Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $41.73

After 2 months, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

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 listeners say about A Handful of Hard Men

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    95
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    59
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    11
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    101
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

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

The worst ever!

This has been without doubt one of the worst audio books I have listened to. The narrator was so far away from the story it was almost impossible to relate to the narrative.

3 people found this helpful

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

True Legends

brilliant portrayal of unsung hero. brings new insights into both the military and political history and events of that time. An emotional read.

3 people found this helpful

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

Pronounciation aweful.

The pronounciation of many of the names and places was incorrect and aweful.
Otherwise the rest of the reading was really clear and great.

1 person found this helpful

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

Great book. Terribly read

Sorry, but a bit of research on pronounciation of the basic words from Southern Africa, like veld, kopjie and many others would have reduced the irritation I felt while listening to,what was, an rather excellent book in content.

1 person found this helpful

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

Hard men indeed

An eye opening account for the battle of Rhodesia. Narrator could do some research into pronunciations though

1 person found this helpful

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

horrible audio

I'm sure it could be an amazing book but the narration is unbearable. waste of money.

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

Great story - really poor narrator

An awesome story but sadly ruined by a really poor narrator who is completely not suited to this book.


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

Great story on very brave and professional men

Great story on the history of Rhodesia and the brave men who defended it. A pity the narrator could not do justice to pronouncing words correctly as it causes the story to loose character. Overall great book.

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

Bush war vs politics minus the WOKE

I lived through this period in Rhodesia and thoroughly enjoyed this perspective on the war effort and the underlying politics. Impossible to compare these combatants and the international vilification they endured to the modern day behaviour of their counterparts in regiments like the Australian SASR.

Bit disappointed in the narration. Not any fault of the American narrator but much colloquialism lost due to pronunciation which only a local could have got right.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for rowca
  • rowca
  • 05-10-2017

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.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for DAVIS J BEAM III
  • DAVIS J BEAM III
  • 21-07-2018

The audiobook that I have read twice

This is the only audiobook that I have bought that I listened to and finished and then turned around and listened to again right afterwards, and I have listened to many audiobooks. The narrator was great and didn’t talk to fast. I really enjoyed the part about Luke in Mozambique. It is really a shame that there are no other audiobooks about the Rhodesian Bush War available because it was about the only “just war” that a country in the Anglosphere has fought since WW2, and it was sabotaged by the elites of London and DC . RHODESIANS NEVER DIE!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-08-2017

A Handful of Great Stories

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

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cubichefrommiami
  • Cubichefrommiami
  • 15-12-2017

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Loci
  • Loci
  • 28-01-2018

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Afrikaner
  • Afrikaner
  • 07-11-2018

Thank you Hannes Wessels

This is a most remarkable tale of such casual heroism that very few people know about.

Its a tragic precursor of outcomes whenever the globalist agenda runs its course.

I wish I had read this book 30 years ago.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-2017

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hyatt
  • Hyatt
  • 22-10-2017

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!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Debbie
  • Debbie
  • 11-02-2018

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • 01-04-2021

Great story and narration

I don’t understand the complaints about the narration, I thought it was perfect. His dry, gritty tone sets the perfect mood for a story about tough men fighting a tough war. I wish Wessel’s follow up book had used the same guy, and hope the third book will return to him.
The book itself is fantastic. It’s personal enough to make feel involved, but broad enough that you get to see the big picture as well. If you want action, this is your book. It is an inspiring story of heroism, determination, and bravery, and a tragic tale of betrayal and loss. I cannot recommend it enough.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Derek A. de la Harpe
  • Derek A. de la Harpe
  • 19-06-2018

Great story, awful narration

I have listened to nearly 50 Audible titles over the last year and this is easily the worst narration I have heard. Hearing the story told in an American accent would be jarring in any circumstances but in this instance is made much worse by the narrator mangling and mispronouncing so many terms and names. If I wasn't so interested in the story, I would abandon listening. What a shame.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cameron Mcneillie
  • Cameron Mcneillie
  • 12-05-2018

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

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for DANCER and ROMANCER
  • DANCER and ROMANCER
  • 18-06-2018

worst narrator

first chapter and i am struggling with the narrator. by far the worst i have heard. i would prefer to listen to my 8 year old read this and it take 10 days rather than listen to this fella read a book again.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris
  • Chris
  • 20-02-2018

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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for T M Cheung
  • T M Cheung
  • 04-05-2018

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

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Warren Matthews
  • Warren Matthews
  • 18-02-2018

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

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Antony G Saunders
  • Antony G Saunders
  • 07-03-2019

Probably the best small army in history

A great but ultimately sad story of a valiant nation up against the 'real politic' of the late 70s and early 80s. Political but not military defeat condemned a nation to 30 years and counting of repression and poverty. We should hang our heads in shame and respect those who fought so hard for their country.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael Jones
  • Michael Jones
  • 11-05-2018

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kirth Ferris
  • Kirth Ferris
  • 29-01-2018

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.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-12-2018

A handful of hard men

An story of bravery and courage. But a sad reflection on a cowardly British government.

1 person found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.