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Excerpt from Dingo Firestorm by Ian Pringle

Dingo Firestorm Random House Struik has published an extract from Dingo Firestorm: The Greatest Battle of the Rhodesian Bush War by Ian Pringle.

The book tells the story of the 1977 Rhodesian army raid, code-named Operation Dingo, on the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army’s headquarters in Mozambique. This excerpt is about the army’s attempt to cross the border into Mozambique:

As the crow flies, the distance from New Sarum to the helicopter assembly point at Lake Alexander is 198 kilometres to the south-east. The Alouettes were fully fuelled to save time at the rendezvous, which meant the helicopters were heavy and slow, initially managing to fly at only 130 kilometres per hour. But as fuel burnt off, the machines became lighter and faster. Allowing for dog-legs to provide deception, the total flying time to the lake would be about one hour and 20 minutes. For Dave Jenkins, peering over the barrels of the twin Browning machine guns in the command helicopter, the flight to Lake Alexander was ‘like any other call-out’. For Norman Walsh, piloting his first operational flight in many a year, the feeling was similar: ‘It felt as if I had never been out of it.’

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