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  • Rhodesia

    Hi guys, looking for some good read (either books or articles) on the Rhodesian conflict, specifically how insurgency\guerrilla was dealt with both tactically and strategically.

    Bare in mind, I'm a blank page when it comes to Africa...

    Thanks

  • #2
    Hello Golani

    Here's some stuff to get you started

    Counter-Insurgency In Rhodesia by J.K. Cilliers

    and here is the Selous Scouts' counterinsurgency manual

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    • #3
      WOW!

      Many thanks, it seems like enough to keep me occupied for a while

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      • #4
        Let me take some time and come up with a good composite list. This is a subject I have studied extensively.

        As a teaser here is a pretty good website from a normal conscript grunt who did his year up at hurricane.

        http://www.alangroberts.com/rhod-01.htm "Intake 150" has lots of info about his class and his time in the Army (different links at the top) with pictures and stories

        http://www.alangroberts.com/intake150-01.htm

        I like it as while the S. Scouts, RLI. and RAR get most of the focus in books and such, this show the normal conscript territorial units did a lot of the ops as well, and did them just as well.

        Keep in mind he has some political posts that are a bit biased, but looking at the situation, I can see how that can happen in the aftermath of it.
        Кто там?
        Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
        Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Golani View Post
          Hi guys, looking for some good read (either books or articles) on the Rhodesian conflict, specifically how insurgency\guerrilla was dealt with both tactically and strategically.

          Bare in mind, I'm a blank page when it comes to Africa...

          Thanks
          Golani,
          Glad to help you out.

          I intend to use my trusted formula of recommending three different books. From general to particular.
          1. Martin Meredith: The Past is Another Country Rhodesia, U.D.I. to Zimbabwe. Meredith is always good for the general picture. NB you might find him too short on tactics and strategy.
          2. Paul L. Moorcraft and Peter McLaughlin: The Rhodesian War: A Military History. This might be exactly what your looking for: a solid military history. Good introduction to the Bush War with its warring sides, main events and tactics. This is the book I would recommend if I only could rcommend one.
          3. Faan Martin: James and the Duck: Tales of the Rhodesian Bush War (1964 - 1980). As the title says: short stories of a personal account. Extremely light reading but funny and gives you the atmosphere (of one side).
          BoRG

          You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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          • #6
            Golani and Major Sennef,great topic and thanks for all the resources.

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            • #7
              Counter-strike from the Sky: The Rhodesian All-Arms Fireforce in the War in the Bush, 1974-1980 by JR T Wood.


              I borrowed that one from a library. Interesting read mostly about Fireforce and Rhodesian weapons development, Golf Bombs, Alpha Bombs, etc. Book spends big time going over the details of Op. Dingo. Book also contains a 2 hr DVD that features interviews with ex Rhodesian SAS Co. Major Brian Robinson, ex-RLI Chris Cocks, and many others.

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              • #8
                Thanks guys! to think I feared I'd be empty handed....

                Stryker- I'm still waiting on you man

                Edit:
                With your permission guys, I'd like to slide this thread a bit towards a debate, I hope it won't interrupt the flow of incoming resources, plus debates are a great way to learn too.

                Like I mentioned I'm pretty clueless about this conflict, but from what eddie posted and a few pictures I remember Stryker uploaded a while back it seems that the air force played a major role as a counter-insurgency tool, I'd like to hear your thoughts about how successful was it and what are the different roles it played.
                Last edited by Golani; 15 Jun 10, 13:52.

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                • #9
                  Winds of Destruction by PJH Petter-Bowyer.

                  http://www.amazon.com/Winds-Destruct...6637833&sr=8-2

                  Marine Corps officer course reading list, big, detailed etc etc

                  Boring as hell

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                  • #10
                    This is worth a read. Fireforce. Written by JR T Wood author of Counterstrike.


                    http://selousscouts.tripod.com/fire_force__part_one.htm

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                    • #11
                      Close Air Support of forward forces.

                      Golani, This may not qualify as 'debate', but I find parallels between US Air Force operations in Southeast in support of forces outside the range of friendly artillery (i.e., the MIKE Forces, the Special Projects, and MACVSOG)
                      and Rhodesian and South African Air Force support of their special operations. THe common denominator is that the raiding or striking forces have no organic artillery, or very little (i.e., the MRL Troop of 32 Battalion), and must therefore depend upon close air support by fighter-bombers and other CAS role aircraft for a variety of roles. All involved forward air controllers, usually flying around in small propeller driven aircraft, and a high level of CAS training among the small unit leaders in the striking forces. The Angolan war for the South Africans probably represents the classic case of such, in the there was an opposition air force which did, for part of the time, control the skies, and SAAF was often operating at limits of their capabilities on deep strike missions. Close Air Support will never replace long and medium range artillery (and indeed, on some operations, SADF artillery was available, ) for close in combat operations, but once one is beyond the range of the guns, a well-trained air-ground combat force is essential.

                      ps: I found Al J. Venter's The Chopper Boys: Helicopter Warfare in Africa, quite useful
                      Last edited by lirelou; 16 Jun 10, 13:31.
                      dit: Lirelou

                      Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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                      • #12
                        What was it's success rate?

                        As a rule-of-thumb I'd say addressing counter-insurgency mainly by air power is wrong as wrong can be, of course it is flexible but in order to run a good and long term successful COIN op. you'll need light infantry lots and lots of it, air power is just another mean, that's it.

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                        • #13
                          Golani, neither the Rhodesians nor the SADF used air power as a "main tool", unless we count the vertical envelopment forces as air power instead of ground. And you need both civil and military intelligence before you can employ that 'lots of infantry'. Intelligence is the key to successful COIN.
                          dit: Lirelou

                          Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lirelou View Post
                            And you need both civil and military intelligence before you can employ that 'lots of infantry'. Intelligence is the key to successful COIN.
                            No arguments here, this was and still is my basic claim.

                            But in order to translate this information (assuming it's enough it quantity and quality) you'll need to rely on light infantry.

                            As for "vertical envelopment" personally I'm against it, of course like anything else it has exceptions but Helicopters are a great way to alert your enemy and more then that- to revel your intentions.
                            In addition Helicopters today seem to be more vulnerable, that is due to the saturation of the battlefield in different types of rockets and missiles.

                            Light infantry, especially if it's well trained and experienced enough is much less probable to do that.

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                            • #15
                              vertical envelopment also includes the parachute, and the Rhodesian Fire Forces and South African parabats certainly demonstrated a mastery of the tactical employment of such. But there are limitations. A Rhodesian SAS officer explained to me that the insertion of HALO teams could only be done in any area once. Since Africans are herdsmen, all herds are watched 24/7. The hiss and pop of a high altitude para jump can be heard by sharp ears for many miles. And sharp eyes can make out objects in the night sky for many miles. They wouldn't know what it was the first time, but news of a subsequent contact with the RDF in the area, even unlettered herdsmen could put 2 and 2 together. Of course, advances are being made in stealth aircraft, to include troop transports that can land like helicopters. So vertical envelopment should not be ignored. Those 'lots of light infantry' still need mobility to mass at the critical point, even in COIN.
                              dit: Lirelou

                              Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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