I have just finished this thoroughly enjoyable book. I recommend this exciting and honest account of the Rhodesian Bush War by Dennis Croukamp. Every time I picked up the book I was immediately whisked back to the Rhodesia that I grew up in. The book is available in paperback and ebook format from Amazon.com. It costs a bit more than the average book but I think it is well worth every penny. It is fast paced, exciting, well balanced and wonderfully honest account of life in the armed forces in Rhodesia during the Bush War....
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and admire the author for his candor and honesty. Most people tend to gloss over their shortcomings and when writing with the benefit of hindsight, are prone to a little creativity when it comes to speaking about their feelings at the time of the events. The brutal honesty left me wondering if there was anything left to tell that he had not told. Again, with all books dealing with Rhodesia, is the inevitable sad conclusion of a once great country made great by a mere handful of white folk against overwhelming odds and how in under a decade MOST of it had been, and continues to be reduced to nothing more than rubble by a dictatorship intent on self enrichment at the expense of a good country and great people! Shame on them but one big salute to the men who built and fought for this great country...even if it ended in disaster at the hands of conniving politicans!!
This book had me hooked throughout. It is a wonderfully personal account of a highly individualistic soldier's bush war and takes place over 14 years. Vastly better than a shoot-em-up for armchair warriors Kroukamp tells the reader what he is feeling throughout - which is not always comfortable reading.
I was fascinated by what felt like his absolute addiction to war and adrenaline fixes (freefall parachuting when not fighting) and the venting of lots of spleen over events that it took him twenty+ years to get to print, and a seemingly astonishing level of recall. As he remarks at the end this was a corporal's war and the whole thing is viewed from this perspective, including inevitably lots of resentment about officers.
It is a testament to his obviously great skills, and the great need of the Rhodesian Army for them, that he survived and prospered in the Army for such a long time. In many others he would have been out on his ear, and probably into prison, remarkably quickly.
This is without doubt the most honest and gripping war memoire that I have ever read. I really hope that in writing it he has exorcised some of his demons.
An interesting story of the life of an extraordinary soldier in an almost forgotten war. Most of the content was new to me and fascinating stuff not least because of peripheral involvement. As to the style, written as an 'almost diary' I think I would have glossed over the early years, they bare little relevance to the main story and become a little irritating. However that aside, once past, the story picks up and moves at one hell of a pace. I would like to point out, that while Mr Croukamp's angst at all things British is entirely understandable, quite a few of us in the army at the time felt very strongly about the antics of Wilson and his pink communists. I and most of the other young officers in my organisation threatened to resign rather than have anything to do with enforcing a settlement and I know of similar stories with the RAF crews out of Antanarivo. So Rhodesia was not entirely alone, would that the result had been different. A thrilling tale and worth reading
It does exactly what it says on the tin. One man's account of the Rhodesian War; a full time soldier with a huge variety of experiences. I enjoyed his descriptions of tracking and operations though his description of characters were very idiosyncratic if not bitter. It is clear that this war allowed and often invited bitterness, but you have to admire the length of time the Rhodesians held out against all the odds with little help or sympathy from the outside world.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book which brought back memories of my association with the author Dennis and the Selous Scouts Regiment we had both served with. Dennis took many risks whilst operating in a hostle environment and can recomend this book to anyone who likes adventure.
I read ‘The Bush War In Rhodesia’ after reading Pamwe Chete and The Elite so it was very enjoyable to get a personal account from someone who had actually taken part in some of the missions I had only just read about in the other books. The personal perspective made a huge impact and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The escape and evasion from Mozambique is definitely the highlight and from a purely human survival viewpoint against the environment and the enemy, it was absolutely riveting.
Overall, there was a theme that made me chuckle. Dennis respected authority but not s*** authority!
A great story and highly recommended for anyone who wants to read more about the personal experiences of Rhodesian soldiers during the Bush War.
This is a brutally honest and truthful memoir which gives an insight into the bush war rarely appreciated by anyone not involved. Written with humor and perspective that only a combat vet who fought in Africa could have. Dennis' view of being a professional soldier is refreshing as he recaps his love for his profession and his pride in his unit.
A truly excellent read.......not for the faint hearted!