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Thread: Rhodesian COIN (consolidated thread, inc original RLI)

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    Default Rhodesian Drake Shoot

    Officially known as the Transitional Shoot was an essential part of the ongoing shooting training for trained soldiers.

    RHODESIAN TRANSITIONAL SHOOT
    (aka Drake Shoot)

    INTRODUCTION

    1. During most contacts a low rate of kills is being achieved to the number of rounds fired. For example after one engagement it was reported that a platoon fired approximately eleven hundred rounds and achieved no kills or hits despite the fact that the contact took place at a range of less than thirty yards. Examination of the contact area later revealed that the majority of shots fired by the security forces were high, this was borne out by the amount of damage to trees in the vicinity. Most rounds had struck foliage three to four feet above ground level.

    2. From those observations it would appear that whilst it is possible to train a soldier to a high standard of shooting on the range it does not necessarily follow that he is automatically able to apply the lessons learnt when he comes under fire in battle.

    This lack of application can be put down to two basic reasons:

    a. A failure to relate his weapon training lessons to fieldcraft.

    b. A natural nervousness due to stresses created by battle conditions.

    AIM

    3. The aim of this range practice is to teach soldiers to relate field craft and ground appreciation to good shooting under realistic conditions.

    METHOD

    4. The basic faults to overcome are:

    a. A tendency to fire high. This is a result of firing range practice at comparatively large figure targets mounted approximately six feet above ground level. The terrorist will usually be at ground level and will present a target no higher than twelve inches.

    b. Failure to fire at potential enemy cover. Soldiers nust appreciate the ground, and fire at likely enemy positions, WHETHER THEY CAN SEE MEN THERE OR NOT. Logs, bushes, tree trunks and folds in the ground all provide likely cover, the high velocity 7,62mm round will penetrate most natural cover at close range!

    c. Tendency to concentrate fire on the most likely position. If a terrorist is visible or isolated cover suggests more likely position, there is a tendency for all to fire in one direction. This results in the arc to the front not being fully covered and although one terrorist may be well and truly dealt with, several others in less obvious fire positions will remain unscathed and potentially dangerous.

    5. To summarise, a soldier must be taught and practised to:

    a. Fire low, no higher than 9 - 12 inches above the estimated ground level.

    b. Select and fire at likely enemy fire positions remembering to relate his field craft to his shooting.

    c. Fire at the enemy within his own particular arc to his front and not to be drawn to fire at obvious targets already covered by others within his fire unit.

    RESULT

    6. This dootrine has been tried and proven. A platoon trained on the lines described above engaged terrorists in three separate contacts in one day, resulting in:

    a. Four terrorists killed.

    b. Two seriously wounded (one suffered 10 hits).

    c. Five captured.

    d. A total ammunition expenditure during the whole day of 250 rounds and one grenade.

    PRACTICES

    7. The following practices are best fired on field firing ranges or in jungle lane areas but can be adapted to classification or transitional ranges by the provision of artificial cover.

    8. This shoot should be fired by all soldiers at the completion of recruit training and Practice 3, with variations, by trained soldiers at every available opportunity.



  2. #362
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    7,62mm round will penetrate most natural cover at close range!
    Not sure about British English, but that's not possible in American English (or only DOD speak).
    The supposed "cover" would in American English only qualify as "concealment".

    It's noteworthy that Germans don't properly differentiate between the two either. "Deckung" and "Sichtschutz" are different things tactically, and this should be better appraised. We talk too often about "Deckung" instead.


    http://www.scribd.com/doc/2472256/Ar...ent-and-Decoys
    (I would have sworn that the "D" in "CCD" was about "deception", maybe in an earlier FM version?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Not sure about British English, but that's not possible in American English (or only DOD speak).
    The supposed "cover" would in American English only qualify as "concealment".

    It's noteworthy that Germans don't properly differentiate between the two either. "Deckung" and "Sichtschutz" are different things tactically, and this should be better appraised. We talk too often about "Deckung" instead.


    http://www.scribd.com/doc/2472256/Ar...ent-and-Decoys
    (I would have sworn that the "D" in "CCD" was about "deception", maybe in an earlier FM version?)
    Yes obviously then the British use of the word covers a wider definition.

    "Cover" in general terms is in relation to observation and enemy fire.

    In the instance of a contact it would follow that if you seek cover from enemy fire you will not be able to take part in the fire fight or play only a limited part in it.

