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

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  1. #28
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    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:

    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:

    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.

    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.

    There is a main thread on Rhodesian COIN, with 303k views to date and one day this thread will be merged into it.
    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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