Despite having built up quite a collection of South African kit over the last couple of years, one country that I have not had any items for until very recently has been Rhodesia. Rhodesia was subject to international embargo throughout the 1970s and this led to the development of many indigenous industries to replace imported goods with domestically manufactured examples. Firearms was an obvious area for development and a range of domestically produced simple blowback sub machine guns were developed for self defence purposes amongst the white farmers of the country. One of these was the LDP, standing for Lacoste DuPlessis Ponter, which would later be known as the Kommando. The original gun was designed by Rhodesian Alex DuPlessis, which he assembled in his home workshop out of epoxy and other materials in 1975. DuPlessis then took his design to Rhodesian President Ian Smith in an attempt to garner some military interest in his design; Smith referred him to an engineering company known as Lacoste Engineering, where DuPlessis would be employed.
To produce the weapon, the weapon was financed by a man named Hubert Ponter; as such, the final weapon would be known as the LDP, each initial representing something to do with the weapon (Lacoste, DuPlessis, Ponter). Production began in 1975, with exports beginning in 1976 to South Africa; however, some changes had to be made to allow for exportation to occur.
Whilst I do not have an example of the LDP, I do have the accessory box that was issued to purchasers of this weapon- it is made of heavy duty card with a green lid and in this example some sort of rodent has nibbled the corners of the box!
The box has very simple printing in black on the front with the details of the contents and a picture of the gun itself:
Although the box mentions a 38 calibre version, it seems that only the 9mm version actually got produced and even then production as limited to around 10,000 weapons in total. A number of LDPs have been imported into the UK and deactivated over the years so it is always possible I will find an example to go with this box, in the meantime however it is just nice to have started off a Rhodesian section to the collection.