Chiweshe INTAF PV

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MAX HOPPE INTAF AT CHIWESHE

I had three stints in Chiweshe. The first was in 1973 with 2 Independent Company and the next two with Intaf in charge of the protected village 19. The first stint was for three months from December 1974 and the second in September 1975.

I had the opportunity of going to university on a cadetship (reduced salary) and during the vacations would work in the operational area. The upside was that I was paid my full DO salary and had the added bonus of receiving danger pay.
What can I say, I was young and had no sense of my mortality and had a sense of adventure.

These are not all the pictures I took. Even though they have been in albums, they have suffered from the effects of time and mildew and require much touching up. As soon as the rest are done they’ll be posted.

I made a lot of friends at Chiweshe but sadly some of them never survived the war and I pay tribute to three stalwarts I met and got to know there – Gerald Ross (ADC), Arrie Verbeek (the enthusiastic DC from Binga come to learn about the PVs) and Piet van Oudtshoorn (regular Intaf cadet doing his national service).

 

 

After a quick search I managed to find a map of where Musarara 19 was situated. Nothing to really show there was ever a PV in the area. It looks like the concrete floor is all that remains of one of the living quarters. I think that may have been the DAs barracks.

The flat rock shown by the marker can be seen in the photo with the caption, “River running through the PV, flooding its banks- January 1975.” The school is also visible in that picture.

 

 

The strong point – December 1974

 

 

Our living quarters at Musarara 19, overlooking the PV and the surrounding countryside. I never considered this to be a particularly secure position. It was built on a gomo and all that was done was to place sandbags at the front of the buildings. Luckily we were never revved.

 

Notice how dry the countrside is. You can clearly see the perimeter lights that surrounded the PV – September 1975

Veld fire in the adjacent farmlands – September 1975

Musarara 19 during the rainy season – Jan 1975. Quite a contrast from the earlier pics from the dry season

Bryn Price Interesting photos.i never realised that the huts in the Chiweshe PVs did not have steel frames. In Centenary they were steel framed with corrugated iron roofs. The tribesmen, or maybe Tribeswomen then used poles to build walls and usually a lean-to kitchen on the side. The poles were seldom plastered with mud due to the hot weather in the valley.

 

For those who did not notice…… there is a dog below the picture.

That was my dog Shumba. He became quite a legend in Cheweshe.

On one trip to Chombira I was warned to keep an eye on him, because there was a rather large tomcat that had a reputation for beating up dogs. My response was not to worry about my dog that he could take care of himself.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” I was told.
I attended the meeting and when it came time to leave I found Shumber sitting at the base of a tall skinny jacaranda, slavering to get at the rather large and chastened tomcat that was clinging to the few tiny branches at the top.

On another occassion at the PV when I left him behind, when going off on R&R a bolshi young villager took a swing at the vededette. Before anyone realised what was happening Shumba had the fellow on the ground, holding him by the throat. It was not a stranglehold but a rather gentle hold, with a few warning growls as if to say, “Don’t move buddy, or I’ll cause some serious damage.”
That was the second time that I know of that he pulled that stunt.
The result of that incident was that I could go anywhere with impunity with Shumba beside me. He was also invited to go on patrols by the vedettes and and always willingly accepted.

I don’t know where that poster came from but it was very popular and guys would visit us at PV 19 just to come and check it out.

 

River running through the PV, flooding its banks- January 1975

The flat rock to the left of centre can be seen on the map, in this album.

We had some fences to repair afterwards – January 1975

Dip day at Rosa dip – January 1975

The road leading from PV 19 to Rosa dip. Sept 1975. There was also another PV at the end of this road, but I cannot remember which one it was.

Sundowner time at the strong point was always a pleasure. A time for a few beers and to shoot the breeze. Sept 1975

 

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RAR Fire Force Sticks helicopter drills.

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RAR FIRE FORCE STICKS

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Up grading my G-car sticks to RAR troops and changing  to the appropriate poses for trooping in helicopters.

Hats removed and stuffed in shirts.

Weapons in laps pointing out of the helicopter.

Stick leader with head set on to listen to pilot and the talk on to the target. Also a tele hand attached to left side of webbing, high so that stick leader only had to angle head and using left hand to press pressel switch to listen to transmissions. The stick leader could still use his FN in his right hand while using his radio. Both were made and shaped from milliput.

RAR usually wore full kit so all wearing trousers. A blob of resin glue to create trousers bottoms.

My spare African heads put on the new figures

Painting Rhodesian Army Uniforms

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Painting Rhodesian Army Figures.

After much trial and error I came down to this set of colours to get the combat uniform as accurate as possible.

Camouflage shirt, trousers, combat jacket and combat cap.

Base colour:- Humbrol 83 plus a touch of Humbrol 103.

Green:- Humbrol 86.

Brown:- Humbrol 29.

 

Rolled sleeves Humbrol 83 and 103.

 

Webbing:- Humbrol 84.

 

Sleeping Bag:-  olive drab.

 

Masodja Skin colour:-Humbrol  29.

 

Rifle.

Rifle:- Base colour Humbrol 76 plus HM5 authentic humbrol, stripe pattern 83.

Rifle strap:- Humbrol 83 and Humbrol 103.

 

Cloth Badge.

The RAR cloth badge which was sewn on the front of the combat cap or floppy hat was green over black with a silver RAR shield badge in the centre. in later years when 2 RAR was formed 1RAR or 2RAR was sewn in silver beneath the RAR badge.

 

Cap cloth badge:- Humbrol 2 bottle green and humbrol 33 black.

 

Figure Base.

Figure Base:-  Humbrol 93 and Humbrol 103 high lights.

 

RhSAS 28mm figures from Underfire Miniatures.

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Just had these photos from Bill at Underfire Miniatures. What a great set of RhSAS figures which can be painted up as ‘Macombe Days’ or other operations RhSAS.

During the ‘Macombe Days’ RhSAS operated deep inside Mozambique in the Macombe area infiltrating and ambushing terrorist movement. These figures when they arrive will be painted up in ‘Freddie Green’ uniforms for this phase of operations.

In other more overt operations full Rhodesian camouflage would be worn so you can paint these figures in either scheme. I cant wait to get my hands on these so I can do some various versions.

 

Rhodesian Army 4 wheel trailer

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Every company in the infantry battalions would have two of these 4 wheel trailers towed by Rhodef (Merc) 4.5 GS trucks to carry the company stores.

This is the only photograph that I have of those 4 wheel trailers but will keep looking.

The sketch is what I think they would have looked like from the photographic evidence that I have.

Rhodesian Army Trailers

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I recently made a fuel trailer from the S&S Models British trailer but it is not exactly like the Rhodesian versions used in the 70s.

Here are a few photographs of trailers and a sketch I have prepared. Most Regular army vehicles had a trailer and they came in three types, cargo, fuel and water.

Most companies also had x2 four wheel trailers and  Rhodesian Engineers had a four wheel flat bed trailer to carry the Pookie Mine Detection Vehicle.