Author(s): Nick van der Bijl
In The Mau Mau Rebellion, the author describes the background to and the course of a short but brutal late colonial campaign in Kenya. The Mau Mau, a violent and secretive Kikuyu society, aimed to restore the proud tribe's pre-colonial superiority and rule. The 1940s saw initial targeting of Africans working for the colonial government and by 1952 the situation had deteriorated so badly that a State of Emergency was declared. The plan for mass arrests leaked and many leaders and supporters escaped to the bush where the gangs formed a military structure. Brutal attacks on both whites and loyal natives caused morale problems and local police and military were overwhelmed. Reinforcements were called in, and harsh measures including mass deportation, protected camps, fines, confiscation of property and extreme intelligence gathering employed were employed. War crimes were committed by both sides. As this well researched book demonstrates the campaign was ultimately successful militarily, politically the dye was cast and paradoxically colonial rule gave way to independence in 1956.
Nick van der Bijl BEM spent 25 years, most in the Intelligence Corps between 1970 and 1989. Since retiring from the Army, he has pursued a career in security management in the defence industry, courier sector and the NHS. He is a Trustee of the Military Intelligence Museum. He has numerous published works in print with Pen and Sword Books including Nine Battles to Stanley, Victory in the Falklands, Confrontation, Operation BANNER and Sharing the Secret, A History of the Intelligence Corps. He lives in Somerset.