This all-new work chronicles the experiences of Paul French who, upon leaving the British Army's 21 SAS (V), sought adventure and excitement in C Squadron of the Rhodesian SAS. Upon passing the arduous Rhodesian SAS selection course, Paul was thrown into the maelstrom that was the Rhodesian Bush War. Here he participated in the SAS's infamous raid on Joshua Nkomo and numerous other operations against insurgent / liberation forces. Passing selection for Ron Reid-Daly's elite counterinsurgency specialists, the Selous Scouts, the author took part in 'externals' against FRELIMO and ' attachments' with the Mozambique National Resistance. Paul continued to serve on operations with the Rhodesian SAS until the end of the 'Chimurenga' in 1980. Paul then went on to join the South African Defense Force's elite 6 Reconnaissance Commando. A career in private security followed, with a series of assignments in Angola, Iraq and Somalia.
This impressive book pulls no punches. It gives a unique and purposefully opinionated insight into the workings of the Rhodesian SAS and the Selous Scouts. It tells of the missions that succeeded and of the many that failed. It notes simply and succinctly the sheer stress and danger of special forces operations - all of which were deep in enemy-held territory with the threat of capture and death. Attempts to blow rail lines, helicopter assaults, pseudo-operations, the laying of deadly ambushes and risky parachute inserts are candidly related, accompanied by an unparalleled selection of photographs, most of which have never been published before.
Born in West London, Paul French first sought military adventure in the County of London Yeomanry and then 21 SAS (V). Here, Paul discovered a yearning for hard work and arduous duty. A subsequent defence contract took him to Abu Dhabi where he learnt of Rhodesia and its attractions. Holidaying in Rhodesia, Paul took the opportunity to join the Rhodesian Army, serving with the renowned Rhodesian SAS and Selous Scouts. In 1980, Paul moved to the South African Defence Force, joining its elite 6 Reconnaissance Commando. Upon leaving the SADF a career in private security followed. An accomplished skydiver, Paul has thousands of jumps to his credit, and still jumps today. Married to Petah, Paul has three children. He continues to work in the security industry and now lives in the South-west of England. Shadows of A Forgotten Past is his first book.