Books on Rhodesian Army Special Forces counterinsurgency psuedo-terrorist unit Selous Scouts
The Selous Scouts was a special forces 'psuedo-terrorist' regiment of the Rhodesian Army which operated from 1973 until the introduction of majority rule in 1980. They were named after British explorer/hunter Frederick Courteney Selous (1851-1917), and their motto was Pamwe Chete, which translated from Shona means "All together", "Together only" or "Forward together". The charter of the Selous Scouts directed "the clandestine elimination of terrorists/terrorism both within and outside the country".

The Selous Scouts was formed during the Rhodesian Bush War - a terror war fought between black nationalist guerrillas (ZANLA/ZANU and ZIPRA/ZAPU) and the white government of Ian Smith. Unlike the other special forces, Rhodesian Light Infantry and the Rhodesian Special Air Service (SAS), the Selous Scouts were a mixed race force and had many black Rhodesians in its ranks including the first African commissioned officers in the Rhodesian Army. The Selous Scouts acted as a combat reconnaissance force, its mission was to infiltrate Rhodesia's tribal population and guerilla networks, pinpoint rebel groups and relay vital information back to the conventional forces earmarked to carry out the actual attacks. Scouts were trained to operate in small under-cover teams capable of working independently in the bush for weeks on end and of passing themselves off as rebels.

Below is a list of the current and 'Out of Print' books about or involving the Selous Scouts, available from us (in publication order). Should there be a title, that covers a fair bit about the Selous Scouts that we should know about, please let us know.



Selous Scouts: Top Secret War - Lt-Col Ron Reid Daly, as told to Peter Stiff
The story of the Selous Scouts Regiment of Rhodesia, (Special Forces psuedo-terrorist unit) formed in 1973 and abolished without benefit of formal disbandment in 1980, when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe. It was officially credited with being directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of 68% of all guerrillas killed within Rhodesia during the war - for the loss of less than 40 Selous Scouts.

Selous Scouts: Top Secret War - Lt-Col Ron Reid Daly, as told to Peter Stiff

Selous Scouts: Rhodesian War, A Pictorial Account - Peter Stiff
A coffee-table pictorial - it tells briefly the story, starting with the hunter, FC Selous, recounting stories of past ingenuities of special forces (SAS), leading up to the formation of the Selous Scouts and the reasons behind the decision to form such a unit. It covers the period from 1973 to 1980. It does not cover in depth the history or of operations, rather the book presents a graphical 'picture' of what life was like in Rhodesia and of some of the scout operations. The photos are predominantly black and white with a handful of color photos sprinkled throughout the book. The pictures are mostly of the Rhodesian Bush War in general with roughly one third of actual Selous Scouts photos of operations, individuals, and miscellaneous day-to-day photos of the scouts themselves. A few of the photos are quite graphic as they portray the reality of war and as well as the brutality of terrorism that was inflicted on the innocent rural black population.

Selous Scouts: Rhodesian War, A Pictorial Account - Peter Stiff

Pamwe Chete: The Legend of the Selous Scouts - Lt Col Reid-Daly
A revamped version, published by Covos Day, with additional photos of the original book Selous Scouts: Top Secret War produced by Peter Stiff. Pamwe Chete was withdrawn from bookshop circulation due to a legal case, stemming from copyright issues. Reasonably good second hand copies can be sourced.

Note that there is a UK based POD publisher who is doing A4 sized illegal reprints of this book - a very poor quality version that clearly shows that the pages were photocopied from an original.


