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Summary

Anyone living in Rhodesia during the 1960s and 1970s would have had a father, husband, brother, or son called up in the defense of the war-torn, landlocked little country. A few of these brave men would have been members of the elite and secretive unit that struck terror into the hearts of the ZANLA and ZIPRA guerrillas infiltrating the country at that time - the Selous Scouts.

Twice decorated - with the Member of the Legion of Merit (MLM) and the Military Forces' Commendation (MFC) - Andrew Balaam was a member of the Rhodesian Light Infantry and later the Selous Scouts for a period spanning 12 years. This is his honest and insightful account of his time as a pseudo operator.

In later years, after Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, he was involved with a number of other former Selous Scouts in the attempted coups in the Ciskei, a South African homeland, and Lesotho, an independent nation, whose only crimes were supporting the African National Congress. Training terrorists, or as they preferred to be called, "liberation armies", to conduct a war of terror on innocent civilians, was the very thing he had spent the last 10 years in Rhodesia fighting against. This is the true, untold story of these failed attempts at governmental overthrows.

©2014 A.J. Balaam (P)2020 Tantor

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  • erik c.
  • 24-07-20

Incredible

If you are thinking of getting this book, stop thinking about it. Get the book. Amazing stories, and excellent narration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alejandro
  • 05-09-20

Decent book. Could have been better.

I liked the stories and found them interesting. I’m an Iraq veteran and felt a kinship with the author as only soldiers can feel. I said “stories” because this book was just that; a series of short stories that didn’t seem connected. Which is fine if your reading a book of short stories; but... I felt like I was sitting at the bar at the local VFW chatting with an old salt, but the book didn’t really put anything into context. What exactly was going on in Rhodesia that caused this soldier to get into this stuff? (I know the answer to that, but I want to hear his story). Why did he join the army and Selous Scouts in the first place? One minute he’s a kid fishing with his buddy then all of the sudden he’s in the RLI Later in the book he talked about his brother in law getting him out of a jam, but then said he was single at the time. And that’s just a few. I liked it, but the book was very disjointed and had a lot of holes in the story line.

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  • geoff baldwin
  • 18-08-20

Fascinating and Unflinching

Fascinating and unflinching account of a very difficult time and place in history. I couldn't stop listening. The editing needs some work, as it is a little confusing at times. It is well worth the listen.

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  • Curt Hays
  • 06-08-20

No Glory, Just Honesty

This seems to be a chronological telling of various, connected-but-not-linear events in the life of the author during his time as a Selous Scout/Special Forces operator in and around what is now Zimbabwe. Each story does not necessarily begin where the previous left off. This was not a problem for me because it seemed like the goal was to only tell the interesting parts of each story. Most political/historical parts of the surrounding narrative are avoided in favor of the details seen from the perspective of the author. It comes off as an authentic telling that is not meant to glorify what he did but merely describe what he was part of. This was a timely publication and has led me to further pursue an understanding of the recent history of southern Africa.