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Author Topic: Rhodesian Bush War  (Read 3918 times)

Offline Dash (GRUMPS)

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Rhodesian Bush War
« on: March 23, 2012, 04:32:37 PM »
Personally my interest in this conflict is just coming to fruition but I thought it would make a good BOTW style scenario.

Background (taken from Wikipedia):

    Rhodesia was settled by British and South African pioneers beginning in the 1890s and while it was never accorded full dominion status, Rhodesia effectively governed itself after 1923. In his famous "Wind of Change" speech addressed to the parliament of South Africa in 1960, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan stated Britain's intention to grant independence to British territories in Africa. As a consequence many Rhodesians, white and black, were concerned at the possibility that decolonisation and native rule would bring chaos, as had resulted when the Congo became independent.[20] Britain's unwillingness to compromise on the policy of "No independence before majority rule" led to Rhodesia unilaterally declaring independence on 11 November 1965. Though Rhodesia had the unofficial support of neighbouring South Africa and Portugal, which governed Mozambique, it never gained formal recognition from any country.
 
    Most white Rhodesians viewed the war as one of survival with atrocities committed in the former Belgian Congo, the Mau Mau Uprising campaign in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa fresh in their minds. Many whites (and a sizable minority of black Rhodesians) viewed their lifestyle as being under attack, which both had considered safer and with a higher standard of living than many other African countries. Although the vote in Rhodesia was open to all, regardless of race, property ownership requirements effectively denied the franchise to most of Rhodesia's blacks. The 1969 constitution provided for "Non-Europeans" (principally blacks) to elect representatives for 8 of the seats in the 66 seat parliament. A further 8 of these seats were reserved for tribal chiefs.
Amidst this backdrop, black nationalists advocated armed struggle to bring about independence in Rhodesia. Resistance also stemmed from the wide disparities in wealth possession between blacks and whites. In Rhodesia, Europeans owned most of the fertile land whilst Africans were crowded on barren land, following forced evictions or clearances by the colonial authorities.

    Two rival nationalist organizations soon emerged: the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) and the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), following a split in the former in August 1963, following disagreements over tactics as well as tribalism and personality clashes. ZANU and its military wing ZANLA were headed initially by the Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, and later Robert Mugabe, consisted mainly of the Shona speaking tribes. ZAPU and its military wing ZIPRA consisted mainly of Ndebele ethnic groups under Joshua Nkomo.

    Cold War politics played into the conflict also, with the Soviet Union supporting ZIPRA and Communist China providing support to ZANLA. Each group subsequently fought a separate war against the Rhodesian security forces, and the two groups sometimes fought against each other as well. In June 1979, the governments of Cuba and Mozambique offered direct military assistance to the Patriotic Front, but Mugabe and Nkomo declined. Other foreign nations also contributed to the conflict, for instance North Korean military officials taught Zimbabwean militants how to use explosives and arms in a camp near Pyongyang.  By April 1979 12,000 ZANLA guerrillas were training in Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Libya while 9,500 of its 13,500 extant cadres were operating in Rhodesia. On the other side of the conflict South Africa clandestinely provided both material and military support to the Rhodesian government.

    Inevitably the Bush War occurred within the context of regional Cold War in Africa, and became embroiled with a number of conflicts in several neighbouring countries as well. Such conflicts included the Angolan War of Independence (1961–1975) and Angolan Civil War (1975–2002), the Mozambican War of Independence (1964–1974) and Mozambican Civil War (1977–1992), and the Shaba I (1977) and Shaba II (1978) conflicts."

Factions:

Selous Scouts:

In keeping with BOTW tradition, we would be focusing on the Selous Scouts, an elite group of Rhodesian combat reconnaissance forces.    Typically they would travel in small groups taking on much larger groups of the foe.  They were quite heavily armed, being equipped with FN FALs, L1A1s, and FN MAGs.  Some XM177s and M16s have been seen but it's likely these are actually pictures of US "Soldiers of Fortune".  They could also often be seen using weapons of the enemy: AKMs of various origin, RPDs, RPKs (interestingly enough often with the "rare" drum), G3A3s, etc.

Uniform Requirements:
Camouflage shirt with OD pants or shorts

Camo pattern options:
Rhodesian camouflage pattern
Transkei camouflage pattern
Green DPM (for people who are not so dedicated) it can be labeled as "similar" to the Transkei or Rhodesian pattern... Okay, not really, but we have to find some kind of commonly found uniform otherwise we'll be cutting out a large amount of people from the event.

Web gear can be of course be accurate to the conflict but here are some other options:
M1956 Web gear
British Pattern 37 web gear
British Pattern 58 web gear
Chicom equipment
Custom pouches and rigs were also pretty common
Fereday FAL rig

Sorry, I don't have time to finish this right now, but I'll continue with the OP FOR requirements when I get the chance. What do you think so far? Any suggestions? I know I haven't gotten very specific but I thought it would make a cool two day event. The idea here is of a "BOTW Game 1" style event.  In other words, yes, there will be some restrictions on what can and cannot be used/worn.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 10:21:49 PM by Dash »

Offline Yoroiden

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Re: Rhodesian Bush War
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2012, 08:53:47 PM »
Kinda reminds me of a Congo Crisis game I was working on a while ago. Then I joined the River Rats and found out our Zandia series had a good helping of that already. Though I did get Breech to do a "Wild Geese" game a few years ago.

Looks interesting so far. Though you might consider expanding it to more than just the Selous Scouts. Rhodesia had a number of elite units, the Rhodesian SAS and Rhodesian Light Infantry come to mind.

As a side note, the G3A3 was not just a captured weapon used by the Rhodesian Security Forces, it was bought in limited numbers as a substitute for the FAL/L1A1/R1. Though in the last years of a distinct "Republic of Rhodesia" it saw use in increasing numbers as outside support dwindled.
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Offline Dash (GRUMPS)

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Re: Rhodesian Bush War
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2012, 09:52:05 PM »
When I'm slightly less inebriated I'll expand upon this but i intend for this to be a three faction event, possibly.  Thanks for the bit about the G3A3 like I said, I'm new to researching this conflict, though, I have collected bits and pieces of gear through other collecting interests.  I chose the Selous Scouts for the first potential event since BOTW seems to focus on one Special Forces unit for the scenario at a time. I'm trying to follow that basic model. 

Offline Vila

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Re: Rhodesian Bush War
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2012, 11:37:47 PM »
I really dig the concept. I too noticed a resemblance of DPM to the Rhodesian camo, at least in color choices and types of shapes used.

Arnies thread for more reference: http://www.arniesairsoft.co.uk/forums/index.php?/topic/132166-rhodesiansadf-loadout-discussion/


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Offline Yoroiden

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Re: Rhodesian Bush War
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 07:45:23 AM »
Camopedia has a page on camo patterns worn by the different factions in Rhodesia:

http://camopedia.camouflagesociety.org/index.php?title=Rhodesia
"Far better it is to dare mighty things.. than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat."
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Offline Dash (GRUMPS)

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Re: Rhodesian Bush War
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 10:42:17 AM »
http://camopedia.camouflagesociety.org/index.php?title=South_Africa_-_Transkei

I'd be wearing the transkei camo pattern on the bottom left.  I think I've got a couple pictures of someone using the pattern in The Bush War.  It may not be the Selous Scouts but I'm having a hell of a time tracking down real or repro Rhodesian camo. I've pretty much got everything else.

Offline Vila

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Re: Rhodesian Bush War
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2012, 12:22:50 PM »
It's rarity is also why I thought of DPM, since it's much more easily available.


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Offline Yoroiden

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Re: Rhodesian Bush War
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2012, 01:10:47 PM »
Some Lizard/Leopard variants aren't too far off from Rhodesian camo.
"Far better it is to dare mighty things.. than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat."
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Offline Dash (GRUMPS)

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Re: Rhodesian Bush War
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2012, 08:52:36 PM »
I think I've decided to make this a two faction event combining the ZIPRA and ZANILA. I think uniform requirements would be either tan or Civis. Some pictures from the conflict (not all are Selous Scouts but good reference material non-the-less):






















Portuguese cavalryman
















































Offline Komissar

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Re: Rhodesian Bush War
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2012, 07:15:14 PM »
IDK if this is fate but most ironically, as of yesterday, I have been on the hunt for Rhodesian Bush war gear. I'd love to do an impression and I was just about to ask dash if he had ever attempted an impression. This is good!
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Offline Dash (GRUMPS)

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Re: Rhodesian Bush War
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2012, 02:09:02 PM »
Bit of an update, the webgear isn't a huge issue as the fereday repro is pretty common and I think Pattern 58 webgear is a little better than "close enough"... In fact, it's almost an exact parallel:



My Fereday & Sons chest rig repro with P58 belt.



Rhodie web gear

The belt, straps, and back pouches are almost exactly the same:



Pattern 58 web gear

I suppose it's not really a coincidence considering some former Rhodesians had claimed to have been issued with P58 gear. Either way, it's not too far off .

I think this is a good scenario because a lot of this gear is actually cheaper than what a full Vietnam kit would cost and even that's not particularly expensive if you know where to shop.  Obviously the camo is the tough part.  Komissar pointed me towards Begadi tactical that is selling a repro, unfortunately they do not ship to the US. I may try to get someone from the UK to forward set to me here but I think green DPM is a good stand in for those who are not as dedicated as it's cheap and easy to find.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 02:14:07 PM by Dash »