Updated: Aug 13, 2022
Dr Louis Shulman, FRANZCR LRCP MRCS MBCHB, was at school with me and was a former Captain in the Rhodesian Medical Corps and 2 RR (Rhodesia Regiment). He comments:
"This is a book which had to be written.
Part I covers the bush war in North Eastern Rhodesia and includes John Padbury’s personal involvement. Of most importance is the analysis of the political and philosophical views of the white politicians and white Rhodesians during this time. Part II explains the novel implementation of a method to counteract the guerrillas in Hurungwe during the latter part of the war. The conclusion in Part I, which I suspect will be daunting to many surviving white Rhodesians, is most revealing. The lack of understanding of local culture, language and philosophy plus the then ruling white politicians’ true ideals and the subsequent hardening of attitudes during those trying times were not conducive to any successful outcome for Rhodesia. Part II of the book describes a successful method to counteract a guerrilla insurgency. This method should be prescribed reading for all military intelligences and senior military officers around the world. Few people, if any, pass through an armed conflict without scars whether they be emotional, physical or both. John Padbury offers an understanding to “those who wonder why”. He also provides a detailed narrative of parts of the war in Rhodesia. He then gives a peoples’ answer on how to prevent and succeed against a guerrilla war. I commend John for his bravery in putting pen to paper to help people understand the war in Rhodesia and in fact other similar conflicts. He offers a workable, likely the only solution, to this and similar wars.
Allan Johnston was conscripted as a N/S/P/O in 1974 and posted to Support Unit for a year. He was then called up for general PATU (Police Anti Terrorist Unit), for another year. On his first 6 weeks call-up with JOC Rusape in 1977 I invited him to work on the mujibha farm outside Rusape. He left his job in Salisbury and joined the team. He was involved in the PATU “Cave Man” Observation Post battle (Chapter 5 in Battle For Hurungwe). Allan's review:
"John you published a fine book. You captured the art of an intelligence war few including myself understood. You revealed much about a covert war that was running parallel with conventional war tactics of its day and in the process found yourself. Your impact on me to this day is profound. Thank you. A book you can be proud of and a testament to Special Branch (SB), your colleagues in SB and all who served. Its a study in reverse psychology which challenged my paradigm whilst reading it. A sad ending but one which has been captured for those who follow and study covert operations and unconventional thinking. It now occupies prime space for friends and family who visit...see it and ask "Hurungwe".. whats this about. I am proud of you mate."
Patrol Officer Hugh Temple was a member of the elite BSAP Dog Section Tracking Team. The Dog Section tracking teams were amongst the best in the Security Forces. He was involved in the Dog Section Follow-up (Chapter 3 in Battle For Hurungwe), and is pressing on with his read. He comments:
"I am enjoying the book very much. It contains stuff I didn't have a clue about in my little universe in Salisbury."
Section Officer Hugh Temple on an urban dog section patrol. Hugh relaxing and enjoying Battle For Hurungwe.