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Counter Strike from the Sky

A Matter of Weeks rather than Months

Rhodesian history A matter of weeks rather than months The Impasse between Harold Wilson and Ian Smith; Sanctions, Aborted Settlements and War 1965 - 1969 JRT Wood



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Publisher is 30 Degress South. Book is also available from Msasa Bookshop in Hillcrest, Durban, SA

A matter of weeks rather than months
The Impasse between Harold Wilson and Ian Smith; Sanctions, Aborted Settlements and War 1965 - 1969
JRT Wood


Trafford Publishing, 2008
Book: 681 pages, US $57.00
Index: 82 pages (separate volume)




P&P ex SA: R70 local, R395 international

ISBN: 978-1425148-07-7

764 pages

254 x 216 / 8½ x 10¼

23 b/w photos, 23 x maps

So Far and No Further! established the reasons why Ian Smith defied Britain and declared Rhodesia to be independent on 11 November 1965. A Matter of Weeks rather than Months deals with the dilemma imposed on all sides by Smith’s action. For Smith, the problem was how to legitimize his rebellion because, until he did, Rhodesia would be an international outcast. For the British, and more particularly their outraged Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, the challenge was how to end the rebellion and force the Rhodesians to accept African majority rule as Britain could not transfer sovereignty until Rhodesia was fully democratic. Anything less, would split the Commonwealth and degrade Britain’s standing in the world.

Yet Wilson had eschewed the use of force for practical, logistical and political reasons which left him to attempt to impose sanctions on a landlocked country. He predicted that Smith’s government would fall within weeks rather than months. The Rhodesians, protected by their South African and Portuguese neighbours, evaded sanctions with such success that a political settlement soon became increasingly attractive to the British. The result was that, while sanctions were tightened, the British and Rhodesians began to negotiate. Their negotiations, however, were doomed because the self-confident Rhodesians would not accept a period of direct British rule while rapid progress to majority rule was made or the imposition of restraints on powers they had possessed since gaining self-government in 1923.

While the British and the Rhodesian whites attempted to negotiate, the African nationalists were not content to await the outcome. They had already adopted the concept of the armed struggle as the route to power and, sponsored by the Communist Bloc, its surrogates and allies, they began a series of armed incursions from their safe haven in Zambia. As yet, however, they lacked willing recruits or a population that welcomed their call for revolution. Their campaign was a failure but they would learn from their mistakes as the already over-stretched Rhodesian forces would discover in the 1970s.





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