We Dared to Win

The SAS in Rhodesia

Hannes Wessels

Weaving together the experiences of Andre Scheepers and the first-hand accounts of other distinguished soldiers who fought during the Rhodesian War, this is a unique narrative of soldiers, the battles they fought, and the challenges and hardships they faced.
Date Published :
April 2018
Publisher :
Contributor(s) :
Andre Scheepers
Illustration :
32 pages of color & b/w photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612005874
Pages : 320
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Andre Scheepers grew up on a farm in Rhodesia, learning about the bush from his African childhood friends, before joining the army. A quiet, introspective thinker, Andre started out as a trooper in the SAS before being commissioned into the Rhodesian Light Infantry Commandos, where he was engaged in fireforce combat operations. He then rejoined the SAS. Wounded 13 times, his operational record is exceptional even by the tough standards that existed at the time. He emerged as the SAS officer par excellence; beloved by his men, displaying extraordinary calmness, courage, and audacious cunning during a host of extremely dangerous operations. Andre writes vividly about his experiences, his emotions, and his state of mind during the war, and reflects candidly on what he learned and how war has shaped his life since.

In addition to Andre’s personal story, this book reveals more about some of the other men who were distinguished operators in SAS operations during the Rhodesian War.

About The Author

Hannes Wessels was born in 1956 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) but grew up in Umtali on the Mozambican border. As a boy, holidays were spent with Game Department rangers; time on safari in Mozambique with the late Wally Johnson was a big influence on him. Wessels also grew to know Robert Ruark whose love of Africa, its people, politics and the written word left a lasting impression. He saw action in the Rhodesian bush war before acquiring a law degree which he chose not to use. He has hunted big game in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania in a 20-year career. In 1994 he was severely gored by a wounded buffalo which almost cost him his life. While no longer directly involved in hunting, he is part-owner of a lodge and game ranch in Zambia on the Zambezi and remains keenly interested in all matters relating to African wildlife and conservation. He has published Strange Tales from Africa in the USA, a collection of anecdotes from his hunting days. He is also a syndicated writer for Outdoor Life in the United States and is currently writing a history on the Rhodesian SAS. He is married to Mandy and has two daughters, Hope and Jana, and lives in Darling in the Western Cape of South Africa.

After a childhood on a farm in the Rhodesian bush, Andre Scheepers joined the Rhodesian Light Infantry commandos, followed by the SAS in 1974. In the thick of the action during the Rhodesian Bush War he was wounded on 12 occasions. Turning down an opportunity to go into the British SAS, he elected instead to join a seminary and later became a priest. A true leader, beloved by his men, his calmness in extreme danger coupled with his ability to think his way out of tight corners made him the quintessential SAS officer.


Note from Andre Scheepers

1 Schoolboy to Soldier
2 Into the SAS
3 Cecil Rhodes Would Have Been Proud
4 Officers Course
5 The “Russian Front”
6 “Hot Extraction”
7 Eliminate the Leadership
8 Hitting the Cities
9 Running and Raiding
10 Taking on the Russians
11 Mozambique Mayhem
12 Zambia Attacked
13 A Soldier’s Dilemma
14 Scheepers Reflects



“It is a book that left me breathless, angered and saddened. It is a book about soldiers fighting a war they were not allowed to win; a war to save a country from itself. It is a book of immense bravery and sacrifice against incredible odds. It is a book that proves that some men are born to become warriors, others to become heroes. Only a select few are born to be both.”

- Lt. Colonel Eeben Barlow, ex-32nd Battalion and Chairman of Executive Outcomes

“Andre was the best of the best and the bravest of the brave.”

- Captain Darrell Watt, ex-SAS

“If you have read Hannes Wessels's A Handful of Hard Men - among the best books to emerge on guerilla warfare in South Africa in recent times, then We Dared to Win will not disappoint. Working with Andre Scheepers - an outstanding SAS operator during the Rhodesian War - they have pulled together another remarkable panoply of events that ultimately changed history throughout South Africa. Indeed, these events are gripping, incisive and very well done!”

- Al J. Venter, author and war correspondent

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