 'Counter-Strike from the Sky'

About this book
Includes a 90-minute DVD documentary with interviews with:
  • Dr JRT Wood (author and historian)
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Robinson OLM, MLM (OC C Squadron, SAS)
  • Major Grahame Wilson GCV, SCR, BCR (C Squadron, SAS)
  • Major Nigel Henson MLM (OC Support Commando, 1RLI)
  • Captain Peter Stanton (Special Branch and Selous Scouts)
  • Lieutenant Alan Thrush BCR (A Company, 2RAR)
  • Sergeant Gordon ‘Beaver’ Shaw (Rhodesian Air Force)
  • Sergeant George Dempster (MA2 Medic, 1RLI)
  • Chris Cocks (3 Commando, IRLI)
Fireforce as a military concept dates from 1974 when the Rhodesian Air Force (RhAF) acquired the French MG151 20mm cannon from the Portuguese. Coupled with this, the traditional counter-insurgency tactics (against Mugabe’s ZANLA and Nkomo’s ZIPRA) of follow-ups, tracking and ambushing simply weren’t producing satisfactory results. Visionary RhAF and Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) officers thus expanded on the idea of a ‘vertical envelopment’ of the enemy (first practised by SAS paratroopers in Mozambique in 1973), with the 20mm cannon being the principle weapon of attack, mounted in an Alouette III K-Car (‘Killer car’), flown by the air force commander, with the army commander on board directing his ground troops deployed from G-Cars (Alouette III troop-carrying gunships and latterly Bell ‘Hueys’ in 1979) and parachuted from DC-3 Dakotas. In support would be a propeller-driven ground-attack aircraft armed with front guns, pods of napalm, white phosphorus rockets and a variety of Rhodesian-designed bombs; on call would be Canberra bombers, Hawker Hunter and Vampire jets.