> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Free Book: The Farmer At War



Free Book: The Farmer At War

Found this book browsing around; it's a wealth of first-hand information from farmers trying to survive/keep their land during the Rhodesian Bush War. Much of this relates directly to the survivalist/retreater, and is a fascinating read. These farmers heavily fortified their homes and in order to fight off well armed communist terrorist attacks. This is real deal stuff, not theoretical mind games, with great information about retreat security, defense and survival. Definitely read.

Here's an excerpt, describing one farm's security measures, written by the farmer's wife:

"There is a three-metre-high security fence surrounding the house, garden and outhouses (laundry, store, etc.) and another around the tobacco barns, workshops, with an interleading gate. All the gates are bolted and locked at sunset and opened at sunrise. There is a general curfew throughout the district from 5 pm to 6 am and no one is permitted to move around except the Security Forces, as this is the time the terrorists are most active, under cover of darkness. This means, of course, that the house servants also must leave before sunset. There can be no visiting between neighbours for dinner or an evening bridge game.

"Surrounding the house about two metres away from the outside walls is another brick wall just one-and-a-half metres high. From inside the house when standing up one can just see over this wall, whereas the windows are partly protected by the wall against anyone firing from outside. This, of course, ruins the view of the garden from the house because when you are sitting down inside and look out of the window you look straight on to a blank wall, instead of across a pretty garden and lawn down to the swimmingpool. A pity, but the wall does give one a reassuring feeling of added security in the dark of night.

"On top of the roof is a special flashing light which can be switched on from inside the house. It is an identifying light to guide in a helicopter or such-like in case of emergency. Our neighbour has flares attached to his outside wall, which are triggered from inside the house, the idea being to blind the attackers.

"The farms in the district have not got mains electricity laid on, so have to generate their own using noisy diesel engines, which for this reason are not usually too near the house. Once this motor is switched off (there is a special cut-out in the house) the lights cannot be switched back on again without someone going outside and down to the power house.So once lights go out at night they stay out till next evening when the pump is started up again. In other farming areas where mains power is available some farmers have strong lights which can be switched on to illuminate the attackers so that they cannot see the homestead. However, this would not be possible here which is perhaps why the authorities choose this area to try out placing a "stick" of five Guard Force soldiers on certain farms. These guards take turns of duty during the night. In the morning they check the security fence and gates for booby traps and look for land mines on the road.

"When we go down to the cattle dip on the next door farm, which is some distance away and isolated and surrounded by very tall grass and bush, we take the Guard Force with us to 'clear' the road and 'sweep' the area round the dip and be on guard while the cattle are being dipped, as there have been numerous incidents and fatalities in ambushes at the dips especially if cattle dipping is done on a regular day each week.

"I must admit I find it a great comfort at night knowing the Guard Force are around — except when the dogs bark at them in the middle of the night.

"Before going outside the security fence I have to 'saddle up' and end up looking rather like a pack mule! First on is my leather belt holding a pistol and spare bullets as well as two spare magazines for my LDP semi-automatic. The webbing sling of the latter then goes over my head to rest on my left shoulder and across my chest so that the gun rests on my right hip (I am getting a permanent bruise on my right hip from the 'cocking knob' knocking against my hip bone!) Then, of course, being a keen bird watcher I never can go anywhere in the bush without my binoculars in case I see any interesting birds, so they hang from a cord round my neck. With a bush hat on my head, my denim trousers and cotton blouse, I really look the part of an armed Christmas tree or female bandit! I am now so used to wearing the gun belt round my waist (usually worn under my loose blouse) that when I come back in I often don't even bother to take it off to eat. There was Jack and I sitting eating our breakfasts with spare ammo and pistols strapped round our waists. An armed breakfast and neither of us even thought it strange!

Get the whole book, free of charge, right here >