In today’s “Pic of the Day,” we see a Rhodesian soldier during the Bush War firing a Para FAL variant weapon.

In the aftermath of World War II, like several British dependencies, Southern Rhodesia aligned with the Commonwealth norm, adopting the L1A1 SLR by the early 1960s. The region actively supported British anti-insurgency campaigns during the Malayan and Aden Emergencies, establishing the L1A1 as its primary infantry firearm. This engagement underscored the Rhodesian Security Forces’ approach, emphasizing individual sharpshooting and deploying small units as fundamental to major counter-insurgency strategies.

The archetypal small unit, inclusive of the Southern Rhodesian Army and diverse paramilitary and internal security factions, was termed the “stick,” comprising four riflemen equipped with SLRs and a machine gunner armed with an FN MAG. Following Southern Rhodesia’s unilateral declaration of independence in 1965, becoming Rhodesia, the UK instituted an arms embargo, limiting the usage of SLRs primarily to reserve units.