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INTO THE VORTEX: The Chronicles Of The Life Of A Young Man Growing Up In Colonial Rhodesia. 

His loves and his laughs, his exposure to mortal danger and drunken interludes in a town all make up the exciting life of a young, single, Regular Army Officer.

All the while, the increasing effects of Rhodesian bush war are bubbling as a backdrop, and eventually this leads to the inexorable drawing of the young man into the military. Being a leader, rather than a follower, he successfully attends an Officer’s Training Course at the School of Infantry and is commissioned into the Regiment of his choice, the Rhodesian African Rifles.

Tom spends an eventful year as an operational Platoon Commander and grows to love the black soldiers with which he serves. His various tours of duty see him in a compendium of differing situations across the entire country. 

He is badly injured on duty and spends some interesting time as a Brigade Intelligence Officer before being posted out to the unit that he eventually commands, until his voluntary discharge. It is an honest recollection of what Rhodesia was really like, from a pair of young eyes which seem to open wider and achieve more focus, as the book progresses.

Into the Vortex is a book of fiction which closely follows Tom Fulton's early life at school and later, in the army, and to this end a pseudonym has been used, so as to afford some ‘artistic licence’. It is also done in this way to enable the writer to also include some anecdotes in which he wasn’t actually personally involved, but bear recording. Real names have been used throughout, with the exception of a few, who may perhaps take exception to what everybody else seemed to have deemed to be the truth at the time.

The book is not meant, in any way, to be a platform to castigate those with whom the main character differed – the army was made up of every conceivable type of man. How boring it would be if everyone obsequiously agreed – junior to senior Officers included?

The reader is left to ponder over the fact and the fiction, as they are taken through the paces of a young officer in the Regular Rhodesian Army. There are scenes of humour and reflection, action and sorrow, as well as a taste of the smorgasbord of other emotions that faced a young man leaving school, to enter into the clamorous pandemonium of war. He certainly had no intention of joining the army until his last year at school – the ‘vortex’ took care of that decision for him.

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