COIN Ops



TRANSFORMING  GUARD  FORCE  .   

GUARD  FORCE  CHANGED  ITS  ROLE  FROM  DENYING THE INSURGENTS ACCESS TO  THE  AFRICAN  RURAL  POPULATION THROUGH THE PROTECTED VILLAGES SYSTEM BY  ASSUMING  A  COIN  INFANTRY  ROLE  FROM THE MIDDLE OF  1978  UP  TO  THE  STAND-DOWN  OF  THE  FORCE  IN   JUNE 1980 .

Changes in the political and military situation in the country led also to changes in the military strategy and the way the Rhodesian political and military leadership planned to counter the revolutionary threat directed against Rhodesia. The Internal Settlement leading to a Transitional Government, the establishment of the Security Force Auxilliaries [ SFA ] and finally the opening of the Protected Villages and/or the handover of them to the SFAs influenced strongly the change of the role and function of Guard Force.

Also during this transitional period, senior African NCOs were placed in charge of the PVS whilst the European element was withdrawn to undergo further Infantry type role training.

The question was now what role to allocate to Guard Force? Protecting Vital Asset Ground , which included key farming areas and lines of rail , became an important aspect of the new strategy. The majority of tasks allocated to Guard Force was still mostly of a static protective nature. Only in the beginning of this transformational period when PVs changed hands or were handed over to the SFAs and before formal Infantry Battalions were established and later with the establishment of 3 BN GF would Guard Force elements operate in a more flexible COIN Infantry role. It all started with the establishment of small reaction forces in most PV GP areas based on the initiative of  individual  PV GP OCs.

Afterwards, these initiatives were expanded and more formalised. The author of this article cannot remember to have received clear guidelines from GF HQ on this issue. The handing over of PVs to the SFAs and running them for a while together influenced also the scale of COIN Infantry operations by Guard Force soldiers. Training and equipment  or the lack there off played also a role . There was also the issue of who was in charge of the relevant Sub-JOCs. Was it the Army or BSAP? I experienced in the GP 9 area of Mount Darwin and GP 7 area of Mudzi that BSAP structures were quite happy to have us and there was good co-operation with BSAP and SB. I also believe that during this period the Army did not really know what to do with us. All this changed when the Infantry Battalions  and Farm Protection structures were formal established and operational control through Sub-JOCS sorted out the Command and Control problems.  

This page of our website will concern itself with operational and other issues experienced by our Guard Force soldiers posted in PV GPs during this “ HAPPY “ transitional period before Infantry Battalions and Farm Protection structures were formally established .

[ Compiled by Snr Comdt H.Schobesberger in FEB 2015 ]


From Asst Comdt John Radfords personal collection



2iC at Gp5 Mrewa was Asst. Cmdt John Radford who was, together with Comdt Guenter Maeser, instrumental in the start of what was to become 1 Batt. Guard Force.

Sgt  JUERGEN  WINKLER  who joined Guard Force in JAN 1979 remembers :

“ I served with GP 6 MTOKO. It was the transitional period from the Protected Village System to the formal establishment of 1 BN . We were operating in an COIN Infantry role in the GP 6 area of operations.

I remember one incident during early 1979. I was at the GP 6 HQ at Mtoko and ready to proceed on R&R. We received a message that one of our Pumas hit a Landmine , a mujiba was  captured ,questioned and he confirmed that he knew the location of a CT basecamp. Nobody really believed him. But Comdt Joe Flanagan, the OC of the GP 6, a number of the European leadergroup and a Platoon of African soldiers proceeded to the place of the incident, about one hours drive from Mtoko. I forgot about my R&R and joined the group. The reinforced Platoon [+] advanced in the direction pointed out by the mujiba . We experienced so many lemons when following mujibas to CT basecamps [ as they claimed after some “ tactical questioning “ ] that most of us did not expect anything. Advancing over open ground without cover suddenly we came under fire. A heavy machinegun opened up with short firebursts from a close –by kopie. Fortunately they fired too high. Being pinned down on an open piece of ground was not the ideal situation I wanted to find myself. Deciding to be a hero I fixed my personal G-3 bajonet , [ which I bought some time ago in Germany by Frankonia in Darmstadt ] and charged towards the kopie.  But what a surprise. In front of me , a lonely African soldier had the same idea and charged towards the kopie. During the ensuing firefight the CTs withdrew. The running battle that followed went into the night hours. The next morning we found the trees from both direction full of bullet hits. We had no casualties and Special Branch confirmed later that the CTS lost two of theirs. The African soldier who displayed initiative under enemy fire was promoted to Corporal.

