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

  1. #321
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    Default Not quite, Steve ...

    Yes, JMA used the "G-Word" in a response to another RLI trooper - in fact, he used it twice (Gee; that's another G-word).

    Rex Brynen then said:

    On a side issue, might I also suggest that we start referring to the black Zimbabweans killed in the war as ZANLA, ZIPRA, "black nationalist guerillas," or something else a little more appropriate than terrs and gooks? SWJ has always frowned on the use of "gooks" for the Viet-Cong, "ragheads" or "hajis" for Iraqis or Afghans, "wogs" in the former British Empire, "kaffirs" for blacks, "stcke" or "figuren" for Jews and gypsies, etc,regardless of whether such derogatory terms were in common use in theatre by the troops of the day.
    Thereafter, the G-word disappeared from this thread (whether or not used elsewhere is another issue) - until it was revived by Backwards Observer (directed to JMA as an ad hominem - still an ad hominem whether true or false) and culminated in this wonderful comment by Backwards Observer:

    Nine times out of ten you might get just a dirty look, but there's always a chance some overly-sensitive soul will whip out a paint-stripper or some such and slice your throat open.
    Like the 9/11 folks did - eh ! Nice; really nice.

    I think the recent "gook" posts should be deleted.

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 01-29-2012 at 07:38 AM.

  2. #322
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    Default Don't panic Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Yes, JMA used the "G-Word" in a response to another RLI trooper - in fact, he used it twice (Gee; that's another G-word).
    Relax Mike. As explained to Backwards Observer the use of the word 'gook' in the Rhodeisan context had no racial connotations. It was merely a term used for the enemy.

    That the use of the word in the context of Vietnam as used by US forces is taken as an insult by people of East-Asian origin is a different issue totally.

    Let me illustrate my point:


    Plenty of those signs around here in Durban, South Africa. What's the problem? No its not a NAZI Swastika but the 'shakti' used in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, and is also a Chinese character. So what are we to do? Ban the use of the symbol because of its NAZI connection regardless that there is no such connection with its use by Buddists, Hindus and Jains? This would be political correctness gone mad.

    Rex Brynen then said:

    Brynen is entitled to his opinion. You take it from whence it comes. The use of CTs (communist terrorists) and terrs (terrorists) are hardly any more inappropriate than the use of the word 'terrorist' is in the post 9/11 world... unless of course you are on the left of the political spectrum.

    Thereafter, the G-word disappeared from this thread (whether or not used elsewhere is another issue) - until it was revived by Backwards Observer (directed to JMA as an ad hominem - still an ad hominem whether true or false) and culminated in this wonderful comment by Backwards Observer:
    This matters how much? Backwards Observer now knows that the use of 'gook' in the Rhodesian context has no racial connotation and no connection with people of Chinese origin.

    Now all that remains is for that penny to drop with you.

    Like the 9/11 folks did - eh ! Nice; really nice.

    I think the recent "gook" posts should be deleted.

    Mike
    Censorship?

    The approach has surely got to be more mature than this. What about discussing the issue of names being applied to one's enemy in an open and frank manner? Why does everyone try to/need to demonize their enemy? Would make for an interesting discussion ... but not for the faint hearted politically correct who would no doubt squirm with discomfort.
    Last edited by JMA; 01-29-2012 at 09:12 AM.

  3. #323
    Council Member Backwards Observer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Like the 9/11 folks did - eh ! Nice; really nice.
    I'm not following. Are you saying the 9/11 folks were gooks?

    Aside from that, if people feel comfortable going to Asian countries and saying stuff like gook, chink, chogi, paki etc. to the locals, that's up to them. I wouldn't advise it, but maybe I'm just uptight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwards Observer View Post
    I'm not following. Are you saying the 9/11 folks were gooks?
    They were 'terrs' (terrorists) according to the US ... and maybe Islamic Martyrs according to others.

    I would be interested in hearing from Brynen how they should be referred to.

    Aside from that, if people feel comfortable going to Asian countries and saying stuff like gook, chink, chogi, paki etc. to the locals, that's up to them. I wouldn't advise it, but maybe I'm just uptight.
    Yes people from this neck of the woods would be wise to realise that the word 'gook' to many/most/all Chinese people is seen as a racial slur and should not be used there.

    I'm waiting to hear someone tell me that a Hindu living next door to a Jew should not be allowed to display a 'shakti' in his wall for fear of causing upset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    JMA: You mentioned in another conversation that you were not acquainted, when in RLI service, with the term "rules of engagement". I don't question that, as such, since our own current FM 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, does not use the term "rules of engagement" once.
    Correct, I did both the standard RLI recruits course and later a one year officers course. No such thing as rules of engagement.

