28mm Rhodesian SAS 81mm mortar team.

Standard

Well the 28mm RhSAS mortar team is on the market and fine figures they are.

Underfire Miniatures have excelled yet again.

A favourite tactic of the RhSAS was to harass terrorist camps in Mozambique by flying deep external operations. The 81mm mortar outranged the Gook 80mm mortar so could fire into any camps.

The team would arrive by G-car or a Cheetah deploy quickly as the helicopter withdrew flying initially towards the target before breaking off. The mortar team then had a direction to target and would fire off all their mortar bombs into the target, the helicopter would return as soon as they expended all the ammunition and pick them up.

28MM RHSAS 4B (1)

Advertisements

Operation Carpet making the figures

Standard

bought a number of Underfire Miniatures 20mm FAPLA and Syrian figures armed with soviet weapons etc and added webbing pouches and chest rig where necessary to create RhSAS during the attack on Nkomos home and his Lusaka Head Quarters and for Operation Carpet the attack on the ZIPRA intelligence HQ..

I removed heads in many cases and bits of some of the equipment like bayonets or entrenching tools. Webbing pouches were fashioned from greenstuff.

I added NATO helmets and goggled helmets from the Elheim Figures range.

This gives me a lot more RhSAS figures armed with Soviet weapons which they used in the main. AK, RPD, RPG7 etc.

Underfire has produced a range of 20mm RhSAS figures in combat caps but with the relevant webbing and separate bergens. For Operation Carpet or Bastille NATO helmets can be added from the Elheim Figures range. I think I used the clean American M1 helmets.

For the big operations against Mapai etc during the later part of the war, helmets with skrim or clean can be added.

Operation Carpet 26th June 1979

Standard

Operation Carpet June 26th 1979

Nkomo’s Russian advisers  had convinced him  to put his army on a more conventional footing. Thus intelligence gathering became of great importance and ZIPRA’s NSO (National Security Organisation) needed to be expanded and improved . Thus the NSO was completely overhauled and improved.

Dumiso Damengw headed up the organization and thus he became a target for the RhSAS and his capture would be a significant intelligence coupe.

The new HQ complex for the NSO was called ‘the Vatican’ and was very secure with high barbed wire fences and secure gates. The complex was in the Roma Suburb of Lusaka.

At one time this target would have been out of range for Rhodesias Allouette III helicopters but the AB 205 ‘Cheetah’ had the range and capacity to carry fuel and enough troops to do the job of taking out the ZIPRA HQ.

8 Sqn RhAF was tasked with the job and Squadron Leader Ted Lunt was to lead the four AB 205s in. 28 RhSAS operatives would be carried in with bunker bombs (called the hulk) and stop groups with a 60mm mortar to ward off any reaction force.

In the mean time the guards had been increased at the complex to 24 guards and various positions for machine guns set up round the complex. Initially the guards did not react to the helicopters believing them to be Zambian Air Force. Once they reacted a hail of fire came up at the choppers but the machines were orientated to bring their machine guns to bear on the targets round the perimeter. The ZIPRA machine guns and guards were quickly neutralized and the cheetahs landed and the RhSAS deplaned moving to their allotted positions.

Once the troops had deplaned the Cheetahs lifted off to a holding position preselected in the bush, seven minutes flying time away, to wait for recall. While waiting the helicopter crew refuelled the Cheetahs with barrels of Avtur they had brought with them.

Martin Pearce in the first Cheetah deplane and advance to their breaching site. Breach achieved.

Mike Bailey’s group in the second helicopter deplane and make for their breaching site. The breach fails so they move to Martin’s breach.

Command group with 60mm mortar and medics moves back into an empty allotment to oversee the op.

One RhSAS man hit during the breach and entry phase and taken away by the medics to be treated.

In the forth Cheetah Rich Stannard’s group moves to their beaching site, breach fails and group moves round to front gate and blows that.

Stop groups guard the road in case of interference or Zambian Army reaction.

All groups entering the compound wipe out all the guards.

Groups advance on house and offices. Bunker bombs go in unfortunately Martin Pearce is killed by the poorly built building collapsing on him.

