In the early hours of the 9th of August, 1976, 84 Selous Scouts disguised as local soldiers crept across the Mozambique border into a Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) training camp on the Nyadzonya River. In the few hours that followed, four
Selous Scouts were lightly wounded, however, over 1,000 ZANLA recruits lay dead and twice as many were estimated as wounded.1 This raid was to go down in history as a textbook example of Special Forces employment in asymmetric warfare, showing how small teams of highly motivated and highly trained troops could inflict vastly disproportionate results. The Rhodesian military named the assignment Operation Eland, taking its name from the large African game antelope. It would however be remembered in history by another name; the Nyadzonya Raid.
This episode was written by By Captain William Taylor
Will is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy where he majored in Australian Military History. He maintains a keen interest in British military colonial history and is a member of the Australian Army History Society. As one of the many Zimbabwean ex-pats in the Australian Army, William has always been interested in the Rhodesian Bush War and the Selous Scouts, particularly how a unanimous tactical victory still translated into their strategic defeat.
This podcast is written as a sequel to Pamwe Chete! The Story of the Selous Scouts. This follows the exploits of the pseudo operators who specialised in impersonating their enemy during the Rhodesian Bush War. To better understand the topic it is recommended that podcasters also listen to episode 5, season 20.