THE ELITE by Barbara Cole


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The Story of the Rhodesian Special Air Service

The Rhodesian Special Air Service, one of the most formidable fighting forces in the world, operated almost exclusively across the borders during the long bitter bush war, undertaking deep-penetration missions against insurgents being harboured inside neighbouring Mozambique and Zambia. There were missions into Botswana too, and at one stage, SAS men were operating without benefit of passports in all three neighbouring territories at the same time. As the situation intensified, they were responsible for some of the most audacious and highly sensitive missions of the war.

The writer takes the reader from the early days in the Western Desert to the formation of the Rhodesian SAS for service in Malaya, then back to Africa where the action spans the days of the Federation, the UDI era and finally the decolonization of Rhodesia by the British in 1980.

This is the first book to detail the secret exploits of this elite regiment and it has been based on rare first-hand interviews with operators themselves. Some of their exploits may seem far-fetched, even impossible, but then, truth is often stranger than fiction. It is a history of high adventure and daring, courage and humanism, be it driving through the streets of a neighbouring capital, knocking out trains, bridges and installation or swooping out of the morning skies then, with the ability to hit hard and fast, attacking and taking their leave, the devastation complete, the mission accomplished.


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