Latest reviews 31 December 2023
Former Detective Inspector Graham Brand.
Graham saved my life in a battle with ZANLA (pp 73-75)
"Having read Battle for Hurungwe, it brought a refreshing and honest account of a Special Branch operatives far reaching foresight into how and what needed to be achieved to counter the onslaught being waged by insurgents in the rural areas of Rhodesia.
John's meticulous record keeping and astute assessment of intelligence gleaned was of the highest order, thus allowing him the ability to keep one step ahead of the enemy at every turn.
Of particular interest, to me personally, was his interaction with his colleagues, black and white. John did not see colour but the best man for the job. He was not a top down manager but encouraged input from all, thereby making strategic decisions collective. Whilst stationed at Police Rusape, circa 76, I had many discussions with the black court interpreter, an astute, bright well educated individual who could easily have integrated into our 'society' yet was unable to due to his race. Such a pity the Government was so intransigent to change, although there were many members in the Police and Security Forces who advocated for integration and promotion of our black colleagues.
John's operational style should have been the 'blue print' for all operational areas - home grown and operated militia to combat insurgent threat and get civil society in the rural areas back up and running.
Battle for Hurungwe is a must read."
Barbara Currie, reader of over 90 books about the Rhodesian Bush War.
Loved your book and enjoyed your attention to detail well done! 2 comments. I was born in 1944 and worked for Greaterman's in Nigel in the December holidays in 1960 and 61. Went to Malawi on holiday and stayed in the house next door to Club Makakola on Lake Malawi. I had the same experience with a indigenous pilot. He did the best landing I ever had. Small world. God bless!
Photos: Martin Robinson enjoying the book; Special Branch vehicle patrol in the Makoni TTL.