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Nairobi, Kenya
I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on yebomimi@gmail.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Mine Laying in Rhodesia by Guerillas




Extracted from a document on landmines by Martin Rupiah University of Zimbabwe



MINE LAYING IN ZIMBABWE BY GUERRILLAS
Initially, nationalists from Zimbabwe secured base sanctuaries in Zambia
and Tanzania for training combatants before re-infiltration. In support of
their overall strategy, guerrillas initiated mine warfare along the border
areas from which they were entering the country. Before 1972 they initiated
mine warfare in the north-eastern Musengezi, Mukumbura, Nyamapanda
and Ruenya areas, bordering the Tete Province, in what was then
Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique).
The Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), through Herbert Chitepo
and others, accepted the offer by the Mozambique Liberation Front
(FRELIMO) to use the latter's bases as well as lines of supply to prosecute
the war. The Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA)
strategists then sub-divided the new area into four operational sectors of
Rubatsiro, Nehanda, Chaminuka and Takawira, making the zone an
important funnel of men and equipment through the Chiweshe Tribal
Trust Lands into the rest of the country. The geographical location of
Chiweshe, lodged between the rich White farming areas of Centenary


Mount Darwin, Umvukwes and Bindura, resulted in these areas immediately
becoming contested zones during the opening stages of the war.
Mines were used during the attack on Altena farm on 21 December
1972, an incident now recognized as the specific point when the 'war' in
the east started.
As part of ZANLA's strategy to restrict the mobility of the Rhodesian
Security Forces, roads were liberally mined as were the approaches to
established base areas.
Guerrilla movements secured mines mainly from the Eastern Bloc and
China. A series of TM57, TM46, TMH46 tank mines with an anti-handling
device and wooden TMD-B mines as well as POMZ type anti-personnel
mines were used. As the war dragged on after 1974, guerrillas also lifted
mines from the established Rhodesian minefields and employed these
against their owners. The reverse was also true as Rhodesian Security
Forces used captured guerrilla weapons, including mines during the
conflict.
As early as 1974, the Rhodesian military authorities were already
beginning to express disquiet about the heavy toll guerrilla mine warfare
was exacting on vehicles and lives. This led to the introduction of special
vehicles partially to withstand mine blasts.
Guerrillas also used mines in unorthodox ways, such as when they
laid booby traps in shopping centres in Salisbury, containing two TM46
mines. A similar device was later found and disarmed at the Salisbury
Station 'Left Luggage'.
Finally, guerrillas laid mines around some of the Assembly Points
following the ceasefire in December 1979 as a precaution against possible
attack by the Rhodesian Security Forces.

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I welcome comments from everyone on my book Choppertech.
I am interested especially on hearing from former ZANLA and ZIPRA combatants who also have thier story to tell.