Dubbed “The Killing Machine” by Charles D. Melson, chief historian of the US Marine Corps, the RLI was a veritable ‘foreign legion’ with over 20 diverse nationalities serving in her ranks. The RLI fought the bitter Zimbabwean ‘bush war’ for 15 years, against the overwhelming tide of communist-trained guerrillas. Kill rates don’t win wars, but during its brief 19-year history, it is estimated that the RLI accounted for between 12,000 and 15,000 enemy guerrillas, for the loss of 135 men. RLI soldiers were recipients of four Silver Crosses and 42 Bronze Crosses of Rhodesia. An RLI trooper holds the world record for operational parachute descents—a staggering 73 op jumps—most under 500 feet!
A glossy, coffeetable, pictorial format with hundreds of color photos, maps, rolls, honours and awards. It is not intended as a definitive history but, with more of a classic ‘scrapbook’ feel, the presentation attempts to capture the essence of this fine unit—what it was like to be a troopie, one of the ‘ouens’. We have accessed a host of unique, previously unpublished photos and illustrative material and many former RLI members have embraced the project, generously contributing photos, memorabilia and anecdotes. Ian Smith has written his tribute in the front and the foreword is by the last CO, Lieutenant-Colonel Charlie Aust.
Grants & Sponsorships
Many thanks to the organisations who are kindly helping us through grants or sponsorships:
We have active partnerships to pursue common goals with the following organisations: