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I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on yebomimi@gmail.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

THE RAR IN RHODESIA


The Rhodesian African Rifles, or RAR, was the oldest regiment in the Rhodesian ArmyRhodesian Army
The Rhodesian Army was part of the Security Forces of Rhodesia....
, dating from the formation of the 1st Rhodesian Native Regiment in 1916 during the First World WarWorld War I
World War I, or the First World War , was a global military conflict which involved the Great powers, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Allies of World War I and the Central Powers....
. This was followed by the creation of the Matabeleland Native Regiment, and the 2nd Rhodesian Native Regiment, formed in 1917. In 1918, the Rhodesia Native Regiment was formed by combining the 1st and 2nd Regiments.


Second World War
The regiment was raised again in 1940 during the Second World WarWorld War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global military conflict which involved a Participants in World War II, including all of the great powers, organised into two opposing military alliances: the Allies of World War II and the Axis powers....
and staffed with black non-commissioned officers (NCOs) from the British South Africa PoliceBritish South Africa Police
The British South Africa Police was the police force of the British South Africa Company of Cecil Rhodes which became the national police force of Southern Rhodesia and its successor after 1965, Rhodesia ....
AskariAskari
Askari is an Arabic language, Turkish language, Somali language, Persian language, and Swahili word meaning "soldier" . It was normally used to describe local troops in East Africa, Horn of Africa, and Central Africa serving in the armies of European colonial powers....
Unit. This was considered as the direct successor of the Rhodesia Native Regiment, which was confirmed in 1962, and the RAR inherited all of that Regiment's battle honors. Until the late 1970s, the RAR had exclusively black recruits and NCOs and exclusively white officers. In 1979, black officers first began to serve in the unit. The RAR was responsible for over 400 guerrilla casualties from 1966-1973, during the Rhodesian Bush War.

During the Second World War, the RAR established its first training depot at Borrowdale Camp, Salisbury in 1941. The RAR shipped out to Burma in 1944, to serve with the King's African RiflesKing's African Rifles
The King's African Rifles was a multi-battalion British colony regiment raised from the various British possessions in British East Africa from 1902 until independence in the 1960s....
in 22 (East African) Independent Brigade. The unit saw action in April 1945, and earned the battle honors 'Taungup', 'Arakan Beaches', and 'Burma'. The regiment went back to Rhodesia in 1946, where its depot was closed, and the unit effectively disbanded.


1945-1980
A skeleton unit was however retained. By 1949, A, B, and C companies were operational as demo companies. In 1951, B Company became support company. The regiment saw service in SuezSuez
Suez is a seaport town in north-eastern Egypt, located on the north coast of the Gulf of Suez, near the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, having the same boundaries as As Suways Governorate....
in 1952, and in 1953 it was presented with the Queen's Colour and Regimental Color by the Queen Mother. In 1954 a new depot was opened for the regiment at Llewellin Barracks in Bulawayo. The Depot was situated near the HQ 1st Bn R.A.R, which had always been at Heany/Methuen Barracks near Llewellyn Barracks. In MalayaFederation of Malaya
The Federation of Malaya , is the name given to a federation of 11 states that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. Comprising the nine Malay states and the United Kingdom Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca, it was eventually superseded by Malaysia....
from 1956 to 1958, during the Emergency, the regiment served as part of the Army of the Federation of Rhodesia and NyasalandFederation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, also known as Central African Federation , was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to the end of 1963, comprising the former Self-Governing Colony of Southern Rhodesia and the United Kingdom protectorates of Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland....
. While in Malaya, the unit was known as the RhAR to distinguish it from the Royal Australian Regiment.

After the Malaya Emergency, the RAR was deployed to NyasalandNyasaland
Nyasaland or the Nyasaland Protectorate, was a United Kingdom protectorate which was established in 1907 when the former British Central Africa Protectorate changed its name....
(now MalawiMalawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast and Mozambique, which surrounds it on the east, south and west....
) in 1959. Later deployments included Northern RhodesiaNorthern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia was a territory in southern Africa initially administered under charter by the British South Africa Company and formed by it in 1911 by Amalgamation North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia....
(now ZambiaZambia
The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....
), the CongoRepublic of the Congo (LĂ©opoldville)
The Republic of the Congo was an independent republic established following the independence granted to the former colony of the Belgian Congo in 1960....
Border, and within Rhodesia in 1966. Its first contact in the Rhodesian Bush War came in the Zambezi Valley in September 1966.

