Rhodesian 7th Independent Coy French volunteer - 1977-78 (1)
Rhodesia declared its independence from the United Kingdom as its Unilateral Declaration of Independence was made in the 11th November 1965.
The country was not recognized by the United Nations and was subjected to sanctions and an embargo by the United Kingdom, at the same time ZANU and ZAPU had taken arms in 1964 and started the Bush War.
By the late 70's Rhodesia was menaced from Zambia's and Mozambique's borders and these countries had ZANU and ZAPU bases inside their territory rising the need to better protect the borders.
Rhodesia was lacking in manpower to face the growing threat posed by the insurgents so foreign volunteers were sought to remedy this, both recruited into the Army or employed as farm security personnel under police jurisdiction.
About around 200 French volunteers were organized into the 7th Independent Company of the 1st Battalion of the Rhodesia Regiment and this unit existed from November 1977 until May 1978.
This impression is base on pictorial evidence from the 7th Independent Company, the items used are standard Rhodesian Security Forces gear with the kiko cap being more peculiar and later copied to be issued more widely.
The kiko cap copied from French and Portuguese models is a distinctive item, used in this case instead of the more used flap cap.
A camouflage shirt is used together with British green PT shorts similar to the Rhodesian models. The boots are French Army boots similar to the Rhodesian models but black.
Webbing is an assortment of South African P61 and P61-69 items supplied to Rhodesia and also a P44 water bottle and P69 reproduction magazine pouches.
The weapon carried is an SLR L1A1 due to the lack of a proper FN FAL to build this impression, Rhodesia also used the SLR but with wooden furniture.
- Rhodesian reproduction kiko cap
- Rhodesian reproduction long sleeved shirt
- British Army green PT shorts
- French Army double buckle boots
- South African P61 harness
- Rhodesian reproduction P69 magazine pouches
- South African P61-64 combat belt
- South African P61-64 water bottle and pouch
- South African P61-64 kidney pouches
- British Pattern 44 water bottle and pouch
- SLR L1A1 rifle (replacing the FN FAL)