Africa's Commandos

The Rhodesian Light Infantry from Border Control to Airborne Strike Force

Mark Adams, Chris Cocks

Few, if any,
regiments have left their mark on the
history of modern warfare as did the
Rhodesian Light Infantry. The RLI first
evolved into a commando unit then
became involved in mundane bordercontrol
duties in the Zambezi Valley.
Later as the bush war intensified the
RLI was to evolve into a ruthlessly efficient
'killing machine.' This book chro
Date Published :
July 2013
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Illustration :
16 color pages, 600 photos, maps
No associated books available.

Overview
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The RLI … killing machine extraordinaire

Few, if any, regiments have left their mark on the history of modern warfare as did the Rhodesian Light Infantry. Raised on 1 February 1961 the RLI first evolved into a commando unit then became involved in mundane border-control duties in the Zambezi Valley. Later as the bush war intensified the RLI was to evolve into a ruthlessly efficient 'killing machine'. This book chronicles the military evolution of the RLI from the peacetime soldiering days through to the constant high-intensity combat of the final years. Initially comprising volunteers from South Africa and Britain the RLI was always under strength until 1976 when the percentage of national servicemen serving in the RLI was dramatically increased to meet ever-increasing operational demands. The historical record will show how these young men, led and commanded by an outstanding combination of tough and battle-hardened non-commissioned officers and a skilled and aggressive officer corps, inflicted massive damage on the ZANLA and ZIPRA insurgent forces. The ruthless efficiency of the joint Air Force and RLI Fireforce operations where the RLI was deployed by helicopter and later also by parachute was to account for the deaths of in excess of 12,000 insurgents during the course of the war at a rate of 160 enemy killed for every one of their own lost: a truly remarkable record. Throughout the war the RLI never ceased to learn, adapt and evolve militarily and as such provides many important lessons for students of modern warfare in how a small military structure making the maximum and creative use of the limited resources available can achieve so much with so little. Disbanded after the political settlement on 31 October 1980 the RLI marched into history. Gone but never to be forgotten, this is the story of "the incredible RLI".

About The Author
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Chris Cocks is the author of Fireforce (now in its fourth edition, with sales exceeding 30,000 copies); Out of Action, a novel, Cyclone Blues; The Cheetah: 50th Anniversary Magazine of the RLI, and is co-author of The Saints: The Rhodesian Light Infantry and Africa’s Commandos.

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