Assignment Selous Scouts: Inside Story of a Rhodesian Special Branch Officer - Jim Parker
In 1968 Jim Parker attested in the British South Africa Police as a patrol officer, leaving five years later with the rank of section officer to pursue a career as a sugar farmer in Rhodesia 's Lowveld. When the bush war on the eastern border heated up in 1976 he was already a Police A Reserve section officer. His intimate local knowledge of the Chiredzi area led to him providing an invaluable contribution by assisting with the initial military deployments, this resulted in him being invited to join the exclusive Special Branch unit attached to the Selous Scouts. While serving with them he was involved in the hunt for ZANLA guerrillas, the operational directing, briefing and debriefing of both Selous Scouts and Special branch pseudo guerrilla teams as well as biological and chemical warfare. It is a story of war, small fighting actions, major raids into enemy territory and of strikes and counterstrikes.
Assignment Selous Scouts: Inside Story of a Rhodesian Special Branch Officer - Jim Parker


Only My Friends Call Me "Crouks": Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist - Dennis Croukamp
Now 'Out of Print' (very few copies remain) - reprinted with new title: The Bush War in Rhodesia: The Extraordinary Combat Memoir of a Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist - Dennis Croukamp. (See below)
Only My Friends Call Me "Crouks": Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist - Dennis Croukamp

The Bush War in Rhodesia: The Extraordinary Combat Memoir of a Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist - Dennis Croukamp
Reprint of / re-titled 'Only My Friends Call Me "Crouks": Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist'.
This is a soldier's story told simply, with feeling, humour and without heroics. It also gives a fascinating insight into the personality of the author, who relates his personal experiences in a down-to-earth, no bull style of storytelling. In his career as a soldier for 16 years, Dennis at first served in an Rhodesian infantry unit (RLI) but later served as member of the elite special forces Selous Scouts under the command of Lieutanant-Colonel Ron Reid-Daly. He became an reconnaissance specialist and saw action on all border areas of Rhodesia and also in Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana. The author tells it as it was, unvarnished, seen from the ground-level, no effort to safeguard careers.

The Bush War in Rhodesia: The Extraordinary Combat Memoir of a Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist - Dennis Croukamp

Shadows in an African Twilight: Game Ranger Soldier Hunter - Kevin Thomas
Game Ranger, Special Force Soldier, Professional Hunter and Personal Security Officer - This is a collection of fascinating stories about a life of adventure spread across nearly four decades in Africa and culminating in Iraq. Many of the stories are not for the squeamish and tell of the aberrant behaviour of man-eating lions and killer crocodiles, stories of courageous Rhodesian game rangers who while fighting to preserve the wildlife of a beautiful country were also fighting against brutal terrorist forces. The author relates some of his experiences as a pseudo counter-terrorist operator in the elite Selous Scouts during the Rhodesian War and covers many of his experiences as a professional hunter in the exciting world of African safari. Having also served in the previous South African era "black homeland" of Ciskei he offers an often humorous insight into life during the wayward period. This exciting book of high adventure ends with a discerning look into what it is like to work in war-torn Iraq in the specialized field of Security Escort Teams.
Shadows in an African Twilight - Kevin Thomas

Sunday Bloody Sunday: A Soldier’s War in Northern Ireland, Rhodesia, Mozambique and Iraq - by Jake Harper-Ronald as told to Greg Budd
Jake Harper-Ronald wanted to be a soldier from childhood. In 1966 his ambition was fulfilled when he was conscripted as a National Serviceman into the Royal Rhodesia Regiment. He afterwards moved to the UK and passed selection for the ultra tough Parachute Regiment - the famed Red Berets. Jake was the official photographer for Britain's elite 1-Parachute Battalion when they deployed in Londonderry to combat an IRA-inspired 'peace' march, when shots were fired at the Paras who then returned fire and killed 13 marchers. The day lives on in infamy as 'Bloody Sunday'. He later joined the Rhodesian SAS and then moved to the Selous Scouts, taking part in daring cross-border raids into hostile territory with both units. After the Bush War he joined the Counter-Intelligence Division of Zimbabwe's CIO and covertly spied for South African, US and British intelligence. He left the ZCIO to took up a British MI6 offer to run anti-Renamo Militias in Mozambique for them. He afterwards served two tours with a private military company in Iraq.
Sunday Bloody Sunday: A Soldier’s War in Northern Ireland, Rhodesia, Mozambique and Iraq - by Jake Harper-Ronald as told to Greg Budd