3 pictures below as supplied by Sgt Juergen Winkler 1 Bn, Guard Force

1 BN GF around Feb 1979. Dutoit Cook and myself moved (with 2Pumas) from Mtoko (HQ 1BN) via Nyamapanda (left Pic) along the Moz Border down south . One contact 2 CT Bodys recovered, another 2 weapons found in the contact area. On the way back we got ambushed .1 CT weapon found, 2 Guards promoted to L/Cpl.



As told by Sgt Juergen Winkler to Snr Comdt Horst Schobesberger in FEB 2014.

Sgt Juergen Winkler served with Intaf in 1978 in the Mudzi area, joined Guard Force JAN 1979 and served with GP 6 Mtoko, GP 9 Mount Darwin in the Reaction Force Base in Bveke and later Marymount Mission where he was shot through his neck in an ambush, joined 2 BN,  line of rail between Bulawayo and Victoria Falls and later in the RHQ “ C “ in the Fort Victoria Area. There were quite a few stories around him when displaying “ reckless bravery “ on operations.

I remember him when he arrived at GP 9 Mount Darwin begin of 1979. I was fetching him from GF HQ in Salisbury. We drove in an open Landrover [ doors removed ] via Bindura – Mount Darwin to Bveke. Talking in German, the home language of both of us, I enquired about his background, having heard quite a few stories about him. He was a “ character “, only to be found and accepted in the Rhodesian SFs , full of such characters. Unthinkable in the SADF as many ex-Rhodies found out after 1980. After a few hours driving he asked me if he can play music. I agreed and he took one of this portable record players out of his bag. And there we were driving, two white soldiers in an open Landrover  and playing  VIVALDI,s,  FOUR SEASONS on full volume. What a cultural shock it must have been for the CTs. They even forgot to ambush us and whoever knows the area between Mount Darwin  and Bveke will agree with me.

That was Juergen Winkler.  He has settled down now and lives a quiet family life in Germany.

Comment by Snr Comdt Horst Schobesberger. MAR 2015.   



GUARD  FORCE  SOLDIERS  INVOLVED  IN  COIN – INFANTRY  OPERATIONS.

The following report originates from the FALLEN’S  POST  compiled by GLENN  SEYMOUR  HALL  on the RHODESIAN  MILITARY  WEBSITE :

“ 1979 – Guard Kuwadzama  Chiwaremera  , GROUP 9 MOUNT DARWIN, killed in action.

A Guard Force Infantry Section tracked several CTs to the Mazoe River in the Mount Darwin area and attacked what they believed to be the terrorist base camp in a dry river bed. Unbeknown to them, this turned out to be the cooking area only and the actual base camp was up on a ridge behind them.

After a brief firefight, members of the section were checking bodies and collecting possessions, when the CTs on the highground  behind them attacked, pinning the section down in the riverbed. Jnr Comdt Mark  Wood  requested Fire Force but they were not available due to external operations being undertaken at the time. When the section ran out of ammunition, Jnr Comdt Wood gave order to withdraw.

Guard Chiwaremera was shot in the femoral artery and bled out in minutes. Corporal  Marindi  carried Guard Chiwaremera under enemy fire out of the contact area for several hundred meters with the CTs in pursuit. Cpl Marindi was put forward for a commendation by Jnr Comdt Wood for his bravery  on the day.

Comment by Snr Comdt H Schobesberger : The above described action took place during the transition period from Guard Force being responsible for the protection of Protected Villages and operating in a COIN Infantry role. Jnr Comdt Mark Wood [ Intake 160 ] was in charge of the Guard Force Reaction Force Base at BVEKE , situated east of Dodito / Mount Darwin. They operated closely with the BSAP Support Unit. The other GROUP 9 Reaction Force Base was at Dodito, north of Mount Darwin. Jnr Comdt Peter John Battershill was in charge of the base in Dodito. He was killed in an vehicle ambush south of Dodito in March 1979. I remember Mark Wood from GROUP 7 in Mudzi were I served with him during the second half of 1978. Having been the OC of GROUP 9 before the incident happened brings rememberings back, specific the area around Bveke and the eastern part of the Kandeya TTL and the Chesa APL..  Areas heavily infested with CTs going back to the beginning of the the Rhodesian War. Sgt Guenter Winkler was based together with Mar Wood in Bveke.

