Operation Dingo

Rhodesian Raid on Chimoio and Tembue 1977

Dr J. R. T. Wood

Startling in its innovation and daringly suicidal, Operation Dingo was not only the Fireforce concept writ large but the prototype for all the major Rhodesian airborne attacks on the external bases of Rhodesian African nationalist insurgents in the neighbouring territories of Mozambique and Zambia until such operations ceased in late 1979.
Publication date:
November 2011
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Series :
Africa@War
Illustration :
colour and b/w photos, maps
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ISBN : 9781907677366

Dimensions : 297 X 210 cm
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Overview
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• An in-depth study of the biggest SAS-led external battle of the Rhodesian bush war

Startling in its innovation and daringly suicidal, Operation Dingo was not only the Fireforce concept writ large but the prototype for all the major Rhodesian airborne attacks on the external bases of Rhodesian African nationalist insurgents in the neighbouring territories of Mozambique and Zambia until such operations ceased in late 1979. Fireforce as a military concept is a “vertical envelopment” of the enemy, with the 20mm cannon being the principle weapon of attack, mounted in an Alouette III K-Car, flown by the air force commander, with the army commander on board directing his ground troops deployed from G-Cars (Alouette III troop-carrying gunships and latterly Bell “Hueys” in 1979) and parachuted from DC-3 Dakotas. In support would be propeller-driven ground-attack aircraft and on call would be Canberra bombers, Hawker Hunter and Vampire jets.

On 23 November 1977, the Rhodesian Air Force and 184 SAS and Rhodesian Light Infantry paratroopers attacked 10,000 Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army cadres based at 'New Farm', Chimoio, 90 kilometres inside Mozambique. Two days later, the same force attacked 4,000 guerrillas at Tembué, another ZANLA base, over 200 kilometres inside Mozambique, north of Tete on the Zambezi River. Estimates of ZANLA losses vary wildly; however, a figure exceeding 6,000 casualties is realistic. The Rhodesians suffered two dead, eight wounded and lost one aircraft. It would produce the biggest SAS-led external battle of the Rhodesian bush war.

About the Author
Richard Wood was a Commonwealth scholar and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and is the foremost historian and researcher on Rhodesia in the decades following World War II. He lives in Durban, South Africa with his wife Carole.

REVIEWS

Well documented and researched…provides a comprehensive overview of the regional environment and international climate (Rhodesia was operating under an international embargo) in order to provide context for the reader…gives the reader insight into the high pressure environment of the special ops world where the ramifications of failure are dramatic and far reaching. A must for those wishing to understand the intricacies and challenges of this style of operation.
Major Chris Buckman, Logistics Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force