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

  1. #421
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Ex-UK SAS and reporter: Rhodesia was a study in military incompetence

    Years ago there were a famous pair, infamous to some, of British TV reporters in the later years of Rhodesia: Nick Downie (cameraman) and Robert Cecil (reporter). This week You Tube's algorithm produced their most famous report 'Rhodesian Bush War 1978', a very short film (7.5mins) of a Rhodesian African Rifles (RAR) action in the bush; I had forgotten how vivid it was and noted his closing remarks became all too telling for Zimbabwe. There is a fuller documentary 'Frontline Rhodesia' (30 mins), alas that appears to remain in a TV company vault.
    Link to the You Tube film clip:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPLFp9-zupc

    As Nick Downie remarks in the film Richard Cecil was die in another action (explained later).

    From a blogger an explanation for Nick Downie's success in filming:
    Nick Downie, former SAS trooper turned war cameraman. Some of the nastiest fighting was documented by this chap throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's. His training allowed him to get closer than most would dare:
    Link and note the focus is Dhofar & the SAS:http://mysecretwardhofar.blogspot.co...-for-nick.html

    It appears that Nick Downie wrote a critique of the Rhodesian campaign at the time. It opens with and my emphasis in bold:
    The Guerrilla war in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia is at the same time both a classic counter insurgency situation, yet unique in the methods employed against the insurgents. The author, a freelance cameraman and former soldier (having served in five campaigns, three times in the counter in surgency role, and twice as a guerrilla commander) spent six months in Rhodesia in 1978 filming the conduct of this campaign. His partner, journalist Lord Richard Cecil, was killed during contact between government troops and ZANU guerrillas. In his opinion, any professionally trained guerrilla force operating in the Rhodesian bush could have brought the country to its knees literally years ago.

    This article outlines the methods employed in COIN duties within Rhodesia, specifically describing an operation by one of the elite Fire Force units of the Rhodesian Army......Indeed, the liberation armies of ZANU and ZAPU are arguably the worst guerrillas to have taken to the field this century.
    Link:http://rhodesianforces.org/RhodesiaS...competence.htm

    There is a fuller account of how Richard Cecil died on a blogsite ARSSE, once well known here in the UK. Earlier I used 'infamous' as both men wore Rhodesian uniform and carried a firearm - not something many journalists would do. This account gives IMHO a considered explanation.
    Link:https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/african-infantryman-of-the-year.126106/page-315#post-8125623

    There is a main thread on Rhodesian COIN, with 303k views to date and one day this thread will be merged into it.
    Link:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...-original-RLI)
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-26-2018 at 12:33 PM. Reason: 251v when stand alone thread. Thread has 308,016v today.
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  2. #422
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Rhodesian Air Force Operations

    Discovered this book via the BSAP History Group email. It was published in 2014 and is still available via the second link (in various formats).

    The book summary:https://books.google.co.za/books/abo...AJ&redir_esc=y

    The publisher:https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?...hodesian&type=
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-04-2018 at 07:15 PM. Reason: 318,179v today 10k up since posted
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  3. #423
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Operation Enterprise - The Battle for Salisbury

    Once more a discovery thanks to the BSAP History Group email; again published in 2014 on a website I'd not seen before 'Our Rhodesian Heritage'.

    It is a long report by a Special Branch officer on 'Operation Enterprise - The Battle for Salisbury' as the war ended, so to just after the elections. A few snippets: the US SF Master Sgt who joined the Army who was a spy; the use of motorcycles in the open ground and the value of intelligence. Most of the operation was conducted in the African rural areas around Salisbury (now Harare) and some in the city itself.

    Link:http://rhodesianheritage.blogspot.co...attle-for.html
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-07-2019 at 06:22 PM. Reason: 327,027v today
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  4. #424
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    Default Sergeant-Major A. J. Balaam, Selous Scouts, late Rhodesian Light Infantry

    A set of medals is due to be auctioned and the bio sketch illustrates what the Selous Scouts did:
    A scarce Rhodesian Military Division Order of the Legion of Merit pair awarded to Sergeant-Major A. J. Balaam, Selous Scouts, late Rhodesian Light Infantry, a master ‘pseudo-operator’ during the Bush War, who thought nothing of operating behind enemy lines for stints of a month at a time, often on his own in horrendous conditions, whilst co-ordinating multiple pseudo groups.

    A Mortar expert, Balaam also suffered shrapnel wounds whilst serving on a covert operation against a Frelimo target in Mozambique. Over the course of five years’ service with the Selous Scouts he took part in the attack on Mapai in June 1976, and the notorious raid on Nyazonya, 9 August 1976, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 ZANLA insurgents (four Scouts wounded).

    After the formation of Zimbabwe in 1980, Balaam was employed in 5 Reconnaissance, South African Defence Force, Special Forces. He subsequently became a civilian advisor responsible for training the Transkei Defence Force, and from there became involved with the training of both the Lesotho Liberation Army and the Ciskei Liberation Army. The latter led to a failed coup, 19 February 1987, which ultimately led to Balaam’s arrest.
    Link:https://www.dnw.co.uk/auctions/catal...3&lot_id=50692
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  5. #425
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default 1st Battalion Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association

    Checked out their website just, quite a few articles to read and so enjoy.
    Link:http://www.therli.com/
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