Sgt Guenter Winkler  remembers :

On the day of the incident I was at GF HQ in Salisbury to sort out some personal administration. After my return to Bveke I discussed the incident with Mark Wood. The section under his command left Bveke Base the day after the base was attacked by CTs. During the attack a Recoiless Gun shell hit the Ops Room , killing the signaller. He told me also that they were supplied by air with ammunition. Most of the rucksacks of the soldiers were destroyed by fire which started during the contact.

I remember also another COIN operation I took part in , when I was based in Bveke . We occupied an OP overlooking a  river . On the other side of the river was a road leading to one of the Protected Villages. At around midday we observed an INTAF convoy proceeding to the Protected Village and on his return running into an vehicle ambush. From our OP position we observed  a CT who was observing the ambush scene and the group of INTAF DSAs securing the area. I reported over radio the situation on the ground to the Ops Room of the BSAP Support Unit and requested to take out the CT. My request was denied and I was instructed to continue to observe. I could see that the DSAs were also withdrawing. During the evening we received a radio order to remain “ invisible under all circumstances “, which we did. What we did not know was that on the other side of the river was a major CT base and we observed the next morning a major Fire Force deployment / operation attacking the base. We did not know if the area was frozen or we were part of the plan to cover all approaches to the CT base with OPs.

A few weeks / month later I run into a vehicle ambush with our Puma at the same spot where INTAF was ambushed. Our Puma was hit by a RPG-7 rocket underneath the driver cabin, but fortunately we had no casualties.

Compiled by Snr Comdt H Schobesberger / JULY 2015.


Rhodesian Guard Force

Infantry Role

GP 5 Mrewa

KC George Parker remembers:

 

It was my second call up and I had been posted to GP 5 whose Regional HQ was at Mrewa in Op Hurricane. It did not seem that far from Salisbury, not as compared to Mtoko a few months earlier. This was in June 1978.

I was to go into the PVs again which didn’t bother me too much and I was keen to see how GP 5 did it.

I cannot recall initial deployment to the Regionals HQ but I must have been sent there first. I was allocated a PV as I recall about 40 kms from base to the North of HQ. I am partly guessing here but I think the PVs name was Mashambanaka. It was a fairly large PV with a substantial Business Centre within the PV and a Post Office (with a phone!).

A small incident at Chikurubi prior to immediate deployment was when I called an African WO11 ‘Sir’. This did not endear me to him and he let me have it. No worries we were out of there on deployment pretty quickly. I did have some sympathy with the guys who had drawn the short straw and were deployed to Beitbridge. I remember thinking ‘you are not going to see those guys again anytime soon’! Isn’t it strange that I considered the fact that I was going to Mrewa as being ‘lucky’!

Pretty soon after arriving at GP5 we were enbussed and on our way....I am sure we must have been given a sitrep but I honestly cannot recall it.

The Senior Officers at GP5 were  Asst. Cmdt. John Radford and the OC was Cmdt. Gunther Maier.


The Keeps were A Frame asbestos type buildings and obviously did not provide a great deal of protection if we were attacked. The standard 6 foot walls were surrounding the Keep so that was OK I suppose. The first week was pretty uneventful although we did twice daily patrols around the PV. It seemed to be very busy especially as it was a centre of commerce in the local area.

I think 8 days into the deployment we were radio’ed to advise us that we were to be pulled out of the Keeps (this meaning the European contingent) and were to be transported back to Mrewa HQ to be advised of an alternative deployment.

 The next week or so was heavily involved in radio training, deployment training, Infantry tactics, firearms training and command and control. We also attempted helicopter training (without the helicopter!). Officers and men were all very keen but you had the impression that it was all very haphazard.....nevertheless we were keen to get on with it as anything was better than being a sitting target in the Keeps!

We were split up into 4 groups each having 3 sticks of 6/7 men. My call sign was 54 Bravo 1, and with little experience I was put in charge of some 18 men!. The others groups were Alpha, Charlie and Delta. Each had a group of around 18/20 Guards and usually a senior African NCO.

We were issued with standard G3’s and about 100 rounds per man with another few hundred carried separately in back packs. We were not issued with any MAGs or BRENS but each stick had at least 4 rifle grenades and a couple of white phos grenades. Each man carried some first aid kit and one morphine ampoule. Food also had to be carried but as it was winter and the pack would contain extra clothing this was not always possible....I always seemed to carry an ample supply of bread. I seemed to eat nothing else but this and any ‘rations’ the African Guards cooked up in the evenings. Rat-Packs were not that great but you had to be selective. When we deployed we stood around the open fire at base to be enveloped in woodsmoke.....I also recall that bags were inspected  any 'smellies' (toothpaste, cream deodorises etc were confiscated....during my morning ablutions even to this day I recall that little episode)

I do remember an Asst. Cmdt (Wright?) arriving from Chikurubi with a vast amount of extra kit for the sections (back-packs, chest webbing, an abundance of spare mags, clothing etc etc). This was most unusual as we were generally told we just had to get on with what we had.

