Rhodesia -- and with the collapse of the Geneva conference, nationalist leaders are now promising an escalation of the country's four-year-old guerrilla war.
GVs & SVs Rhodesian troops on trucks leaving base-camp in South-eastern Rhodesia on Mozambique border, and driving past Africans sitting on roadside (4 shots)
SVs Forces helicopter lands, bringing troops from base camp to operations area in bush, and troops disembark in battle-readiness (3 shots)
CU PAN FROM Running soldier TO helicopter leaving
LV, CU & MVs Troops patrolling through bush (4 shots)
SV Patrol enters kraal gate
SV PAN AND SV Soldiers questioning African woman seated with children outside hut (2 shots)
SV PAN FROM Soldiers searching on top of bus PAN TO SVs African men having documents checked by others (2 shots)
CU Soldier checking African man's bare back for pack-marks
CU PAN African woman and child seated outside hut PAN TO SV soldier leaving hut and saying 'Man, there's nothing here'
GV PAN FROM Africans seated on ground to MV troops continuing search outside kraal perimeter fence
LVs & CU Troops continuing patrol through bush (3 shots)
SV & CU Troops leading captured guerrilla with handcuffs on and noose round neck
SV & CU Guerrilla indicates to soldiers location on map of arms caches (2 shots)
CU PAN Soldier recovering buried guerrilla mortar shells and loading onto vehicle with captured guerrilla
The Vehicle drives off with captured guerrilla and recovered arms and ammunition
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Background: Rhodesia -- and with the collapse of the Geneva conference, nationalist leaders are now promising an escalation of the country's four-year-old guerrilla war. As if to emphasis that, the day that British negotiator Mr. Ivor Richard arrived on his abortive mission in Salisbury, it was officially announced that 29 guerrillas and new recruits had been killed by Rhodesian forces. It was the biggest contact of the year so far.
SYNOPSIS: Everything in Rhodesia, including the chances for a settlement now that Prime Minister Ian Smith has flatly rejected the British proposals for an interim government, depends on the war. Military observers in Rhodesia and South Africa feel that the white regime can survive a continuing war for several years -- with one big exception; the possible entry of Cuban troops, as in Angola. And according to nationalist guerrillas, Cuba is playing an increasingly major part in training and advising. The situation is keeping a large part of Rhodesia's 50,000 combined forces in active combat. This is 'Operation Repulse'-- an anti-guerrilla drive along the Mozambique border by army reservists. They may as well be professional soldiers, for they've spent more than seven of the last nine months in uniform.
This area is said to be a refugee for some fifty guerrillas from Mozambique base camps -- where another 4,000 guerrillas and new recruits are waiting, according to Rhodesian government estimates. The same estimates reckon on some 15-hundred guerrillas operating inside Rhodesia in all the war zones.
But the war zones are vast and rugged--and it's a painful, footslogging effort to search them. Prime suspects are the local inhabitants, who may be concealing guerrillas, and the numerous African buses, which the guerrillas often boldly use to get deeper into Rhodesia. It's also an expensive task--both in money, and manpower. The current annual defence budget is some 120-million sterling (nearly 200-million U.S. dollars) -- an increase of 34 per cent over last year. Territorial call-up has been extended to 18 months fulltime, with reserve duty up to nine months a year after that.
One of the tricks of the trade -- checking a man's back for pack marks indicating he's been carrying a heavy load of arms and ammunition.
The kraals are the most important search targets -- for it's here that guerrillas depend on friendly or timid locals to provide food, water and rest. Guerrilla intimidation too, plays a part -- it's not unknown for them to terrorise local villagers into providing their needs.
More than forty thousand of the country's total combined forces are white -- that's almost 20 per cent of the entire white population. to put it another way -- almost every able-bodied man between 16 and 60.
A guerrilla is captured -- alive, for he's a valuable source of information. This own decide to talk freely about his movements, his base-camp, his unit -- and most important, where he's hidden a cache of arms, ammunition and explosives. He's willing to point out exact locations on large-scale maps, and lead security forces to his cache.
It turns out to be supply of mortar shells, ammunition and land-mines a favourite weapon. The captured guerrilla, like others, amy face trial -- for his life.