Rhodesian Bush War – ‘What if’ 1981 and on.


I have decided to paint up a series of figures as late Rhodesian Bush War troops in a ‘What if’ scenario if the war had gone on after 1980.

If the RBW had gone on it would have seen large bodies of Rhodesian troops with armour entering Zambia and Mozambique to seek out terrorist bases and destroying them. The Soviets and Chinese were arming these terrorists with huge amounts of arms. FRELIMO in Mozambique were effectively fighting with ZANLA.

What would have been seen was large battle groups entering these countries especially Mozambique as it was easier to enter that country as the Zambexzi was quite a difficult a obstacle to cross although there was the odd site which could be used.

One can imagine Rhodesian Armoured Car Regiment T54s with MVCPs of their Mechanised Infantry attached with RhSAS and RLI troops taking part in large operations to clear Brigade targets such as Mapai.

In my scenario the RAR has formed with Eland 90 armoured cars, T54s plus Rhodesian Artillery attached with a Jumbo sized Fire Force supporting it during operations. Troops would be dressed for Classic or Conventional warfare. In 1980 1RAR formed a battle group to take on ZIPRA and obliterated the 1st ZIPRA Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

I bought the Elheim Figures 20mm of NATO troops and varients which can double for Rhodesian troops in helmets with scrim. I have changed the figures with Carl Gustavs and replaced them with RPG7. Also those figures with Sterling Sub Machine Guns I have replaced with FNs.

By the end of the war RAR patrols of 8 men were deploying with and RPG7 and 60mm commando mortar plus two MAG. I have transfered this to an RAR platoon thus giving these platoons a lot of fire power. The RAR had lagre stocks of MAGs, captured RPG7s and an abundance of 60mm commando mortars.

Next I must get S&S Models to produce the MAP 4.5 TCV, MAP 7.5 TCV and of course the MPCV to work with the tanks. Many of these vehicles were then used in operations by the ZNA in Mozambique and the Congo as well UN Peace Keeping duties in Somalia etc.

This will be an on going project.


4 thoughts on “Rhodesian Bush War – ‘What if’ 1981 and on.

  1. Great idea for a project. I like the idea of a last ditch massive effort to end the war. Making the move to large scale conventional warfare allows for a different sort of game with the same figures.

    Still an RAR platoon would be very powerful with that amount of firepower per section.



    • Hi Pete by the end of the war RAR Fire Force sticks had anything up to 2 MAGs per stick with the some Pl Commanders stick having 3 MAGs. Patrols of 8 men would have an RPG7 and a 60mm commando mortar, plus 2 MAGs, with anything up to 4 sections like this. There was a lot of captured kit. I suppose we tended to drop a certain amount of this kit as we had Sp Coy and armoured cars, artillery, etc in support during the Entumbane operations. For the Gwaai Mine op 1RAR got T54 tanks in support. But saying that the small numbers of armoured vehicles probably meant in an external (‘What if’) we would have held on to more of that kit in a large external operation. Anyway it would be interesting to imagine how it would have gone. So I think you could up scale your MAGs, RPG7s and 60mm Commando mortars in any platoon. We had loads of MAGs and captured kit in those days.

      At Entumbane we always had x4 81mm mortar tubes attached to A Company.

    • Hi Pat G will try and get on with this and develop the idea. Should be interesting. What if the Rhodesians then bought spare Centurians/Oliphant 1s off the South Africans. All good stuff. Rhodesian aircrew and groundcrews were training up on a mirage squadron at the end of the war . Mirage IIIc in Rhodesian camouflage, Interesting? Will try and find out more detail. We could even have Rhodesia or should I say Zimbabwe-Rhodesian Defence Forces using Ratels. They were to expensive, but what if! Lol!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s