    (As an aside here the fieldcraft lesson "Selecting lines of advance" would, if the lesson was adhered to, make sure that a stick/fire team/squad/section were not totally caught out in the open or in a disadvantageous tactical position. Accepting that operations in jungle and thick bush limit your options for tactical movement somewhat.)

    The training in response to receiving the order "Take Cover" is to "Dash, down, crawl, observe, sights, fire." Remembering to change your firing position often.

    So unless your intention is to "hide", cover would generally relate to cover from enemy observation. Folds in the ground may afford partial cover from enemy fire but your head, arms and weapon would need to exposed... preferably behind something providing cover from direct enemy observation.

    The aim of the Transitional (Drake) Shoot is to improve the effectiveness of selecting and firing into likely cover (behind which the enemy may be lurking) during a contact while winning the fire fight. Or as the document on the shoot stated:

    The aim of this range practice is to teach soldiers to relate field craft and ground appreciation to good shooting under realistic conditions.
    Don't let semantics distract you.

  4. #364
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    Default A newly discovered book

    Thanks to BSAP Assoc. (History) email a review of 'Shadows of a Forgotten Past: To the Edge with the Rhodesian SAS and Selous Scouts' by Andrew Hudson and concludes:
    The book deserves an equal place alongside similar contributions and I recommend it to those who wish to add to their existing collection of publications on the exploits of these famed units during the bush wars in Southern Africa.
    Link:http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.ph...ews&Itemid=141

    Well reviewed on Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/SHADOWS-OF-FOR.../dp/1908916605
    davidbfpo

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    Default Another book landed

    Hat tip to a "lurker" to this book, published July 2012, which I have not read or seen in the UK.

    'Viscount Down:The Complete Story of the Rhodesian Viscount Disasters' by Keith Nell (ex-Rh. SAS) is reviewed once on:http://www.amazon.com/Viscount-Down-...=viscount+down and has copious reviews on its own website:http://www.viscountdown.com/

    There is a cheap Kindle edition US$10; via the website US$77 and UK Pounds 44.

    Without demeaning what happened for SWC a follow-on episode maybe noteworthy, taken from a review of the book:
    This is followed by the hunt for the terrorist gang responsible, and starts with my sudden and totally unexpected assignment to quell a mutiny by 100 heavily armed terrorists who had availed themselves of an amnesty offer of a safe return and were being held in a secret bush camp. The story includes a personal account of living with these undisciplined and gung-ho thugs who had to be turned around and trained in undercover operations before our search for Nkomo’s missile gang could commence. It is a text book case of how opposing forces can work together in highly subverted and extremely hostile territory; of intelligence gathering and winning hearts and minds of the local population. A key component of our success was the ability to suddenly appear and conquer without affording the enemy opportunity to return fire and then to vanish without trace.
    davidbfpo

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    I was taught this is called "Cover shoot"

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    Default A loyal, multicultural regiment: The Rhodesian African Rifles

    A newly discovered CSI article: 'The Rhodesian African Rifles: The Growth and Adaptation of a Multicultural Regiment through the Rhodesian Bush War, 1965-1980', which now joins my reading pile:http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/car...icanRifles.pdf

    Added: JMA added a post below that the paper was already in this thread. Sigh, memory loss.

    The Amazon precis:
    The Rhodesian African Rifles overcame profoundly divisive racist and tribal differences among its members because a transcendent "regimental culture" superseded the disparate cultures of its individual soldiers and officers. The RAR's culture grew around the traditions of the British regimental system, after which the RAR was patterned. The soldiers of the RAR, regardless of racial or tribal background, identified themselves first as soldiers and members of the regiment, before their individual race and tribe. Regimental history and traditions, as well as shared hardships on deployments and training were mechanisms that forced officers and soldiers to see past differences. The RAR is remarkable because these bonds stayed true through to the end of the war, through incredible pressure on black Rhodesians to succumb to the black nationalist groups and cast off a government that was portrayed to them as oppressive, racist and hateful. Through the end of the Bush War, 1965-1980, RAR soldiers remained loyal and steadfast to their regiment, and that must be their legacy. In the end, the values of the government were irrelevant. It was the regiment that drew these men in, and their loyalty was more to their comrades and their heritage than to any particular government or cause.
    A marked contrast - to date - with more contemporary conflicts, such as Afghanistan. Yes, there is a long running, large thread on Rhodesian COIN to which this will join one day:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2090
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-29-2013 at 10:10 PM. Reason: Add 2nd link. Was in a separate thread, now merged here.
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    David,

    I've done a quick read-through and it looks quite interesting. In posting this, are you suggesting that we (US/ coalition/ etc...) attempt something similar in Afghanistan....local troops led by "western officers" or perhaps encourage/ promote a regimental system within the ANA?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-29-2013 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Was in a separate thread, now merged here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan View Post
    David,

    I've done a quick read-through and it looks quite interesting. In posting this, are you suggesting that we (US/ coalition/ etc...) attempt something similar in Afghanistan....local troops led by "western officers" or perhaps encourage/ promote a regimental system within the ANA?
    Morgan,

    I would not go that far in Afghanistan, rather if similar interventions are considered which require a rebuilding of security forces consideration should be given to using features of such a unit as the RAR.

