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A Handful of Hard Men

The SAS and the Battle for Rhodesia
Narrated by: Jack Chekijian
Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (88 ratings)
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Summary

It is difficult to find another soldier's story to equal Captain Darrell Watt's in terms of time spent on the field of battle and challenges faced. Even by the lofty standards of the SAS and Special Forces, one has to look far to find anyone who can match his record of resilience and valor in the face of such daunting odds and with resources so paltry.

In the fight, he showed himself to be a military maestro. A bush-lore genius, blessed with uncanny instincts and an unbridled determination to close with the enemy, he had no peers as a combat-tracker (and there was plenty of competition). But the Rhodesian theater was a fluid and volatile one in which he performed in almost every imaginable fighting role.

After 12 years in the cauldron of war, his cause slipped from beneath him, and Rhodesia gave way to Zimbabwe. When the guns went quiet, Watt had won all his battles but lost the war. In this fascinating biography, we learn that in his twilight years, he is now concerned with saving wildlife on a continent where they are in continued danger and devoting himself to both the fauna and African people he cares so deeply about.

©2015 Hannes Wessels (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, awful narration

I have listened to nearly 50 Audible titles over the last year and this is easily the worst narration I have heard. Hearing the story told in an American accent would be jarring in any circumstances but in this instance is made much worse by the narrator mangling and mispronouncing so many terms and names. If I wasn't so interested in the story, I would abandon listening. What a shame.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Total rubbish don't waste your money!!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I can't imagine anyone would find this interesting.

What was most disappointing about Hannes Wessels’s story?

The Narration was shocking, my 8 year old could read better. This will send you to sleep.

What didn’t you like about Jack Chekijian’s performance?

It was rubbish, he should never work again. this might have been a good story but he killed it.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment, it is becoming a lottery if I waste my credit or not. seriously considering stopping my Audible.

Any additional comments?

I'd like my credit back. Listen to it and you will know why.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

worst narrator

first chapter and i am struggling with the narrator. by far the worst i have heard. i would prefer to listen to my 8 year old read this and it take 10 days rather than listen to this fella read a book again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story - poorly narrated

I can’t even get past chapter 5!! I lived through this time as a child and was interested to hear this book but sadly the narration was so poor I couldn’t continue.
A number of words are lost as the narrator is unable to pronounce a number of words correctly this los MH the overall sense of where this story takes place.

A real shame of a great story poorly narrated

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I rarely write reviews but the narration is so bad

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If Jack Chekijian appeared to at least enjoy reading the story to an expectant audience this book may well have had a chance. I may purchase the Kindle version to see.

What was most disappointing about Hannes Wessels’s story?

I could not get into the story due to the lack of drama in the voice of Jack Chekijian.

What didn’t you like about Jack Chekijian’s performance?

Really sorry to be negative - everything

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It may well have done if I could get past Jack Chekijian’s performance. I will try the kindle version and see.

Any additional comments?

No

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, poor narrator.

The story is fantastic and extremely educational if you don't know much about Rhodesia and the SAS as I didn't. However, this being the audio version the narrator is highly important and unfortunately let's this book down. The narrative is excellent but the narrator has managed to turn a spectacular story into something quite boring to listen to. That and his inability to pronounce certain words makes it's quite difficult to continue to listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator style doesn't fit the story

A very nice book about some pretty hardcore soldiers doing what they had to do to defend their own country. It would hv been better if the book was spoken by someone with a more Afrikan accent. The narrator posh accent and slow way of reading doesn't fit this kind of book. The story told is about men who eat current SF soldiers for breakfast, not a love novel

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Would put you to sleep

The narrators
Voice is so boring, I could not even finish this book. Do not listen to whilst driving or operating heavy machinery.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awful Narration

The narrator is totally miscast. Completely ruined a great book. I would ask for a refund he's so bad. I could not finish the book. but it's beautifully. written. credit to the author

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great listening

this is a fabulous story let down by some really lame pronunciations, still recommend it as a must listen

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • rowca
  • 05-10-17

Fantastic Story- Title says it all... Hard Men

What a story! The book is not for the lighthearted. Tells the story from the perspective of the Rhodesian SAS, which some may find objectionable philosophically, and in deed. However, it also reveals the other side of the events-- the complicity of neighbors, the role of South Africa, Cuba, the Soviet Union and the UK/US/UN. Like the sinking of the Titanic we know the ending, but with a continuing vengeful twist not envisioned by the world players.

