Republic of Rhodesia

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Republic of Rhodesia
1965- 1980
Location of Zimbabwe.png
Flag of Rhodesia.png
Capital Salisbury
Government Republic
Language English (official)
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II (unrecognized)
Prime minister Ian Smith
Area 150,804 sq. miles
Population 6,930,000
Currency Rhodesian Dollar

The Republic of Rhodesia was a semi-recognized, government in Africa during the mid 1960s to late 1970s. The British colony, Southern Rhodesia, declared herself a nation independent of British rule by Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) on November 11, 1965. After 1980 Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.


Great Britain refused to grant Rhodesia independence until majority-rule was implemented, something rejected by the white minority in the colony. On November 11, 1965, Rhodesian politician Ian Smith declared Rhodesia an independent nation through a unilateral declaration of independence or 'UDI'. Initially the newly formed Rhodesian government sought to maintain relations with the British and viewed Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state, but she refused the title 'Queen of Rhodesia'. The British governments reaction was hostile with Labour Party prime minister Harold Wilson declaring the move 'illegal' and 'brutal', this eventually led to an arms embargo on the country by the United Kingdom and by American president Lyndon Johnson


Rhodesia had the most efficient and productive economy in southern Africa during its existence. Rhodesia was one of the largest exporters of maize, cotton, beef, tobacco, roses, and sugar cane earning her the title "Breadbasket of Africa". In addition to food stuffs Rhodesia was a large exporter of mineral wealth such as tungsten.

War Against Terror

Throughout the 1970s Rhodesia led a vicious battle against Communist terrorists. The Communist terrorists were responsible for numerous savage atrocities against the population of Rhodesia. The most disturbing of the terror attacks were the shooting down of two commercial aircraft (Air Rhodesia flights 825 and 827) both of which resulted in the consequent hacking to death and rape of crash survivors.

Leftist Overthrow

Leftist groups began the Rhodesian Bush War in the mid 1970s in an attempt to overthrow the conservative government in place in Salisbury. The militant ZANU group (Zimbabwe African National Union) led by Robert Mugabe were given assistance by communists and adopted Maoist teachings. The ZANU and other rebel militant terrorist groups received training, arms and political support from China, the Soviet Union, East Germany, North Korea, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Cuba. Liberals often deny the communist influence of the "liberation" groups that fought against the Rhodesian government.