My Section along with Alpha section were the first to be deployed. We were deployed separately and I remember we were trucked out on open flatbed vehicles and our drop off point was usually Zanyika School. Drop offs were always after last light, basically the truck slowed to almost a stop and we climbed off with our kit. The first patrol was to the Uzumba TTL but to the West side of that TTL. These usually lasted 4/5 days and it was either to the Uzumba or once or twice to the Mangwende. I can’t remember where the drop off point was in Mangwende. In all I think I did a total of at least 4 stints, during that camp.

Our initial orders were to make for a specific point ‘usually a gomo’ within around 2/3 hours walk away and lay-up until given further orders. Whilst waiting for further orders we would set up as an OP and await instructions. During each trip we perhaps moved to new locs. maybe twice over the 4 nights. Our pick up was always back at Zanyika School ....again during hours of darkness.

A number of patrols during that time was OP’ing the area around the Eastern bank of the Nyagui and Mazoe rivers. Both these bordered the European farming areas east of Shamva. 

We had a number of sightings of indistinguishable persons and on a number of occasions called in local Police/PATU sticks to investigate. We never got follow-up intelligence on this information....perhaps they were either local forces or just locals , but the local populace and friendly forces knew we were out there doing our thing in the vicinity.


I must tell of an incident prior to the first deployment. We had a visit from the local SB unit to advise the officers that suspected terrorists (2 or 3) were to visit the local beer-hall that night. They wanted GFs assistance in securing the beer-hall, as there were a couple of GC operatives within the beer-hall. Interestingly SB advised John Radford that only European members should be involved as they were nervous of the African guards emptying their mags at the slightest notion of a contact. With the result around 6 of us were deployed to the shebeen environs later that evening.

It so happened that when I was in my position for around 5 minutes I heard distinct sounds about 10 yards away but very low down. I had no idea what the noise was......it was pitch black and the cover was reasonably dense. It was only soon after that I realised that it was an AFA and her AMA boyfriend indulging in ‘corpus delicti’ within a very short distance from me! The sounds were not pretty and neither were the participants. Only when the ‘act’ was completed and they stood up they went white when they seen me with a G3 pointing straight at them! In my best ‘Shona/Engrish’ did I advise them to lie down and shut up or I would shoot them without hesitation until I left.....they obliged. I remained in my position for at least another hour and the exercise was called off. The couple were I am sure glad to see the back of me. We were recalled back to HQ and had a drink at the bar. I often think that this exercise was designed by the officers as part of our training. (surrounding the Beer-Hall, not the visit to the bar I mean!)

Our ‘bush-tramping’ were largely no more that long treks to our positions and setting up OP’s. On one occasion we set up on a gomo and on settling down discovered the remnants of previous occupancy (empty soft drink cans and other bits of litter, obviously previous RSF had been there before!).

They were great exercises in field craft and radio exercises. Also it taught me a lot in the control of men. (I was basically in charge of 3 sticks for these exercises and it was a great experience).

2 Sticks would patrol around the base of the OP or sometimes OP the OP and the main stick would do the actual OP’ing and comms.

We made a lot of various sightings but no CTs I’m afraid. The exercise was very positive I think as it provided the locals with the knowledge that the Rhodesian Forces were locally on the ground in their area. This was more important in the Mangwende TTL, south of Mrewa where terrorist activity had been prolonged. Whether they feared us or welcomed us was difficult to tell. We came into contact with them regularly.

Map reading was never my strong point but we always seemed to get to RV places and /or other OP points eventually. Our NCOs were not that much better but they seemed to know the terrain much better than I and I came to rely on them quite a lot. Discipline was never a problem with my group although Radio discipline did seem to be a problem.

I recall during an RV with one other stick in my Group but could not meet up with the 3rd stick. He was hours late at the RV, the NCO kept telling me that he was about 10 minutes away from the RV but he never showed up. When he maintained he was ‘very close’ and it was getting dark I asked him to whistle a couple of times so we could pinpoint his location. He did, but into the radio handset! After a few swear-words I advised him to bed down and that he would be uplifted in the morning.

