Welcome to The SAS Files: Interview with Rhodesian Operator Keith Nell – Secrets of the Rhodesian Bush War.

This episode is a retelling of the events surrounding the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1965, highlighting the perspective of those who supported the UDI and their concerns regarding majority rule and the potential for disaster similar to what had occurred in other African countries to the north. Zell discusses the fears of the white minority regarding the loss of protection and the potential for plunder, destruction of infrastructure, and the rise of despotism and dictatorship under black majority rule.

Mr. Nell also characterizes Robert Mugabe, a key figure in the Zimbabwean independence movement and later Prime Minister and President of Zimbabwe, as a self-admitted Marxist and terrorist, indicating a belief that Mugabe and others were supported by the Soviets to establish a communist foothold in Rhodesia, exploiting its mineral wealth among other things. He mentions the American administration under President Carter and David Young, noting an underestimation of Mugabe’s character and intentions.

Additionally, Nell talks about a return to the Special Air Service (SAS), a promotion to a “bogus” captain for operational purposes, and interactions with other military personnel, including an American Vietnam War veteran who later tragically met his end in Sierra Leone.

Check out this riveting bit of Cold War history.