The Raid on Chimoio
UNAVOIDABLY, a shifty-eyed hag grasping 12 pieces of silver as she passes her Rhodesian child to a pimp comes to mind when I write about Britain’s betrayal of Rhodesia. Ironically, it is the daughter whose quality of character was once attributed to her deceitful stepmother.
By 1977, the world had largely moved on from America’s Vietnam debacle. If there were other conflicts, the West’s newspaper-readers wanted little to do with them. It is doubtful if any could pronounce Chimoio let alone identify its location or purpose.
As the headquarters of Robert Mugabe’s so-called Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA), Chimoio served as training barracks for an estimated 10,000 terrorists. The African jihadists’ apologists infested London, Moscow, and Washington, DC; the bacillus was the anti-apartheid movement. For parallels, one only need think of yesterday’s Libya or today’s Syria. Both nations were peaceful and prosperous. but were turned into battlegrounds for the ambitions of the regime-changing global elite.
The Rhodesian Defence Forces (RDF) wanted nothing of that malarkey. Napoleon and Hitler both knew that he who hits first hits twice — and the best form of defence is attack. The well-trained and disciplined Rhodesian Defence Forces struck first.
The outcome was what Wikipedia and media scribblers describe as a massacre. Well, I suppose you could describe it as such, but the massacre of innocents was a ZANLA speciality. By pre-emptively striking, the RDF saved the lives of thousands of innocent ethnic Europeans and Africans who would have died in planned ZANLA attacks.
In November 1977 the Rhodesian Defence Forces descended on Chimoio like an avenging angel. Robert Mugabe and his Western sponsors were to suffer their worst defeat ever.
Rhodesian Defence Forces and Special Air Services (SAS) were straining at the leash. They did not know that their courageous swoop on Chimoio was too late to change the outcome of Britain’s treachery. However, it provided the blueprint for similar undertakings in and beyond the borders of European-managed Rhodesia.
To be certain, the RDF attack on Chimoio was a turkey shoot. With military synchronism and purpose backed by training and discipline, the Rhodesian Defence Forces must have felt Christmas had come early.
There’s little armchair general sentiment to be found on such occasions. One can only imagine the elation of the pilots and gunners of the Vampire, Canberra and Hunter aircraft who were assisted by 40 Lynx and ten Alouette gunships. Like avenging angels, these birds of prey swooped on parade grounds which were seething with wannabe terrorists. Hundreds of Mugabe’s ragged-trousered killers fell like skittles.
The air was still filled with the scream of attacking aircraft when the ground forces of the Rhodesia Light Infantry (RLI) and the SAS filled the void. A pundit recalls a trooper ‘sitting atop a pile of corpses, calmly eating a tin of bully beef.’
Many survivors begged for mercy; few were redeemed other than by their Maker. Rhodesia’s servicemen, many of them teenage conscripts, were no strangers to the wickedness of Mugabe’s marauders. Nevertheless, not a few servicemen, overwhelmed by the scale of the carnage, were for years afterwards affected by the sights they had seen.
I think it would be an arrogance to judge these men. Theirs was an environment of kill or be killed. Yes, there was a heartlessness displayed, but such can be attributed to both sides of that awful London-backed one-sided conflict. In my view the only mistake made by the Rhodesian Defence Force was that they did not strike during a ‘state visit’ by a delegation of visiting ‘dignitaries’ and anti-apartheid shufflers. No, such vermin are, as always, happy for others to do the fighting and dying for them.
When the time came for the RDF to withdraw, over 3,000 guerrillas’ corpses littered the parade grounds and surrounding barracks. The unlucky ones were the estimated 5,000 wounded jihadists for whom adequate care would be unlikely. Many African jihadists who were abandoned in the bush died of their wounds. Many terrorists burned to death in the bush fires. The number of innocents, the camp followers and ZANLA staff who died, will never be known.
In comparison Rhodesia’s attacking force was microscopic. The RDF avengers included 96 SAS troops, 48 men of the Rhodesian Light Infantry, and an additional 40 helicopter-borne RLI troops. The losses suffered by the Rhodesian Defence Forces were two troopers, six wounded, and one pilot who died whilst crash landing.
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Video: THE RAID ON CHIMOIO
Read the book: RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL