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    I am another who is interested in the human factors.

    The level of technical and tactical innovation and inventiveness also fascinates me. Much of the modern MRAP's history seems to stem from developments in Rhodesia (and South Africa too, possibly to an even greater extent).

    It's a pretty good case study for fighting a war on a miniscule budget with very little external support. It's also an excellent case study on how easily world opinion can be manipulated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
    I am another who is interested in the human factors.

    The level of technical and tactical innovation and inventiveness also fascinates me. Much of the modern MRAP's history seems to stem from developments in Rhodesia (and South Africa too, possibly to an even greater extent).

    It's a pretty good case study for fighting a war on a miniscule budget with very little external support. It's also an excellent case study on how easily world opinion can be manipulated.
    If you haven't already read this, here is a start point:

    The Pookie - A History of the World's first successful Landmine Detector Carrier - by Dr J.R.T. Wood

    The key was this: "The net result was that ZANLA would stop laying landmines on roads regularly swept by the Pookie and lay them elsewhere in the hope that they would not be found before they could achieve their objective."

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    Cited in part:
    Quote Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
    The level of technical and tactical innovation and inventiveness also fascinates me. Much of the modern MRAP's history seems to stem from developments in Rhodesia (and South Africa too, possibly to an even greater extent).
    There are a couple of books on vehicle development. Rhodesian contacts were proud of their record and as part of the relationship with South Africa gave the SADF full access, even one example of each vehicle. After 1980 IIRC they were amazed to see how much the SADF had developed the concepts further, usually putting them into service in SW Africa (Namibia now) and annoyed they had not been updated.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    If you haven't already read this, here is a start point:

    The Pookie - A History of the World's first successful Landmine Detector Carrier - by Dr J.R.T. Wood

    The key was this: "The net result was that ZANLA would stop laying landmines on roads regularly swept by the Pookie and lay them elsewhere in the hope that they would not be found before they could achieve their objective."
    That's a thoroughly interesting link.

    I'd previously only read Dr Wood's Helicopter Warfare: 1962-1980 article and found it very informative. I found it an excellent bit of further reading after Chris Cocks' Fireforce.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    There are a couple of books on vehicle development. Rhodesian contacts were proud of their record and as part of the relationship with South Africa gave the SADF full access, even one example of each vehicle. After 1980 IIRC they were amazed to see how much the SADF had developed the concepts further, usually putting them into service in SW Africa (Namibia now) and annoyed they had not been updated.
    I'm not surprised at how amazed the Rhodesians would have been at seeing what the South Africans had accomplished. When you consider how quickly things seemed to progress from looking at Pookie prototypes to developing the Bosvark, the Buffel and then the Casspir, it's an incredible achievement. Then to consider how successful both the Buffel and the Casspir have been over the last three decades or more, it's really quite remarkable. They've been quite long-lived vehicles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Condor View Post
    Moderator's Note: thread created to help JMA and gain hopefully responses (ends)

    Aviation operations in general with an emphasis on rotary wing operations in support of the ground forces. Also did the Rhodesian ground forces use some version of a Forward Air Controller (FAC) to help coordinate aviation assets with the guys on the ground?
    Condor, further to my first response here is a further comment from elsewhere from Peter Petter-Bowyer:

    -----------------------------

    Background to FAC and GAC
    By Peter Petter Bowyer

    Then Rhodesian forces of Federal days had an obligation to Britain to support her Baghdad Treaty obligation in any conflict in the Middle East. In addition British interests in Africa were to be supported, when needed, by Rhodesia.

    Therefore the Federal Army and the RRAF (Royal Rhodesian Air Force) trained for conventional operations based on British military systems which were themselves based on WW ll principles. In this regard the RRAF trained Army battalion and sub unit commanders in the methods necessary to effectively direct air strike pilots against enemy targets visible to their own forces. This was essentially an RAF systems known as Forward Air (Strike) Control or FAC.

    After some cock-ups experienced during Operation Cauldron (1968) it was necessary to adopt totally different techniques for counter insurgency operations in bushveld conditions. So a home-grown method of FAC was developed by the Rhodesian Air Force in co-operation with RLI Commando Commanders and SAS. We called this method of Ground to Air Control of air strikes, GAC. Once developed and proven, most army units were trained for GAC.

    ---------------------------

    Group Captain Petter-Bowyer has published an extremely interesting autobiography - "Winds of Destruction"

    Only possible in a very small airforce 'PB' was involved in most of the developments in the Rhodesian Air force and the war - importantly the home grown weapons development.

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    Personally, I think the Rhodesians got screwed, and the rest of the world is loath to admit it, because of the inevitable screams of 'racism' that will inevitably accompany anyone attempting to voice support for a post-colonial nation that had a white-skinned head of state resisting an "opposition" of black-skinned terrorists.


    I'm interested in the lessons of Rhodesia at least in part to help avoid future catastrophes where superficial narratives obscure much deeper ethnic problems (paging Dr Kosovo!) and that the "public" solution often ends up being far worse than even status quo. Is Zimbabwe/Rhodesia really better off after 30 years of "self-determination" (read: "mugabe"-determination) than they would've been under the government that existing in 1974?


    Additionally, the individual tales are, quite frankly, a riot to read.
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    JMA,

    I appreciate the suggestions and I will try to pick up a copy of each. I believe it was member jcustis who made a statement something along the lines of "I don't think we [the US] are utilizing our rotary wing assets as efficiently or effectively as we could be". As a former US Marine helicopter pilot with a couple of tours in OIF, it struck me like a sledgehammer to the forehead that a fellow Marine (and ground pounder to boot if I am reading between the lines correctly) would say such a thing about his fellow brothers in the air. We have always prided ourselves (within the Marines) as providing our brothers on the ground with the best possible air support one could expect when the going gets rough. With that being said, after much self-reflection I believe there was some elements of truth to his claim. While I am no longer serving, I do think there is much to be gleaned from other air forces around the world and how they have operated and been successful (or failed). Some of what I have read recently on this topic piqued my interest so I have been trying to spend what little free time I have reading about the subject. While no doubt the size, uniqueness and intimacy that the Rhodesian Air Force enjoyed probably helped contribute to its successes (and the fact it was fighting for its very existence) one must wonder why there seems to be so little study on this subject? Politics aside, I do think there is a lot to learn from this period and with budget realities starting to hit the US Military maybe there will be some movement to start thinking creatively while retaining capable, effective and reliable aviation assets without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, I feel us Americans always want to buy the Ferrari rather than the Ford when it comes to military aircraft. Maybe that day is soon coming to an end. I've always argued we need more A-10 and CH-53E type aircraft and less F-35 and MV-22 type aircraft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
    I'm not surprised at how amazed the Rhodesians would have been at seeing what the South Africans had accomplished. When you consider how quickly things seemed to progress from looking at Pookie prototypes to developing the Bosvark, the Buffel and then the Casspir, it's an incredible achievement. Then to consider how successful both the Buffel and the Casspir have been over the last three decades or more, it's really quite remarkable. They've been quite long-lived vehicles.
    Development in South Africa was parallel where the SAP (police) and the military worked separately with the military retaining the conventional chassis with its suspension system (the Buffel) while the SAP developed the monocoque design used by Konchel in Rhodesia on the Leopard further (into the Casspir).

    It should be noted that while Rhodesian vehicles were designed to travel on roads and tracks the South Africans developed vehicles with cross country capability to avoid roads and tracks that could be mined.

    Book to read:

    Taming the Landmine - by Peter Stiff

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    Quote Originally Posted by BayonetBrant View Post
    Personally, I think the Rhodesians got screwed, and the rest of the world is loath to admit it, because of the inevitable screams of 'racism' that will inevitably accompany anyone attempting to voice support for a post-colonial nation that had a white-skinned head of state resisting an "opposition" of black-skinned terrorists.

