Rhodesia Declaration of Independence 11/11/1965: Britain’s Plan To Deceive & Invade An Ally

Did The British Ever Intend Peaceful Settlement? By Sally-Ann Lowe drawing on the works of Hannes Wessels’ book “P K Van Der Byl: African Statesman“. 

The Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) was a statement adopted by the Cabinet of Rhodesia on 11 November 1965, announcing that Rhodesia, a British territory in southern Africa that had governed itself since 1923, now regarded itself as an independent sovereign state. The culmination of a protracted dispute between the British and Rhodesian governments regarding the terms under which the latter could become fully independent, it was the first unilateral break from the United Kingdom by one of its colonies since the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. The UK, the Commonwealth and the United Nations all deemed Rhodesia’s UDI illegal, and economic sanctions, the first in the UN’s history, were imposed on the breakaway colony. Amid near-complete international isolation, Rhodesia continued as an unrecognised state with the assistance of South Africa and Portugal.

Wikipedia

British Negotiation By Deception In The Lead Up To UDI

After calling an early election in seeking support for a Universal Declaration of Independence from British interference, Rhodesian Prime Minister, Ian Smith – an ex-WWII volunteer pilot for the British, summed up the simple dilemma facing Rhodesia’s civilization and responsible governance: “Do we remain Rhodesia by uniting and standing firm to save our country? Or do we become Zimbabwe and go the way of other countries to the north of us?”

British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, later revealed as a Soviet agent, had placed 5 near-impossible preconditions tabled by London “before independence could be contemplated.” Smith reasoned that the unsophisticated black population needed easing into governance and relentlessly argued the Rhodesians had been governing themselves since 1923 and had throughout been self-funded. Why should they suddenly defer to Westminster?

British PM Harold Wilson in the Soviet Union 1968. After WWII Britain denied half of Europe a vote. Without their consent, or Britain’s right to, the entirety of eastern Europe was handed over to the Communist Soviet regime. A regime responsible for the slaughter of 60 million souls in Europe and Russia alone since 1918.

Wilson made it abundantly clear that transfer to black rule was the only objective, warning grimly that the military option was available to him. 40 Labour MPs called for the immediate use of force if the Rhodesian government declared UDI. At negotiations with Wilson visiting Rhodesia, Smith made it clear to Wilson that one group, the British, were playing with their ‘political lives’, while the other group, the Rhodesians, were playing with ‘their lives’

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsay, in pious fashion, demanded the RAF bomb Rhodesia’s capital city, Salisbury, immediately. Responding to this saintly demand to bomb civilians both black and white, Rhodesian then Deputy Minister of Information P K van der Byl:

“Certainly none of us in Rhodesia who 20 years ago fought with Britain against the common foe could ever have foreseen a time when the Primate of All England would publicly support the dispatch of our former comrades in arms to shoot down their own kith and kin.”

Being selective in meeting with black individuals, Wilson rejected with contempt the relevance of the representative status of the current black rulers, the traditional Chiefs – who were moderates that supported the west and the inclusion of whites in any future governance – and favoured instead the anti-western self-proclaimed, self-appointed communist backed nationalist leaders.

At a previous meeting with the Chiefs on a fact finding visit by Commonwealth Secretary Arthur Bottomley, the Chiefs confirmed to him that they were the real leaders of the African peoples, fully approved the 1961 Constitution, and told him that he must reject the unelected radical nationalists who were demanding immediate power. Referring to a meeting by Bottomley with white farmers, one summed it up as talking to a brick wall.

In true Clown World fashion, Bottomley questioned the patriotism of Rhodesian Cabinet Ministers to which then Deputy Minister of Information P K van der Byl’s father, South African politician Major Piet van der Byl, replied via the Cape Argus press:

“What right had this man Bottomley to question the patriotism of the Rhodesian Cabinet Ministers? While many of them were fighting for the Commonwealth he was sitting in the House of Commons on the first two syllables of his name.”

As if to ensure rejection by the Rhodesians of the proposals for a peaceful outcome Wilson then changed the ‘rules’ to insist any eventual agreement required not only total black support but now also ratification by the majority of the British Labour Party. (The Labour Party are Fabian Socialists who’s agenda is global communism by stealth). Wilson then changed course again on returning to Westminster with the added condition that even if the majority of Rhodesians, black and white, supported the settlement, he reserved the right to determine what would finally apply ie Soviet communist agent Wilson demanded total personal dictatorial power.

Forced Hand, Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) Made

These irrational irresponsible demands, by Wilson, were the final straw and on 11th November, 1965, UDI was declared. On 19th December the UN Security Council voted unanimously for harsh and comprehensive sanctions while hysterical members of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – many amongst them corrupt, failed states, one party dictators and mass murderers of their own people –  threatened London that if the rebellion was not crushed immediately they would sever diplomatic relations.

