BSAP (British South African Police)


Eureka miniatures of Australia have produced a set of British Army in Aden figures in 28mm scale which actually would do for certain uniforms of the BSAP from the early part of the war until the very end.

I may be wrong but I believe this was riot and patrol uniform worn by all units depending on the situation. Police Reserve and the A and B Reserve also wore this uniform of Dark Blue floppy hat, Dark blue trousers tucked into boots and grey shirt. Early part of the war they would have at least one old style British 56 pattern ammunition pouch on the hip. These lovely figures have two pouches and a water bottle. You could cut some off.

Peaked caps would also be worn with this type uniform.

Weapons such as shot guns, pump action shot guns, 303s, SLRs and later FNs were used by these units.

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9 thoughts on “BSAP (British South African Police)

  1. yankeepapausmc

    Correct name is “British South Africa Police” not “African” Going through BSAP training, if you made that mistake they would jump all over you…

    I see this mistake made all the time… sometimes including by otherwise fine historians…

    -Yankee Papa-

    • Hi Yankee Papa Think I made a normal mistake having not served in the BSAP. Well spotted! If you have any details on BSAP formations and sizes of sections etc we would all be interested. My brother in law served in the NRR, BSAP (70s), RR, RIC. His father served in the BSAP (40s,50s and 60s). My sister served in the BSAP (70s). My father served in the Police Specials. I served in 1 RAR. My other brother in law served in 1 RAR and was the last CO of the RLI. All the best.

      • yankeepapausmc

        I served in the BSAP in the mid 1970s prior to the time that I was later taken for other duties by a different branch of the government.

        I have some images and information that I’d be glad to share. I am at… Please do not give out this address as I value my privacy. Thank you…

        -Yankee Papa-

  2. James Fitchett

    Hello there,
    Although I have been following this blog for sometime I have never posted or commented before.
    My query is on the BSAP Police Support Unit. Searching on line and reading what Rhodesian related books I have I have not been able to find out very much about this unit except that they were respected professional troops.
    Can anyone tell me more about this unit?
    In particular I would like to know:
    How was it organised at unit and sub unit level? Companies, platoons, sticks?
    Was it segregated (for want of a better term, apologies) like the RAR, RLI and SAS or multi racial like most of the Security Forces? If it was mixed what, rough, proportions made up the unit?
    Was it made up of entirely of career regulars or did it include reservists like the PATU?
    Finally, what missions did it undertake? Area security, long range patrols, fireforce deployments etc?
    Thank you in anticipation,
    James Fitchett

    • Hi James many thanks for the questions and I will try to answer them, not having served in Support Unit (The Black Boots). I have found some very good references in the BSAP publication ‘The Blue and the Gold’. by Peter Gibbs, Hugh Phillips, and Nick Russell. I will try and extract from that and find more info for you. I know a man who might know! The Black Boots were a multi racial unit as was the BSAP. The Rhodesian forces were at least 85% African if not more and they served with pride and loyalty.

    • James I would say all Support Unit African constables were volunteers and regulars. It was only in 1979 I believe the conscription was brought in for Africans. There was no need for it really as there was a glut of volunteers. Good men and good troops.

      • James Fitchett

        Thank you for the information folks, all gratefully received.
        Does anyone have any info on specific combat operations by the PSU?

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