- Hannes Wessels with Andre Scheepers
- ARRSE Rating
- 4 Mushroom Heads
This is literally a tale of heroic derring-do. The grit and determination of these small bands of men, against incredibly overwhelming odds has to be read to be believed. The fact that Scheepers was wounded 13 times on operational duties comes as no surprise as the book progresses. Soldiers serving today are 'lucky' if they conduct a single operational parachute in their career: at the height of the Rhodesian War, these people were conducting up to three a day.
My only complaint about the book, and it is minor, is the way it has been edited. It comes across as a collection of anecdotes, not always seamlessly linked. You could imagine someone going into a SF Club with a tape recorder and a large beer tab and coming away with the transcription of this book after a very good evening. That said the stories that are told are gripping and truly astonishing: I have nothing but the greatest respect for all those involved and what they did, especially over significant periods of time - this was no short operational deployment but the lived reality of a constant conflict reaching deep into these men's personal and home lives too.
The book is currently available on Amazon as a kindle ebook for £12.95 and as a hard back for £15.98. It is a great holiday read and I thoroughly recommend it.