Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 108

Thread: All matters Rhodesian / Rhodesia (merged thread)

  1. #1
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Green Mountains
    Posts
    356

    Default All matters Rhodesian / Rhodesia (merged thread)

    Looking for any books, articles, or even websites on Greys Scouts, the horse-mounted infantry used in Rhodesia in the Sixties and Seventies. Any other information on the use of horsed cavalry in post-WWI small wars would also be welcome. Contrasting cavalry with early mechanization in small wars and trying to determine if there was much of a place for cavalry in small wars once tank and automobile technology became pretty dependable in the Thirties.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Ft. Bragg, NC, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Got it

    I have a few articals on Greys Scouts. I need to scan/pdf them so give me time. I also opened pandoras box on getting information out people so I am a little backed up.

    Cheers.
    “There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough never care for anything else thereafter.”
    *** Ernest Hemingway ***


    “Officers Making Simple $hit Hard Since 1775” ~~Anonymous~~

  3. #3
    Council Member Erick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    11

    Default

    taldozer-

    If you have those scanned, may I impose and ask for them? Looking for background on Grey's Scouts as I've encountered a former member who also has experience in the current fight. I'd like as solid a background as possible when I sit down with him.

  4. #4
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,225

    Default Quick link

    Granite,

    Try starting on: http://www.jrtwood.com/default.asp

    A bit off topic, may lead elsewhere. Is there not a book on the Grey Scouts already. I am sure seen one on a Rhodesian website, cannot recall which one!

    davidbfpo

    A consolidated thread on Rhodesian COIN is at:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2090
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-11-2010 at 11:29 AM. Reason: Add Mods note

  5. #5
    Council Member Jslade0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    12

    Default Rhodesia vs US: Training and Tactics in COIN

    Howdy,

    I'm doing a masters thesis on the idea of comparing Rhodesia's Training and Tactics to the current US. How did a little country with no resources manage to fight a COIN and train for a HIC fight so well, while the US appears to be only trying to train for one or the other.

    From what I've gathered so far, the Rhodesians trained 70% of the time on force on force threats, fearing one of their many neighbors were going to eventually attack in force. So they trained for HIC, but practiced COIN, fairly successfully. (with almost every contact resulting in enemy killed).

    Is my thesis wrong? Any ideas or suggestions for readings would be greatly appreciated.

  6. #6
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Welcome to SWC

    Try a PM to JMA - once upon a time, Rhodesian Light Infantry and all that stuff.

    Cheers

    Mike

  7. #7
    Council Member Kiwigrunt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Auckland New Zealand
    Posts
    467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jslade0 View Post
    Howdy,

    I'm doing a masters thesis on the idea of comparing Rhodesia's Training and Tactics to the current US. How did a little country with no resources manage to fight a COIN and train for a HIC fight so well, while the US appears to be only trying to train for one or the other.

    From what I've gathered so far, the Rhodesians trained 70% of the time on force on force threats, fearing one of their many neighbors were going to eventually attack in force. So they trained for HIC, but practiced COIN, fairly successfully. (with almost every contact resulting in enemy killed).

    Is my thesis wrong? Any ideas or suggestions for readings would be greatly appreciated.
    If you haven't seen them yet, try these threads on Rhodesia. They should keep you entertained for a bit

    link, link and link.

    There are also plenty of external links in them.
    Nothing that results in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. (Christopher Columbus)

    All great truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
    (Arthur Schopenhauer)

    ONWARD

  8. #8
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jslade0 View Post

    From what I've gathered so far, the Rhodesians trained 70% of the time on force on force threats, fearing one of their many neighbors were going to eventually attack in force. So they trained for HIC, but practiced COIN, fairly successfully. (with almost every contact resulting in enemy killed).
    a.) The "Train high, to fight low," is a product of post WW1 British Army training. What you are saying about the Rhodesians applied exactly to British across 20-odd insurgencies and rebellions they fought from 1919-1978. The IDF has, post 2006, gone back to training to fight high-end to be prepared for low end. It's normal. It's obvious. Why folks DO NOT do it, needs enquiry.

    b.) What you see in Rhodesia is close what you see in Oman or Dhofar, where you have imaginative British trained officers freed from senior over sight. Point being the idea is not uniquely "Rhodesian."

    c.) While the Rhodesians were uniquely skilled at the sub-unit level, I very doubt that they had the resources or training to fight effectively at the formation level. If you could find documented proof that they did train and resource this level of operation, and how they aimed to do it, that would be an extremely important find.

    d.) JMA may have a conflicting or additional view point.

    Is my thesis wrong? Any ideas or suggestions for readings would be greatly appreciated.
    Cannot tell. You never stated what your thesis was.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  9. #9
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jslade0 View Post
    Is my thesis wrong? Any ideas or suggestions for readings would be greatly appreciated.
    I would simply note that there is no country named Rhodesia today.

    Makes ya think.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

  10. #10
    Council Member Jslade0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    12

    Default

    I understand there were a few incidents where either the SAS or RLI encountered armored units. And while fighting camps with populations in the low thousands, wouldn't it be fair to say there were at least vs. company sized engagements going on?