    I'm interested in the lessons of Rhodesia at least in part to help avoid future catastrophes where superficial narratives obscure much deeper ethnic problems (paging Dr Kosovo!) and that the "public" solution often ends up being far worse than even status quo. Is Zimbabwe/Rhodesia really better off after 30 years of "self-determination" (read: "mugabe"-determination) than they would've been under the government that existing in 1974?

    Additionally, the individual tales are, quite frankly, a riot to read.
    The world is not yet ready or mature enough to discuss such matters rationally - as evidenced by the recent thread in the Journal. And that was arrogant yet totally ignorant Americans.

    Better one looks to the current CAR and South Sudan for - once again - graphic proof of how thin the veneer of civiliazation really is. Have just spent a year in West Africa you can pull more examples from there. Not to mention Rwanda.

    Disclaimer - before some luntic clown points a finger and screams racism at me I need to place on record that the Bosnia example proves (as did the Germans 70 years ago) how thin that veneer of civiliazation is universally.

    But here we talk of Africa.

    Xenophobia to the extent where people from different tribes/religions will be killed at a drop of a hat - if they stray into the wrong area - still exists as evidenced in many examples from across Africa on an almost daily basis (as it does in gang areas in LA and elsewhere).

    The problem is that many Africans deny the existence of tribalism on the basis that it makes Africans look uncivilised and undeveloped ... and sadly there are idiots out there who believe this.

    I had an experience in Mozambique about 20 years ago where at a program meeting which was attended a senior (female) USAID person (the donor) we all were told by her that there was no tribalism in Mozambique. I dared to ask her how she had arrived at this position and she responded - I kid you not - that her driver had assured her of this. (she was shagging her driver).

    I realised at that moment that if relatively senior US decision makers on the loose in Africa were that gullible/ignorant then all was lost.

    Twenty years on it has - in my humble opinion - got worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Thank you for the tip.

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    My interest lies largely with the back to the wall innovation displayed by Rhodesian forces.

    My greatest interest lies in Selous Scouts/Special Branch, SAS, and RLI operations....most specifically with external operations conducted by SAS and Selous Scouts.

    There have been some great books out in recent years about the conflict.

    A recent couple of titles seem well regarded but VERY hard to come by, such as Pittaway's book series on SAS and Selous Scouts:

    http://dandy.co.za/

    Unfortunately, out of print.

    I'd just about sell my soul if I could find a copy of Pittaway's SAS: The Men Speak and especially Selous Scouts: The Men Speak

    Recently read Viscount Down and was quite impressed with the book to go along with Ron Reid Daly's Selous Scouts book and Barbara Cole's The Elite.

    Just lined up Dennis Croukamp's Bush War book next and waiting for a book on Rhodesian Special Branch.

    I wonder how relevant the paramilitary merge between Selous Scouts and Special Branch is in today's climate and the likely future climate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flagg View Post
    My interest lies largely with the back to the wall innovation displayed by Rhodesian forces.

    My greatest interest lies in Selous Scouts/Special Branch, SAS, and RLI operations....most specifically with external operations conducted by SAS and Selous Scouts.

    There have been some great books out in recent years about the conflict.

    A recent couple of titles seem well regarded but VERY hard to come by, such as Pittaway's book series on SAS and Selous Scouts:

    http://dandy.co.za/

    Unfortunately, out of print.

    I'd just about sell my soul if I could find a copy of Pittaway's SAS: The Men Speak and especially Selous Scouts: The Men Speak

    Recently read Viscount Down and was quite impressed with the book to go along with Ron Reid Daly's Selous Scouts book and Barbara Cole's The Elite.

    Just lined up Dennis Croukamp's Bush War book next and waiting for a book on Rhodesian Special Branch.

    I wonder how relevant the paramilitary merge between Selous Scouts and Special Branch is in today's climate and the likely future climate?
    Hi Flagg,

    Had breakfast with Jonathan Pittaway this morning and sadly there are no immediate plans for additional print runs for his SAS and Selous Scouts books. Keep your eyes out on e-bay.