It has since come to light, under the British 30-year rule releasing previously confidential state documentation to the public, that the British establishment had already prepared a full on military onslaught against tiny little Rhodesia, using:

  • No. 51 (Rifle) Squadron of the RAF,
  • 16 Javelin fighters with L/70 40mm Bofors guns and Tigercat missiles,
  • A company group of the 1st Battalion,
  • Gloucestershire Regiment,
  • Ferret scout cars,
  • 3rd Division (army’s Strategic Reserve),
  • 16th Parachute Brigade, 5th and 19th Airportable Infantry Brigades,
  • Parachute Battalion Group from Bahrain,
  • Royal Navy aircraft carriers HMS Eagle and Centaur with Buccaneer strike aircraft and Sea Vixen fighters, Scimitar aircraft, HMS Bulwark and Albion, Royal Marine Commando, Wessex helicopter squadron – total 28 aircraft – RAF Argosy and Beverley,
  • Saladin armoured cars, RAF VC-10, Belfast, Comet and Britannia aircraft, civil Britannia and Boeing 707 aircraft from BOAC and British Caledonia Airways,
  • American 32 x C-130 USAF Hercules, 8 Globemasters and 8 military versions of the 707, (Meanwhile young American men were dying fighting communists in Vietnam!)
  • Royal Canadian Air Force,
  • RAF Victor bombers of Nos. 100 and 139 Squadrons each with 4 aircraft with 35 x 1,000 pounder bombs, troops of 22 SAS Regiment,
  • Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment and more.

Invasion planning was well advanced but the large scaled maps of Rhodesia with altered names failed to fool the officers and men, many of whom were appalled at the intention to attack their own ‘kith and kin’ in Rhodesia. The arrival of Major General Tony Deane-Drummond brought this invasion plan to a halt by confronting the Labour Prime Minister and Minister of Defence.

War hero, Major General Anthony John Deane-Drummond CB, DSO, MC & Bar (23 June 1917 – 4 December 2012) was an officer of the Royal Signals in the British Army, whose career was mostly spent with airborne forces.

Mukui Waruiru On The Subject Of Rhodesian UDI

Ian Douglas Smith, the former Prime Minister of Rhodesia, can be rightly regarded as Africa’s first classical liberal revolutionary. In 1965, he led a revolution for freedom, when he initiated the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) of Rhodesia from Britain.The UDI was intended to preserve Christianity, freedom, and civilization. For that courageous action, Smith became one of the most vilified men in history, and his country was subjected to comprehensive United Nations economic sanctions in 1966.

He was falsely labelled as a racist and white supremacist. But, unlike the architects of apartheid in neighbouring South Africa, he has never supported claims that blacks are inherently inferior. However, like Buckley, Smith recognized that the low levels of education and cultural development of most of the blacks made the establishment of a successful pure democracy a difficult undertaking.

SOURCE: Hannes Wessels an exceptional researcher and writer on African affairs in “P K Van Der Byl: African Statesman“. Also by Hannes Wessels is “A Handful of Hard Men: The Battle for Rhodesia

Fast Forward To The Year 2007: It Is 42 Years After UDI And 27 Years Of Black Majority Rule:

The Zimbabwean news, 3rd Dec 2007 by Mukui Waruiru, Kenya.

EDITOR – I have come to believe that the only way justice can be done for the people of Zimbabwe is through the efforts of private individuals and organisations. That is how Charles Taylor, the former dictator of Liberia, ended up before the International Criminal Court at the Hague. 

African and Western governments have failed the people of Zimbabwe. I have had conversations with government representatives from the US, the EU, Australia and Africa, and they are totally useless. The EU has refused to enforce the travel ban that it imposed on Mugabe and his cronies. Mugabe has been invited to the EU-Africa summit to be held in Lisbon, Portugal on December 8. Yet, Mugabe murdered 20,000 Matabele, which means that he has killed more people than Osama Bin Laden. No-one seems to care for the victims.

I decided to take the initiative. I have been travelling to different venues in East Africa at my expense, explaining the damage that Mugabe is doing to all the people of Africa. The damage that Mugabe has done to Africa’s image around the world has cost our continent billions in potential investment. 

If you know of any audience that may be interested in this issue, I am willing to address them. I am ready to pay my own travel and accommodation expenses. Someone has to do something to end the madness in Zimbabwe.

11/11/65 Prime Minister Ian Smith signs Rhodesias Unilateral Declaration of Independence UDI document. At the time of signing black and white Rhodesians mutually enjoyed possibly the highest standard of living in Africa. Continual development of new and vast infrastructure resulted in attracting more blacks to the area and reducing mortality rates. Today at least half have left Zimbabwe to search for work and a third are dependent on international food aid. There is no medicine, extremely limited access to electricity and clean water supplies for the majority. Mortality rates have soared, life expectancy halved and misery levels multiplied exponentially.


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  1. April 20, 2020

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