Pathfinder Company: 44 Parachute Brigade 'The Philistines' - Graham Gillmore
The South African 44 Parachute Brigade, an independent Pathfinder unit specially created to conduct covert unconventional warfare in SA's Border War, was a unit of 'Foreign Legionnaires' comprising of battle hardened veterans from the UK, USA, Australasia, Rhodesia and elsewhere, who had just previously served in the Rhodesian Special Forces units such as the SAS, Selous Scouts and the RLI. This book is a collection of stories about the founding and deployment of this short-lived unit, from different parts of the world who became welded together into a remarkable combat unit, unsurpassed by any other South African Defence Force unit in their positive and aggressive approach to battle.
Pathfinder Company: 44 Parachute Brigade 'The Philistines' - Graham Gillmore

African Combat: Rhodesian Security Forces Anti-Terrorist Operations Counter Insurgency CO-IN Manuals
Reproduced and reformatted into book format - copies of 3 of the original 'Restricted' training manuals that was published by the Rhodesian Army during the bush war - Rhodesian Security Forces COIN Manual Part 2 - ATOPS (Anti Terrorist Operations), 'C' Sqn SAS Combat Manual, Selous Scouts Training Troop plus an additional manual as used by mercenaries who operated in various conflict zones in Africa. The ATOPS manual is the same document that was used by the Rhodesian elite forces and the Selous Scouts. Most of the tactics and techniques within this ATOPS manual were developed and employed during the long and bitter counter-insurgency conflict. Many of the combat proven techniques within this manual still apply today in a counter-insurgency environment. It should be noted that after the Rhodesian bush war, many of the highly experienced combat veterans went to serve with the south african forces in Angola and many of the COIN lessons were passed on and utilized by the various SA forces, especially the South African Recces.Chapters include:- General Elements. Command and Control. Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence. Employment of Forces. Types of Operations. Foot Patrols. Tracking. Follow -Up Operations. Attacks on Terrorist Camps. Sweeps. Defence/Protection of Sensitive points. Movement Security. Mines and Booby Traps. Plus SAS / Selous Training Wing's chapters on Basic Tracking & Follow up Operations.
Additional to this is the African Mercenary Combat Manual - Commando Rules for Battle. Commando External Raids. Profile of the Terrorist aim. Principles of COIN Warfare. Commando Base Fighting Positions. Oberservation Methods. Pseudo Terrorist Gangs. Tracking and Countertracking / anti-tracking. Basic Ground/Air Emergency Signals. Medical Aid. Employment Possibilities. International Law and the Mercenary. African Travel Guide.
African Combat: Rhodesian Security Forces Anti-Terrorist Operations Counter-insurgency COIN Manuals

Three Sips of Gin - Timothy G Bax
"Stewards, Stengahs, Scandals and Strife. Beneath an African Sky - Memoirs of an African Adventure"
Tim begins Three Sips of Gin by taking us behind the veil of decedent behavior and excesses which prevailed in Colonial East Africa during his childhood. For bored housewives surrounded by legions of native servants, scandals and stengahs provided welcome relief from the monotony of their pampered lives. Later, Tim gives us rare insight into the strict and unforgiving domain of the remote African boarding school where status among schoolboys was determined not from within the classroom, but by more notable deeds worthy of schoolboy lore. The excitement of Tim's African adventure intensifies when, as a young commissioned officer with one of the worlds most elite Special Forces units, we follow him into the silence of the shadows to seek out and destroy terrorist lairs in what was one of Southern Africa's most brutal bush wars. It is here you will read never before published details of some of the Selous Scouts last and most top-secret operations. Later with Tim having left the Rhodesian Army, we share in the hilarious absurdity of his service with South Africa's 5 Reconnaissance Regiment. Finally, we stumble with Tim through the intrigues, excesses and scandals of the boardroom of a large multinational company based in South Africa where longevity of service was as tenuous as the morning mist on the Matabele plains. But most of all we share in the remarkable wit and humour of Tim's remarkable African adventure.
Three Sips of Gin - Timothy G Bax