    Don't forget the RLI book (proceeds to the Regimental Association):

    Africa's Commandos: The Rhodesian Light Infantry

    Other books can be found on facebook group: Rhodesian War Books including fiction.

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    My interest is in the use of pseudo-operations during the Rhodesian Bush War.

    Reading about the Selous Scouts prompted me to begin studying pseudo ops, and I've been working (albeit slowly ) on the project for the past year.

    - Mac

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    Quote Originally Posted by McArthur View Post
    My interest is in the use of pseudo-operations during the Rhodesian Bush War. Reading about the Selous Scouts prompted me to begin studying pseudo ops, and I've been working (albeit slowly ) on the project for the past year.

    - Mac
    Mac,

    You are not alone in this interest. At one stage quite a few books often with a more military emphasis referred to such tactics aka "dirty tricks", then there was a pause and IIRC a book by an ex-BSAP officer, Ellert being the author, added a lot more. I don't think we know much today, if records existed they have gone and now Rhodesian memories are fading away. In my reading I have yet to encounter the views of the targets, the liberation fighters.

    The Ellert book was published in 1989:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rhodesian-fr...t+%2B+rhodesia
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-06-2014 at 04:00 PM.
    davidbfpo

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    Condor,

    From the book Africa's Commandos comes this quote:

    “Fire Force was the end product of a philosophy, a philosophy that ignored the inter-service rivalry, vested interests, convention, rank, petty rule books and personal agendas so prevalent in the behaviour of the modern military. Fire Force was a manifestation of an ethos that like-minded commanders of all ranks and of all arms needed to combine their considerable talents in a collective effort to constantly evaluate the battlefield, to be self-critical in all analyses, and to strive to work for the greater good.” - NIGEL HENSON

    Henson's article on fire force with superb diagrams in the book is a must read for those wishing to explore this aspect more.

    I have been told by Brits and many from different US forces that this philosophy is not achievable in their systems due to interservice rivalry and other internal BS.

    Would you agree?



    Quote Originally Posted by Condor View Post
    JMA,

    I appreciate the suggestions and I will try to pick up a copy of each. I believe it was member jcustis who made a statement something along the lines of "I don't think we [the US] are utilizing our rotary wing assets as efficiently or effectively as we could be". As a former US Marine helicopter pilot with a couple of tours in OIF, it struck me like a sledgehammer to the forehead that a fellow Marine (and ground pounder to boot if I am reading between the lines correctly) would say such a thing about his fellow brothers in the air. We have always prided ourselves (within the Marines) as providing our brothers on the ground with the best possible air support one could expect when the going gets rough. With that being said, after much self-reflection I believe there was some elements of truth to his claim. While I am no longer serving, I do think there is much to be gleaned from other air forces around the world and how they have operated and been successful (or failed). Some of what I have read recently on this topic piqued my interest so I have been trying to spend what little free time I have reading about the subject. While no doubt the size, uniqueness and intimacy that the Rhodesian Air Force enjoyed probably helped contribute to its successes (and the fact it was fighting for its very existence) one must wonder why there seems to be so little study on this subject? Politics aside, I do think there is a lot to learn from this period and with budget realities starting to hit the US Military maybe there will be some movement to start thinking creatively while retaining capable, effective and reliable aviation assets without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, I feel us Americans always want to buy the Ferrari rather than the Ford when it comes to military aircraft. Maybe that day is soon coming to an end. I've always argued we need more A-10 and CH-53E type aircraft and less F-35 and MV-22 type aircraft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Mac,

    You are not alone in this interest. At one stage quite a few books often with a more military emphasis referred to such tactics aka "dirty tricks", then there was a pause and IIRC a book by an ex-BSAP officer, Ellert being the author, added a lot more. I don't think we know much today, if records existed they have gone and now Rhodesian memories are fading away. In my reading I have yet to encounter the views of the targets, the liberation fighters.
    David,

    From the Rhodesian forces there has been restraint on writing about the 'dirty tricks' stuff. In those days much of what was done was considered to be smart innovation - which could be/would be viewed differently in todays world.

