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Publisher's Summary

It is difficult to find another soldier's story to equal Captain Darrell Watt's in terms of time spent on the field of battle and challenges faced. Even by the lofty standards of the SAS and Special Forces, one has to look far to find anyone who can match his record of resilience and valor in the face of such daunting odds and with resources so paltry.

In the fight, he showed himself to be a military maestro. A bush-lore genius, blessed with uncanny instincts and an unbridled determination to close with the enemy, he had no peers as a combat-tracker (and there was plenty of competition). But the Rhodesian theater was a fluid and volatile one in which he performed in almost every imaginable fighting role.

After 12 years in the cauldron of war, his cause slipped from beneath him, and Rhodesia gave way to Zimbabwe. When the guns went quiet, Watt had won all his battles but lost the war. In this fascinating biography, we learn that in his twilight years, he is now concerned with saving wildlife on a continent where they are in continued danger and devoting himself to both the fauna and African people he cares so deeply about.

©2015 Hannes Wessels (P)2017 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    91
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    23
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    18
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    5
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Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    61
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    28
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    24
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    10
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Story- Title says it all... Hard Men

What a story! The book is not for the lighthearted. Tells the story from the perspective of the Rhodesian SAS, which some may find objectionable philosophically, and in deed. However, it also reveals the other side of the events-- the complicity of neighbors, the role of South Africa, Cuba, the Soviet Union and the UK/US/UN. Like the sinking of the Titanic we know the ending, but with a continuing vengeful twist not envisioned by the world players.

As the book progressed I grew accustomed to the narrator's slow reading and lack of inflection.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Rhodesian's never die!

I grew up in Rhodesia during the war and stayed Zimbabwe a few years after. My dad was in the military during that period and I remember when was he was call up and the tension it brought. There were many unsung heroes who in different circumstances would have got the recognition they deserve. The betrayal and duplicity of Britain and the "globalist" west rings out loud and now is coming to rest on their doorstep. I salute the SAS, RLI and Scouts who took the fight to enemy and never wavered in our fight.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Handful of Great Stories

This was an excellent conglomeration of stories from the Rhodesian SAS. Narration, not so lively.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional story telling

Loved the book. It goes into very good detail which keeps you hooked. Sad story about how a country was sold out by the Brits, shame on Thatcher, kerrington and the rest of the vile Brits.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A story more people need to hear....

Outstanding narrative and very clear narrator. A compelling story from a perspective I was not fully aware of. Must read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspirational story of what can be achieved by individuals and small teams against the odds.

I would have preferred a less posturing performance however the story was astounding. Bravery, discipline, resilience and true love of country which does not necessitate hate of others. A story for us, our children and for all country leaders.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Don't be deterred by the readers voice - a great book.

An incredible account of a less known conflict, however they couldn't have picked a less enthusiastic bloke with worse pronunciation to read it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

BUTCHERING THE LANGUAGE

This is a great, gritty story of the best and worst of what was Rhodesia, the bush, the people and the war. It would have been a fantastic experience, were it not for the failure of Audible to even try to get the pronunciation right. Surely the author could have been consulted? Spoiled it for me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Always good to get the bleak

Unsanitized story from the boys with boots on the ground rather than the white washed PC propaganda of those with an agenda. As a Special Forces Operator who lived the era and always suspected a beleaguered few were taking on not only terrorists but real politic backstabbing Politicians and worse, the self-anointed pious from the lMarxist left, I can not recommend this illuminating book enough.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Horribel narration

Interesting book, but the narration is just horribel, at times it sounds like a computer generated voice.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ashlie
  • 02-20-18

Total rubbish don't waste your money!!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

I can't imagine anyone would find this interesting.

What was most disappointing about Hannes Wessels’s story?

The Narration was shocking, my 8 year old could read better. This will send you to sleep.

What didn’t you like about Jack Chekijian’s performance?

It was rubbish, he should never work again. this might have been a good story but he killed it.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment, it is becoming a lottery if I waste my credit or not. seriously considering stopping my Audible.

Any additional comments?

I'd like my credit back. Listen to it and you will know why.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-18-18

I rarely write reviews but the narration is so bad

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If Jack Chekijian appeared to at least enjoy reading the story to an expectant audience this book may well have had a chance. I may purchase the Kindle version to see.

