Gear Comments from a Rhodesian Light Infantry Veteran
March 25, 2014 at 7:24 pm #104605
These are some comments made by a Rhodesian Light Infantry veteran. Consider that they were made 30 years after the fact. These are offered because they aid in developing a historical understanding of light infantry and the evolution of the load out. Also keep in mind that the rifle rounds were 7.62X51 (.308).
JMA, you asked about any freedom to adjust equipment, and as I said, I’m curious about the fighting kit you carried. What was your standard load for each callout, and what was adjusted based on time of day and threat? Also, how much rifle ammunition and grenades did a trooper carry? Finally, besides the A76 radio, did stick ldrs carry other mission-specific equipment?
Let me try to remember.
Riflemen carried a minimum of 100 rounds – five magazines – I carried 9, 4 on the chest and two double pouches on the belt and one on the weapon. (Got down to my last mag one day so I had a personal issue with ammo)
Also one frag grenade and one WP (white phos)
Maybe a smoke grenade or so, maybe a spare radio battery, maybe a spare belt for the gunner. The maybies were not hard and fast nor maybe did everyone insist on grenades being carried. It probably differed from troop to troop and commando to commando.
Two water bottles were standard and some carried a light weight sleeping bag in a roll above the webbing in the small of the back. Those who had spent the night out in winter without generally did carry a sleeping bag and those who had not yet had that experience often did not think it necessary.
Optional also was to carry some army biscuits and some brew kit (I mostly did but many did not bother)
Machine gunners normally carried 500 rounds (10 x 50 rd belts). I did not insist on them carrying anything else and no spare barrel. I seem to remember carrying a 50 rd belt in a kidney pouch from time to time so maybe we spread the load a bit.
Each person carried a shot of Sosegon and a first field dressing. Trained troop medics carried a small medic pack containing bandages, drip-set and some general tablets and ointments. Probably not one per stick universally in all subunits but I seem to remember the term “stick medic pack” so maybe my sticks did.
Other than the A76 radio with a spare battery, I had a compass, a mini flare projector with various colours, a couple of small smoke grenades, and a white plastic sheet to mark my position.
Certainly not overloaded by any manner of means.
I think that was about it. Maybe I will remember other things as we go along.
30 years ago we had no fancy technology but certainly could had used some of the stuff that is available today.
March 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm #104606
Nice find and an Interesting read!
March 25, 2014 at 9:29 pm #104607
March 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm #104608
Check out Fire Force by Chris Cox. It gives a very good point of view from the Pte/Cpl in the RLI.
March 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm #104609
Thanks for taking the time to put that up..
March 26, 2014 at 3:07 pm #104610
Not read it [yet] but that should be Fireforce by Chris Cocks.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.