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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Undoing the united front? Coloured soldiers in Rhodesia 1939-1980
Author:Seirlis, J.K.ISNI
Periodical:African Studies
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
black soldiers
History and Exploration
Military, Defense and Arms
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/0002018042000226166
Abstract:The relationships between race, nation, citizenship and identity are thrown into sharp relief by the workings of the military and militarization and, more specifically, the experiences, treatment and depictions of coloured soldiers in Rhodesia between 1939 and 1980. Coloureds are conspicuously absent from accounts of armies and wars, whether the armies are of the Rhodesian State or Zimbabwean nationalist movements, or the wars international or civil. This relegation of coloureds to bit parts in armed conflict is enormously telling. It exposes the role of the military in constructing an exclusionary and essentialist nation and national identity in Rhodesia - and Zimbabwe. From 1890 to 1980, the Rhodesian army was, for the most part, racially segregated. Much Rhodesian propaganda, however, promoted images of black and white soldiers serving Rhodesia together in happy comradeship. What the present author wants to highlight in the relationship between national military service and national identity is the central importance of the idea of a united front - both in the sense of a solid defence force and a solid pretence. Bibliogr., notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]