Cold War 1945-1991, Malayan Emergency, Triumph of the Running Dogs 1948-1960

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.


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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