I think the short-time we had ‘patrolling’ over those 6/7 weeks with up to 12X 6 man sticks taught us a lot at the Group and hopefully gave our successors something to work on and have the confidence that Guard Force in a traditional Infantry role was a very helpful addition to the overall war effort.

Any contact with the enemy would have to wait for my times during Farm Protection duties......there was enough!

 

George Parker September 2014

 

 





Snr Comdt  Horst  Schobesberger 
remembers :

Rutenga JUNE 1980, I said good-bye and THANK YOU to the soldiers of D-Coy , the last company of 1 BN Guard Force to stand down and demobilize at the GFRD at Chikurubi during the next few days. Most of its soldiers have served with me two years before at GP 7 Mudzi. Recalling events and operations in Mudzi, I reminded them by calling out the places and incidents. When I was finished one of the old soldiers stepped forward and called out “ Do  you  remember  Mudzi  River  “ . Then, I remembered it well ; but I could not answer because my emotions carried me away.

37 years later I found it important to place this event on paper because I believe that most of us experienced similar situations and may be encouraged to write it down and place it on our website. It is the story of  running into an vehicle ambush during the night of the 23 SEP 1978 at the Mudzi River bridge.

Begin of AUG 1978 and freshly promoted to Asst Comdt I was posted from GP 9 Mount Darwin to take over as OPS officer [ whatever this ment ? ] at GP 7 Mudzi. It was at the begin of the transition from Guard Force being involved in the Protected Village system to becoming an area bound COIN Infantry. Most PVs / Keeps were being used as Ops bases and our soldiers operated as COIN Infantry. Comdt Ed Owen, a former US Special Force medic was the OC of GP 7. The European leadergroup was a mixed bunch and included a number of foreign nationals like myself. The Special Branch officer responsible for the area was the driving force behind our deployments. Mudzi was a typical  District centre in the middle of nowhere and its close proximity to the Mocambiquan border made it a CT infested area. Most soldiers operating in the area will remember Kotwa , situated between Mudzi and the borderpost at Nyamapande. There was a good tar road to Nyamapande, but the rest was bush and dirtroads. The Cordon Sanitaire not far away.

On the 23 SEP 1978 during the late afternoon, early evening, I left the Keep at Nyamande, situated south of Kotwa, to return to Mudzi. I was travelling in a Puma with a one-man driver cabin. With me were P J Lynch and E Papadopoulos and about 11 African soldiers. Lynch and Papadopoulos were both from Intake 160 at Llewelin Barracks like many others of our Guard Force leadergroup. The road led first to the east and then turned direction north and approached Kotwa from the south-east. We had to cross two rivers. First the Nyamasandzura River  and then the Mudzi River. There was a low level bridge with supporting poles across the Mudzi River. Its riverbed was quite wide and because of the end of the dry season the river was a small stream . There was an abandoned D.C. Restcamp on the northern side of the River.


The photo above shows P.E. LYNCH to my right facing the camera and
E.PAPADOPOULOS to my left. Photo taken in GP 7 Mudzi before deployment.
1978.

We had no workable radio with us but informed the HQ at Mudzi by using the base set at Nyamande about our ETA. Misunderstandings led to a situation whereby duty personnel at Mudzi believed that we had already arrived.

We crossed the Nyamasandzura River without problems and approached the Mudzi River. It was already dark and we had to switch on the headlights of the Puma. We took chances and did not go through the prescribed defile-drills when crossing both rivers . Big mistake!. There is a difference between taking a calculated risk and taking chances. We took chances – like many times – travelling during ambush hours – in one vehicle – and no defile drills and no comms. Not very professional, I must confess. I should also mention that we travelled in the morning from Mudzi to Nyamande and were in a hurry to get back. On the way to Nyamande during the morning we saw in  one of the bushes next to the road and close to the Mudzi River  a wire toy hanging. I mention it to others but we did not pay much attention. Another of our mistakes – we should not have dismissed that it was a warning sign by the CTs for the locals to stay out of the area.

When we approached the Mudzi River bridge I was standing on the left side in front of the Puma with Papadoupolos on the right side. Lynch and the African soldiers  behind and sitting. The road went down unto the relative small bridge and we were travelling very slow. Suddenly I saw in the light of the headlights something like a wire lying across the bridge. The thought of an explosive device being activated by the wire crossed my mind.  But it was too late to stop and we crossed the wire. Nothing happened and I was relieved and relaxed. Big mistake again. We had to cross the bridge. At the end of the bridge the road went hill up and around a bend . One had to follow the road. No detour through the bush was possible.