    What did apply of course were the laws of the country. In addition there was a “good faith” provision of the Indemnity and Compensation Act of 1975 to prevent law suit against the security forces and the government relating to actions by individual members of the security forces.

    Of course, FM 27-10 is full of ROEs for different situations - as have been US service regulations and doctrinal publications since the 1863 Lieber Code (which is mostly ROEs). In both the US and UK, the ROEs have come under different names from before WWI - e.g., U.S. War Dept. Doc. No. 467, Rules of Land Warfare (1914), and J.W Spaight, War Rights on Land (1911).

    So, unless Rhodesia was a rara avis in British colonial terms, it should have had "field service regulations" (including "rules of engagement") for both its police and military services. De Boer's sin was not one of illogic, as such - though, of course, one cannot over-extend or violate rules that do not exist. His sin was in not researching to find the rules that probably did exist for both military and police. If he couldn't find such rules, then he should have said so - and altered his conclusions.
    Covered this above. The laws of the country and the Indemnity Act.

    De Boer's 'sin' it appears is to have formed an opinion first and then finessed the facts to (kind of) fit the finding he wants. Anyway you look at it, it remains a really crappy piece of work ... which should not have slipped past the scrutiny of the MR editorial board.

    Of course, just because written rules exist does not mean that everyone is aware of them (much less that people are really trained in them). So far as ROEs are concerned, I think Spaight's joke is on point (and perhaps not really much of a joke today):
    If there were rules of engagement then they would have been enforced.

    As to MR, I think the discussion here justifies the article's publication. I also could name a half-dozen writers who would say the article is just great - based on their own articles re: "war crimes", etc.
    I disagree. Firstly (as stated before) they have elevated this piece of garbage to the status of a published work and by implication conferred upon the author the status of 'expert' on Rhodesia. Unforgivable.

    If they had wished that the publication would generate discussion then surely they would have announced that at the time of publication and invited interested parties to respond through 'letters to the editor' of some other means. They have no excuses.

    I suggest that the de Boer article, which was based on an Hons thesis should be weighed against its merits as an academic paper. It is obvious that fails to prove what it set out to. That he got an Hons degree from the Dutch university of Utrecht is by the by as they may have lower standards. I'm sure there are universities in the US whose degrees are not considered to be worth much.

    As a kid he has no idea about the subject matter so that can be discounted.

    But there is now no stopping the kid. Rhodesia was merely chicken feed ... he has now moved on and is now and 'expert' on the Arab Spring... I kid you not.

    The Continued Importance of Broad Popular Support in Political Violence

  6. #326
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Cross-border raids to drone attacks?

    JMM in Post 261 'A Rose By Any Other Name ...' referred to:
    As an aside, I went back to Bruce Hoffman's 1991 RAND piece on Rhodesia. His Appendix C, Cross-Border Raids, summarizes several dozen raids in Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique and Angola. A study of those raids (if there is more available factually than Hoffman's brief summaries) seems presently material in light of the loosening of restrictions by two US administrations on those direct actions.
    JMM,

    The Rhodesians, later followed by the South Africans, used cross-border raids as a means of reducing the flow of guerillas into their territory - causing mass fatalities. Leadership attacks were unusual, IIRC attempts were made to kill Nkomo in Zambia, oddly I cannot recall a similar attack(s) on Mugabe & Co in Mozambique; the South Africans were more successful later with attacks on the ANC.

    The cross-border tactic was controversial at the time within the Rhodesian military, IIRC Jakkie Cilliers wrote on this in his post-Independence book and others like Michael Evans. Partly as it avoided a serious strategic approach to what was vital inside Rhodesia; it is a long time since I read those sources.

    The use made today by the USA, notably in Somalia, Yemen and NWFP, of the tactic cross border raids is very different - with selective targets, with far fewer fatalities. Yes the legal principles maybe the same, the method and effect are very different and so not similar.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-29-2012 at 11:29 AM. Reason: Tidy up
    davidbfpo

  7. #327
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    This link, The Saints: The Rhodesian Light Infantry seems more suited in this thread. Needless to say that it shows the history through the eyes of one side only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firn View Post
    This link, The Saints: The Rhodesian Light Infantry seems more suited in this thread. Needless to say that it shows the history through the eyes of one side only.
    I am fascinated by this comment.

    A little late in the day to be concerned about hearing both sides to the story don't you think?

    Probably 98% of all media coverage in North America and Europe had a distinct bias against the Rhodesian government and forces.

    A Canadian who served in the RLI (with distinction I might add) wrote this a while ago:

    Many years later back home in Canada I checked the archives of the public library for the newspapers during the time of the Chimoio (Op Dingo) raids. These historic raids had made the front pages of newspapers around the world. Sadly though, the ZANLA bull$hit terrorist propaganda version of ‘an agricultural training centre for refugees’ made bigger headlines and received bigger coverage than the official Rhodesian communiqué printed beside it.
    (Of course the Zimbabwe government has long ago given up on that lie and have built a monument to their fallen comrades on the site. It is only the lunatic left who continue with the propaganda lie.)

    It would be rather nice (even if belatedly) people were willing to hear both sides of the story and as Mike says as you have heard the 'ZANLA bull$hit terrorist propaganda version' now go find the Rhodesian version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    JMM in Post 261 'A Rose By Any Other Name ...' referred to:

    JMM,

    The Rhodesians, later followed by the South Africans, used cross-border raids as a means of reducing the flow of guerillas into their territory - causing mass fatalities. Leadership attacks were unusual, IIRC attempts were made to kill Nkomo in Zambia, oddly I cannot recall a similar attack(s) on Mugabe & Co in Mozambique; the South Africans were more successful later with attacks on the ANC.

    The cross-border tactic was controversial at the time within the Rhodesian military, IIRC Jakkie Cilliers wrote on this in his post-Independence book and others like Michael Evans. Partly as it avoided a serious strategic approach to what was vital inside Rhodesia; it is a long time since I read those sources.

    The use made today by the USA, notably in Somalia, Yemen and NWFP, of the tactic cross border raids is very different - with selective targets, with far fewer fatalities. Yes the legal principles maybe the same, the method and effect are very different and so not similar.
    David, the SAS were landed in Maputo by a South African Navy submarine and paid a visit on Mugabe... who surprise, surprise (like Nkomo when they visited him) was not at home at the time.

    Here is the detail from the BBC here

  10. #330
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    Default Have at it, Gents

    I'll watch.

    Mike

  11. #331
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    I am fascinated by this comment.

    A little late in the day to be concerned about hearing both sides to the story don't you think?

    Probably 98% of all media coverage in North America and Europe had a distinct bias against the Rhodesian government and forces
    I have to confess that I was too young for media coverage at the time and it is far easier now to find the military viewpoint of the Rhodisian army then the one of the other side. Of course it a whole different affair for somebody who shed sweat and possibly blood for a cause lost, I appreciate that.

  12. #332
    Council Member Backwards Observer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    I'll watch.

    Mike
    Take it easy, Mike. No hard feelings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firn View Post
    I have to confess that I was too young for media coverage at the time and it is far easier now to find the military viewpoint of the Rhodisian army then the one of the other side. Of course it a whole different affair for somebody who shed sweat and possibly blood for a cause lost, I appreciate that.
    Perhaps what I am suggesting is that it is possible to study military history (strategy/tactics/weapon employment/etc) without getting bogged down in the politics behind the war itself.

    Some time back right here on SWC someone suggested that because the French had resorted to torture in Algeria there is little if anything to be learnt from that war. Nonsense of course, but such beliefs persist.

    Just the other day I read something up in Liddel Hart's 'History of the First World War' and noted that of the 500 pages just 20 odd were dedicated to 'Origins of the War'. That IMHO is how it should be.

    Now your primer on Rhodesia should be the 6,500 word chapter, 'Countering the Chimurenga' written by JRT Wood, in the book 'Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfare' - Marston/Malkasian you can get a used copy for around $7 on Amazon.

    Read it, digest it and move on and study the war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    JMM in Post 261 'A Rose By Any Other Name ...' referred to:

    JMM,

    The Rhodesians, later followed by the South Africans, used cross-border raids as a means of reducing the flow of guerillas into their territory - causing mass fatalities. Leadership attacks were unusual, IIRC attempts were made to kill Nkomo in Zambia, oddly I cannot recall a similar attack(s) on Mugabe & Co in Mozambique; the South Africans were more successful later with attacks on the ANC.

    The cross-border tactic was controversial at the time within the Rhodesian military, IIRC Jakkie Cilliers wrote on this in his post-Independence book and others like Michael Evans. Partly as it avoided a serious strategic approach to what was vital inside Rhodesia; it is a long time since I read those sources.

    The use made today by the USA, notably in Somalia, Yemen and NWFP, of the tactic cross border raids is very different - with selective targets, with far fewer fatalities. Yes the legal principles maybe the same, the method and effect are very different and so not similar.
    David, I have a copy of:

    Top Secret War: Rhodesian Special Operations
    CHARLES D. MELSON
    From:
    Small Wars and Insurgencies
    Vol. 16, No. 1, 57–82, March 2005

    PM me if you don't have/want a copy. (220KB pdf)

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    Default Marno de Boer and the MR

    I must admit to being gobsmacked (sarcasm)

    de Boer states:

    Another goal was to make soldiers aggressive fighters. This took place explicitly in exercises where recruits had to charge at sandbags with a bayonet while swearing.
    Isn't this just too terrible ! (sarcasm)

    Note: I have the training programme of the last recruit run in the RLI in late 1979. I note that in week two two periods are allocated for Bayonet Training (FN Rifle 9) followed by a further two periods in week three for Bayonet Fighting (FN Prac 5). Can't think what the Training Officer (Maj Peter Cooper) was thinking. Such barbarity... shame on him. Four whole periods out of 19 weeks on the bayonet. I ask you.

