OPERATIONS –THE RHODESIAN WAR
The Rhodesian Bush War—also known as the Second Chimurenga or the Zimbabwe War of Liberation—was a civil war that took place from July 1964 to December 1979. In this time Zimbabwe was called Rhodesia.
The conflict pitted three forces against one another:
– The Rhodesian government, led by Ian Smith
– ZANU under Robert Mugabe
– ZAPU under Joshua Nkomo.
From 1977 the Recce’s assisted with the war efforts on the “Russian” front. These deployments were done under the banner of “D” Squadron of the SAS, – which technically never existed. Most of the SAS operations were against the defined terrorist groups of the times, but the Recces also advanced the RSA goals by doing operations against Frelimo in Mozambique. In this time the Recce’s honed their bush fighting skills.
Many will consider these deployments as instrumental in forming the Recce’s into a fighting Force. These deployments drove the need for better equipment, new technology and better training. In these three years the men became seasoned bush fighters. The conflict ended in 1979.
Once the conflict in Rhodesia stopped the soldiers in both the Selous Scouts and SAS were afforded the opportunity to join the “Recce’s” The men from the Scouts joined as 3 Recce and the men form the SAS joined as 6 Recce. After a year those that wished integrated into the other units and these formations closed.