    My thesis is roughly that the US should try learn several lessons from the Rhodesian Security Forces, mainly don't train whole brigades in COIN while neglecting HIC, keep cadre fresh from the fight, focus on Small unit tactics (like start printing 7-8 again), scouting is important to COIN, and again, scouting is important to COIN.

  11. #11
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jslade0 View Post
    I understand there were a few incidents where either the SAS or RLI encountered armored units. And while fighting camps with populations in the low thousands, wouldn't it be fair to say there were at least vs. company sized engagements going on?
    As I said, "Sub-unit." Units are Battle Groups or Battalions. Do you have a military background? If not this would be an extremely challenging area for you to study. Challenging. Not impossible. Does your supervisor have a military background?

    My thesis is roughly that the US should try learn several lessons from the Rhodesian Security Forces, mainly don't train whole brigades in COIN while neglecting HIC, keep cadre fresh from the fight, focus on Small unit tactics (like start printing 7-8 again), scouting is important to COIN, and again, scouting is important to COIN.
    So the US should learn sub-unit tactics from the RLI? Sorry, but my opinion is that you should train to fight as a Brigade (Formation.) Formation level skills are essential. You cannot fight a bunch of clowns like Hezbollah without them.

    Sub-unit Tactics are easy. It's a couple of weeks of Coy level training. It's all skills and drills stuff. This is extremely important, but it's cheap and easy to become proficient in this area - IF you know what you are doing to begin with.

    Fighting at the Formation level is a whole game up, and the one most folks cannot do.
    Last edited by William F. Owen; 11-08-2010 at 07:07 AM. Reason: Swelling
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  12. #12
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jslade0 View Post
    not just their Light Infantry battalion (as you state RLI), was an integration of police, civilian, intelligence, regular and irregular combat units?
    Well that's not tactics. It's Policy and Strategy. Those are all direct products of the British "Committee system". You may also want so study how the Committee system was used in Malaya, and Northern Ireland.

    If all the basic rifle platoon is asked to do, is this easy stuff you say, what is going on in a brigade sized exercise? just them practicing those skills and drills over and over again? it seems that your recommendation means we should only worry about training a brigade staff, in some sort of rigorous tocx. I don't understand.
    Sorry, but you are very mistaken. Formation level skills are about practising fighting as a formation. You can be very skilled at the Company level and utterly fall down at the Formation level.

    Yes, a well trained brigade staff is essential. For example, the IDF has allocated considerable resources to training Brigade Staffs since 2006. You cannot do without them. - and CPX's (TOC-X?) do not cut it, when it comes to doing a Battle Group passage of lines to launch another Battle Group, into an opposed obstacle crossing. - and plan and execute that in < 4 hours. You actually need to go and get cold and wet out on the ground, and know how long it takes to move the bridging kit from the hide area into the launch site, and who moves when and where.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  13. #13
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,225

    Default Once more Rhodesia can teach the USA?

    Apart from scouring the various threads on SWC, their links and recommendations I would recommend a PM to those who have studied Rhodesian training, or undergone it.

    Then I'd look at the literature written after 1980, by those who did serve; I say after 1980 as it will cut out the Soldier of Fortune material and the PR.

    Have a look at some of the well known texts: Reid-Daly on the Selous Scouts, the two tomes on the RLI and RAR. Then 'No Mean Soldier' by Peter McAleese, a British professional NCO who served there.

    I expect Rhodesian training was far more than a local variant on UK training, for example what was the impact before 1974 of the Portuguese? Plus South Africa, where after 1965 I expect much of the higher training took place.

    Quite a few here would be interested in seeing the end product.
    davidbfpo

  14. #14
    Council Member Chris jM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    176

    Default

    Interesting question, I'd be interested in reading your views on it as the topic progresses.

    I think I have an e-copy of Rhodesian COIN doctrine somewhere, if that would be of benefit.
    '...the gods of war are capricious, and boldness often brings better results than reason would predict.'
    Donald Kagan

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default for research on small nations fighting COIN wars...

    ... see 'Counterinsurgency in Africa: the Portuguese way of war, 1961-1974' by John P. Cann.


    Ian Smith's regime was supported primarily by Portugal and Portugal had to fight in three different theatres in Africa.

  16. #16
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Carlisle, PA
    Posts
    1,488

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    I would simply note that there is no country named Rhodesia today.

    Makes ya think.
    Word. Tactical acumen cannot compensate for a failed strategy. Afghanistan anyone?

  17. #17
    Council Member Jslade0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Word. Tactical acumen cannot compensate for a failed strategy. Afghanistan anyone?

    While youre point is appreciated, I don't think its related to my question. I'm trying to understand a comparison of the training and tactics of the two forces.

    To discuss strategy would be like two guys talking about fire arms in WWII, and somebody else entering the conversation with a bunch of guff on the atomic bomb.

    But to take your bait, was the Rhodesian Strategy really failed? I think its one thing to say your strategy is failed, when you have the best funded military in the world making little progress, but its something else to say an isolated country in an underdeveloped part of the world had a failed strategy, with almost zero trade partners, and borrowed or stolen equipment.

