Murder in the Zambezi by Ian Pringle

The crashes of Air Rhodesia Flight RH825 and Air Rhodesia Flight RH827 were two of the deadliest aviation incidents in the history of Zimbabwe—and they weren’t accidents. In this in-depth exploration of a little-known piece of southern African history, Ian Pringle tells a true story of terrorism, sabotage, and survival.

Pringle, who lived in Rhodesia at the time of the crashes, collected interviews from survivors, witnesses, pilots, ground staff, accident investigators, family members, and experts. These testimonies reveal stories of heroism and courage in the wake of a major tragedy.

Air Rhodesia Flight RH825 was the first airliner ever to be shot down by Russian surface-to-air guided missile. The surviving passengers tell the story of the crash and its horrific aftermath. Five months later, Air Rhodesia Flight RH827 was downed in the same way. This time, there were no survivors.

In addition to presenting vivid first-person testimonies, Pringle examines how the attacks—and the ensuing collective rage of the Rhodesian people at those responsible—contributed to the instability of the country. He shows how these tragedies indirectly led to the rise of Robert Mugabe and laid the groundwork for a very different future for the African nation.

Available on Amazon

“A brilliantly narrated account of two tragedies”

Five Star Review on Amazon by D. Austin

Really appreciated reading this. I won’t use the word ‘enjoyed’ as it’s probably an inappropriate articulation given the events. Just one point for the author; Robert Muldoon was the New Zealand prime minister at the time (not Brian). Highly recommended for anyone interested in the Rhodesian war and contemporary African history.

About the Author

Ian Pringle lived and worked in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) as an industrial chemist. He was later drafted into the Police Reserve Air Wing as a pilot during the Rhodesian Bush War and was involved in numerous hostile contacts.

Pringle received his MBA in the United Kingdom and spent his career working for Castrol International and BP, mostly in Asia and Europe. He has always had a passion for being in the air, and obtained a commercial pilot license to fly helicopters and ex-military fast jets, and he has completed over 1 500 free-fall parachute jumps.

In 2004, after he retired to Cape Town, South Africa, Pringle (and his two Cold War jets) teamed up with the aircraft company Thunder City. Now, he flies Hawker Hunters, Buccaneers and other aerobatic aircraft.

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