What was most disappointing about Hannes Wessels’s story?

I could not get into the story due to the lack of drama in the voice of Jack Chekijian.

What didn’t you like about Jack Chekijian’s performance?

Really sorry to be negative - everything

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It may well have done if I could get past Jack Chekijian’s performance. I will try the kindle version and see.

Any additional comments?

No

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-16-17

Excellent insight

Excellent insight into a fascinating bit of history and some very brave and professional soldiers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Martin Wilson
  • 09-13-17

Africa the political playground for the West

Great story, a fight for a cause a struggle of insurmountable odds, the destruction of society for the sake of Western domestic favour - a band of brothers fighting on their soil for the sake of their homes and way of life victorious on the battlefield defeated by politicians

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kirth Ferris
  • 01-29-18

Would put you to sleep

The narrators
Voice is so boring, I could not even finish this book. Do not listen to whilst driving or operating heavy machinery.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • andrew barlow
  • 12-11-17

great listening

this is a fabulous story let down by some really lame pronunciations, still recommend it as a must listen

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-16-18

hard men indeed.

A great insight into the Rhodesian war, the battles and ultimate betrayal of a once beautiful country and its people.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cameron Mcneillie
  • 05-12-18

Great story - poorly narrated

I can’t even get past chapter 5!! I lived through this time as a child and was interested to hear this book but sadly the narration was so poor I couldn’t continue.
A number of words are lost as the narrator is unable to pronounce a number of words correctly this los MH the overall sense of where this story takes place.

A real shame of a great story poorly narrated

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Jones
  • 05-11-18

Great book, poor narrator.

The story is fantastic and extremely educational if you don't know much about Rhodesia and the SAS as I didn't. However, this being the audio version the narrator is highly important and unfortunately let's this book down. The narrative is excellent but the narrator has managed to turn a spectacular story into something quite boring to listen to. That and his inability to pronounce certain words makes it's quite difficult to continue to listen.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • T M Cheung
  • 05-04-18

Narrator style doesn't fit the story

A very nice book about some pretty hardcore soldiers doing what they had to do to defend their own country. It would hv been better if the book was spoken by someone with a more Afrikan accent. The narrator posh accent and slow way of reading doesn't fit this kind of book. The story told is about men who eat current SF soldiers for breakfast, not a love novel

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brodie Keating
  • 01-14-18

Excellent story, average performance

Whilst I found the story an amazing account of bravery and sacrifice, the performance is slow. If you buy this audio book you can overcome this by placing it on 1.25 speed. It will then become bearable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Clive Roberts
  • 11-27-17

finally a story captured so eloquently.

a narrative through the Rhodesian war period well documented. Captured through the journey by a true War hero.
just a shame the publishers couldn't get a narrator who could pronounce the names and places correctly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-31-18

Eye opening

Amazing book. Amazing story about amazing men beating unbeatable odds in a tough battle in a wild land.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-23-18

Sad but true

A frustratingly accurate recollection. Wouldn't recommend it for those on the diaspora - no doubt it will stir up some raw emotion. the narrator butchered the names of both people and places.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matt
  • 04-17-18

Good Book - Horrible Narrator

Any additional comments?

Good book, although the narrator sounds like someone got Microsoft Sam and thought it would sound good slowed right down, whilst trying to make it sound somewhat suspenseful.. almost cringe worthy.
Needs to be played on at least 1.10 speed..

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-18

Rhodesia. paradise lost.

how the Democratic world caused democracy to die in a country of brave defiant people

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-21-18

Many memories

Great story, pretty accurate in terms of facts. My only criticism is why on earth was a ex Rhodesian or South African not used to narrate. The story loses some of the ambiance with the poor pronunciation of soldiers names, place names etc.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • 02-21-18

A must read for anyone interested in Rhodesia

I really enjoyed this book the history the culture the military stories I truly excellent book for anyone interested military history and Rhodesia.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • RietzF
  • 01-29-18

Terrible performance

Couldn’t tell if I was listening to a true story or an overly performed fan fiction.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Keagan
  • 01-11-18

Amazing and sad story of my home.

I wish they had gotten a Rhodesian /Zimbabwean to read this. Mispronunciation was distracting seeing as I know how it should have been. Having said that, if you don't know any better then the narrator was pretty good.