The Zimbabwe Rhodesia army has come up with a new idea to fight the Patriotic Front guerrillas.
The Zimbabwe Rhodesia army has come up with a new idea to fight the Patriotic Front guerrillas. The army is using soldiers on motorcycles to track down guerrillas in the dense bush of the north-east of the country.
SYNOPSIS: The army claims that their new motorbike unit provides a fast and flexible force to combat guerrilla attacks in an area of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, which is said to be infiltrated with black nationalist forces.
The principal role of the eight-man unit is simple -- the soldiers, all of them experienced riders, are heavily armed with automatic rifles, rifle grenades and pistols. They are called into the bush after guerrilla attacks on farms. Its their job to chase the guerrillas, pick up their trail and with the unit's radios to call in helicopter-borne infantry when contact has been made.
The bikes have been fitted with long range fuel tanks and can travel for up to nine hours. Their advantage, says the army, lies in their speed and surprise. The engines have been specially muffled and the troopers claim they can be almost on top of their enemy before they are able to react.
In this mock-attack, the motorbike troopers claimed to return fire within seconds, sheltering behind their 175cc Yamahas. But they say the bikes take more punishment from hidden stumps and rocks damaging the engine, than they do from enemy fire.