ZIPRA and other Eastern Bloc-aligned insurgents in the Rhodesian Bush War and South African Border War often wore a shirt and pants uniform in the strichtarn camouflage pattern. The cuts were clearly based on British-style garments in use in the region by the insurgents’ adversaries. Some of these garments appear to be field-tailored using original East German fabric.

The shirts shown on this page were recovered from ZIPRA guerillas at the Guineafowl School assembly point in Gwelo (now Gweru, information provided by seller) in Rhodesia, set up at the end of 1979 just before the election leading to majority rule and the country becoming Zimbabwe (source:

Twill Shirt:

The fabric is exactly the same smooth twill as what was used on the original East German strichtarn uniforms.

Two pocket field shirt. Buttons are mixed between clear/white 2-hole types and more typical 4-hole grey ones. This style of shirt was copied in coarser fabric, more consistently with the 4-hole buttons, for use by the South African Recces.

Unlike the recce copy, the grey buttons are not iridescent and the fabric is a soft twill, not a coarse poplin.


Pocket pleats are not functioning and do not bellow out.



Coarse Shirt:

This shirt was probably made in a factory considering it has a small tag and more regular stitching. The cotton fabric is coarser and heavier than the first shirt on this page, almost shelter half weight. The SADF Recces used an exact copy of this type of shirt in their version of the original fabric.


Small tag with red size text.






Some buttons were replaced. The black “British style” dish ones are probably the originals since they are the most common on this shirt.

Usage Photos:

SWAPO PLAN (Namibia):


FRELIMO (Mozambique):

Mozambique 1977, Forças Populares de Libertação de Moçambique (FPLM, from

Strichtarn items were prolifically used by FRELIMO in Mozambique. Today, Mozambique still uses a modern reprint:

ZIPRA/ZANLA (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe):

Assembly Point photos can be seen here: