This addition to the Cold War series provides a very capable overview of the Malayan Emergency. The Cold War series is developing nicely and building its readership. This new book in the series follows the now established format with many photographs and commissioned sketches and drawings – Highly Recommended.
NAME: Cold War 1945-1991, Malayan Emergency, Triumph of the Running Dogs 1948-1960 FILE: R2601 AUTHOR: Gerry van Tonder PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: soft back PAGES: 124 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Cold War, Malayan Emergency, communist terrorists, Indonesia, China, jungle warfare, column warfare, hearts and minds, counter insurgency, helicopters, vertical insertion, vertical extraction ISBN: 1-52670-786-1 IMAGE: B2601.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y988mu3v LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This addition to the Cold War series provides a very capable overview of the Malayan Emergency. The Cold War series is developing nicely and building its readership. This new book in the series follows the now established format with many photographs and commissioned sketches and drawings – Highly Recommended. The publishers have produced a catalogue that includes individual books and a number of excellent series. A high image content includes rare photographs and adds greatly to the text. The Malayan Emergency is unique in the post WWII struggles of Indo-China and the many independence movements. A question frequently asked is how did the British, with their evaporating Empire and economic woes, manage to succeed where the French and later the Americans suffered humiliating defeat in a very similar type of war. There are many views but few come close to providing a real answer. After 1945, the European colonial powers were all tired by war and impoverished by it. There was simply not the will to rebuild control of the colonies. The British did make a concerted effort in 1945 on behalf of the Dutch to restore Indonesia to Dutch rule and most of the independence movements could have been stamped out by a combination of political and military means. Malaya seems to have fallen into a special category because the British were prepared to wage a lengthy counter-insurgency campaign, but with the intention to establish an independent Malaya. British units were generally small groups of highly trained troops, with numbers of National Service conscripts providing policing and larger groups for sweeping areas for communist infiltrators and rebels. Helicopters were employed for the first time as a means of inserting troops and then moving them around and extracting them. Column warfare formed a part of activities but not in the same way that the US established forts in Vietnam and used armoured columns to keep the roads open between the forts. The Americans also employed considerable resources, including area bombing, with large formations being employed against North Vietnamese regular troops. That all required substantial stockpiles of fuel, ammunition and supplies and a large number of troops. That presented very tempting targets for the Vietcong who could raid and ambush, melting away before the Americans could find and deal with them. The British in Malaya took a different approach. The indigenous population was offered protected villages and this denied supplies to rebels and Chinese infiltrators. The numbers of British troops were proportionately very much fewer than other nations employed in similar wars of the period. Small groups of highly trained special forces were able to operate on a similar basis to their targets. That made them hard to target and allowed them to use the terrain more effectively than their targets. The lessons learned by the Chindits in fighting the Japanese were applied with success. In addition to making creative use of progressively more capable helicopters, the British used their air power to supply troops, carry out ground attacks and also use heavy bombers on occasions when the insurgents and infiltrators merited that level of attention. Perhaps the most important part of the British campaign was in winning the hearts and minds of the local population. This protected them from attack and duress by the Communists and kept the local economy functioning in a healthy manner. It denied supplies to the Communists and it prevented them from forcing the local population to join them. Another critical factor was that the British were prepared to continue the campaigns as long as they were needed. Many will either be completely unfamiliar with the Malayan Emergency, or believe that it was won in the early 1950s. In fact it ran from 1945 to 1960, with the threats changing from Chinese infiltrators trying to stir up the local population to infiltrators from Indonesia. In the latter stages the British relied heavily of very small numbers of SAS and SBS Special Forces who lived off the land, won support from locals and were prepared to chase down the infiltrators even beyond the borders of Malaya. The story is told well by the author and offers insights into how the campaigns developed and succeeded