Books on the Rhodesian Light Infantry - Fireforce
The 1st Battalion, The Rhodesian Light Infantry (1RLI or RLI) was a regular airborne commando regiment (paratroops and heliborne troops) in the Rhodesian army. The RLI was originally formed as a light infantry regiment in 1961, reformed as a commando battalion in 1965, became a parachute Battalion in 1977 and was disbanded at the end of the Rhodesian War in 1980. Nicknamed 'The Saints' or 'The Incredibles', the Rhodesian Light Infantry was regarded as one of the world's foremost proponents of counter-insurgency warfare, through both internal Fire Force operations in Rhodesia and external preemptive strikes against guerrillas based in Mozambique and Zambia.

Below is a list of the current and 'Out of Print' books about or involving the RLI, available from us (in no particular order). Should there be a title, that covers a fair bit about the RLI that we should know about, please let us know.




Choppertech 1976-80: A Gunner's Reflection of Fire force Operations in Rhodesia - Gordon 'Beaver' Shaw
Choppertech Beaver Shaw
This book covers the author's and other crewmen's experiences in No 7 Alouette Squadron as helicopter Technicians/Gunners who flew numerous operational sorties in Alouette G and K Car gunships on Fireforce operations during the Rhodesian Bush War. The Alouette III helicopters were extensively used within Rhodesia as well as on external operations into Zambia, Botswana and Mocambique. Beaver served during latter stages of the war - 1976-1980, and has the unique distinction as being the only gunner during the bush war who is credited with a successful Air to Air contact when he shot down a Botswana Defence Force Islander plane, using the K-Car's 20mm cannon during a hot extraction of Selous Scouts troops who had just attacked a ZIPRA base in Francistown.
Choppertech 1976-80: A Gunner's Reflection of Fire force Operations in Rhodesia - Beaver Shaw

Counter-Strike from the Sky: The Rhodesian All-Arms Fire Force in the War in the Bush 19741980 - JRT Wood

'Fireforce' as a military concept dates from 1974 when the Rhodesian Air Force (RhAF) acquired the French MG151 20mm cannons. Coupled with this, the traditional counter-insurgency tactics of follow-ups, tracking and ambushing in the Rhodesian Bush War simply weren't producing satisfactory results. Visionary RhAF and Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) officers thus expanded on the idea of a 'vertical envelopment' of the enemy, with the 20mm cannon being the principle weapon of attack, mounted in an Alouette III K-Car ('Killer car') helicopter, flown by the air force commander, with the army commander on board directing his ground troops deployed from troop-carrying gunship G-Cars as well as being parachuted from DC-3 Dakotas. In support would be small ground-attack aircraft and on call would be Canberra bombers, Hawker Hunter and Vampire jets. A definitive work on this unique concept of total airborne envelopment of a guerrilla enemy.
Counter-Strike from the Sky: The Rhodesian All-Arms Fire Force in the War in the Bush 19741980 - JRT Wood

The Saints: The Rhodesian Light Infantry - Alexandre Binda

Compiled and edited by Chris Cocks, bestselling author of Fireforce: One Man's War in the Rhodesian Light Infantry.
This is the history of the Rhodesian Light Infantry - arguably one of the most effective counter-insurgency units of all time. This was the unit that brought the 'Fireforce' concept to the world's attention - the devastatingly ruthless airborne envelopment and annihilation of a guerrilla enemy. The RLI was a veritable 'foreign legion' with over 20 diverse nationalities serving in her ranks. This magnificent 544 page, full-colour, coffee-table format book captures this fine regiment with the inclusion of comprehensive listings, written contributions, and over 1,500 previously unpublished photos, illustrations and maps. 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. *** HIGHLY RECOMMENED ***
The Saints: The Rhodesian Light Infantry - Alexandre Binda

Fireforce - Chris Cocks
Widely acclaimed as the classic account of counter-insurgency warfare in Africa, as told by the combat soldier "on the ground". The gut-wrenching account of brutal face-to-face combat in the Rhodesian bush (now Zimbabwe) is not for the squeamish. This is the compelling, brutally honest account of Chris Cocks' service in 3 Commando, The Rhodesian Light Infantry, during the Rhodesian bush war. Fireforce, a method of combat developed by the Rhodesians and perfected by the RLI, involved troops being helicoptered or parachuted into an area immediately after a guerrilla presence had been reported or a sighting made. Due to the enormous shortage of ground troops, the same men were sometimes parachuted into contacts as many as three times per day.
Fireforce - Chris Cocks