    There is detail starting to come out with other stuff waiting for the right moment to be released. When that will be I'm not sure.

    For instance A book by Ed Bird who was with SB has published a book based on the SB Diary which he took out of the country with him after the war. Disarming honesty. I know Ed, he lives down the coast a few hours and told me he was not censoring anything for the book.

    Special Branch War: Slaughter in the Rhodesian Bush. Southern Matabeleland, 1976-1980

    I too am in search of content from 'the other side'. Yet to find anything that seems vaguely honest. For example I bought a kindle book from a then child who was used to spy on troop movements and the like. When in his first chapter he wrote about the idyllic life experienced befor the colonists arrived I stopped reading.

    Anyone with any historical knowledge would be aware of the inter clan wars and the invasion of the area some 50 years before the arrival of the colonists by the Ndebele in the 1830s made the area less than idyllic and peaceful as this liar maintains.

    Another book by a female had a long piece about a supposed ambush on the Salisbury/Kariba road after which it took the Rhodesian forces three day to recover the bodies of their casualties. Nonsense, complete nonsense.

    Then we have that piece - based on a doctoral thesis - published in the Journal which again was utter garbage.

    It may take sometime and certainly until after the collapse of the Mugabe regime for the truth from that side to start coming out. In the meantime as per my Orwell quote below in the case of Zimbabwe it is a case of "He who controls the present controls the past."

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    @JMA: Ordered the book by Ed Bird. The fact that he took with him the SB diaries and based the book mostly on them sold it for me, apart from your approval of course.

    Some time ago I listened to a podcast of the highly respected Christopher Browing in which he talked about the summary execution of twenty Jewish prisoners by fellow Jewish prisoners during a transfer by train.* This had been common knowledge among the survivors but only became public some twenty years ago. In other cases the dominant media narrative has slipped aspecific event into the collective memory of those survivors which never happened.

    Your point about the difficulties to get 'content' from the other angle is likely a very valid one. If we consider the lenght and degree players on the other side were exposed to a rather unified narrative a lot of stuff must have been impressed and changed the memory. This is why old documents not intended for propaganda could be so important. We will see.

    *Ironically similar things happened on trains bringing German POW home from the SU for similar reasons. Obviously still today is also practically only remembered that 'it' happened.
    Last edited by Firn; 02-06-2014 at 03:31 PM.
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    JMA,

    First, before I answer your questions, let me say something and you can take it anyway you want. How you respond is up to you. I would appreciate it if you stop using a broad brush to paint all Americans as "arrogant and stupid". While no doubt America has it's fare share of "useful idiots" as you so like to throw out, I'd argue that there is a silent majority of Americans who are smart and hard working people who on top of all that would be willing to hand you the shirt off their back if you were in need. To continue to talk that way is an insult to the many fine people in this country. I'm sure you would take offence (<-- proper Queen's English for those so inclined) if I continually painted all former white Rhodesian's as racists and I'm sure you know that isn't correct right?

    Now, back to what this thread and specifically your questions in regards to the philosophical differences of how you and your fellow Rhodesians were forced to operate and innovate as compared to the large, highly funded, culturally diverse branches of the US armed forces currently operate.

    First, smaller can sometimes be better as the Rhodesian military so aptly demonstrated in its operations during the Rhodesian Bush War (if that is not the proper term you prefer to use I am listening and more than willing to correct myself). While you made it quite clear that you were unhappy with the Journal's publishing of that article about Rhodesia, the fact is that if it hadn't been for that article my thoughts and interests about your conflict may very well have stayed dormant in my memory banks forever. I was a small child living very far from that conflict when it was winding down so my first hand knowledge is pretty much non-existent except for all those Soldier of Fortune articles I read when I was young. With that being said, especially after jcustis made his remarks about how the US Marines has employed its aviation assets and specifically its rotary wing assets over the last decade plus, this entire subject has piqued my interest tremendously.

