Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 108

Thread: All matters Rhodesian / Rhodesia (merged thread)

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  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
    13,352

    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 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.

  10. #10
    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

  11. #11
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    3,902

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    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?


    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.
    Not sure a I agree that it is more difficult to operate at formation level. For whom would that be? Only for the brigade commander ... for the rest it is IMHO easier.

    Sub-unit operations down to fire team level (four men) is not easier for the Brit forces. Corporals and Lance Corporals are not trained to apply the required degree of operational leadership and discretion that is required for such independent operations. How a typical US fireteam would perform independently on a (say) five day patrol I can't say.

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

    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?

    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.
    I suggest that one should learn to differentiate between HIC and COIN in that HIC is fought by battle groups and formations while in COIN it becomes a "corporals war" except where through risk aversity no operations are carried out in less than platoon strength.

    Units should have the ability to switch from one form of warfare to the other without having to undergo training or a refit.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Hello all at SWC,

    I am new to the community and the level of discussion, so hay.

    This post caught my eye. I agree with the proposition that you may find most of Rhodesia’s innovative tactics have been incorporated into modern COIN, maybe with the exception of some of the more adventurous partnering operations with ‘turned’ enemy carried out by the Scouts.

    A few years back I tried to explain in a short essay why South Africa was successful in stopping an insurgent war from developing in its own territory, which was the government’s major preoccupation once it became clear Rhodesia would fall. This was interesting because not only did SA have some innovative ideas on how to treat the local population, which differed from Rhodesia’s great failure to protect or win over its own population, but there was also some interesting kinetic COIN tactics in the border regions if I remember. I think they took the best of Rhodesia’s men, ideas and tactics after they fell and remembered not to beat on the population. Obviously, there are many other factors contributing to the outcome in Rhodesia's case, isolation being a major one, but it may prove interesting to you.

  15. #15
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    3,902

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    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.
    Is this what he meant?

    I read his position as being that fighting a counter insurgency war while holding the ability to switch to HIC (convention warfare) should the circumstances change was the plan.

    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."
    There is still a war in Dhofar? Thought that wound up in 1975? (Rhodesians were actively recruited for the Oman forces after 1980)

    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.
    The best we could put together were a number of battle groups which could operate independently or I suppose if there was a concentrated threat as a brigade. Certainly the RLI exercised as a battle group in 1979 when there was much talk of possible ZIPRA invasion from Zambia.

    Also if you read up on Operation Quartz brigade orders were issued (I was the scribe for one of the brigades orders - as a GSO3 Ops - under direction of the Brigade Major) which were a series of attackes on insurgent Assembly Places which if looked at natonally could be seen as a divisional action.

    Then if you read up on the history of the war in 1979 you will find that as the insurgent bases (in Zambia and Mozambique) became better defended (thanks to Russian and Cuban advisors) the actions against these bases became more conventional in nature. So one day the whole battalion would be gathered for these camp attacks (using conventional tactics) and a few days later sub-units were back to operating in four man "sticks". The ability to switch instantaneously between the two became second nature.

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

  16. #16
    Council Member Jslade0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    So one day the whole battalion would be gathered for these camp attacks (using conventional tactics) and a few days later sub-units were back to operating in four man "sticks". The ability to switch instantaneously between the two became second nature.
    1) I have not written the paper. I am in the very early stages of it, thats why I came to this body, to ask for advice, and direction.

    2) I've not gotten any conclusions already, but there are a few facts that I see as pretty telling.

    3) As just having gone through standing up a US army brigade, and its now apparently ready to fight, I'm very curious as to the training done by other successful forces. Most interesting to me is the Rhodesia experience.

    JMC, thanks for your input. What strikes me most is the "ability to switch". I've seen staff officers who have no idea what maneuver warfare is. Intel officers who don't know how to analyze terrain. Captains. Because thats not what they're being taught. Basic training doesn't even teach squad attack anymore, its all traffic control check points, search detainees etc. I never dug a fog hole, (and no one in my company did either) in my semi-recent experience at basic. It seems, which I seek to get a clearer picture of, that the US army is slow to change, but when it does, it's total.

    The ability to balance COIN with conventional seems to be pretty interesting, and I don't know of many armies in the world that did it as well has the Rhodesians. Maybe it's not true; but I hope whatever research I come up with will give me a clearer idea about it.

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

    Default

    This paper isn't an analysis of Rhodesian COIN fighting. That's been done plenty. I think the Rand Corp did a fairly authoritative study on it. It's comparing the Rhodesian ability to train HIC and COIN to the US's ability to balance both today.

    Some interesting things I found out so far:
    -Training cadre spent cycle breaks at the front.
    -All Officers had to be NCOs first.
    -Scout makes intel, which drives ops. US seems to understand Intel drives ops, but where does it come from?
    -Rhodesians won almost every contact without support of Field Artillery.
    -Combat tracking is an essential skill in COIN.

    These are interesting facts, (maybe JMC or others could dispell some of them as untrue) and I'm curious to see what they could mean in a broader context, specifically as contrasted to the US army training and doctrine production machine.

    Did Rhodesians read their own printed doctrine? how often was it updated? What were battle drills that were trained? Was there the concept of the "strategic corporal"?

  18. #18
    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 JMA View Post
    Is this what he meant?

    I read his position as being that fighting a counter insurgency war while holding the ability to switch to HIC (convention warfare) should the circumstances change was the plan.
    If so, then correct. The default setting for all UK training from 1919 (till very recently) was major combat operations. "COIN" was seen as a "restriction" of violence, with other skills thrown in.
    There is still a war in Dhofar? Thought that wound up in 1975? (Rhodesians were actively recruited for the Oman forces after 1980)
    Dhofar ran from 62/63. Point being it ran almost concurrently with Rhodesia, and mirrored it in many ways, as concerns UK training and doctrine. Point being folks say "Look at Rhodesia," and I agree, but also "look at Dhofar." As concerns tactical and operational skill, they have common routes.

    Also if you read up on Operation Quartz brigade orders were issued (I was the scribe for one of the brigades orders - as a GSO3 Ops - under direction of the Brigade Major) which were a series of attackes on insurgent Assembly Places which if looked at natonally could be seen as a divisional action.
    I would submit that this would be very good evidence of the Rhodesian Army operating at the formation level, or at least planning to.
    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

  19. #19
    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?

  20. #20
    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?

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 429
    Last Post: 06-04-2020, 01:15 PM
  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
  •