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As a young Patrol Officer, Tony Tretowan was to experience rural life in remote stations in the bush of Matabeleland. He embraced the experience and learned Sindebele within a few months. The book is richly interspersed with anecdotes of wild frontier life - of rowdy prospectors, obstreperous farmers, maverick hunters and bizarre eccentrics. He deals with a wide array of crimes and incidents - from murder, tribal suicide, sorcery, robbery and drunkenness to horrific vehicle accidents.But as the bush war intensifies, Tony finds himself more and more involved in paramilitary operations. Ground Coverage was a BSAP intelligence-gathering unit - operating literally 'on the ground' in the rural areas. Known by his enemy, Nkomo's ZIPRA guerrillas, as Baleka, or 'he who runs hither and thither' because of his propensity for rapidly covering vast areas, alone in his beaten-up police Land Rover, the second part of the book deals with the author's conversion from civilian policeman to full-blooded counter-insurgency operator in an African guerrilla war.

Told with a sensitivity and pathos that is rare in military memoirs, Delta Scout is a brutally honest, compelling account of innocence lost.

Paperback, 304 pages

Published June 2012

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
M Briscoe
Different and enjoyable read

If you are looking to read a book that is interesting, different and light, then this book will not disappoint.

At an age when most men are thinking of girls, fun and the next party, the author woke each day to what could be his final day. Caught up in a terrible war against terrorists, set in the formerly beautiful country of Rhodesia, the author describes his life in the police units he was a part of. Sometimes that role was more that of a policeman, sometimes more of a soldier and sometimes more of an intelligence agent.

Although the subject matter is a brutal and horrible war, the book is not brutal, not gory and not like war books can be. The book comes across showing the author as a sensitive, humourous but capable man who did well in difficult circumstances. One can only imagine the stress and difficulties of such a life.

They could easily make a movie about this person. I really enjoyed reading this book and have no problem recommending it.

**Amazon - October 13, 2008 **

Outstanding Book!

Really enjoyed this book. Trethowan was a patrol officer and ground coverage operator in the British South African Police (BSAP). As the Rhodesian War progressed, the BSAP played an ever increasing role in the counterinsurgency effort away from the urban population centers of Salisbury, Bulawayo, etc. Ground Coverage Operators (GCO) functioned very much like district reconnaissance elements tirelessly patrolling their assigned sectors being intimately familiar with the inhabitants and the environment. Trethowan's account moves along at a steady trot. He frequently includes humorous stories that will give even American readers a good chuckle and many that are much more poignant. This is a quality trade back though I did find some typos of the sort that tend to slip through a spell checker. Overall the editing was fine. There's also an interesting collection of personal photos in the middle of the book. All in all an A+ effort and I think it is a "must read" if you are interested in the Rhodesian War.

Robert Heywood
Delta Scout :- Ground Coverage Operator.

At the same time that Anthony Trethowan was a serving member of The British South Africa Police, I was a serving member of a British County Constabulary. So I have a deep interest in finding out what it was like to be an " Ordinary Uniformed Police Officer " in Rhodesia at this specific time in history.
I found the book most enjoyable, informative, emotional, with the usual cynical police remarks and comments, it was a joy to read.

It is amazing, how Police Officers, on different continents thousands of miles apart, doing a similiar service for their respective countries have a kindred sense of humour and deal with the less pleasant and some times ugly side of the profession in a similiar manner..

All in all, I found Anthony Trethowan's book, enthralling, superb and a brilliant detailed account of the " day to day " workings of a Uniformed Police Officer, in Rhodesia during the Terrorist Invasion in the 1970's. Well worth reading.

Robert .D. Heywood


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