    One of the problems we arrogant Americans continually make is that we want to continue to fight the large naval and amphibious battles of the Pacific, the air campaign over Nazi Germany, the rapid blitzkrieg across France and western Europe or the grinding frontal assaults of the Civil War. What I think we tend to lose focus on is the small wars, the ones we have continually been fighting since we took our independence from the Brits (no offence towards my fellow Brits who are reading this). In fact, I wouldn't be on this site if it wasn't for my interest in small wars. From these small wars there is a wealth of information to be learned, the hard part is knowing where to find it. That is what I like about this site, it helps point you in the right direction when a particular subject catches your eye.

    Getting back on track, I feel that there is A LOT of tactical and operational levels to be learned from the Rhodesian Bush War. I think the Rhodesian use of aviation assets could be very beneficial for lots of militaries around the world, especially ones who are fighting "insurgents/freedom fighters/guerrillas" in some lonely long forgotten piece of land. The problem we Americans have is that we are used to abundance and in a military that spends the equivalent of many countries yearly military budgets one weapon system like a B-2 stealth bomber or a nuclear powered aircraft carrier it can be hard to be innovative. Between our gluttonous appetite for expensive weapon systems and our ever increasing technology addiction we tend to forget that the greatest asset is the person. The less a person has the more innovative they will have to become in order to achieve success when faced with challenging circumstances. So from a pure "doing more with less" mentality most of the US and its military are poor examples of that. The one traditional exception to this role has been that of the US Marines but over the last 20 years I'm starting to believe that even Marines are becoming addicted to the "large expenditure/ fancy weapon systems" crowd. Classic examples of this are the Corps primary replacement aviation assets of the MV-22 and F-35 aircraft. Both of these aircraft are tremendously expensive and I'm still skeptical of how useful they really would be in a conflict such as the one Rhodesia found itself in. I believe aircraft like the H-60 and A-10 would be much more useful, appropriate, survival and most importantly cheap, like REALLY cheap compared to the MV-22/F-35. When you take into account the increase in night vision device technology (which itself can practically be bought off the counter now) and small cheap UAVs these things could be integrated into lethal utility without high overhead costs. You made mention about how the Rhodesian Air Force was pretty much "grounded" at night due to limitations of available night vision devices, can you image how much they would have changed the picture if your air force had access to these back then?

    In regards to inter-service rivalry, vested interests, rank structure, rules etc I think this becomes a two way street. First, I think inter-service rivalry can be healthy as it breeds competition and this competition can force people to take pride in their unit/organization and to push themselves to be better. At the local level, I've worked with every branch of the US armed forces including the Coast Guard and all of them have had their share of go-getters and a few turds sprinkled in here and there. I think the problems were are seeing today within the US have to do with leadership but I have faith that if a large enough crisis came about the cream would actually rise to the top and we'd see a completely different military than what we are seeing right now. I'm kind of a Churchill student in the sense that I have faith in my fellow citizen when the time comes for the hard work to be done. When it's easy going, the sloths seem to appear and take over (no offense to the animal).

    Yes, I think vested interests, rules and the like can be bad especially if they become self serving and take away from the greater good. I'm an idealist when it comes to the greater good, I always hope people will set aside their petty differences to do what's RIGHT for the big picture. Unfortunately, this is often not the case as some of us well know.

    Your war was unique in many ways and much of what Rhodesia went through will never apply or carry over to the US. I'm sure fighting for your very existence gives one plenty of incentive to put their heart and soul into it and equally devastating when it doesn't work out. Remember, the US went through a Great Civil War many decades ago. I often think about what it must have been like for those people back then whenever I read about the US Civil War. The thought of taking up arms against men who I had previously served with in combat is unfathomable to me but remember this was the norm when the Civil War broke out. Men who had come into the service together, went through schooling together, fought in other wars together, then woke up one day, switched uniforms (if they went with the South) and then engaged in mortal combat with their former brothers-in-arms. People can say what they want about General Robert E. Lee, but here is a guy who fought and served the US and when war broke out between the states, he had to make the decision which side he would take. When he took it, it meant fighting against the very country he had served all the while throwing the lives of thousands of his (Southern) countrymen into the cauldron of fire. When defeated he laid down his arms and asked that his men join him in defeat and not to continue the hate against their former enemy (who had once been their former countrymen-talk about a mind trip).

