An analysis of the impact of the Rhodesian Air Force
in Zimbabwe's war of liberation provides useful insights into the role of air power fighting guerrilla forces in modern warfare, says Mutanda, and reveals the ineffectiveness of conventional forces with confronted by resolute irregular bands.
The Rhodesian Air Force (RhAF) had its genesis in the Air Unit of the Rhodesian Staff Corps which was established in 1934 at Salisbury.
With UDI, the `Royal' prefix was dropped (but not until 1970) and the force became simply the Rhodesian Air Force. During the bush war, the RhAF, thrown largely onto its own resources as a result of international sanctions, achieved incredible feats of aircraft availability and operational success, including several cross border raids into neighbouring Mozambique and Zambia in which the Canberra bombers and Hawker Hunter fighters of the RhAF carried the war to the enemy in no uncertain terms.
In her former life, Ms Sheffield married and fathered a daughter, served in the RAF and in the Rhodesian Air Force
being awarded the Silver and Bronze Cross for bravery.
But he was locked into his macho role as a hero pilot, hired by the Rhodesian Air Force
to make lightning strikes deep into the jungle.
In April 1940, the Rhodesian Air Force
deployed to Nairobi its lone squadron equipped with a mix of Hawker Audax, Hardy, and Hart two seat general purpose biplanes where it was designated 237 Squadron RAF.