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Old 14th Jul 2017, 14:46   #1 (permalink)
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Rhodesia in the 1970s.

Looking for a bit of help please as I am writing an article about Rhodesia.

When I was there in the late 1970s I saw a car fitted with shotguns on the roof which were fired from the inside. I was told that this was common practice with farmers to deter ambushes.

I know that at the time a number of armoured vehicles were developed and there are plenty of references and pictures of these but I can find nothing either written or images about conventional cars with the shotguns on top.
Anyone here any knowledge or pictures?

FF
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 17:28   #2 (permalink)
 
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Might be worth asking on the Mil forum, as some there may be old enough to have trained at RAF Heany. Not sure when that closed, only know that my late FiL trained there on the Tiger Moth and Harvard, and he was full of tales of the mischief they got up to there.
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 17:46   #3 (permalink)
 
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I don't remember any with conventional cars. The Pookies and Kudus had them though. I once saw a police landy at Rusape that had an AK inside the engine wing on the driver's side. In an abandoned farm in the Hartley area, I found that the farmer had fixed barrels to fire through his walls. I didn't know what these loose hanging wires were on the wall, so I pulled one and BANG!!! Luckily, no one got hurt.
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 19:59   #4 (permalink)
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Imagegear, thanks for that. it was late 1970s that I was there first time and it seemed to have quetened down. maybe the thing I saw was, as you say, an improvisation.
I was also there on independence day and watched Charlie swan by in the Roller - have a picture of that somewhere.
I was also writing about Uganda, now that really was scary!

allright if I use part of your reply in my article?

FF
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 22:13   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
One nut case in Pretoria piped fuel oil into burners mounted under the sills to fry the little friends who came to ask you politely for your car keys at gunpoint. It made the papers but that's about all.
Like this perhaps:

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Old 14th Jul 2017, 22:45   #6 (permalink)
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One of my enduring memories when I'm mulling over people, is a middle-aged couple arriving to work at our regional airline. They'd given up and had been willing take anything going in the UK.

Dead heading one day with this well dressed, dignified and seemingly genteel lady, she just happened to mention that one of the deciding factors making them head 'home' was the cost of ammunition.

Some people's lives seemingly turn out to be quite different to those planed.
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Old 14th Jul 2017, 22:50   #7 (permalink)
 
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For the majority of the inhabitants, is Africa a better place to live than when under colonial white rule?
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 00:03   #8 (permalink)
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https://www.facebook.com/pg/rhodesia...50619081624823
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 00:06   #9 (permalink)
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A few Vehicle ideas from the Rhodesian Bush War.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 02:12   #10 (permalink)
 
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As I was told, "we used to go to Rhodesia to see the ruins of Zimbabwe; now we go to Zimbabwe to see the ruins of Rhodesia".

GF
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 02:55   #11 (permalink)
 
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Visited Rhodesia ( guess I should say Zimbabwe ? )shortly after "independence", was told by a friend that he and his brother had fixed Armament to a Land Rover that they used to drive from Salisbury to their home about 70 miles away. This consisted of a roof rack, to which they fixed 4 makeshift gun barrels to each side, i.e. 16 in total, forged from some tubing that just happened to fit a shotgun cartridge. They forged a striking pin for each, then hinged them pointing skywards, linked by a single lanyard. If they feared a problem they reckoned that they could pull the lanyard, the barrels would fall to a horizontal position and fire a salvo of 16 shots around the vehicle, which would deter most ! I have no indication as to whether they ever used it in anger.

The same friend shut his 5 yr. old son and 7 yr. old daughter in a dark closet, together with the family's total assortment of pistols, shotguns etc. and all the assorted ammunition, and told them to identify, find the right ammo. and reload each gun in the dark. His argument being that should he be away from the farm, and his wife attacked at night, she could fire any weapon immediately to hand until it had run out of ammo. then toss it down and pick up another, knowing that either child could re-load any gun for her whilst she used another.

They all survived, even the children handling firearms in a dark closet ! ( p.s. don't tell 'elf and safety ! )
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 03:13   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galaxy flyer View Post
As I was told, "we used to go to Rhodesia to see the ruins of Zimbabwe; now we go to Zimbabwe to see the ruins of Rhodesia".

