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

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Rhodesian COIN (consolidated thread, inc original RLI)

    Moderator's Note

    I have consolidated four RFI threads into this:All matters Rhodesian / Rhodesia (merged thread)

    A lot of information sits in the main thread: Rhodesian COIN (consolidated thread, inc original RLI) and the recently published book: Africa's Commandos - new book on the RLI (Now in Historians arena).

    As the war in Rhodesia was within a region wracked by conflict it is worth checking another thread: South Africa's COIN war in SWA/Namibia/Angola and COIN in Africa: The Portuguese Way of War, 1961–1974 (Now in Historians arena).

    A debate over the Rhodesian tactic 'Fireforce' is found in the Afghan context: Moving the Rhod. Fire Force concept to Afghanistan?

    A general search finds Rhodesia / Rhodesian appears in over a hundred threads, often in book lists for example. (Ends).



    H/T to Erik who sent in a link to this online book - Counterinsurgency in Rhodesia (link no longer works) by J. K. Cilliers. The book was written in 1985; here are the chapters:

    • Brief History of the War for Zimbabwe 1890 - 1979
    • Command and Control
    • Protected and Consolidated Villages
    • Border Minefield Obstacles
    • Psuedo Operations and the Selous Scouts
    • Internal Defence and Development
    • External Operations
    • Operation Favour: Security Force Auxiliaries
    • Intelligence
    • The Security Situation by Late 1979
    • Conclusion


    Was a separate thread and merged today
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-03-2017 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Mods note added. Link update in brackets).

  2. #2
    Council Member bismark17's Avatar
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    Default

    On the same vein, I really liked Lt. Col. Reid Daly's book on the Selous Scouts and Barbara Cole wrote an excellent book on the Rhodesian SAS.

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Talking Rhodesian Insurgency

    Does anyone have any good references for research. on Rhodesian Fire Force Units from this conflict. Found a Rhodesian COIN Manual, but any papers I would be highly interested in.

    Thanks
    Last edited by sgmgrumpy; 07-06-2006 at 03:31 PM. Reason: fatfingers

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default I have several

    sgmgrumpy,

    I have quite a few documents, although most were pulled from these links: http://www.rhodesia.nl/rhomil.htm http://www.rhodesianforces.org/Pages...competence.htm

    I have a couple other documents given to me by Mr. Charles Melsom of the Marine Corps History Division. PM me with a snail mail address and I can provide copies.

    S/F,

    JC

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default For others who may be interested

    I will be sending two documents to sgmgrumpy. One is a visualization of Fireforce tactics given to me by Chuck Melsom (another Rhodesian military follower) of the History and Museums division. The second is a copy of an external operation OPORD. It is similar to the basic SMEAC format, but the coordinating instructions are a gem because there is insight into how the
    Rhodies thought and planned.

    I only have them hardcopy now, but intend to scan and build into a .pdf. PM me if you'd like a copy.

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Copy please...

    If there are no copyright restrictions I will post the docs to the SWJ Library.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Another on COIN in Rhodesia

    Here is a link to download an out of print book from the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa

    http://www.iss.co.za/index.php?link_...e=12&tmpl_id=3

    Just found it so I can't comment on it.

    Best
    Tom

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default

    SWJED posted that in an earlier thread, and it is a really good reference. Although Covos Day is the publisher, the OPORD (in an annex) might not be copyrighted. I will investigate a bit.

    And before I forget, one of the comprehensive Fireforce references is a book called The Chopper Boys: Helicopter Warfare in Africa by A.J. Venter. ALthough much of it is anecdotal, is as current as Somalia, and the Rhodie part is similar to previously published J.R.T. Wood material, it is a rich book that I consider a prize on my bookshelf. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/185...lance&n=283155
    Last edited by jcustis; 07-06-2006 at 10:52 PM.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Is this the same guy?

    jcustis, If Charles Melsom is the same guy I think he is, he helped me on a close combat project I was working on for LE officers. Dealt with point shooting and other hand to hand combat. He is an expert in the USMC contibution in this area all the way back to China Marines and what they learned. At the time he was a major about to retire. Wrote a couple of very good books if he is the same guy. I wondered what happened to him. This is very strange if this is the same guy. I was ambushed by a stalker at my home some years ago and I survived based upon some of his research. my experience is know taught at some police officer survival courses. If this is the same guy I would really like to contact him about this. Can you help??

  10. #10
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default On second glance

    I just looked at the documents, and the last name is actually Melson, and his bio is here: http://www.nps.gov/wapa/indepth/extC...21-00/sec5.htm

    If he's the gentleman you're looking for, I can work the connections.

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    Default "Fireforce" by Chris Cocks

    One of the best primary sources I've read on the Rhodesian Light Infantry. This book is worth reading and rereading. I thought it was particularly interesting how all their vehciles were designed to survive mine explosions, and this was back in 1979.

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default Fireforce...Concur wholeheartedly

    That was where I was going to share the op order with sgmgrumpy. Great book.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default It's him

    It is him! I have 2 books by him and I compared author photos to his Bio picture. I just cannot believe this. Without boring you of the details I had been to many Army sources with no help at all, so I told it to the Marines and it worked out great. I actually ended up getting a copy of a declassified OSS training film from some connections he gave me. Anyway I guess we should do the PM thing so as not to disrupt the discussion. Thanks so much for your help.

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Good Info

    Thanks for all the help.

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default Materials in the mail

    I sent the docs off to you sgmgrumpy. For the fireforce material, I am working on getting them into a .pdf.

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    Default Rhodesian COIN Manual

    Can any one point in the direction of a Rhodesian COIN manual available for download?

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    Council Member franksforum's Avatar
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    I believe this should help.

    http://members.tripod.com/selousscou...oin_manual.htm

    I'll try again. If this doesn't work, here is the external link to the book. Need Adobe Acrobat reader.

    http://www.iss.co.za/pubs/Books/rhodesia/Contents.htm - Cached
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 08-25-2006 at 08:19 PM.

  18. #18
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default Two different documents

    To clarify, those links are to two different documents. The Cilliers book is a recap of sorts, while the material from the Selous Scouts page is the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATOPS) manual. Two different documents altogether.

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    A student paper from last year's Key Strategic Issues List:

    The Rhodesian Insurgency: A Failure of Regional Politics
    This Strategy Research Project (SRP) will examine the impact that regional politics had on the outcome of the Rhodesian insurgency that was fought between 1965 and 1980. Specifically, it will focus on how the foreign policy of South Africa in conjunction with the foreign policies of the U.S. and Britain affected the outcome of the insurgency and ultimately led to the fall of the white-rule government in Rhodesia. The central position of this SRP is that the outcome of the Rhodesian insurgency was determined by the political goals of South Africa, the regional power. The U.S., Britain, and the other western powers were pre-occupied with the Cold War and allowed South Africa to set the strategic agenda in Southern Africa during the period of the Rhodesian insurgency. This study will briefly describe the military developments and economic aspects of the insurgency, as well as the diplomatic developments that led to Rhodesia losing its war against the nationalist insurgents.

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    The Rhodesian armed forces were tactically superior to their enemies and yet today Rhodesia is no more.

    Seems like the lesson is that good tactics usually can't compensate for poor strategy in the long run; and, like it or not, strategy is sometimes more political than military.

    Are we seeing a repeat of that in the middle east?

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