    My recollection is that at least one attempt was made in Helmand to form a locally recruited or hired unit with a strong ISAF component, akin to the practices of the Imperial Indian Army on the North-West Frontier (which has appeared on an earlier thread).

    Back to Rhodesia now. From reading long ago the RAR recruited mainly from one small tribe, who had a long tradition of service.

    More when I have read the CSI paper.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-29-2013 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Was in a separate thread, now merged here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Morgan,


    My recollection is that at least one attempt was made in Helmand to form a locally recruited or hired unit with a strong ISAF component, akin to the practices of the Imperial Indian Army on the North-West Frontier (which has appeared on an earlier thread).

    David, Can you direct me to that thread? I was not aware of any such effort and am curious as to the results.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-29-2013 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Fix quote. Was in a separate thread, now merged here.

  11. #371
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    Morgan,

    The first thread is historical 'The Role of the British Political Officer on the North West Frontier':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ghlight=scouts

    It took some searching, but in 2010 'Red Rat' referred, very briefly to a British unit in Helmand Province:
    The 'Helmandi Scouts' which has been in the field for at least 2 years.
    See Post 67 on the thread 'Counterinsurgency and Its Discontents'.

    It is not clear IMHO whether this is a UK unit or a locally recruited unit. It does look suspiciously like the former.

    A Google search found two other references, from a CSIS book / PDF that it was an Afghan unit, without a page reference alas:http://csis.org/files/publication/090727_ansf_draft.pdf
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-29-2013 at 10:08 PM. Reason: Was in a separate thread, now merged here.
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    Default Helmandi Scouts

    PM sent to Morgan.

    I think they were a locally recruited unit, mentored by the British, but at a time when mentoring was not the norm.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-29-2013 at 10:08 PM. Reason: Was in a separate thread, now merged here.
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

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    David, this thesis was covered in the Rhodesia thread from this point onwards:

    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...&postcount=340




    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    A newly discovered CSI article: 'The Rhodesian African Rifles: The Growth and Adaptation of a Multicultural Regiment through the Rhodesian Bush War, 1965-1980', which now joins my reading pile:http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/car...icanRifles.pdf

    The Amazon precis:

    A marked contrast - to date - with more contemporary conflicts, such as Afghanistan. Yes, there is a long running, large thread on Rhodesian COIN to which this will join one day:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2090
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-29-2013 at 10:08 PM. Reason: Was in a separate thread, now merged here.

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    Default Book Review: Special Branch War by Ed Bird

    Thanks to a BSAP History email alert, a partial quote:
    Bird manages to describe life on an SB station in an operational area very well. He tells of the, hereto generally unknown and unsung, commitment, huge risks and sacrifices made during the ‘hondo’ by many dedicated members of SB. Exposed are the frustrations of intelligence gathering with counter-insurgency work, where useful information often fell on deaf ears, or where the clue-less, who should have known better, could never use the ‘int’ efficaciously. But there were exceptions, brave men who took to unconventional, if not dirty, tactics and with whom lifelong friendships endured.
    Link:http://justandrewbooks.wordpress.com...ar-by-ed-bird/

    Link to South African publisher:http://www.30degreessouth.co.za/ and the UK option:http://www.30degreessouth.co.uk/

    Amazon UK shows the book will be published in January 2014:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Special-Bran...ial+Branch+War
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-09-2013 at 07:24 PM.
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    Default "Cut to the Bone" a book by Craig Bone

    Ex RLI soldier and renowned painter, Craig Bone, is offering the complete edition of his book free on Kindle for 11 November 2013 only.

    Go to amazon.com

    If you snooze, you lose.

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    Thumbs down Pulling Out All The Stops

    This article (appearing in the SWJ Blog, as I write), Drawing Lessons from Zimbabwe's War of Liberation (by Jephias Andrew Dzimbanhete; Journal Article, December 10, 2013), does exactly that - all stops are pulled.