GF
Crossing Lake Kyle on a (sort of) ferry was quite an experience en route to those ruins.

Last went there in 1972 so I'm sure it is unrecognizable now but was so pleasant then.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 05:39   #13 (permalink)
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Image Gear.....some interesting and salient comments in respect of the country so you obviously know what you're talking about, which makes you a rarity here on JB.

I therefore wonder if you've ever heard of my late Uncle, Lloyd Watkins, at all ?..I've mentioned him before, he was a well known and respected wild life vet, gets a mention in the book "Okavango" in fact, who was the number two on "Operation Noah", but who rarely gets a mention.

He saw the light a long time before matters started to escalate in the period under discussion and went on his travels to avoid them, but declined to go to S.A. before returning to the UK for his final years, which, sadly, weren't that many.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 08:08   #14 (permalink)
 
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There was a roof mounted device which had multiple shot gun barrels mounted radially like a cart wheel and was activated by pulling a chain hanging down inside the vehicle. Perhaps a search on Google images would be worth a try.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 09:03   #15 (permalink)
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Wholigan, those pictures are exactly what I need, thanks. Metro man, Google searches and Youtube searches all failed to provide a picture.

Quote:
For the majority of the inhabitants, is Africa a better place to live than when under colonial white rule?
This was a question that I was going to ask. After 16 years around the continent, I never returned to Africa after 1988 so don't know what has happened recently but for every African country that I knew (many) everything deteriorated after independence not due to the raping by the Colonials but by the greed and corruption associated with those who assumed power.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 20:29   #16 (permalink)
 
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For the majority of the inhabitants, is Africa a better place to live than when under colonial white rule?

Had a chuckle in the car the other day. The radio was on and Stevie Wonder's "master blaster" was playing, which contains the lyric "peace has come to Zimbabwe". Wonder what Wonder thinks about that now.
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Old 15th Jul 2017, 23:47   #17 (permalink)
 
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Winds of Destruction by Group Captain PJH Petter-Bowyer is one of the best military aviation books I have ever read, it chronicles the Rhodesian bush war from the aviation perspective including the creation of new weapons such as the "Alpha Bomb".

PB (as he is better known) also describes the political situation as Rhodesia slowly fades, at one point I seem to recall that 80% of GDP was going on defense spending.

Rhodesia was the one bright shining light of what could be achieved in Africa, and in the early 1970s it must have been a wonderful place to live. Today it is in chaos. Just my personal opinion.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 01:46   #18 (permalink)
 
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Ages ago.....my Cousin tried to convince me to partner with him in a Tobacco Farm in Rhodesia.

We did some research and decided the situation was not looking very good long term.

I almost wound up flying helicopters for the Rhodesian Air Force....and have always regretted not accepting the offered position as they seemed to be very serious in how they went about business.

No telling how that would have turned out.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 02:51   #19 (permalink)
 
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Living in Zimbabwe today is like having a terminal illness, nothing to look forward to and knowing things are only going to keep getting worse.

Everything that could possibly be messed up has been, living standards have deteriorated to 1950s level. Even when Rhodesia was on its knees at the end of the 1970s through war, drought and sanctions, it was still better off than Zimbabwe is today after nearly 40 years of majority rule and billions of dollars of aid money.

Things that would have been unthinkable with Ian Smith in charge, such as cholera outbreaks in urban centres, water outages, and power cuts have become the new norm. One of the few things guaranteed to be working is roadblocks every few km with traffic police extorting money from motorists.

The currency is worthless, having experienced the second highest rate of inflation in history it was replaced by the US$ and even that is in short supply.

Almost anyone in a position to emigrate has left.

There was a bumper sticker which said "No farmers, No future" never a truer word said.
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Old 16th Jul 2017, 10:40   #20 (permalink)
 
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While working as a young 'hour builder' at Propeller Centre at Wonderboom airport in Pretoria, we had a visit from a Zimbabwean farmer in his V- tailed Bonanza. It had hard points under both wings for attaching machine guns and a hole in the cabin floor with a pipe in it for dropping hand grenades through!

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