Operation continues houses are cleared and huge amounts of intelligence material gather in canvas sacks to be up lifted in the Cheetahs.

Once all the buildings are cleared the vehicles are also bombed and destroyed going up in flames.

The stop groups stop an African who says he is a garden boy but it later turns out he is a high ranking officer in the ZIPRA intelligence organization.

Once the operation is completed the Cheetahs are recalled and fly the RhSAS troops straight out over Lusaka back to Rhodesia.

Two Rhodesian Hawker Hunter Jets fly top cover in case of interference from the Zambian Air Force.

The paper back book The Elite (The story of the Rhodesian SAS) by Barbara Cole has a lot of information on these operations if you can get your hands on a copy.

All figures 20mm Underfire Miniatures apart from the 60mm mortar which was 28mm Underfire Minatures RhSAS 60mm mortar. I have still not made up my 20mm Underfire 60mm mortar.

 

 

 

Detailing the AB 205 ‘Cheetah’

Standard

From this set of photos you can see the changes and extra details which have been added to this model to get the RhAF ‘Cheetah’.

I now have my four models which took part ion Operation Carpet and took out the ZIPRA intelligence organisations HQ.

Operation Carpet June 26th 1979

Nkomo’s Russian advisers  had convinced him  to put his army on a more conventional footing. Thus intelligence gathering became of great importance and ZIPRA’s NSO (National Security Organisation) needed to be expanded and improved . Thus the NSO was completely overhauled and improved.

Dumiso Damengwa headed up the organization and thus he became a target for the RhSAS and his capture would be a significant intelligence coupe.

The new HQ complex for the NSO was called ‘the Vatican’ and was very secure with high barbed wire fences and secure gates. The complex was in the Roma Suburb of Lusaka.

At one time this target would have been out of range for Rhodesias Allouette III helicopters but the AB 205 ‘Cheetah’ had the range and capacity to carry fuel and enough troops to do the job of taking out the ZIPRA HQ.

8 Sqn RhAF was tasked with the job and Squadron Leader Ted Lunt was to lead the four AB 205s in. 28 RhSAS operatives would be carried in with bunker bombs (called the hulk) and stop groups with a 60mm mortar to ward off any reaction force.

In the mean time the guards had been increased at the complex to 24 guards and various positions for machine guns set up round the complex. Initially the guards did not react to the helicopters believing them to be Zambian Air Force. Once they reacted a hail of fire came up at the choppers but the machines were orientated to bring their machine guns to bear on the targets round the perimeter. The ZIPRA machine guns and guards were quickly neutralized and the cheetahs landed and the RhSAS deplaned moving to their allotted positions.

Once the troops had deplaned the Cheetahs lifted off to a holding position preselected in the bush, seven minutes flying time away, to wait for recall. While waiting the helicopter crew refuelled the Cheetahs with barrels of Avtur they had brought with them.

More details of the operation in my next post.

RhSAS Return to Lusaka

Standard

A lightning raid on the ZIPRA intelligence Head Quarters to take out ZIPRA leaders and gather intelligence from the site which was on the outskirts of Lusaka Zambia.

The only helicopter now capable to do this and carry enough men was the sanctions busting AB 205 ‘Cheetah’.

 

Ted Lunt and his four ‘Cheetahs’ were to carry in 28 RhSAS to take out the HQ and take a capture and take as much intelligence documents as possible.

As the four ‘Cheetahs’ swept in they took out the machine gun positions on the walls surrounding the  compound, deplaned the 28 RhSAS and quickly withdrew to a safe area in the bush and waited for the recall. The ‘Cheetahs refueled from barrels they had brought with them.

The diagrams explain the dispositions as the RhSAS blasted their way into the compound and into the buildings. Unfortunately Martin Pearce was killed by a collapsing wall and the wanted captures were not achieved. One individual was captured and by good chance turned out to be a good catch.

Having taken what they wanted the RhSAS withdrew in good order having destroyed the complex.

The extracts were taken from The Elite Pictorial by Barbara Cole. An outstanding source of information on the RhSAS. If you can find a copy.