Cover of Counter-Strike from the Sky by JRT Wood

Counter-Strike from the Sky

The Rhodesian All-Arms Fireforce in the War in the Bush 1974–1980
JRT Wood
Dr Wood explores the development of the Rhodesian Fireforce as a military concept and its subsequent evolution into an effective, feared and respected fighting force. He provides in-depth analysis of the Fireforce's most important missions, its successes and failures, and its growing international recognition.
2009, 30 Degrees South Publishing
248 pages
From the book's jacket

Fireforce as a military concept dates from 1974 when the Rhodesian Air Force (RhAF) acquired the French MG151 20mm cannon from the Portuguese. Coupled with this, the traditional counter-insurgency tactics (against Mugabe's ZANLA and Nkomo's ZIPRA) of follow-ups, tracking and ambushing simply weren't producing satisfactory results. Visionary RhAF and Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) officers thus expanded on the idea of a 'vertical envelopment' of the enemy (first practised by SAS paratroopers in Mozambique in 1973), with the 20mm cannon being the principle weapon of attack, mounted in an Alouette III K-Car ('Killer car'), flown by the air force commander, with the army commander on board directing his ground troops deployed from G-Cars (Alouette III troop-carrying gunships and latterly Bell 'Hueys' in 1979) and parachuted from DC-3 Dakotas.

In support would be a propeller-driven ground-attack aircraft armed with front guns, pods of napalm, white phosphorus rockets and a variety of Rhodesian-designed bombs; on call would be Canberra bombers, Hawker Hunter and Vampire jets.

The book includes a 90-minute DVD documentary with interviews with:

Dr JRT Wood (author and historian)

Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Robinson OLM, MLM (OC C Squadron, SAS)

Major Grahame Wilson GCV, SCR, BCR (C Squadron, SAS)

Major Nigel Henson MLM (OC Support Commando, 1RLI)

Captain Peter Stanton (Special Branch and Selous Scouts)

Lieutenant Alan Thrush BCR (A Company, 2RAR)

Sergeant Gordon 'Beaver' Shaw (Rhodesian Air Force)

Sergeant George Dempster (MA2 Medic, 1RLI)

Chris Cocks (3 Commando, IRLI)

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