Four Ball, One Tracer

Commanding Executive Outcomes in Angola and Sierra Leone

Andrew Hudson, Roelf van Heerden

From fighting the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola for critical oil installations and diamond fields to the offensive against the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone to capture the Kono diamond fields, and the palace coup which ousted Captain Valentine Strasser, van Heerden was at the forefront.
Publication date:
May 2012
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Illustration :
100 colour & b/w photos, maps
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ISBN : 9781908916792

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Overview
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• Unapologetic, unassuming and forthright, the combat exploits of Executive Outcomes in Angola and Sierra Leone are recounted for the first time by a battlefield commander who was on the ground during all their major combat operations

From fighting the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola for critical oil installations and diamond fields to the offensive against the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone to capture the Kono diamond fields, and the palace coup which ousted Captain Valentine Strasser, van Heerden was at the forefront.

He tells of the tragedy of child soldiers, illegal diamond mining and the curse of government soldiers who turn on their own people; he tells of RUF atrocities, the harrowing attempt to rescue a downed pilot and the efforts to recover the remains of soldiers killed in action.

Coupled with van Heerden's gripping exposé, hitherto unpublished photographs, order of battle charts and battle maps offer unprecedented access to the major actions as they took place on the ground during the heydays of Executive Outcomes.

About the Authors
Andrew Hudson holds three post-graduate degrees, works internationally and enjoys travelling. He divides his time between earning an income, indulging his passion for collecting books on conflict in Africa and road running in weird and wonderful locations.

Roelf van Heerden decided at a young age that the vastness and unpredictability of the wild African outdoors were far superior to the confines of an office. With his sights set firmly on the next high ground, the next mountain range and the next mirage, he set off on his life's adventure as a soldier.

REVIEWS

I was keen to lay my hands on Ruff's book and when I finally managed to get a copy, - its title is "Four Ball One Tracer” - I was enthralled. Roelf tells the story of EO from the day he signed up to join the company, the nightmare that was Soyo and until the end of the Sierra Leone campaign. Roelf discusses a lot of things - the training, the tactics, the hardships and the laughs. He tells his story as he lived it - straight and to the point. He also pays tribute to the many good men who served in EO and used their skills and knowledge to bring about positive change in war torn countries. I do not want to spoil anyone's anticipation but I would recommend Roelf's book to anyone who is interested in a lot more detail about EO's operations.
Eeben Barlow, Founder, Executive Outcomes

At times harrowing, sometime humorous, this book provides a fascinating and eye-opening insight into the murky world of private military companies.
Warfare Magazine