A Handful of Hard Men : The SAS and the Battle for Rhodesia

 – A Handful of Hard Men

The SAS & the Battle for Rhodesia

a book by Hannes Wessels

I have not read this book, but am writing this post to let you know that a new book about this mostly forgotten war was released in October 2015.

Rhodesian Bush War books are always welcome, as is any work set in or about this period of time in Africa.  Social norms and ideas of normality, of what is right what is wrong evolved rapidly worldwide after the big wars.  The African continent was ravaged by wars after the big ones that affected entire populations for many years.

Times of violence, strained economies, political strife, dictatorships & poverty do not encourage writing and reflection.  It is important that the story of any country gets told by its own people, yet many countries have ceased to exist in this continent.  Some nations will be forgotten as the remnants of their people die out, & stories from all sides need to be told now if they are going to be told at all.  The opportunity for gathering first hand accounts is rapidly shrinking.


Back to topic.  Reviews for this book since it’s October release have been excellent. Many readers say that the book is authentic & well written. Material from this era has always been scarce given the scope of the bush war years, and the events have not inspired movies or other productions because they would be unlikely to attract huge ticket sales.  Any work that is done is often a labour of love – Either to state facts, history or preserve dreams or ideals.  Perhaps some write to explain or make sense of their own life and times.

Mr Wessels’ earlier books, Strange Tales from the African Bush & PK Van Der Byl African Statesmen were both well received, and judging by the reviews of his readers, it seems obvious that his latest work has benefited from his writing experience.  While Tales is a series of short stories around big game hunting, the second was the portrayal of an influential man, with his strengths, weaknesses & eccentricities.

The image below links to amazon.co.uk if you would like more information:

I intended to provide a link to the author’s website, but a quick check shows that it is currently down.  Instead, I came across a site that includes some articles and a bio that you might find interesting.  Dorpskoerant/HannesWessels .  This site itself links to the author’s own, so will serve the same purpose.

Have you read this or any other interesting books from the era?  Do you have any opinions on movies, art or music from the time? If so, drop a line and let me know?

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