A second battalion was raised in 1973; in 1976 this battalion was based at the former boarding school of St. Stephen's College, Balla BallaSt. Stephen's College, Balla Balla
St. Stephen's College, Balla Balla, Southern Rhodesia St. Stephen's College was a privately funded all boys boarding school, founded in 1956 by the Reverend Maurice Lancaster and located in the village of Balla Balla, Southern Rhodesia....
which had closed in 1975. This new barracks in Balla Balla was named Shaw Barracks, after the late Maj-Genl J. Shaw. A JOC HQ was formed at Fort Victoria (now MasvingoMasvingo
Masvingo is a town in south-eastern Zimbabwe and the capital of Masvingo Province. It the town close to Great Zimbabwe the national monument from which the country takes its name....
) followed by 3 RAR (HQ at Umtali, now MutareMutare
Mutare is the fourth largest city in Zimbabwe, with a population of approximately 189,000. It is the capital of Manicaland province....
) in 1977 - formed from three of the Independent RAR companies. Para-training was introduced in 1978 and the RAR were actively involved in "fireforce" missions, where they gained a reputation of jumping from minimum heights. The unit was not deployed outside Rhodesia during the war, but establish a considerable tally on internal operations.

The 4th Bn (Holding Unit) RAR was formed when the Selous ScoutsSelous Scouts
The Selous Scouts was a special forces regiment of the Rhodesian Army which operated from 1973 until the introduction of majority rule in 1980. They were named after British explorer Frederick Courteney Selous , and their motto was pamwe chete, which translated from Shona language means "all together", "together only" or "forward together...
disbanded on 17th April 1980. It existed in name only and continued until 30th September 1980 before becoming 1st Zimbabwe Parachute Battalion as it is today in 2007.

After independence, on April 18 1980, the Rhodesian African Rifles Battalions were integrated into the 1st, 3rd and 4th Brigades of the Zimbabwe National ArmyZimbabwe National Army
The Zimbabwe National Army or ZNA was created in 1980 from elements of the Rhodesian Army, integrated to a greater or lesser extent with combatants from the ZANLA and ZIPRA guerrilla warfare movements ...
but were not immediately integrated with ZIPRAZIPRA
Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army was the armed wing of the Zimbabwe African People's Union, a militant organization in Rhodesia. It participated in the Second Chimurenga against white minority rule in the former Rhodesia....
or ZANLA cadres; in fact, in 1981 RAR and recalled elements of other Rhodesian units were used to suppress fighting in integrated battalions of the Zimbabwe National Army.


•Note: Balla Balla was renamed MbalabalaMbalabala
Mbalabala is a village on the main Beitbridge-Bulawayo road in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe. Situated approximately 41 miles south-east of the city of Bulawayo....
in 1980 when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe. The village is in MatabelelandMatabeleland
Modern day Matabeleland is a region in Zimbabwe divided into two provinces: Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South; and the Administratively separate city of Bulawayo....
, about 41 miles (66km) south-east of BulawayoBulawayo
Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe, after the capital Harare, with a population of 676,000 , now estimated as 707,000. It is located in Matabeleland, 439km south-west of Harare , and is now treated as a separate provincial area from Matabeleland....
.



Weapons
As in most Rhodesian Army units, the standard weapon was the FN-FAL in caliber 7.62, or the identical South AfricaSouth Africa
The Republic of South Africa, also known by Official names of South Africa, is a country located at the southern tip of the continent of Africa....
n R1. The MAG-58FN MAG
The MAG is a Belgium 7.62 mm caliber general purpose machine gun, designed in the early 1950s at Fabrique Nationale de Herstal by Ernest Vervier....
light machine gun was carried as a section weapon, with heavier support provided by 81mm mortarsL16 81mm Mortar
The United Kingdom's L16 81 mm mortar is the standard mortar used by the British army. The version used by the U.S. armed forces is known as the M252....
. The West GermanWest Germany
West Germany was the common English name for the Germany , from its formation in May 1949 to German reunification in October 1990, when East Germany was dissolved and its States of Germany became part of the Federal Republic, ending the more than 40-year division of Germany....
G3G3
G3, G03, G.III, G.3 or G-3 may be:...
rifle was used in increasing numbers toward the end of the war. Regulation issued weapons were often supplemented by local products, captured weapons, and a variety of personal sidearms

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I welcome comments from everyone on my book Choppertech.
I am interested especially on hearing from former ZANLA and ZIPRA combatants who also have thier story to tell.