Stick Leader: RLI - Charlie Warren
This is Charlie Warren's account of his service in the Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) from 1974 -1980. You will be swept into a vacarious experience of the daily life of a member of this highly effective, elite unit that was involved in most of the hottest action during the Rhodesian war. Charlie relates tales, using the language and slang from that time, from his service with 3 Commando (The Lovers), RLI in their Fire Force role as well as of his (reluctant) qualification as a parachutist at 1 Parachute Battalion (SADF) and his further qualification as a despatcher. His stories of barracks life are interesting but he speaks extensively the stories of combat and operations. He takes you along with him in the K-Car, into contact on the ground. You feel the exhaustion and frustration of combat, the regret and sadness at the loss of comrades. As you share his experiences you will understand his conflicted feelings about his decision not to permit the execution of Robert Mugabe during the time of transition.
Stick Leader: RLI - Charlie Warren

The Incredibles: The Story of the 1st Battalion, the Rhodesian Light Infantry - Geoffrey Bond
One of the earliest books written on the Rhodesian Light Infantry. Nicknamed 'The Saints' or 'The Incredibles', the RLI was originally formed as a light infantry regiment in 1961, reformed as a commando Battalion in 1965, and then became a parachute Battalion in 1977.
The Incredibles: The Story of the 1st Battalion, the Rhodesian Light Infantry - Geoffrey Bond

Only My Friends Call Me "Crouks": Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist - Dennis Croukamp
Now 'Out of Print' (very few copies remain) - reprinted with new title: The Bush War in Rhodesia: The Extraordinary Combat Memoir of a Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist - Dennis Croukamp. (See below)
Only My Friends Call Me "Crouks": Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist - Dennis Croukamp

The Bush War in Rhodesia: The Extraordinary Combat Memoir of a Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist - Dennis Croukamp
Reprint of / re-titled 'Only My Friends Call Me "Crouks": Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist'.
This is a soldier's story told simply, with feeling, humour and without heroics. It also gives a fascinating insight into the personality of the author, who relates his personal experiences in a down-to-earth, no bull style of storytelling. In his career as a soldier for 16 years, Dennis at first served in an Rhodesian infantry unit (RLI) but later served as member of the elite special forces Selous Scouts under the command of Lieutanant-Colonel Ron Reid-Daly. He became an reconnaissance specialist and saw action on all border areas of Rhodesia and also in Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana. The author tells it as it was, unvarnished, seen from the ground-level, no effort to safeguard careers.

The Bush War in Rhodesia: The Extraordinary Combat Memoir of a Rhodesian Reconnaissance Specialist - Dennis Croukamp

African Combat: Rhodesian Security Forces Anti-Terrorist Operations Counter Insurgency COIN Manuals
Reproduced and reformatted into book format - copies of 3 of the original 'Restricted' training manuals that was published by the Rhodesian Army during the bush war - Rhodesian Security Forces COIN Manual Part 2 - ATOPS (Anti Terrorist Operations), 'C' Sqn SAS Combat Manual, Selous Scouts Training Troop plus an additional manual as used by mercenaries who operated in various conflict zones in Africa. The ATOPS manual is the same document that was used by the Rhodesian elite forces and the Selous Scouts. Most of the tactics and techniques within this ATOPS manual were developed and employed during the long and bitter counter-insurgency conflict. Many of the combat proven techniques within this manual still apply today in a counter-insurgency environment. It should be noted that after the Rhodesian bush war, many of the highly experienced combat veterans went to serve with the south african forces in Angola and many of the COIN lessons were passed on and utilized by the various SA forces, especially the South African Recces.Chapters include:- General Elements. Command and Control. Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence. Employment of Forces. Types of Operations. Foot Patrols. Tracking. Follow -Up Operations. Attacks on Terrorist Camps. Sweeps. Defence/Protection of Sensitive points. Movement Security. Mines and Booby Traps. Plus SAS / Selous Training Wing's chapters on Basic Tracking & Follow up Operations.
Additional to this is the African Mercenary Combat Manual - Commando Rules for Battle. Commando External Raids. Profile of the Terrorist aim. Principles of COIN Warfare. Commando Base Fighting Positions. Oberservation Methods. Pseudo Terrorist Gangs. Tracking and Countertracking / anti-tracking. Basic Ground/Air Emergency Signals. Medical Aid. Employment Possibilities. International Law and the Mercenary. African Travel Guide.
African Combat: Rhodesian Security Forces Anti-Terrorist Operations Counter-insurgency COIN Manuals