SPECIAL BRANCH WAR: Slaughter in the Rhodesian Bush, Southern Matabeleland, 1976 – 1980


This searing account primarily covers Ed Bird’s Special Branch (SB) service in the Beitbridge area of southern Matabeleland, 1976-1980, encompassing Operations Repulse and Tangent of the bitter Rhodesian ‘bush war’.

Joining the British South Africa Police (BSAP) in 1964, Bird cut his teeth on Selous Scouts ‘pseudo’ operations during Operation Hurricane in 1974-1976, so was well equipped to deal with the insidious escalation of the ZANLA and ZIPRA campaigns in the south of the country.

A meticulous recorder, Bird implemented and maintained the Beitbridge SB incident log, and it is this diary of terror and death upon which Bird’s account hangs, interspersed with detailed accounts of fire fights, ambushes, landmine blasts, ZANLA executions, traitors and assassinations, SB ‘dirty tricks’ and ‘turning’ terrorists.

Although first and foremost an intelligence-gatherer, Bird thrived on combat and against all protocol inveigled his way onto Fire Force operations and as an air mobile MAG machine-gunner on converted Police Reserve Air Wing aircraft. Decorated for bravery but overlooked for promotion, Bird’s BSAP career became victim to spurious political expedience.

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SPECIAL BRANCH WAR: Slaughter in the Rhodesian Bush, Southern Matabeleland, 1976 – 1980


Condition: Very Fine in Plastic/Very Fine

Better than new. Unread,There is a signature, of which only the letter “e” is legible- not sure of the authenticity. Col maps as eps. 12 pp b&w topographical maps. Glossary, 290pp; Appendices I – V; 12 pp col photog plates, 16 pp b&w photog plates. An excellent production for a Private Printing. Possible extra postage.

  • Bookseller Inventory #: 12764
  • Author: BIRD, ED
  • Format/binding: Hard Cover Black Boards
  • Book condition: Used – Very Fine in Plastic
  • Jacket condition: Very Fine
  • Quantity available: 1
  • Edition: First Edition
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • ISBN 10: 1920143866
  • ISBN 13: 9781920143862
  • Publisher: Private Printing,
  • Place: Amanzimtoti, S Africa
  • Date published: 2013
  • Keywords: Rhodesiana, Biography, Gukuruhandi, Bush War, Genocide, Matabeleland. British South Africa Police.
  • Bookseller catalogs: Bush Wars;
  • Size: 243x25p00mm