    So in closing, the truth is a strange animal. I think there are many things about the experiences in Rhodesia that are worth studying and remembering. I also know that the innovation and approach to some of the issues you all dealt with will never apply to the US. However, for the man who is willing to dedicate his life to the profession of arms to dismiss another conflict because of its differences is a grave mistake. It is only with open discourse and rigorous study can someone become a better rounded person who can help find his way when things start to become dark. Hubris, arrogance, and complacency are sure to get you killed no matter how big a stick you carry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Condor View Post
    JMA,

    First, before I answer your questions, let me say something and you can take it anyway you want. How you respond is up to you. I would appreciate it if you stop using a broad brush to paint all Americans as "arrogant and stupid". While no doubt America has it's fare share of "useful idiots" as you so like to throw out, I'd argue that there is a silent majority of Americans who are smart and hard working people who on top of all that would be willing to hand you the shirt off their back if you were in need. To continue to talk that way is an insult to the many fine people in this country. I'm sure you would take offence (<-- proper Queen's English for those so inclined) if I continually painted all former white Rhodesian's as racists and I'm sure you know that isn't correct right?
    Condor let me respond in this manner.

    What I am continually led to believe through the international media (and privately from individual Muslims) is that the jihadists are a small minority and not representative of the so-called ‘silent majority’ of the Muslim community.

    My response to them (the individuals) and anyone else who asks is that it is surely up to this supposed silent majority to ‘deal with’ the vociferous minority, yes?

    In the case of the Muslim jihadists this craven ‘silent majority’ do clearly not have the balls to suppress them (what ever that entails).

    Now apply that to the US.

    You have no doubt heard of the “Ugly American”. Sadly the American ‘silent majority’ continues to elect the most reprehensible arrogant narcissists to national office who in turn dispatch equally arrogant (and most often ignorant) people (I’m being kind here) out to represent the nation in the world.

    It should be obvious to all in the US that as a result the reputation of the US is at an all time low globally.

    So what are the ‘silent majority’ doing about this?

    Zip.

    When last has anyone heard, “ hey you shut up… you are making Americans look bad”?

    The vast majority of Americans are indeed fine people but like the majority of Muslims they don’t have the balls to deal with the arrogant a..holes who give all Americans a bad name.

    OK… let’s move on.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Condor View Post
    Now, back to what this thread and specifically your questions in regards to the philosophical differences of how you and your fellow Rhodesians were forced to operate and innovate as compared to the large, highly funded, culturally diverse branches of the US armed forces currently operate.
    Firstly, I am a South African who after my National Service in South Africa volunteered to serve in the Rhodeisan Army. But yes, I fought the Rhodsesian war and afterwards returned South to serve again there for a while before packing my webbing away for the last time.

    The main difference is that Rhodesians were fighting in and for their own country... and as such have an emotional component which few outsiders can understand or share. Here very specifically I would include US expeditionary forces who, rather like me, had a safe home to return to if things went belly up.

    First, smaller can sometimes be better as the Rhodesian military so aptly demonstrated in its operations during the Rhodesian Bush War (if that is not the proper term you prefer to use I am listening and more than willing to correct myself).
    The term "Rhodesian Bush War" is the least emotive as oppossed to Chimurenga 2 or the 'War of Liberation' (the second of which is like a bad joke to the Zimbabwean people after their experiences of the last 30 odd years of 'liberation').

    While you made it quite clear that you were unhappy with the Journal's publishing of that article about Rhodesia, ...
    It wasn't an article, it was a paper based on a thesis for a masters or doctorate to some fourth rate university... and it was garbage.

    His principle argument was that all the Rhodesian forces did were atrocities and the all the killings carried out by the insurgents were justifiable.

