Rhodesian Light Infantry

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 1961 to 1980
Location: Rhodesiamap
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The Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI), was formed in February 1961 at Bulawayo's Brady Barracks, Kumalo as a light infantry unit within the Federal Army of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The unit later moved to Cranborne Barracks in Salisbury, where it remained up until 1980. The Regiment became part of the Southern Rhodesian Army when the Federation dissolved in late 1963, when the unit reformed into a commando battalion (thereafter known as 1st Battalion, Rhodesian Light Infantry). Immediately following Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in November 1965, the RLI became one of the country's main counter-insurgency units during the Rhodesian Bush War, which pitted the government security forces against the rival terrorist armies of Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) and Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA). [1] [2]
An all-white regiment, the RLI was made up wholly of professional soldiers until 1973, when capable conscripted national servicemen were first introduced. Foreign volunteers from across the world, many veterans of foreign conflicts, also joined and became a key part of the Regiment. The RLI was nicknamed "The Saints" or "The Incredibles", and regarded, through astounding success with both internal Fireforce operations in Rhodesia and external preemptive strikes against guerrillas based in Mozambique and Zambia, as one of the world's foremost exponents of counter-insurgency warfare. [1] [3]

Listing of members of the Rhodesian Light Infantry may be found here Category:Rhodesian_Light Infantry, Rhodesia


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia on the Rhodesian Light Infantry
  2. 1st Battalion Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association
  3. Binda, Alexandre "The Saints - The Rhodesia Light Infantry" ISBN 978-920143-07-7 - Thirty Degrees South Publishers Johannesburg 2007

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