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The first Rhodesian special force was raised in response to a recruiting cam­paign for the Malayan Emergency and was to become 'C' Squadron of the Malayan Scouts and subsequently the reconstituted SAS. When that task ended the squadron of 250, all ranks, was based at Ndola in Northern Rhodesia as part of the armed forces of Rhodesia and Nyasaland but when the federation collapsed was reduced to a cadre. However, it later grew again in response to the threat posed by the guerrilla wars in Angola and Mozambique. Joint operations with the Portuguese took men of the unit into combat and the Squadron saw continuous action from 1967 until Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980. In 1978 C Squadron was redesignated the Rhodesian SAS and its all-white troops became the cadres for squadrons.

Uniform was optional when the unit was on operations and the distinguishing features of the SAS were not worn. Men carried AK-47 automatic rifles or the SVD Dragunov plus the 12.7mm Soviet heavy machine gun, or the usual Western weaponry.

Editorial Opinion:

The Rhodesian SAS was and remains an enigmatic unit that shunned the flamboyant exposure seemingly enjoyed by other specialist enterprises during the Rhodesian Bush War. This is borne out by the ongoing lack of information on this formidable fighting machine, outside of commercial publications; some informative web links are attached.

Special Air Services
The Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental
Assocation of Australasia