    My comment was "I guess I am surprised that there has been such a limited reaction to this deliberate attempt to deceive and sanitize depraved killers. This is the great tragedy."

    Obviously I am not attempting to claim that the Rhodesian forces did not commit any 'atrocities' (this needs to be defined) but I continue to be outraged that the Journal saw fit to publicise the lie that the insurgents were guiltless. The publishing of the paper unfortunately displays the naivet and gullibility that comes from media and politically correct conditioned ignorance of the situation.

    (But on the lighter side it did bring muscle mouth Richard B out of the woodwork who despite his claim to being an expert on matters Rhodesian was unable to answer the question as to what happened in 1974 which was the turning point in the war. Here's one for your list of arrogant yet ignorant Americans.)

    A year or so earlier the MR review had published another piece of garbage on Rhodesia again an extract of a masters thesis:

    Quote from #296 of the Rhodesian COIN thread:

    "The Military Review published a paper by one Marno de Boer in its November / December 2011 English edition: Rhodesia's Approach to Counterinsurgency: A Preference for Killing'.

    One wonders how he was able to defend such drivel first at thesis stage and then manage to slip it past the editorial committee of the Military Review. Quite appalling. This reflects very badly on the Military Review of course."

    Another case, this time from the editorial staff of the MR, for your list of incidences of US ignorance.

    In the RLI we were mainly on heliborne/parachute Fire Force operations. For the three year I was a troop commander on constant operations we were contstanly reminded of the importance of captures from an intel point of view. We killed thousands, but we also captured many... but I never allowed my troopies to be placed at risk in order to effect a capture... neither did I ever allow gratutitious killing.

    To allow the people and forces of Rhodesia to be labled through the publishing of this garbage is like supporting the media lie of the time that every soldier in Vietnem was a 'baby killer'.

    ...the fact is that if it hadn't been for that article my thoughts and interests about your conflict may very well have stayed dormant in my memory banks forever. I was a small child living very far from that conflict when it was winding down so my first hand knowledge is pretty much non-existent except for all those Soldier of Fortune articles I read when I was young. With that being said, especially after jcustis made his remarks about how the US Marines has employed its aviation assets and specifically its rotary wing assets over the last decade plus, this entire subject has piqued my interest tremendously.
    jcustis commented as follows in the Rhodesian COIN thread:

    "There are a great number of limitations that would make it difficult to translate the Fire Force of old into an effective counter-insurgent force for Afghanistan. Part of the problem is simple fact of training. We didn't fight that way before the Long War began (though I certainly advocated it some while ago), and trying to adapt to these tactics would require paradigm shifts of enormous proportion.that the Army and Marine Corps just simple cannot make these days."

    Now compare that with that quote I posted:

    Fire Force was the end product of a philosophy, a philosophy that ignored the inter-service rivalry, vested interests, convention, rank, petty rule books and personal agendas so prevalent in the behaviour of the modern military. Fire Force was a manifestation of an ethos that like-minded commanders of all ranks and of all arms needed to combine their considerable talents in a collective effort to constantly evaluate the battlefield, to be self-critical in all analyses, and to strive to work for the greater good. - NIGEL HENSON

    I am left hoping that it is not the 'philosophy' which Henson describes that jcustis believes is unattainable in the US military.

    One of the problems we arrogant Americans continually make is that we want to continue to fight the large naval and amphibious battles of the Pacific, the air campaign over Nazi Germany, the rapid blitzkrieg across France and western Europe or the grinding frontal assaults of the Civil War. What I think we tend to lose focus on is the small wars, the ones we have continually been fighting since we took our independence from the Brits (no offence towards my fellow Brits who are reading this). In fact, I wouldn't be on this site if it wasn't for my interest in small wars. From these small wars there is a wealth of information to be learned, the hard part is knowing where to find it. That is what I like about this site, it helps point you in the right direction when a particular subject catches your eye.
    Much of what was done in Rhodesia is not directly transferable to another war... but what is of value is the mindset which explored all the options and allowed commanders on the ground to innovate and develop new concepts and methods.

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