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Thread: Oman / Dhofar campaign: catch all

  1. #41
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Iran's miltary role in Dhofar

    In the latest British Journal of Military History Geraint Hughes (a familiar name on this thread) has a new article Amateurs Who Play in League Division One’? Anglo- Iranian Military Relations During the Dhofar War in Oman

    It is 21 pgs. and has numerous references to pursue.

    Are there lessons to be learnt, the author argues there are.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-03-2017 at 10:10 PM. Reason: 61,748v 12k up since last post
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  2. #42
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Proxy guerillas across the border in Yemen

    An overview of this war by a Malaysian author. It is quite interesting as a commentary on fighting similar wars today.

    What was a surprise was this passage, which I have never seen referenced before:
    The SAF also sought to subvert PDRY support for the rebels by sponsoring proxy guerillas in the desert region on the Yemeni-Omani border. In early 1969, Britain’s MI6 intelligence service managed to persuade the nomadic Mahra tribe, which inhabited the region, to launch an anti-communist revolt to disrupt PFLOAG supply lines. The Mahra, combining nomadic raiding skills with British supplied modern arms and Land Rovers, attacked the forts that the PFLOAG depended on for their supply lines. The Mahra did extensive damage in the enemy’s rear and relieved pressure on the SAF. By 1972 the Mahra were being led by SAS personnel, and kept an estimated four PDRY battalions occupied by the end of the war.
    The author cites as his source Marc DeVore, The United Kingdom’s Last Hot War, 455-456, in the journal Small Wars & Insurgencies , which I read and posted a summary in Post 24, in 2015 and missed this.

    Link:https://thestrategybridge.org/the-br...ized-conflicts

    Update: DeVore was referring to two sets of sets of private papers in the footnotes, which have now been id'd.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-10-2018 at 09:43 PM. Reason: 65,768v and adding Update
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  3. #43
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default

    I’ve long considered this rebellion most relevant to courses of action to defeat the TB in AFG. Alas, Pakistan’s proximity and degree of support tilts the situation.

  4. #44
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Dhofar and Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I’ve long considered this rebellion most relevant to courses of action to defeat the TB in AFG. Alas, Pakistan’s proximity and degree of support tilts the situation.
    Jon,

    There is now ample writing that the Omani Sultan remained in charge, with initially UK support and then a wider coalition. One must wonder is the GIRoA in the same position today. Or is there an Afghan consensus to cease the war, which IMHO is no longer going to include defeating the Taliban?
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  5. #45
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    The realist in me says that “defeat” is no longer in the cards.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-02-2018 at 11:11 AM. Reason: 79,996v today

  6. #46
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Update

    In an old Post No.28 in 2015 I referred to a new documentary being made available for payment. I missed looking at their website till today (due to a post in another, new thread).
    Link:http://mysecretwardhofar.blogspot.com/

    The website has five short clips and their YouTube arena has more.
    Link:https://www.youtube.com/user/OperationOman

    Note YouTube has nine hundred hits on Dhofar War!

    Finally cross-border raiding is mentioned in part of the website; it involves Nick Downie, who was ex-SAS and on contract to Oman. Here is a quote:
    By that time I was a contract officer in SAF, charged with fomenting insurrection among the tribes of S Yemen. I commanded a unit of Yemeni exiles (bedouin) and we lived on the edge of the Empty Quarter. On one raid, we captured a substantial fort, 80 miles across the border. After the garrison surrendered, I filmed a bit of the action, before blowing it up with 1,100 lb of gelignite. This was three times more than was necessary. The fort literally vanished.
    Link:http://mysecretwardhofar.blogspot.co...-for-nick.html
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  7. #47
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default MilitaryIntelligence and the War in Dhofar: An Appraisal

    Id'd today whilst looking for very old Rhodesian personalities; the author is Professor Clive Jones, of Durham University and was published originally in the journal 'Small Wars & Insurgencies' and available via a link to the university library. As yet not fully read.

    The Abstract:
    This article examines the role military intelligence played in the Dhofar campaign between 1970-1976. Drawing on an array of sources, it examines not only the crucial role played by military intelligence in prosecuting a successful operational campaign against a Marxist inspired insurgency, but equally, the importance that intelligence played in consolidating the Al-Bu-Said dynasty when across Oman and Dhofar itself, the material benefits to be had from the discovery and production of oil had yet to be realised.
    Link:http://dro.dur.ac.uk/17178/1/17178.pdf

    His other article still has no web link alas: Jones, Clive. (2011). Military intelligence, tribes, and Britain’s war in Dhofar, 1970-1976. Middle East Journal. Vol, 65, No.4, p.557-574. A quick search cannot find an open access edition.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-25-2020 at 09:40 AM. Reason: 92,741v today; 13k up since Jan 2018; 106,275v today14k up since June '19
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  8. #48
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default

    A US Army officer whilst @ Kings College London submitted his Ph.D. thesis 'Combined Omani-British strategy during the Dhofar rebellion (1963-1982)' and the Abstract states:
    The Omani government defeated the communist-aligned Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman (PFLO) during the Dhofar Rebellion (1963-1982) by implementing a national policy to pursue a military strategy, supported by information, economic, and diplomatic efforts. The Sultan’s government, aided significantly by the British and other Gulf states, set the conditions for military victory by integrating all aspects of national power to support a singular, local strategy. Most accounts of the conflict limit their analysis to the military aspects of the campaign, although in recent years a small body of work emerged on the diplomatic aspects of the war. However, to understand the complexity of the strategy required to win in Dhofar, all of its aspects must be examined before and after the coup that deposed Sultan Said bin Taimur in favour of his moderate son, Qaboos, in July 1970. The combined Omani-British strategy during the Dhofar Rebellion was an example of how to fight a war by integrating aspects of national power. Both states balanced national and regional interests to fight the insurgents. A strategic analysis of the war allows historians, strategists, and policymakers to reassess the narrative that Qaboos radically changed the direction of the war by embracing a ‘hearts and minds’ approach, the importance of Qaboos’s diplomatic efforts during and after the 1972 Sarfait campaign, Said’s efforts to plan and implement a modernisation plan following commercial oil production, the British contribution to the failure to develop a holistic strategy during Said’s reign, and the actions required to secure Dhofar after the termination of major military operations in 1975. A comprehensive examination of the conduct of the war places it within its historical and cultural context and allows government leaders and historians to better understand the limitations of applying its lessons within the context of modern conflicts.
    Link:https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/...bb970e60).html
    Sometimes Kings thesis appear online, I have not readily found it.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-18-2020 at 08:21 PM. Reason: 136.5k views today
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  9. #49
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The RAF in the Dhofar War

    Spotted two articles on RAF officers serving in Oman, on 'Loan Service' for two year unaccompanied tours and one covers the Dhofar War, in particular the famous attack on Mirbat Fort - which the SAS got plaudits for, with RAF-piloted Strikemasters delivering air support. Link pg. 125 onwards:

    There is another article, which details the scene, role and aircraft over a longer period. Pg.117-124
    Link to both: https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documents/research/RAF-Historical-Society-Journals/Journal-49.pdf


    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-09-2020 at 11:43 AM. Reason: 229,300 views today
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  10. #50
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Revisiting Oman: A Model for Integrating Conventional and Special Operations Advisors

    A new Journal article that has many web links and so could be useful. It ends with:
    If the United States intends to assist its allies and partners by building military capacity, a blend of conventional and special operations support is ideal. The combined British-Omani counterinsurgency campaign in Dhofar provides an outstanding template for a balanced security force assistance strategy.
    Link: https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/ar...isors-security
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  11. #51
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Update: 2011 article (cited on Post 24)

    Post 24 refers to an article 'The United Kingdom's last hot war of the Cold War: Oman, 1963-75' by De Vore and has been made available by the author. Contact davidbfpo for a copy via PM. Alas too large to upload.
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  12. #52
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A soldier's tale

    Last week the ‘Daily Telegraph’ published an obituary for Nick Downie, who had fought in Dhofar, first with the SAS, then for Oman. It is alas behind a pay wall, so I cite just a few passages:
    Nick Downie, who has died of Covid-19 in South Africa aged 74, was a former SAS soldier widely regarded as one of the world’s best combat cameramen.
    Downie had been a professional soldier for six years, three-and-a-half of them in the SAS, and also fought as an irregular alongside Bedouins in the Sultanate of Oman against Marxist-led insurgents from 1972 to 1974, and with Kurdish Peshmerga guerrillas in Iraqi Kurdistan during the Second Iraqi – Kurdish War (1974-75).
    From 1971 the SAS were involved in suppressing the Dhofar Rebellion, a clandestine war in Oman against communist-backed insurgents from South Yemen. Downie was sent to Oman as a trooper, but after a while decided to buy himself out to join the Sultan of Oman’s Yemeni exile Bedouin irregulars as a contract mercenary.
    Promoted to sergeant, he was put in charge of a unit with orders to penetrate deep into South Yemen to carry out acts of sabotage and foment insurrection among the tribes. On one raid from their base on the edge of the Empty Quarter they captured a large fort, 80 miles across the border. After the garrison surrendered, Downie decided to blow it up “as a demonstration that we had arrived”. His calculations showed the need for 300 lb of gelignite, so he laid 1,000 lb. The fort, he recalled, “literally vanished”.
    The demolition of the fort and the subsequent success of “Nick’s Guides”, a camel unit he founded, so impressed the Sultan that he wrote out a cheque for £500,000. However, disillusioned by what he saw as obstructionism by the British officer corps, Downie returned to London, though he felt vindicated when his irregulars mutinied with the aim of having him brought back as their leader.’
    From: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituari...flict-western/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:13 PM. Reason: 270k views today
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  13. #53
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Bullets Not Ballots: Success in Counterinsurgency Warfare

    A new book includes Dhofar as an example of how COIN works; I listened to an online talk last week:
    In Bullets Not Ballots, Jacqueline L. Hazelton challenges the claim that winning "hearts and minds" is critical to successful counterinsurgency campaigns. Good governance, this conventional wisdom holds, gains the besieged government popular support, denies support to the insurgency, and enables military and political victory. Hazelton argues that major counterinsurgent successes since World War II have resulted not through democratic reforms but rather through the use of military force against civilians and the co-optation of rival elites. Hazelton offers new analyses of five historical cases frequently held up as examples of the effectiveness of good governance in ending rebellions—the Malayan Emergency, the Greek Civil War, the Huk Rebellion in the Philippines, the Dhofar rebellion in Oman, and the Salvadoran Civil War—to show that, although unpalatable, it was really brutal repression and bribery that brought each conflict to an end. By showing how compellence works in intrastate conflicts, Bullets Not Ballots makes clear that whether or not the international community decides these human, moral, and material costs are acceptable, responsible policymaking requires recognizing the actual components of counterinsurgent success—and the limited influence that external powers have over the tactics of counterinsurgent elites.
    The publisher's website is: https://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu...ts/#bookTabs=1

    A 30% discount is available, for details see: https://fsi.stanford.edu/events/bull...rgency-warfare
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