    The author's conclusion is relatively restrained given the body's overall content (snip):

    The foregoing discussion has shown that current attempts to equate and link the selective nature of violence that was deployed by the revolutionary guerrilla forces to contemporary outbreaks of violence are unfounded and devoid of academic analysis. The nonselective violence that is perpetrated by troops of an incumbent government is normally intended to stifle legitimate demand for economic and political spaces by the citizens. On the other hand the application of violence on civilians by the liberation fighters was in the interest of creating economic and political space. It would be fitting to refer to guerrilla violence as ‘freedom violence'.
    Of course, under the 1977 APs to the GCs, "freedom fighters" were exempted from a number of the Laws of War. Consistent with the proponents of the 1977 APs, the author now introduces "freedom violence" as a protected category.

    The article is certainly timely - Nelson Mandela's funeral and all. And, it takes one back to the 60s and 70s.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Default More Zimbabwe garbage...

    It is noted with sadness the the Journal has deemed it fit to publish the following piece of garbage:

    Drawing Lessons from Zimbabwe's War of Liberation: Efficacious Use of Propaganda and Violence

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...-of-liberation

    It is a well known component of insurgencies that at a point the insurgents take control of the population and exert 'discipline' as a means of "defending the revolution". In many counter insurgencies more civilians are killed by the insurgents.

    In Rhodesia we (the military) were both unwilling and unable to cross the line that the insurgents did as a matter of course.

    As the publication of this garbage follows on from the publication of that scandalous piece by the Dutch boy in the MR a year (or so ago) it may indicate that US editors are less fastidious than they should be?

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    Mike, this is a pathetic attempt to white wash the atrocities carried out by the (ZIPRA and ZANLA) insurgents against the civilian population during the Rhodesian War. It may be worth some discussion from a legalistic PoV but nothing else.

    There was an almost universal paranoia amongst the insurgents about spies and informers in the population and as a result many were killed in front of gathered groups of villages in the most brutal manner - to send a message to the people of what will happen to sell-outs. To state that all claims by security forces of insurgent atrocities were propaganda not merely wrong but dishonest.

    My question (like when that Dutch boy's garbage was published in MR) is how did this trash pass editorial review?


    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    This article (appearing in the SWJ Blog, as I write), Drawing Lessons from Zimbabwe's War of Liberation (by Jephias Andrew Dzimbanhete; Journal Article, December 10, 2013), does exactly that - all stops are pulled.

    The author's conclusion is relatively restrained given the body's overall content (snip):



    Of course, under the 1977 APs to the GCs, "freedom fighters" were exempted from a number of the Laws of War. Consistent with the proponents of the 1977 APs, the author now introduces "freedom violence" as a protected category.

    The article is certainly timely - Nelson Mandela's funeral and all. And, it takes one back to the 60s and 70s.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Default Mark, from a legal viewpoint,

    the Dzimbanhete article isn't worth a review.

    What I was trying to put across is that the article (exemplified by its coinage of the term "freedom violence") comes from the same well (manure pile, whatever) as the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, in their carving out exceptions for the "freedom fighter", the "transitory guerrilla", the "occasional IED layer", etc., etc.

    It reminded me of the agitprop of the 60s and 70s, which I also said in the post. As I use the term "agitprop" here (agitation of a mass audience by propagation of the written word), the material can be true, false or mixed (white, black or varying grays) and can be acceptable, unacceptable or "so what" (depending on the reader's viewpoint). The author Dzimbanhete uses a more limited definition:

    In this article I subscribe to Sturges's definition of propaganda. He writes that propaganda is the practice of distributing material that is untrue or if it is true, it is actually not relevant and applicable. The aim of propaganda is to confuse and deceive those that receive it.[1]

    [1] P. Sturges, ‘Information in the National Liberation Struggle: Developing a Model', Journal of Documentation, 60, 4 (2004), p. 439.
    That kind of agitprop is definitely black (or a deep shade of gray) in content. One might well ask whether Dzimbanhete's article itself is "propaganda" as Sturges defines it. Sturges, BTW, is in Pretoria (faculty bio). Here are abstracts of his 2004 and 2005 articles.

