This was an event that boosted the morale in Rhodeisa (at least for the white population).
As the liberation war escalated the Rhodesians increasingly resorted to external raids, attacking targets in Mozambique, Angola and Zambia. Their view of these raids is reproduced in the fictionalised account of the Green Leader raid, Operation Zambezi. The Green Leader raid was not the most significant strategically, but it was the most heavily publicised, within Rhodesia and internationally. One of the factors provoking the Green Leader raid was the shooting down of a Rhodesian Viscount - Rhodesian reaction was recalled internally in "A Deafening Silence"
The raid began with an airstrike on the camps, after which helicopter gunships and ground troops would move in. After the first bombs fell came the Rhodesian’s propaganda masterstroke. Climbing away after the bomb run, the commander of the raid – Green Leader – contacted Lusaka control tower. The tape of their conversation was broadcast throughout the world; it provided an incredible boost to white morale, and is still talked about by white Rhodesians today.
“Lusaka Tower, this is Green Leader. This is a message for the station commander at Mumba from the Rhodesian Air Force. We are attacking the terrorist base at Westlands farm at this time. This attack is against Rhodesian dissidents and not against Zambia. Rhodesia has no quarrel, repeat, no quarrel, with Zambia or her security forces. We therefore ask you not to intervene or oppose our attack. However, we are orbiting your airfield at this time and are under orders to shoot down any Zambian Air Force aircraft which does not comply with this request and attempts to take off. Did you copy all that?” Lusaka tower replies that they have understood, and ask whether civil aircraft are still cleared to land.
Green Leader asks them to wait half an hour or so. The impression given is very much that the Rhodesians are totally in control of the situation. And when Lusaka tower was asked by the incoming Kenya airways jet who had priority, Lusaka tower simply replied "I think the Rhodesians do".
The tape and transcript describes the bomb run on the liberation forces camp, as well as the world famous Lusaka Tower message.
Warning ! coarse language and racial slurs I
If you want to hear the tape GO HERE!
If you want to read the complete transcript GO HERE!
Gravity always wins!