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APPLEDORE BOOK FESTIVAL


My book, Battle For Hurungwe, has been accepted for the prestigious Appledore Book Festival. If you are in the area, join me for a chat on 24 September 2022 at the Debut Author's section. This is the summary I will be presenting for the marketing of the event:


Battle For Hurungwe focuses on Special Branch operations during the Rhodesian Civil War. From my diaries I discuss and analyse strategies, tactics and intelligence operations of the Security Forces and insurgents. I also discuss the strategies, tactics and intelligence operations we used in the Hurungwe Tribal Trust Lands to successfully mobilise ans arm the masses - a strategy I believe most relevant today in countering militant revolutionaries, particularly in Africa. Included in the book are original battle plans and sketches, strategic planning diagrams, operational intelligence illustrations and original field photographs. The shooting down of two civilian Vickers Viscounts and subsequent massacre of 10 survivors from the first incident is discussed in detail. A total of 107 passengers and crew were killed; there were 8 survivors.


Special Branch operations are intrinsically embroiled with politics and I delve into aspects of the politics of the day. On 19 March 2018, I interviewed Lord David Owen (the British Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary 1977-1979), and he kindly handed me top secret British documents and diaries which are most illuminating. Interestingly, Lord Owen will be presenting his latest book, Riddle, Mystery, and Enigma: Two Hundred Years of British-Russian Relations at the festival on 23 September 2022. He contributed to Battle for Hurungwe, wrote a foreword and has written a review, as has Dr Joshua Chakawa, a Zimbabwean historian of note. Prior to our meeting, Dr Chakawa had completed his thesis on my operations in the Hurungwe. He assisted me with “on the ground” research. This has enabled us to present both sides of the conflict. Extensive primary evidence is provided from my diaries and field research carried out by Dr Joshua Chakawa. Additionally, I accessed and quote “Rhodesian" top secret and secret documents and gathered statements from senior Special Branch officers involved in negotiations at a high level with the Rhodesian Front Government and African Nationalist, Joshua Nkomo.


I will introduce you to the world of politics, revolution, counter-revolution, mass mobilisation, war and bloodshed, and the subsequent tragic consequences. You will gain an understanding of politics, war and bloodshed in the world today.


Photos (click on photos to enlarge them). Rhodesian Fire Force in action; James Chikerema (a former Nationalist leader) and the author contemplate the future; remains of a civilian bus after detonating a landmine; the author; Lord Owen and the author.