  18. #18
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jslade0 View Post
    While youre point is appreciated, I don't think its related to my question. I'm trying to understand a comparison of the training and tactics of the two forces.

    To discuss strategy would be like two guys talking about fire arms in WWII, and somebody else entering the conversation with a bunch of guff on the atomic bomb.

    But to take your bait, was the Rhodesian Strategy really failed? I think its one thing to say your strategy is failed, when you have the best funded military in the world making little progress, but its something else to say an isolated country in an underdeveloped part of the world had a failed strategy, with almost zero trade partners, and borrowed or stolen equipment.
    To take up Wilf's earlier point - you haven't articulated a thesis, you've articulated a topic. You still have to do that before we can truly critique you. Also, for an academic paper, you seem starting with a conclusion and looking backwards for evidence to justify it rather than observing the evidence and drawing a conclusion.

    Yes, their tactical performance with little resources was brilliant, but it also didn't matter. What Steve and I are saying is that we get obsessed as a military with tactical innovation while ignoring our deficit in strategic thinking.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

  19. #19
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default I second that. Or third it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavguy View Post
    Yes, their tactical performance with little resources was brilliant, but it also didn't matter. What Steve and I are saying is that we get obsessed as a military with tactical innovation while ignoring our deficit in strategic thinking.
    Totally true on all counts.The Rhodesians showed great tactical competence in an existential war, a really rather common occurrence.

    In our last existential war, 1942-45, the US showed tactical competence. I have little doubt we will again when needed -- right now for most people, it simply is not needed, adequate will suffice. That's unfair to the guys and gals on the ground now but that's the way it has always been and is likely to stay. Democracies will not invest in really good and hard training short of existential wars -- the Mothers get too upset at the 2-5% casualty rate caused by rigorous training. So does Congress, it's expensive to pay those folks for the damage to their little bods thus incurred and in a tight recruiting market, unnecessary (in the eyes of the budgeteers and politicians) losses are frowned upon.

    All the lessons from Rhodesia are readily available and have been studied, some are applicable, some are not. Those that have applicability have already been adopted. Ever notice how the US Troopie carries a weapon now versus say 15 years ago? That may be why some of us cannot understand what you're trying to do.

    In any event, the tactical side isn't a problem, the politics of restraint, risk avoidance and getting out of Dodge are the problem. Regrettably, the Rhodesian tactical lessons don't cover that. Their strategic error let down all those great tactical moves. Ours looks about to repeat the flaw...

    If you do not get the strategy right, you are not going to succeed tactically even though there will be (and are, in Afghanistan; were in Iraq...) a number of great tactical ploys, moves and operations. The TTPs aren't the problem, the politics are.

  20. #20
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    3,902

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jslade0 View Post
    Howdy,

    I'm doing a masters thesis on the idea of comparing Rhodesia's Training and Tactics to the current US. How did a little country with no resources manage to fight a COIN and train for a HIC fight so well, while the US appears to be only trying to train for one or the other.

    From what I've gathered so far, the Rhodesians trained 70% of the time on force on force threats, fearing one of their many neighbors were going to eventually attack in force. So they trained for HIC, but practiced COIN, fairly successfully. (with almost every contact resulting in enemy killed).

    Is my thesis wrong? Any ideas or suggestions for readings would be greatly appreciated.
    I'm travelling at the moment so not on here every day but will certainly assist you where I can. In addition I am able to put you into contact with the (surviving) senior officers and men who were involved with policy relating to training in Rhodesia right up to the end. Due to age some are more willing than others to get involved with such commuications. Anyway, good luck with your project.

    As you no doubt have noted from some of the comment below discussing this project here may be a mixed blessing. Just as you will be accussed of selecting the outcome before starting your project (as you already have been) you will find your critics may well have fixed positions on this matter and will not find any information forcing a rethink to be welcome.

    I offer two quotes to deal with those who approach your task from this position:

    ‘Minds are like parachutes — they only function when open.’
    and

    A closed mind is not only closed to outside thoughts, it is often closed to itself as well. It is closed to new thoughts and anything that threatens the status quo. But if you can open the doors, maybe just a crack at first, the ideas that have been patiently waiting at your gates will flood in.

    I suggest that you challenge these critics to explain their positions and not allow them to sit back and take pot-shots at your position/assertions/contentions. In other words push the boundaries.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 427
    Last Post: 05-29-2019, 10:48 AM
  2. Matters Blackwater (Merged thread)
    By SWJED in forum PMCs and Entrepreneurs
    Replies: 318
    Last Post: 04-06-2018, 11:32 AM
  3. The David Kilcullen Collection (merged thread)
    By Fabius Maximus in forum Doctrine & TTPs
    Replies: 451
    Last Post: 03-31-2016, 03:23 PM
  4. Gaza, Israel & Rockets (merged thread)
    By AdamG in forum Middle East
    Replies: 95
    Last Post: 08-29-2014, 03:12 PM
  5. All matters MRAP JLTV (merged thread)
    By SWJED in forum Trigger Puller
    Replies: 354
    Last Post: 05-08-2013, 01:05 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •