Page 302. " The RLI had left a trail of destruction behind them "

Nicknamed 'The Saints' and 'The Incredibles', The 1st Battalion The Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) was formed on 1 February 1961.  In its short 19-year existence, this commando airborne unit carved for itself a reputation as one of the world's foremost proponents of counter-insurgency warfare, through internal 'Fireforce' operations and daring pre-emptive strikes.  The RLI was an 'international' regiment, with foreign volunteers from North America, Europe, Australasia and South Africa.


Page 303. " they decorated the walls with traditional Ndebele patterns, bright geometric patterns, zigzags and circles and squares. "


Women at the Ndebele Cultural Village
GNU Free Documentation LicenseWomen at the Ndebele Cultural Village - Credit: Humansdorpie


Page 319. " a so-called 'internal settlement' between Ian Smith and some of the black nationalist leaders "

United African National Council campaign T-shirt showing Muzorewa, c1979
GNU Free Documentation LicenseUnited African National Council campaign T-shirt showing Muzorewa, c1979 - Credit: humansdorpie
The last four years of white rule in Rhodesia saw a series of increasingly desperate manoeuvres by Ian Smith to delay the inevitable. Labour was back in power in London and South Africa, so long the vital ally, now began to distance itself from Salisbury.

Smith sought to involve Abel Muzorewa and Ndabaningi Sithole, Rhodesia's "internal" black leaders, and even Joshua Nkomo, the Matabele leader and most prestigious of the insurgent "external" black politicians, in the search for a solution. After a 1976 conference promoted by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger  failed, Smith played his last card: an "internal" settlement which was signed on 4 March 1978 with Sithole and Muzorewa.

By now Nkomo and Robert Mugabe, nationalist leader of the majority Shona, had forged the Patriotic Front, a ZANU-ZAPU alliance. The ‘terrorists’ were wreaking havoc, and white emigration was costing the security forces the equivalent of a battalion of fighting men a month. The end was only a matter of time.

On 1 June 1979, after 15 years as Prime Minister, Smith was succeeded by Bishop Muzorewa as interim prime minister of a government of national unity. Sanctions were lifted ahead of a planned all-party conference at Lancaster House in London.

Page 320. " Mostly I went to Operation Hurricane, north east of Salisbury. "

Operation Hurricane
Public DomainOperation Hurricane
Operation Hurricane was the name given to military operations in the North East Border area, starting in 1973.