By Ian Smith

For greater than a decade, Ian Smith served as Rhodesia's top Minister in the course of the period of white minority rule. Following his demise in 2007, he's nonetheless a guy being able to excite robust feelings. to a couple he's a pacesetter whose bold integrity led him into head-to-head disagreement with the hard work govt of england within the Sixties. To others he's a demon most sensible identified for declaring "I don't think in black majority rule ever, no longer in 1000 years," for staunchly opposing Britain's insistence that majority rule be carried out earlier than the nation’s independence, and for imprisoning the management of the newly emerged black nationalist circulation. during this revealing autobiography, Smith tells his personal facet of the tale and divulges how he sought to maintain Rhodesia on a route to complete democracy through the West's decolonization of Africa. He tells the extraordinary tale at the back of the signing of the country’s Unilateral assertion of Independence and addresses the excesses of strength that the present president, Robert Mugabe, has used to create the digital dictatorship which exists in Zimbabwe this day. this can be a revealing and prescient historic rfile from a arguable determine charting the increase and fall of a once-great state.

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Additional info for Bitter Harvest: Zimbabwe and the Aftermath of its Independence

Sample text

I remember the arrival on the squadron of a young Rhodesian pilot, Jack Malloch, who was hit by flak on a strafing raid and bailed out behind the lines shortly before the war ended. He returned to Rhodesia and built up his own air freight business, which from 1965 onwards became one of the main arms of our sanctions-busting operation. In the mid-1970s he obtained from our air force a MK 22 Spitfire which had been in mothballs since 1954. Using his contacts all over the world to find the necessary spare parts, he painstakingly restored it to its former glory and on 29 March 1980 it flew again with Jack at the controls.

The great failing of our civilisation is that, despite its advances in science and other fields, it is impotent when faced with such tragedy. From Baalbek my next posting was to 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron to fly Hawker Hurricanes. They had been pulled out of the Western Desert for a break, and posted to Teheran, capital of a country then known as Persia. From there we moved westwards to Kirkuk, one of the big oil fields of Iraq. The winter weather was settling in, so it did not take us long to organise a rugby field.

The climb ahead looked so formidable that he wanted to go back. I made it clear in no uncertain manner that there was no question of that. qxd 14/4/08 2:34 pm Page 20 20 BITTER HARVEST him to get moving. Every step was a battle on ice which was continually getting harder and more difficult to grip. Each time I looked up at the crest above us it seemed to be as far away as ever. After a few more hours of climbing we came across a ledge of black-looking rock protruding from the ice, an enticing place for a rest, but after a few minutes, feeling the cold penetrating through my whole body, I roused myself and got the party moving again, believing it would be better to keep the blood circulating.

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