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Thread: Indian Wars, Congo, Hue City

  1. #1
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Indian Wars, Congo, Hue City

    I never cease to be amazed at just how small a world we live in. I stumbled across this May 1960 Military Review article by then Lieutenant Colonel D.V Rattan entitled "AntiGuerrilla Operations, A Case Study From History." The subject of the article is General Crook's campaign against the Appaches in arizona and New Mexico.

    Then Colonel Rattan was an action officer in the Pentagon in the fall of 1964 and when the Congo Hostage Crisis erupted found himself on extended TDY to the Congo as a logistics advisor attached to the Belgian military and mercenary effort to retake the Congo. he had an interesting time; he was in the mercenary column that rolled into Stanleyvile from the south as the Belgian Paracommando Regiment jumped on the city.

    Later Colonel Rattan took his battalion into Hue City during the 1968 Tet Offensive. He retired as a Major General after commanding 8th ID. I interviewed him in 1986 when I was working the Leavenworth paper 14 project on the Congo. See http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resour.../odom/odom.asp. During Desert Shield, his nephew was a Major with me on the army staff.

    Here is a an extract from the 1960 article on Crook and the Apaches:

    To conduct antiguerrilla operations without sound intelligence and counterintelligence wastes time, material, and troop effort. However, the intangible aspects of guerrilla warfare create intelligence obstacles that can be overcome only by patient determination and the utmost resolve.

    Plans for antiguerrilla operations are based primarily ore a detailed analysis of the country concerned and its population. The political, administrative, economic, sociological, and military aspects of the plans correlated with the overall military plan.
    I will send the full article to Dave for posting.

    Best
    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 07-07-2006 at 03:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default

    There's a fair amount that can be learned from the Army's operations during the Indian Wars, and not just from Crook's operations against the Apaches. Mackenzie was equally successful against tribes in other regions by practicing supply and mobility denial operations (read - he attacked villages and captured pony herds), typically with a very low loss of life on both sides.

  3. #3
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Congo Hostage Rescue

    Tom, didn't they make this incident into a movie about 1966 called "Dark of the Sun" starred Jim Brown (football player) and Rod Taylor??

  4. #4
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Wilbur did it

    LOL yep they did but then again they did not. Wilbur Smith did. He has written much fiction about Africa and he used the Stanleyville crisis as a backdrop for a novel "Dark of the Sun". That then became the movie. Smith is a lot like Jack Higgins (The Eagle Has Landed) albeit with more sex

    W.E.B. Griffith picked up the story more recently is his Brotherhood of War series, again with a very large flair of literary license. In a way, that is sad because the crisis was so complex and colorful that fiction is unnecessary and often less dramatic.

    Best
    Tom

  5. #5
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Here it is....

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom
    I never cease to be amazed at just how small a world we live in. I stumbled across this May 1960 Military Review article by then Lieutenant Colonel D.V Rattan entitled "AntiGuerrilla Operations, A Case Study From History." The subject of the article is General Crook's campaign against the Appaches in arizona and New Mexico.

    Then Colonel Rattan was an action officer in the Pentagon in the fall of 1964 and when the Congo Hostage Crisis erupted found himself on extended TDY to the Congo as a logistics advisor attached to the Belgian military and mercenary effort to retake the Congo. he had an interesting time; he was in the mercenary column that rolled into Stanleyvile from the south as the Belgian Paracommando Regiment jumped on the city.

    Later Colonel Rattan took his battalion into Hue City during the 1968 Tet Offensive. He retired as a Major General after commanding 8th ID. I interviewed him in 1986 when I was working the Leavenworth paper 14 project on the Congo. See http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resour.../odom/odom.asp. During Desert Shield, his nephew was a Major with me on the army staff.

    Here is a an extract from the 1960 article on Crook and the Apaches:



    I will send the full article to Dave for posting.

    Best
    Tom

    Antiguerrilla Operations, A Case Study From History by Lieutenant Colonel D.V Rattan - Military Review - May 1960.

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    Default Yellowstone Command

    From the July 06 issue of the Atlantic, a book review by Benjamin Schwarz--Yellowstone Command by Jerome A. Greene, 1991. After Custerís defeat the US Army, led by General Nelson A. Miles, broke the back of the American Indianís resistance. Miles campaign is among the most successful feats of unconventional warfare in the history of the US military.

    Iíve read the first two chapters online, it was available as an ebook, and the author has a rare grasp of military history. The brutal day-to-day living conditions as well as battle scenes are accurately portrayed, and I plan on picking up a print copy shortly.

  7. #7
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    I don't know that I'd go that far. Greene is a very good historian, but Miles' campaign was for the most part very conventional. Where he varied from normal practice was in keeping the 5th Infantry in the field throughout the winter, and he also tended to haul artillery with him on campaign.

  8. #8
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default You might like this

    US Army Command and General Staff College has a paper titled:
    The US Army's Campaign Of 1876: the Horse as The Center of Gravity of The Sioux by Major Mark V. Hoyt. It is a pdf file and can be downloaded for free. It has avery good example of finding the enemies' COG, which in this case he believed it was the horse not the indian.

  9. #9
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Link to Doc and Abstract

    Army's Sioux Campaign of 1876: identifying the horse as the center of gravity of the Sioux by Major Mark Hoyt.

    During the first half of 1876 the Army conducted three expeditions against the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. The results of these three expeditions were: the first expedition destroying a small village, the second expedition being defeated in a meeting engagement, and the third expedition suffering the annihilation of five companies. The results lead to questioning the Army's focus on attacking and destroying villages as the primary target of their expeditions. If the Army had a complete understanding of the Sioux they would have realized that the "hub of all power" or center of gravity of the Sioux was the horse, which every major aspect of Sioux life was augmented and dependent upon. The first three expeditions of the Sioux Campaign of 1876 demonstrate that: senior Army commanders planned their campaigns, expeditions, and organizations around their knowledge of Sioux' mobility, the primary source of power for the Sioux warrior was mobility gained from the horse, Army forces could not bring their advantage in firepower to bear on Sioux warriors. Army commanders understood the mobility of the Sioux village and their warriors, but they failed to take the next step--challenging the old assumption that attacking villages and using a strategy of exhaustion was the correct way to subdue the Sioux. Instead, Army forces should have concentrated their attacks on center of gravity of the Sioux--the horse.

  10. #10
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    This was one of the key conclusions of Ranald Mackenzie, the commander of the Fourth Cavalry from 1871 through the early 1880s. During his operations against Comanche and Kiowa indians in Texas he made the horse herds the main target of his attacks. His main objective in most cases was not to kill Indians, but rather to dismount them by capturing their horses and destroy their supply bases (otherwise known as the village). This was a key factor when dealing with the so-called buffalo culture Indians.

    Miles never really targeted the horse herds as much as he kept the Indians on the move and off-balance during the winter. He would also capture and burn villages (including shelter and equipment/supplies - as did Mackenzie), depriving the Indians of what logistical bases they had and essentially starving them into surrender.

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