Friday, March 30, 2007

Trains of War.

I recently read a comment in a Rhodesia forum about the Yanks finally deciding that one way to counter the problem with road side bombs, was to supply their Hummer transport vehicles with V shaped armour plating. This is about 30 odd years after we had it installed in most of our troop carriers.

The local Rhodesian armour manufacturers were extremely good at adapting vehicles to counter the various weapons used by the Gooks. (Terrs, Communist Insurgents, Freedom Fighters, or whatever, etc etc.) Most of them were named after animals. The Kudu was an adapted Land Rover and the Leopard was constructed, as far as I am led to believe, on the chassis of a VW Beatle. These just being a couple of examples.

I received this photograph in my mail box yesterday and could hardly believe my eyes, as this particular adaptation I had never seen. That is not actually very surprising as there were no railways running through Gokwe. The body of this amazing contraption seems to be taken from a Kudu. Notice the back door, which is open, has the recognizable zig-zag plating to ricochet the AK 47 rounds. The sides have an extra skin of light metal designed to set off a RPG rocket so that it couldn’t penetrate the second, half inch thick plating, behind it. The ‘roof’ is just a tarpaulin to offer some protection from the sun and rain. This has been stretched over tubular roll bars.

The person who has been forwarding this picture around wrote the following:

I recently bought a small lot of photographs, mainly of Rhodesia Railways locomotives. This picture was amongst them. Do you know where and when this might have been used during the Bush War? One suggestion was that it was used on the Plumtree line.

If anyone can supply any information, please contact Ian at

and CC me please so I can place the details here.

Many thanks. Catch ya all soon,


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