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One of the most tragic wars in Southern Africa's history, the Rhodesian Civil War, raged for over a decade.

Spanning from 1966 to 1979, the seeds for this conflict were sown almost a century earlier when, in 1889, the British South Africa Company was granted a Royal Charter to occupy land north of the Limpopo River.

An inevitable clash of ideology and political ambitions ensued, culminating in the Rhodesian Government declaring unilateral independence in November 1965, a move that set the nation alight.

This dramatic and detailed book maps out the critical events that led to war, identifying the combatants and detailing chronologically the salient events of the conflict.

Through detailed narrative, Rhodesian History author John Frame, traces how international political interferences influenced the war, and why the Rhodesian Security Forces lost the war despite having won most of the battles.

It showcases how Rhodesia was caught in the vice of the Cold War and the how, through the political ambitions of major powers, the combatants in this bloody war were not in control of their own destinies.

Paperback, 562 pages. Published: July 2018.



John Frame was born in Salisbury, Rhodesia (Harare, Zimbabwe). The early years were spent in the peaceful pre-bush war era of Southern Rhodesia. 

He became acutely aware of the political turmoil facing his country when his father became involved with the Rhodesian Front party; which held Government from 1963 through to the late 1980’s.

After high school, John went to South Africa to attend Rhodes University where he succeeded in gaining an Honours Degree in Commerce. He became aware of the seriousness of the bush war from observing how his sister and their family took anti-terrorist protective measures on their farm. This was reinforced when working with Price Waterhouse during the long University breaks he often found himself carrying an automatic weapon as well as the more mundane stationary and papers in order to safely attend the more remote auditing locations.

Unwilling to sit on the sideline while his friends and family were increasingly embroiled in the conflict, John entered the Rhodesian Air Force, assigned to Airforce HQ, where he gained valuable insight into the conflict. 

Surviving the war and after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he left Zimbabwe and resettled in Australia.


Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
The Rhodesian Civil War (1966-1979) - John Frame

Excellent read explains much of the history, background leading up to and during the event. well done

A Must Read!

I purchased a copy from Bush War Books and received it within a few days. Just finished reading it. I left school in 1965, commenced NS in 1966 and served as a Territorial Force Officer until 1980. I was also a Rhodesian Front MP for the last 2 parliaments, 1977-79. I highly recommend this in depth, easy to read, book to any one interested in the complex true reality that was Rhodesia and the happenings, both political and military, that occurred during its tragic period. A must read for all Rhodesians! We were saved from the brink of a calamitous ending, resulting from the folly and naivety our politicians, by our armed forces!

The Rhodesian Civil War (1966 - 1979) - John Frame

Thoroughly enjoyed the book. A mine of information. Fascinating. It reads like a thriller and found it difficult to put down. Such a wealth of information. A must for every Rhodesian!! Tahnk you John Frame.

The Rhodesian Civil War

Present for husband. Will give you feed back when read. Cheers.

The reality excellently conveyed!

I left school at the end of 1965, started National Service in 1966 and served as a Territorial Force officer until the 1980 elections. I was also a Rhodesian Front MP during the last two parliaments 1977 - 1979. If you are interested in the complex truth of what transpired during this tragic period read this book!


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