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Nairobi, Kenya
I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on yebomimi@gmail.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Rhodesian use of Counter Insurgency Principles

In January 1983, Lieutenant Colonel P.A.C. HOWGILL, Royal Marine Commandos, provided the
Command and Staff College with nine principles which should be adhered to while conducting a
counterinsurgency campaign. Although the text of his class was directed toward the British involvement
in Northern Ireland, the principles have a universal adaptability. These principles will be discussed in
relation to their use during the Rhodesian War.
1.REQUIREMENT FOR GOOD INTELLIGENCE: The Rhodesians generally received high marks in
this area. Their collection agencies were divided into three groups - The Central Intelligence
Organization, Military Intelligence, and the Special Branch of the BSAP. Although some rivalry existed,
the Security Force received timely and good intelligence. The majority of their collection means involved
prisoner interrogation, aerial photography, and ground reconnaissance missions. Once the Supreme
Commander established unity of command with the Headquarters for Combined Operations, the
dissemination of this material became much more efficient.
RESPONSIBILITY: The Rhodesian government had recognized the necessity of this from the early
days of the war. When they implemented the concept, they failed to include its most important
ingredient. The necessity to ensure unity of command. As has been discussed, this was not
accomplished until 1977.
Rhodesians’ finest trait. They had the ability to gather the facts, plan a mission, organize a task
force, and strike. Much of this was driven by the nature of the war and their lack of sophisticated
equipment. Yet they had developed a unique capacity to examine a situation, and tailor a force to
counter or eliminate its threat.
4.ADEQUATE MOBILE RESERVES: They utilized the American doctrine of a helicopter-borne
reserve element (SPARROW HAWK) which was developed in the Republic of Vietnam. Due to their
inability to obtain parts and equipment, this reserve was used in a sparing fashion. Their assault
elements developed the mentality that the reserve would only be committed as an absolute last resort.
5.ADEQUATE TRAINING: The Rhodesian soldier was a much more well trained fighter than his
European counterpart. He was driven by the knowledge that the enemy was “on his door step.”
Consequently, he was a much more willing participant in the training. On an average, the minimum
instruction he received was 16 weeks. After being posted to an operational unit, the entire unit would
“stand down” for periods of retraining. Because the European population carried the major share of the
fighting, the system of national reserve training ensured that the soldier stayed proficient in his skills.
WAR SINCE 1945 SEMINAR AND SYMPOSIUM Chapter 4 http://home.wanadoo.nl/rhodesia/chapter4.htm
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6.GOOD COMMUNICATIONS: Although the Security Forces never enjoyed the advantage of
satellite communications, they developed an effective system of tactical and strategic
communications utilizing British, American, South African, and Israeli equipment.
7.PUBLIC RELATIONS: Rhodesia was an international outlaw. It was a nation attempting to justify
a system which had been by-passed by the 20th century. The advantage of modern
communications brought this war to the forefront of international attention. When the British crushed
the Malayan Insurgency, it was during a period when the world still accepted the vestiges of imperial
dominion. Rhodesia attempted to prolong this status in an era and a geographic location dominated by
the people who had shouldered the burden of colonialism for centuries. They made a good attempt to
justify their existence, but it was doomed from the beginning.
necessity of this principle, but they were unable to utilize it because of their lack of strength. As the
insurgents increased in numbers, the Rhodesians were forced to accept a defensive posture. They
exercised the ability to strike at the enemy in force, but they were unable to control the terrain.
9.CONTINUITY: Because of the size of the Security Force, continuity was a major advantage. The
members were familar with one another, and able to communicate in a very efficient fashion. The
National Reserve System also helped to ensure the continuity of the force.
Although the Rhodesian government and its Security Force were basically sucessf ul in their adherence
to these principles, they were simply unable to resist the flow of the 20th century.

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I welcome comments from everyone on my book Choppertech.
I am interested especially on hearing from former ZANLA and ZIPRA combatants who also have thier story to tell.