When we climbed up the road all hell broke loose. We were in the killing ground of an CT ambush, set up on the western side of the road and had to drive all the way through. The driver in trying to get out of the ambush drove the Puma into a trench next to the road. We were stucked. Small arms fire continued. Tracers all over the show. Looking to Papadopoulos, I saw him standing and returning fire in a determined but at the same time cool way..I always will admire him for this. My first thought was to get down from the Puma. Jumping down, I slipped and crashed against the mudguard, hurting my ribs and having problems to breath when finally taking cover next to the Puma. The rest of the soldiers debussed , took cover  and returned fire. Lynch was next to me. The firing continued. I shouted in pain a few commands to give the CTs the impression that we will attack. The enemy’s reaction was a final firepower demonstration, hitting Lynch in his hand. A flare went up and they finally withdrew. Counting the costs I found out that all 11 African soldiers were injured . Papadoupolos was fine, Lynch was shot in his hand and I had troubles to breath because of my bruised ribs. It was the time when Guard Force had no medics,  medic bags or field-dressings for individual soldiers. Fortunately I always carried 15 wound-dressings with me, which I bought in some pharmacy. We gave first aid to our soldiers. We could not get out our Puma from the trench and saw that the radiator was shot and leaking. Expecting that the HQ at Mudzi would look for us after we would not return at the reported ETA, we set up an allround defence [ 360 ] and waited. I am always  astonished how African soldiers can take pain without going into shock when  injured by bullets. All what I could hear during the night was a soft groaning coming from the positions of the soldiers. We stayed alert during the night not knowing the activities of the CTs. The morning came and no help had arrived. We managed to get the Puma out of the ditch and decided to fill all our waterbottles with water from the river and keep the leaking radiator going . What a surprise when we went down to the river. We found that the CTs placed bundles consisting of six ploughshares [ taken out from the minefields of the Cordon Sanitaire ] under all of the pillars of the bridge. There was just one final wirelink missing. The bundles with the ploughshares were held together by strings of treebark and were propped up against the pillars by wooden sticks from the bush. Probably the wire  which they would have placed next to the wire we crossed  when crossing the bridge and using electrical detonators [ shortcut ] would have blown up the bridge, with us on top. I believe we interrupted their activities maybe only by a few minutes. Our chances of survival would have been relative slim. But luck is something the soldier needs to survive. Even the best trained and equipped soldier needs luck. We filled the radiator with water from our waterbottles and limped back to Kotwa. The Guard Force soldiers there could not believe when they saw us coming, many of our soldiers with bandages. To be ambushed at night it not a nice experience and it was not my last one. I preferred actually travelling by night, specific when there was moonlight and without headlights on. I had some covers for the rear breaklight made and found that the vehicle itself is not so strong visible than the  shade it creates. Therefore you have to travel on the side of the road which does not show the shade of the vehicle.

I mention this because vehicle ambushes and Landmine incidents are the most common threat,  Guard Force commanders on all levels of command were experiencing when deployed. Did I learn my lessons ? For a while yes, but then one starts to take chances again. Our equipment improved. We had trained medics and/or medical bags when deployed and individual soldiers were issued with field dressings. In future when travelling on a road,  I had always a radio and a prepared / marked map with me and made sure I checked from time to time my RV, in case I run into trouble.

All the African soldiers and Lynch recovered from their wounds. I had to sleep for the next few weeks in my bed sitting.One month later I was posted to GP 9 Mount Darwin to take over as OC and to experience a few more night ambushes. But such is life, you cannot be always the winner.  I will also always remember E. Papadoupolos. His firm and cool response to enemy fire  inspired the rest of us. Today I know that I failed in recognizing the good deeds of many of our soldiers ,I served with, in a formal way by recommending them for Commanders Commendations and other awards. Many of them would have deserved such awards. E. Papadopoulos  was one of them.

Snr Comdt Horst Schobesberger,  FEB 2015 .



The below picture was supplied by KC Walter Specht:

Just after arriving at 6th Group in Mtoko, I was sent out to Mudzi and Nyamapanda border post to pick up a stick. We stood over night at the INTAF post at Mudzi. This picture shows us on the way to Mudzi. It was quite cold and I appreciated a good old U.K. piece of equipment, the so called "Balaclava".
Also please note the Rifle Grenade affixed to the G3 . . .

Horst Schobesberger further commented on above:

I remember the road very well. Ambush Alley and because of its close proximity to the ZANLA infiltration routes from Mocambique quite dangerous and isolated area, specific in 1979.







Comments