Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. A comparative study of the Malayan Emergency 1948 to 1960 and the Rhodesian Civil War 1964 to 1979

Stack, Michael David Leonard (2016-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation examines the relationship between particular tactics and strategies of two case studies, the Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) and the Rhodesian Civil War (1964-1979). Two chapters illuminate the experiences of two Rhodesian units that served in Malaya as part of the Commonwealth Forces: ‘C’ Squadron (Rhodesia) 22nd SAS Regiment (1951-1953), and 1st Battalion Rhodesian African Rifles (1956-1958). In order to assess their impact on the Rhodesian Civil War, the Rhodesian Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATOPS) manual is compared with the British Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya (ATOM) manual. The final part of the dissertation comprises of an in-depth comparative study of a pivotal stratagem that the governments of Malaya and Rhodesia employed in their respective conflicts, namely their resettlement programs. The two case studies were chosen primarily due to a paucity of comparative research involving the Malayan Emergency and the Rhodesian Civil War, and because the military link between the two conflicts has been largely unexplored. A combination of written primary sources and secondary sources were used to conduct the research. The primary sources consisted mainly of state documents, NGO reports, newspaper articles and press briefings from a number of national and public archives. The secondary sources comprised a variety of professional and amateur historical texts, and a selection of journal articles. The study concluded that while the Rhodesian contribution to the Malayan Emergency may have been relatively minor, the military link was crucial in developing an understanding of the Rhodesian Civil War. A number of the Rhodesians, who served in ‘C’ Squadron 22nd SAS, continued their military careers and their experiences shaped the conduct of the Rhodesian Civil War. The comparative study on resettlement illustrates how the Rhodesian government attempted to replicate the Malayan resettlement program. Findings indicated that while the relationship between political, economic and military tactics and strategy were importance, the two conflicts were essentially political wars, and so every type of strategy and tactic had a political significance. Nevertheless, the study concluded that a variety of historical contexts and structural factors were more decisive in determining the outcome of resettlement. This research has far reaching implications, particularly for counter-insurgent theorists. One cannot wage today’s wars from doctrine based solely on the lessons of wars from the past. It is rare that the political, social, cultural, military, geographical, international and economic factors unique to a certain conflict and time period, are reproduced exactly in another theatre of war. The Rhodesian conflict illustrates the dangers of using a previous conflict (due to a shared Imperial consciousness) as tactical and strategic guidelines. The findings of this dissertation suggest that there are grounds for further comparative research on the Malayan Emergency and the Rhodesian Civil War.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis het ten doel om die verhouding tussen die spesifieke taktieke en stratigieë van die twee gevallestudies onder bespreking, naamlik die sogenoemde “Malayan Emergency” (1948-1960) en die Rhodesiese Burger Oorlog (1964-1979) Twee hoofstukke belig die ervaringe van twee Rhodesiese eeneede wat diens gelewer het in Britse Maleisië as deel van die Gemenebes Magte (Commonwealth Forces), naamlik ‘C’ Eskader (Rhodesia 22nd SAS Regiment, 1951-1953) en die 1st Battalion Rhodesian African Rifles (1956-1958). Ten einde hul impak op die Rhodesiese Burger Oorlog te bepaal, word die Rhodesian Anti Terrorist Operations (ATOPS) met die Britse Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya (ATOM) handleiding vergelyk. (Gebrek aan) Die finale deel van die tesis bestaan uit ‘n diepgaande vergelykende studie van die deurslaggewende oorbruggende strategie wat die regerings in beide Rhodesië en in Britse Maleisië gebruik het in hul respektiewe konflikte, naamlik hulle hervestigings programme. Die twee gevallestudies was hoofsaaklik gekies weens die gebrek aan vergelykende navorsing met betrekking tot die Malayan Emergency en die Rhodesiese Burger Oorlog en omdat die verband tussen die twee oorloë grotendeels nie behoorlik ondersoek is nie. Om die navorsing te onderneem was ‘n kombinasie van geskrewe primêre bronne and sekondêre bronne was gebruik. Die primêre bronne bestaan hoofsaaklik uit staatsargiewe, NGO verslae, koerant artikelsen perskonferensies van verskeie staatlike en openbare argiewe. Die sekondêre bronne bestaan uit ‘n verskeidenheid professionele en amateur historiese tekste sowel as uit joernaal artikels. Dié studie kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat alhoewel die Rhodesiese bydrae tot die Malayan Emergency relatief gering was, was die militêre verband deurslaggewend ten einde ‘n begrip can die Rhodesiese Burger Oorlog te win. ’n Aantal van die Rhodesiesiers wat in ‘C Eskader 22ste SAS diens gelwere het, het hul militêre loopbane voortgesit en hulle ervaringe in Britse Maleisië het die gang van die Rhodesiese Burger oorlog bepaal/ Die vergelykende studie t.o.v. hervestiging toon hoe die Rhodesiese regering probeer het om die hervestigings program van Britise Maleisië te herhaal. Bevindinge toon aan dat ofskoon die verhouding tussen die politieke, ekonomiese en militêre taktieke en strategieë belangrik was, was die teen-insurgensie oorloë in beide lande in wese politieke oorloë. Dus het elke tipe strategie en taktiek ‘n polieke beduidenis. Desnieteenstaande kom dié studie tot die gevolgtrekking dat ‘n verskeidenheid historiese kontekste en en strukturele faktore meer deurslaggewend was t.o.v. die gevolge van hervestiging. Hierdie navorsing het breedvoerige implikasies, veral vir deskundiges op die gebied van teen-insurgensie Dit is nie haalbaar om vandag se oorloë te meet bloot in terme van vorige oorloë nie. Selde gebeur dit dat die politieke, sosiale, kulturele, militêre, geografiese, internasionale en ekonomiese faktore eie aan een konklik presies herhaal word in ‘n ander konflik situasie nie. Die konflik in die destydse Rhodesië toon hoe gevaarlik dit kan wees om dieselfde taktiese en strategiese metodes van ‘n vorige konflik (binne ‘n gedeelde imperial bewussyn) te herhaal. Die bevindinge van hierdie tesis dui daarop aan dat die Malayan Emergency en die Rhodesiese Burger Oorlog verdere vergelykende navorsing verg.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98879
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