Photos Angolan Civil Wars, Rhodesian Bush Wars & South African Border Wars

South African Eland armoured car, flipped and burning after striking two mines on the road to Oshakati, modern Namibia - 1981
Pookie armoured vehicle in the Rhodesian Bush War

The Pookie MRAP vehicle was created to deal with the constant mining of the roadways during the Rhodesian Bush War.

The Pookie was a small one-person vehicle named after the bush baby, and fitted with large Formula One tires bought second hand after the South African Grand Prix. The wide tyres prevented the detonation of buried mines by exerting less ground pressure than a human footprint and spanning the mines' circumference. The vehicle was made with readily available parts from the Volkswagen Kombi and resembles a small go-cart with an elevated cab to protect the driver. The bottom of the cab had a V-shaped reinforced hull to deflect the blast away from the operator. Sensor 'pans', resembling rectangular wings, were lowered and used parallel to the ground below the cab. When the vehicle was transported, the pans were raised at a 45 degree angle.
FNLA Comandos Especiais (Special Commandos) in a group photo at Morro dos Asfaltos, Angola, 1974. The man in black in the center is Colonel Santos e Castro, unit commander, and the one wearing red beret to his left is Brazilian adventurer and writer Pedro Marangoni

From left to right: Paiva, Lopes, Daniel, Pedro Marangoni (Red Beret), Nelson, Morteirete (South African hat), Simões Comprido and Captain Valdemar (blonde, black shirt). In the centre, Colonel Santos and Castro (black shirt and sideburns).

Morteirete means "little mortar". Born in Angola, he was orphaned during the colonial war and adopted by the Comandos Especiais. Simões Comprido was tall, therefore "Comprido" (Long). Pedro Marangoni is the author of the book A Opção pela Espada.
American airborne veteran Ken Gaudet who volunteered for Rhodesia and South Africa after serving in Vietnam. Here he is seen in Angola where he served as founding member of then newly formed 44 Pathfinder Company in 1980/81
Rhodesian Special Air Service with a Land Rover: equipped with light machine guns, they went on operations against Zimbabwean insurgents bases and villages in the rural parts of Rhodesia and over the borders of Zambia and Mozambique, bush war, c. 1970s
Rhodesian C Squadron, 22 Special Air Service (22 SAS) in a transport aircraft of the Rhodesian Air Force, during preparations for a paradrop operation into Mozambique against the Zimbabwean insurgents: during the bush war, c. 1975 - 1979
Officers from the Rhodesian African Rifles, of the Rhodesian Security Forces: with a T-34/85 medium tank captured from the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army forces during the bush war, c. late 1970s
South African paratroopers from the '1 Parachute Battalion', with R1 battle rifles and a Belgian FN MAG light machine, alongside a Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma of the South African Air Force: Rhodesian Bush War against Zimbabwean communist revolutionary forces, c. late 1970s
New Zealand member of the Commonwealth Monitoring Force in Rhodesia with armed locals, 20 February 1980
South African Special Forces nearing the end of their training, with this being a group dropped off near the Angolan Border to perform one week of patrol as part of Minor Tactics Rural Phase. (1987)
Rhodesian SAS during Operation Uric in the Gaza Province of Mozambique, 1 - 8 September 1979

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