Somalis: US Intervention 1992 1994

The end of the Cold War introduced an altered global dynamic. The old bond of East/West patronage in Africa was broken, weakening the first crop of independent revolutionary leadership on the continent who no longer had the support of one or other of the superpowers. With collapse of the Soviet Union, all this changed.

The question of global/strategic security devolved into regional peacekeeping and peace enforcement, characterized primarily by the Balkans War, read more

Siege of Elands River: 4 – 16 August 1900

Map: Siege of Eland’s River Staging Post 4-14 August 1900

Map: Battle of Eland’s River 4 August 1900

With the capitulation of Johannesburg and Pretoria by early June 1900, the Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in South Africa, Lord Frederick Roberts VC, divided the Western Transvaal operational theatre into districts, with the sole objective of mopping up pockets of Boer resistance.  The Marico District, including the towns of Mafeking, Zeerust, read more

Fireforce: A Memoir of the Rhodesian Light Infantry

Fireforce: One Man’s War in the Rhodesian Light Infantry. Written by Chris Cocks. Published by 30 Degrees South, Johannesburg South Africa. 2006

There is always a book somewhere out there that should have been read, but has not. As an author and writer on themes of African warfare and general history it is incumbent on me to read as much on the subject as is available, and there is a lot available. The Rhodesian read more

Operation Quartz: Zimbabwe/Rhodesia on the brink

Ceasefire and Elections

The closing chapter of Rhodesian history was decided in Lancaster House, London, between 10 September-15 December 1979. There, in what has been described by some as the Funeral Parlour of the British Empire, the principal protagonists in the unfolding drama of the Zimbabwe/Rhodesia Bush War brought the curtain down on this, the last substantive act in the drama of British imperial disengagement. It was a moment of profound read more

THE OPERATIONS ON LAKE TANGANYIKA IN 1915

 

By COMMANDER G . B. SPICER-SIMSON,. S.O., R.N. Wednesday, 28th March, 1934, at 3 p.m.

ADMIRAL SIR WILLIAM GOODENOUGH,. C.B., M.V.O., in the Chair.

The Chairman, in introducing the Lecturer, said that Commander Spicer-Simson had had a very varied and adventurous career. He saw service in China; he was on the Boundaries Commission in North Borneo; he made a triangulated survey of the Upper Yangtze; and between 1910 and 1914 he was the Director of the Gambia Survey. In 1915 he was sent out with a small party of officers and men on the expedition to Lake Tanganyika, which, if it was read more

Ian Henderson and the Hunt for Dedan Kimathi

During the course of 1956 an extraordinary drama played out in the forests of the Kenyan Aberdare Range, as two men, Dedan Kimathi, a Kikuyu Mau Mau forest leader, feared in equal measure by friends and enemies alike, and Ian Henderson, a local Special Branch member and guerrilla hunter extraordinaire, enacted a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that marked the final death throe of one of Africa’s first authentic liberation struggles.

The Mau Mau is one of those historic events that has the capacity to be all things to all people

To the white settler community read more

The Shangani Patrol

As Rhodesian Administrator Leander Starr Jameson rode into the smoking ruins of Bulawayo in the aftermath of the first phase of the Matabele War he somewhat naively expected to find Lobengula waiting to surrender formally. This would have read more

The amaNdebele and modern African imperial history

The educated rather than the raw native very often becomes a nuisance to his white neighbours…Report of the Land Commission

The end of the First World War did indeed usher in a change in British imperial policy. A general revaluation of the moral certainties of old coincided with the emergence of a class of educated natives worldwide who were the first among their respective peoples to actively deal with the challenges and seek the benefits read more

A Quick Sketch of the Zimbabwe/Rhodesia Bush War

I have noticed a lot of search traffic on this site pertaining to the Zimbabwe/Rhodesian War.  Aside from the Wikipedia entry covering the period, there is very little on the world wide web dealing with the subject. What follows is a thumbnail sketch drawn from my own reading of the episode which is not intended to be an accurate historical synopsis.

The political background to the Rhodesian Civil War

The Rhodesian War of the 1970s was a civil war. It was fought for the preservation of the Anglo/Saxon values and culture read more

The aftermath of the Matabele Rebellion

Matabeleland should be treated as a portion of Mashonaland lately occupied by the MatabeleLeander Starr Jameson

The trust placed in Cecil John Rhodes by the amaNdebele leaders was the trust of desperation, and it was by no means absolute, and bearing mind that Rhodes was a proven master of negotiation the terms of peace were as mixed as they were many. Underscoring the settlement, however, was the sense commonly read more