Rhodesian What-if Questions: What if we never surrendered to the Blacks?

[I have blasted this off to an old Colonel in the Rhodesian army. Sadly, he's really old now, and his health and energy is not good, so I might not even be able to get a reply. But I sent him this list of questions to see if he attempts in any way to answer them. Jan]

I wrote:-

I’ve been reading a bunch of papers that people are writing about Rhodesia. It’s very fascinating. I have some questions.

1. After UDI, Rhodesia cut off oil to Zambia and threatened to cut off electricity. I see the Portuguese became friendly to Zambia and supplied fuel. The more I read and ponder the Rhodesian situation, the more I see Zambia as the central trouble-maker for Rhodesia and Portugal, etc. Why didn’t Rhodesia just totally sink Zambia economically? Cut off oil and cut off electricity? In later years, when the Russians were busy building up those forces in Zambia to invade us – surely sinking them economically was best?

2. What would have happened to Rhodesia if we had invaded Zambia and physically occupied critical parts of it – permanently? What could have been done against us?

3. In the stuff I’ve read, it says that South Africa was trying very hard to be in the good books of America. Is this perhaps why South Africa was afraid of some of the things we were doing – because they were grovelling to America who in the end didn’t give a crap anyway?


4. Why didn’t General Walls ever write a biography? I would have thought that his views would surely have been important?

5. I once read that PK Van Der Byl, in the final days, made the suggestion that we should "fight a retreat" into South Africa – but that was scorned. Do you have any comments on this idea?

6. What if Whites had decided not to settle, and instead have tried to just retreat our way out of Rhodesia and engage in a scorched earth policy?

7. What if we abandoned most of Rhodesia, but instead resettled ourselves in say, the southern portion of the country? e.g. Around Bulawayo?

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