Special Branch War

Slaughter in the Rhodesian Bush. Southern Matabeleland, 1976-1980

Ed Bird

 
Date Published :
February 2014
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Illustration :
50 color and b/w photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781909982345
Pages : 320
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
Available
$39.95

Overview
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This searing account primarily covers Ed Bird's Special Branch (SB) service in the Beitbridge area of southern Matabeleland, 1976-1980, encompassing Operations Repulse and Tangent of the bitter Rhodesian 'bush war'.

Joining the British South Africa Police (BSAP) in 1964, Bird cut his teeth on Selous Scouts 'pseudo' operations during Operation Hurricane in 1974-1976, so was well equipped to deal with the insidious escalation of the ZANLA and ZIPRA campaigns in the south of the country.

A meticulous recorder, Bird implemented and maintained the Beitbridge SB incident log, and it is this diary of terror and death upon which Bird's account hangs, interspersed with detailed accounts of fire fights, ambushes, landmine blasts, ZANLA executions, traitors and assassinations, SB 'dirty tricks' and 'turning' terrorists.

Although first and foremost an intelligence-gatherer, Bird thrived on combat and against all protocol inveigled his way onto Fire Force operations and as an air mobile MAG machine-gunner on converted Police Reserve Air Wing aircraft. Decorated for bravery but overlooked for promotion, Bird's BSAP career became victim to spurious political expedience.

REVIEWS
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“… anyone interested in the Rhodesian Bush should read this book … Highly recommended

- Newsletter of the South African Military Museum

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