Africa Lost: Rhodesia's COIN Killing Machine

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The Lost Chapter of Special Operations History: Rhodesia.

Some of the most explosive combat in Special Operations history is almost completely unknown to the Western World. Everyone knows about Navy SEALs and Green Berets but nobody knows about the deep recce, sabotage, and direct action missions conducted by the Rhodesian SAS. The Rhodesian Light Infantry was a killing machine, participating in combat jumps every night during the heat of the Bush War. The Selous Scouts were perhaps the most innovative and daring unconventional warfare unit in history which would pair white soldiers with turncoat black "former" terrorists who would then infiltrate enemy camps.

US military veteran and historian Dan Tharp covers each of these three units in depth in Africa Lost.
(18,000 words)

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About the author

DAN THARP has spent over 30 years studying military history, beginning with a book given to him at nine years of age about the history of the United States Marine Corps. After serving in the United States Navy he obtained a degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Ancient History, focusing on the Roman and Greek military. His study of the conflicts in Southern Africa began with reading an article about the ‘Crippled Eagles,' a group of Americans who continued to battle communism in the nation of Rhodesia after the Vietnam War. After numerous articles for SOFREP.com and two successful novels, Task Force Intrepid: The Gold of Katanga and TFI: Highway to Hell, Africa Lost is his first in a series on the Cold War waged in Rhodesia and South Africa.

SOFREP.com is the #1 site on the Internet for news and information as it relates to the Special Operations and Intelligence community. In a very short time, SOFREP has become a legitimate source of alternative non partisan news media. The editors of SOFREP are from the US military Special Operations and Intelligence communities, and most have over a decade of operational experience that sets them apart from typical journalists.

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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Aug 6, 2013
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Pages
60
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ISBN
9781466841185
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Africa / South / General
History / Military / Special Forces
History / Military / United States
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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It has been over three decades since the Union Jack was lowered on the colony of Rhodesia, but the bitter and divisive civil war that preceded it has continued to endure as a textbook counterinsurgency campaign fought between a mobile, motivated and highly trained Rhodesian security establishment and two constituted liberations movements motivated, resourced and inspired by the ideals of communist revolution in the third world.

A complicated historical process of occupation and colonization set the tone as early as the late 1890s for what would at some point be an inevitable struggle for domination of this small, landlocked nation set in the southern tropics of Africa. The story of the Rhodesian War, or the Zimbabwean Liberation Struggle, is not only an epic of superb military achievement, and revolutionary zeal and fervor, but is the tale of the incompatibility of the races in southern Africa, a clash of politics and ideals and, perhaps more importantly, the ongoing ramifications of the past upon the present, and the social and political scars that a war of such emotional underpinnings as the Rhodesian conflict has had on the modern psyche of Zimbabwe.

The Rhodesian War was fought with finely tuned intelligence-gathering and -analysis techniques combined with a fluid and mobile armed response. The practitioners of both have justifiably been celebrated in countless histories, memoirs and campaign analyses, but what has never been attempted has been a concise, balanced and explanatory overview of the war, the military mechanisms and the social and political foundations that defined the crisis. This book does all of that. The Rhodesian War is explained in digestible detail and in a manner that will allow enthusiasts of the elements of that struggle - the iconic exploits of the Rhodesian Light Infantry, the SAS, the Selous Scouts, the Rhodesian African Rifles, the Rhodesia Regiment, among other well-known fighting units - to embrace the wider picture in order to place the various episodes in context
From one of Britain’s most respected and acclaimed art historians, art critic of The Guardian—the galvanizing story of a sixteenth-century clash of titans, the two greatest minds of the Renaissance, working side by side in the same room in a fierce competition: the master Leonardo da Vinci, commissioned by the Florentine Republic to paint a narrative fresco depicting a famous military victory on a wall of the newly built Great Council Hall in the Palazzo Vecchio, and his implacable young rival, the thirty-year-old Michelangelo.

We see Leonardo, having just completed The Last Supper, and being celebrated by all of Florence for his miraculous portrait of the wife of a textile manufacturer. That painting—the Mona Lisa—being called the most lifelike anyone had ever seen yet, more divine than human, was captivating the entire Florentine Republic.

And Michelangelo, completing a commissioned statue of David, the first colossus of the Renaissance, the archetype hero for the Republic epitomizing the triumph of the weak over the strong, helping to reshape the public identity of the city of Florence and conquer its heart.

In The Lost Battles, published in England to great acclaim (“Superb”—The Observer; “Beguilingly written”—The Guardian), Jonathan Jones brilliantly sets the scene of the time—the politics; the world of art and artisans; and the shifting, agitated cultural landscape.

We see Florence, a city freed from the oppressive reach of the Medicis, lurching from one crisis to another, trying to protect its liberty in an Italy descending into chaos, with the new head of the Republic in search of a metaphor that will make clear the glory that is Florence, and seeing in the commissioned paintings the expression of his vision.

Jones reconstructs the paintings that Leonardo and Michelangelo undertook—Leonardo’s Battle of Anghiari, a nightmare seen in the eyes of the warrior (it became the first modern depiction of the disenchantment of war) and Michelangelo’s Battle of Cascina, a call to arms and the first great transfiguration of the erotic into art. Jones writes about the competition; how it unfolded and became the defining moment in the transformation of “craftsman” to “artist”; why the Florentine government began to fall out of love with one artist in favor of the other; and how—and why—in a competition that had no formal prize to clearly resolve the outcome, the battle became one for the hearts and minds of the Florentine Republic, with Michelangelo setting out to prove that his work, not Leonardo’s, embodied the future of art. Finally, we see how the result of the competition went on to shape a generation of narrative paintings, beginning with those of Raphael.

A riveting exploration into one of history’s most resonant exchanges of ideas, a rich, fascinating book that gives us a whole new understanding of an age and those at its center.
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