    Then the killer:

    Moreover, abusive instructors caused anger and resentment among the recruits, which they released on the enemy. Some suggest that these same techniques were used in American training during the Vietnam era.
    Damn, ... the yanks too. (sarcasm)

    I mean how can it be allowed that a recruit instructor (or gunny) be allowed to say 'hurtful' things to recruits? This all just too much to handle!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shawzie View Post
    This is Beaver Shaw’s long awaited work! Beaver was a K-Car gunner in 7 and 8 Squadron’s of the Rhodesian Air Force. He is credited with having shot down a fixed wing aircraft, from his K-Car in 1979.
    This book covers the author's and other crewmen's experiences in No 7 Alouette Squadron as helicopter Technicians/Gunners who flew numerous operational sorties in Alouette G and K Car gunships on Fire Force operations during the Rhodesian Bush War. The Alouette III helicopters were extensively used within Rhodesia as well as on external operations into Zambia, Botswana and Mocambique. Beaver served during latter stages of the war - 1976-1980, and has the unique distinction as being the only gunner during the bush war who is credited with a successful Air to Air contact, when he shot down a Botswana Defence Force Islander plane, using the K-Car's 20mm cannon. This occurred during a difficult extraction of Selous Scouts troops who had just attacked a ZIPRA base in Francistown.
    We’ll be able to advice price and further details shortly, but to register interest and reserve a copy, email steve@30degreesouth.co.uk now! or in SA canic@mweb.co.za
    This book has been self-published and so is not available through bookshop or Amazon type channels. This is a pity.

    Choppertech is based upon the logbook entries of Beaver Shaw then a helicopter tech/gunner on both the Allouette and Augusta Bell choppers used in Rhodesia.

    I rate this book as an invaluable contribution to the military record of the Rhodesian War. For serious students of that war it is a must read/must have and certainly a must have for any military library which has a section on Rhodesia.

    Those (people and/or institutions) wanting to buy can PM for details.

  17. #337
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    Default The Freedom of Information Act is a wonderful thing...

    Sources plowing through 1,000s of pages of 'released' Brit diplomatic correspondence are starting to come up with some gems.

    Announcing Op Dingo:



    Mirage bombers? 'Heavy concentration of troops'?

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    Default More from FoIA...

    More on Op Dingo...



    This one's a beauty...

    Only left wing loonies swallowed this. It defies belief that Rhodesia would concentrate virtually every aircraft (plus an additional ten helicopters on short term loan from SA) to attack a civilian refugee camp.

    Mugabe told diplomatics it was a gook supply camp (which it was, training gooks and then dispatching them into Rhodesia).

    So the Brits thought it was 'the headquarters' (which it was - documentation recovered to prove it).

    So UNHCR said it was not a 'civilian refugee camp' - now that is progress. Wonder why UNHCR in New York, the Brits, the yanks, the Canadians and assorted European countries went along with the lie?

    As to who died. The gooks have now built a monument to their fallen on that day. 1,000 odd - the vast majority men... but that did not stop the idiot Brits at the time agreeing that the Rhodesians had concentrated all their combat aircraft (and more) plus their best troops to put in an attack on a bunch of civvies. (Can't make this $hit up)

    Finally on the civil aircraft shot down (amazed that it was not blamed on Rhodesian forces) an addition from another document:

    Further to the report on the Textafrica aircraft

    The aircraft, shot down by FPLM anti-aircraft gunners on approach to land at Chimoio on 23 November 1977, was a Piper PA-31 Navajo, registration CR-ANS operated by Textafrica. All eight occupants were killed.
    Last edited by JMA; 02-26-2012 at 06:33 PM.

  19. #339
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    Default Rhodesian Ministry of Internal Affairs

    Hat tip to a BSAP History Group email.

    There is a website dedicated to Rhodesia's para-military Ministry of Internal Affairs (Intaf), at a quick glance it maybe useful to those immersed in this 'small war':http://www.freewebs.com/dudleywall/

    Note the website is under development, so some headers go to blank pages.
    davidbfpo

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    Masters Thesis: Rhodesian African Rifles: the growth and adaptation of a multicultural regiment through the Rhodesian Bush War, 1965-1980.

    Major Michael P Stewart

    The Rhodesian African Rifles overcame profoundly divisive racial 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.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-17-2012 at 11:47 AM. Reason: Cited text in quotes

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