    The "literary genre" of Dzimbanhete's article is similar to that of our USAian Nick Turse (born in 1975; Wiki), who has made himself a career from the time of his 2005 Columbia University Ph.D dissertation, "Kill Anything That Moves: United States War Crimes and Atrocities in Vietnam, 1965-1973", to the present - his 2013 Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam. Whether Turse's agitprop about Vietnam is black, white or gray is not going to be an issue for me here. Turse does resemble Dzimbanhete (re: that author's talk of "freedom violence") in Turse's 2000 article, New Morning, Changing Weather: Radical Youth of the Millennial Age:

    On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold engaged in a shooting and bombing spree in Columbine High School that left fifteen students, including the alleged gunmen, dead. ...
    ...
    When a youngster decides to make war on his school and classmates, the media leaps to vilify him, his alleged influences, his weaponry, and his parents. Politicians are keen to do the same, and capitalize on the shootings by pushing for new firearm regulations and stiff penalties. And why not? Don’t we punish psychotics bent on threatening life and property, set upon destroying the "American" way of life? Shouldn’t we condemn those who take the lives of others through "senseless" violence? Or should we try to make sense of it? Preferring the latter option, I propose that kids killing kids may be the radical protest of our age, and that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold may be the Mark Rudd and Abbie Hoffman figures of today.
    ...
    While these young boys may have no Port Huron statement, no manifesto, and no coordinated actions (that we know of), they are a legitimate radical faction that may have one-upped the violent Weather Underground and the revolutionary Abbie Hoffman. These boys have truly embraced "revolution for the hell of it," maybe better than Abbie ever did. The randomness of their "non-campaign" may be the ultimate expression of "rage against the machine," ripping into the system, as it were, at its most vulnerable and fundamental level, perhaps more so than Weatherman’s bombing of the U.S. Capitol.
    ...
    The violence unleashed by these juveniles also acts as a call to action for like-minded individuals. Their ability to gain recognition and exert power grows with each like incident, forcing us to look for connections and search for scapegoats. Maybe they have no pithy slogans, no unifying symbol, maybe Marilyn Manson is no Bob Dylan, and maybe their Woodstock ’99 is a poor rip-off of the original (which "ripped off" Monterey), but no one can deny the radicalism of their murderous behavior. Who would not concede that terrorizing the American machine, at the very site where it exerts its most powerful influence, is a truly revolutionary task? To be inarticulate about your goals, even to not understand them, does not negate their existence. Approve or disapprove of their methods, vilify them as miscreants, but don’t dare disregard these modern radicals as anything less than the latest incarnation of disaffected insurgents waging the ongoing American revolution.
    In this early Turse piece, we have another example of the "freedom violence genre". Is it "propaganda" in the Sturges sense: material "to confuse and deceive those that receive it ?"

    Finally, to your question (asked before about the Dutch article): how do these things get past editorial boards. The secret is to footnote the hell out of everything - in Dzimbanhete's article, 31 footnotes preceded by a bibliography of over a dozen books, articles and oral interviews. To completely vet these (to determine how black, white or gray), one would have to check the substance of each cite; and also determine its credibility.

    For example, Dzimbanhete writes:

    Writing in 2006, Parker, a former Rhodesian serviceman, revealed that the Selous Scouts were responsible for the murder of Father Killian Huesser, a Roman Catholic priest based at Berejena Mission in February 1980.[3]

    [3] J. Parker, Assignment Selous Scouts: Inside Story of a Rhodesian Special Branch Officer (Alberton: Galago, 2006), p. 285.
    ...
    The balance of probability points to the Rhodesian Selous Scouts as being responsible for the murder. It was very likely that the Rhodesian Selous Scouts were responsible for the murder of white missionaries at rural outposts and rural African businessmen.[5]

    [5] The Rhodesian Ministry of Information, Tourism and Immigration published a pamphlet in July 1978 in which the description of the murders is given.
    As to the first cite, did Parker say that; and, if so, is Parker a credible witness ? I don't know; but would find out if this were a litigated case. It isn't, however. The second cite (the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Immigration) doesn't, on its face, prove the "probability" asserted.

    For good or bad, editorial boards do not do that kind of vetting - that process is left to the reader or independent reviewer. As an example, we see the influence of footnotes and reviewers in a review of Turse's new book:

    I read the book on my Kindle. When I finished a chapter about 3/4 of the way through, I noticed the last "chapter" seemed enormous, but I was ready to grind through it. It turns out that last "chapter" was probably 75-80 pages of footnotes and source material. That was impressive and amazing. The proof is in the pudding. And the accolades from people like Daniel Ellsberg and Andrew Bacevich are to be taken seriously. Turse's other books, as well as his amazing contributions to TomDispatch.com well worth investigating for readers who found thus book interesting, educational, and enlightening.
    And so it goes - and will continue to go.

    Regards

    Mike

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    There has been some discussion on this (excuse for a) paper on the Journal. I have responded there. Mike also responded on the Rhodesian thread to which I will respond.

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