As the book progressed I grew accustomed to the narrator's slow reading and lack of inflection.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-08-17

A Handful of Great Stories

This was an excellent conglomeration of stories from the Rhodesian SAS. Narration, not so lively.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cubichefrommiami
  • 15-12-17

Exceptional story telling

Loved the book. It goes into very good detail which keeps you hooked. Sad story about how a country was sold out by the Brits, shame on Thatcher, kerrington and the rest of the vile Brits.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hyatt
  • 22-10-17

A story more people need to hear....

Outstanding narrative and very clear narrator. A compelling story from a perspective I was not fully aware of. Must read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Doug Schmuck
  • 24-11-18

IGNORE THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS!!!

I have no idea why some people think the narrator is wrong for this great book; he reads at a nice easy pace, and has a soothing voice. The book itself is a real gem; a nonfiction account of the Rhodesian War told through the eyes of actual SAS operators. One of those rare nonfiction works that is so well done it reads like a good fiction novel. I love both fiction and non-fiction works about special forces operations in Vietnam, for example, but I started this book knowing absolutely nothing about the war in Rhodesia. No problem. The book starts out with a brief telling of the political history leading up to the war, and then each chapter tells all about an operation or battle in vivid detail, then a little about the political fallout and impact of the battle. By the end of the book it’s clear that the war was very winnable for the Rhodesians, but the politicians always stopped the SAS just short of outright victory. The war was eventually lost, even though nearly every individual battle was won. For students of the Vietnam conflict, this will be a familiar theme. Outstanding book. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-18

Thank you Hannes Wessels

This is a most remarkable tale of such casual heroism that very few people know about.

Its a tragic precursor of outcomes whenever the globalist agenda runs its course.

I wish I had read this book 30 years ago.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve Adams
  • 28-09-18

Untold story of the war in Rhodesia

This was a very compelling book about some hard fighting that crossed borders from Rhodesia to Zambia and Mozambique. A great overview of the fighting and it points out the fact the people who were fighting under Robert Mugabe were targeting civilian farmers and killing them. The book points out the fact that there is the evil you know, and the evil you don't know.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew Precious
  • 10-09-18

Rhodesians never die

Amazing account of the Rhidesian bush war smattered with political treachery from its once allies. Its fighting men were the best in the world and these accounts show it. A sad loss of a great country that has now decayed into what is now Zimbabwe.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DAVIS J BEAM III
  • 21-07-18

The audiobook that I have read twice

This is the only audiobook that I have bought that I listened to and finished and then turned around and listened to again right afterwards, and I have listened to many audiobooks. The narrator was great and didn’t talk to fast. I really enjoyed the part about Luke in Mozambique. It is really a shame that there are no other audiobooks about the Rhodesian Bush War available because it was about the only “just war” that a country in the Anglosphere has fought since WW2, and it was sabotaged by the elites of London and DC . RHODESIANS NEVER DIE!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 11-02-18

Rhodesian's never die!

I grew up in Rhodesia during the war and stayed Zimbabwe a few years after. My dad was in the military during that period and I remember when was he was call up and the tension it brought. There were many unsung heroes who in different circumstances would have got the recognition they deserve. The betrayal and duplicity of Britain and the "globalist" west rings out loud and now is coming to rest on their doorstep. I salute the SAS, RLI and Scouts who took the fight to enemy and never wavered in our fight.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful