Here are a few photographs of a batch of Bedford RLs that David Freemantle is making for me.
These will suit my 28mm Eureka figures.
1959 was Federation days and the Rhodesian armoured cars were the original Selous Scouts in the Federation army.
According to Wikipedia, in 1959 it would have been the Southern Rhodesian Armoured Car Regiment (1948-1963)
This is the original Rhodesian Armoured Car Regiment (Selous Scouts) cap badge in Federation days. The unit was disbanded on the dissolution of the Federation and the armoured vehicles were shared between Northern and Southern Rhodesia.
Rhodesia Regiment 1959.
The Staghounds were also used for airport security by the RLI at UDI, 1965. They could well have been used by Royal Rhodesia Regt at that time! The Selous Scouts (Armoured Cars) used the Ferrets.
Royal Rhodesia Regiment pennant on the aerial and the NCO in the turret has a black stripe on red background which was also the way stripes were worn by the Royal Rhodesia Regiment
On the break up of Federation the Selous Scouts were disbanded and the Ferret scout cars were split between Northern and Southern Rhodesia. The remaining eight Staghounds were placed into storage in Salisbury pending being scrapped. The RLI Recce Troop were issued nine Ferret scout cars.
Just before UDI, on 9th November, the Recce Troop, by canibalising parts from some the other Staghounds managed to get five functioning, albeit barely. The Recce Troop with its Ferrets and the two Staghounds were sent to Kariba arriving on 10th November. Each of the two Staghounds were issued with six rounds of solid shot which came in boxes marked ‘Fort Worth Texas 1941’. Shortly after UDI one of the Staghounds fired one round at the Kariba Ranges which caused damage to the gun. It was the last round fired by a Staghound in Rhodesia.
On return to Salisbury Support Group RLI kept 5 Staghounds as an additional troop until early 1966 when they were returned to storage for scrapping.
The Staghound was phased out and scrapped in early 1966.
For this early period the war gamer could come up with a feasible scenario for the use of armored cars in support of troops in the early part of the bush war.
28mm Staghound made by Perry Miniatures.
Creating and Painting early BSAP, PATU, and RR figures
1 box of Perry Miniatures 28mm plastic 8th Army Figures.
Metal slouch hats.
For the BSAP figures I cut off back straps and some water bottles and 44 ammo pouches. I scraped off the gaiters leaving socks.
Thus the Perry figures 28mm plastic miniatures gave me early BSAP and PATU armed with 303s with shorts and I added miliput to create trousers. Trimmed off webbing where necessary.
I purchased soft hats and peaked cap heads from Gripping Beast WW1 range.
Note the tracker in slouch hat and trousers with 303. Slouch hat from the Perry Figures 28mm range.
Early PATU figures had 44 packs attached. The 44 packs were from the Perry Miniatures range. Trimmed metal slouch hats with modelling clippers and filed with fine file the top and edges to make it look like a bush hat.
Rhodesia Regiment figures.
Early Rhodesia Regiment (RR) figures with Bren guns were from the Perry 8th Army Plastic figures range. Added trousers with miliput. Cut and trimmed Perry Miniatures slouch hats to make bush hats. Added 44 packs from the Perry Miniatures range.
Cut and trimmed Bren guns to create different stances with the weapon.
Creating and Painting INTAF figures
1 box of Perry Miniatures 28mm plastic 8th Army Figures.
Metal slouch hats
Metal slouch hats with brim up.
I cut off back straps and some water bottles and 44 ammo pouches. Gaiters leaving socks.
Trimmed metal slouch hats with modelling clippers and filed with fine file the top and edges to make it look like a bush hat.
Thus the Perry figures 28mm plastic miniatures gave me INTAF with shorts and the NCOs with slouch hats.
Weapons used by INTAF were mainly Lee Enfield 303s of various marks. My figures have the Mk1. Only three or four of the 10-12 man unit manning a Keep would have FNs. In later years Bren guns would be issued and in the last years of the war 303 browning Machine Guns were issued. During the elections they also received MAGs but these were withdrawn after. At a late stage 2” mortars were issued and there is one of these in the box of figures.
I now have to order some 30 cal machine guns with tripods.
Socks, Khaki 26 Humbrol.
Shirts and shorts mix of 147 light grey and 94 brown yellow.
Skin Humbrol no 29 Dark Earth.
Bush Hats 94 Brown Yellow.
Slouch hat brim up, 94 yellow and a bit of 26 Khaki.
Rifle – Humbrol 9 gloss tan for wood and humbrol (met) 53 for metal parts.
Scarlet band on hats, scarlet 174.
Black spot on turned up brims and bush hats for INTAF badge.
Spray based and completed figures with black spray paint.
Base colour mix of humbrol 94 and humbrol 29 dark earth. Dry brush with humbrol matt 103.
A keep some were in an isolated area of Rhodesia is attacked one evening by 30 ‘Terrs’ with a 75mm RCL, 82mm mortar, and RPG7 plus small arms.
The Intaf unit of 10-12 men stand to their defensive positions and return extremely accurate fire.
I do not believe any Keeps were ever overrun by ZANLA or ZIPRA forces but then they were using hit and run tactics and more interested in surviving the encounter and looking forward to the 70 virgins in the next village.
Just completed the INTAF keep.
Using Mervin Medium PVA glue I stch fine sand and stones to the surface
Once plaster was dry on all parts I sprayed with black undercoat.
Then using acrylic paints Burnt Sienna, White, Yellow, and Burnt Umber.
Burnt Sienna, touch of yellow and white for the earth bank. In various layers from dark to light.
The path was painted with white, yellow and a touch of burnt umber.
Wood was a mixture of burnt umber and yellow.
The model will take 20mm or 28mm vehicles and figures.Next I will put in the inner wall plus a number of buildings, Rhodesian boiler, water tanks and toilet block.
Interesting to note that a Keep was attacked by Terrs with an 82mm mortar and a 75mm RCL, plus small arms. They were driven off. In later years the INTAF were issued with 303 browning MGs on tripods and Bren Guns. More to follow.
I thought I would have a go at a model of an INTAF keep.
Visiting my framer the other day, I found he had loads of off cuts of board which I could use for the project. Marvin medium PVA glue and a box of MOD ROCK in the garage convinced me to continue.
I cut lengths of twigs from various bushes in the garden and I had my palisade.
Once completed this would make another scenario for a group of 30 – 60 Terrs attacking an isolated keep in the Tribal Trust Lands. I do not believe any keeps were over run by Terrs during the whole period of the war and INTAF did an excellent job.
I have made the model so that it will suit 28mm or 20mm scale figures of INTAF. I have got three more corner bunkers and two walls to complete. Then I will start on the internal buildings and fittings.
Bush War Rhodesia
An extremely interesting book by Peter Baxter with some very interesting new information and photographs. Ideal for the war gamers wishing to find out more about this war.
The Rhodesian African Rifles.
Yes an old colonial regiment which served with pride in two world wars and in Malaya during the Emergency. It is an interesting fact that the RAR asked to form 8 battalions in 1966 which would have made a great difference to the conduct of the war and the economy of the country, as there would have not been the need to call up excessive numbers of Europeans. This would have curtailed the drain on man power as men left the country due to the call up. It was the Government and certain high ranking officers who did not trust having more African battalions.
The officers in the RAR wanted equal pay for serving African soldiers and wanted to start introducing African officers into the battalion. Yet again it was the Government and certain high ranking officers with no experience of the RAR who were against this.
An interesting fact is that Lt Col Kim Rule asked for his sword to be presented to the first African to be commissioned in the RAR. In 1977 his widow Mrs Rule presented his sword to Lt N.M. Tumbare.
It is a fact that the RAR has an enviable record in Fireforce operations and parachuting, which is recognized in the history of military parachuting and airborne operations.
The permanent Fireforces were drawn from the ranks of the white regular soldiers of the Rhodesian Light Infantry, who achieved the highest kill rate with relatively small loss to themselves, the black professional soldiers of the Rhodesian African Rifles who also achieved enviable results and, in 1978, the national servicemen of the independent companies. There were occasions when territorials and reservists provided men for Fireforce. (Counter Strike from the Sky, J.R.T. Wood, p117.)
Even though small packets of helicopters had been used to deploy the RLI and RAR and other units in COIN operations, 1974 was to see the first dedicated Fireforce manned by RLI. For a period I believe there were four standing Fireforces, two manned by the RLI, one by 1RAR and another manned by 2RAR, but in 1979 it expanded to 6 Fireforces and a number of Jumbo Fireforces (A Jumbo Fireforce comprised the air assets for two Fireforces), one of which was deployed manned by the whole of 1RAR in the Wankie area. In late 1979, in the south of Matabeleland, South African, Parabats under Rhodesian command, served clandestinely in the role, using South African aircraft.
On 21 October 1977, B Company (Chenjera, ‘Beware’) 1 RAR was proud to have the first para-trained troops in the regiment. (Masodja, Alex Binda, ).
In time every company in 1RAR and 2RAR would have enough paratroopers to provide each deploying company with paratroopers as they rotated Fireforce duties with ground coverage deployments. To this day the British Parachute Regiment knows of the achievements of the RAR in the history of military airborne operations.
By 1977 the amount of whites of call up age, were leaving in great numbers and thus denuding the Rhodesia Regiment of fresh recruits.
In 1977 the idea of mixing white territorial battalions of the Rhodesia Regiment with trained African soldiers of the RAR was formulated. This was very successful in the white national service independent companies. On passing out from depot, the Rhodesian Regiment, after basic training, white conscripts usually completed their 18 month service with an independent company of the Rhodesia Regiment: such as 1 (Indep) Company RR at Wankie, 2 (Indep) Company RR at Kariba, 3 (Indep) Company RR at Inyanga etc. These companies now became multiracial RAR independent companies with the white conscripts re-badged RAR and serving alongside the regular black soldiers of the RAR. By 1978, there were six such independent RAR companies. More were to follow including the RR territorial battalions receiving more RAR badged AS.
Even though the RAR is only credited with two large external operations into Zambia against ZIPRA bases at Kavalmanja and Kabanga Mission the two battalions did carry out a continuous series of smaller external missions by companies and smaller units on foot, which are recorded in the books Masodja and The War Diaries of Andre Dennison. One must remember that air assets tended to be hogged by 1SAS, RLI and to some extent the Selous Scouts. One external operation not recorded at the end of the war, practically the whole of 1RAR actually marched into Zambia to take out a ZIPRA battalion base camp. The cease fire came into being so 1RAR had to be withdrawn by helicopter.
It should be also remembered that there were a very large number of ex RAR men European and mainly Africans serving in the Selous Scouts , and probably provided more men than any other regiment in the Rhodesian Army.
RAR loyalty and recruitment.
As far is recruiting, the RAR was over whelmed with Africans wishing to join the battalion and even right up to the end of the war. On a normal recruiting day were only 150 – 200 recruits were needed for each new intake and even in 1979 as RAR geared up to expand to 8 battalions, at least 600 candidates would turn up for selection. There was never any need to conscript Africans for the Rhodesian Army.
There was never an incident of disloyalty within the ranks of the RAR and the RAR can be justifiably proud of this record.