Be a Man Among Men.
I was thinking about this article on a recent work trip. Cruising through the Arizona desert an old favorite “ Survival of the Fittest” by Mobb Deep started playing. The first verse “There’s a war going on outside no man is safe from/ you could run but you can’t hide forever…They never around when the beef cooks in my part of town/ it’s similar to Vietnam.” I laughed, never would I have guessed to use a lyric from Prodigy to open an essay. There is a war going on outside and no man is safe. A global war with spiritual influences. A war in which the woke Christians take no heed of Luther’s advice to be where the battle is raging- The Woke ain’t around when the beef cooks off in our part of town. A war similar to Vietnam (4th generational) but has morphed into what McLuhan describes as a global guerrilla information war with no divisions between military and civilian participation. Christian men need to know how to fight in this war. In searching out how to prepare, I came across the Rhodesian Bush War and the Theology of Guerrilla Warfare. An understanding of these two subjects will be of great benefit for the fight to come.
Historical Context of Rhodesia
Rhodesia was founded by Cecil John Rhodes in the late 1800’s in what is present day Zimbabwe. Mr. Rhodes has the desire to start a colony in rough and dangerous land of Africa. He sought after tough and resolute men from a military background but also possessing the skills of a gentlemen. He desired men from an array of skills that could be used to build a nation. As a result an elite group of men rode north from South Africa and began colonizing a nation that would come to bear Mr. Rhodes name. (Handful of hard men). Native tribes rebelled against the new colony and were ultimately suppressed by force and diplomacy. Unlike what happened in the American West these men stopped any further attacks on the Natives who were now under their authority. It is also ironic (I can feel the Woke burning in rage over this) to note that by conquering these tribes the colonists stopped the endemic tribal genocide. With this new peace the black tribal populations exploded “from an estimated 300,000 at the point of occupation to six million by the middle of the century” (Handful of hard men). Existence in Rhodesia was never easy. The local animals were dangerous and country was surrounded by enemies eyeing their resources.
As the First World War broke out many Rhodesia’s went to fight in Europe. In the interim years between this war and the next much progress was made in the face of adversity. Rhodesians were forged with a sense enterprise and endurance. As the Second World War kicked off “Rhodesia had an infrastructure and governmental organization that could compare favorably with any nation in the world…An extremely professional police force, the majority of its members black, brought peace and security. Courts presided over by highly qualified judges and magistrates dispensed justice fairly and firmly without any hint of political interference and ‘native administrators’ worked in tandem with chiefs and other traditional leaders in administering the native reserves” (handful of hard men). Rhodesia contributed much to WW2, “Being men who had weathered a variety of challenges in the wilds of an untamed continent, they adapted easily to the rough realities of war and took the responsibilities of leadership in their stride. A large number were quickly assessed as officer material and found their way to playing distinguished roles in a variety of services, ranging from flying in the Battle of Britain to becoming specialized operatives in the Long Range Desert Group which provided the platform for the formation of the SAS” (Handful of Hard Men). After the War many traveled to Rhodesia looking to build a nation and a future. The high immigration standards were kept and Rhodesia grew into a vibrant economy.
All changed in the 1960s with decolonization and on 24 October 1964 Northern Rhodesia became the independent nation of Zambia. Pressure was placed on Southern Rhodesia to follow suit. The British government insisted on “No Independence before Majority Rule” and would place the ruling authority with the communist-backed black liberation movement. Prime Minister Ian Smith (himself a veteran WW2 pilot who was shot down behind enemy lines and survived) knew this would speed disaster for his country. “On 11 November 1965, surrounded by his cabinet, he reached for his pen and signed a document that signaled open rebellion against the Crown. Not since the American Declaration of Independence was promulgated in 1776 has such an event taken place. It was a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) and the lot was cast; the country would soon be at war with the world” (Handful of Hard Men).Rhodesia was now in a fight for its life, surrounded on all sides the stage was set for war between Communism and Western Christian values.
Hard Men Daring to Win
“The proxy war for the world was on and southern Africa, particularly South Africa, possessing enormous mineral and strategic value, was firmly in Sino-Soviet (commie) sights. But a primary obstacle was Rhodesia, so it should come as no surprise that Moscow and Beijing supported the ‘liberation’ movements energetically and generously. It was into this vortex that the Rhodesian soldier was thrown and so it begs the question: what if they had chosen not to fight and capitulated in the mid-1960s as the world demanded they do? Stalinist-type rule would almost certainly have followed and powerful direct economic, political and military pressure would have immediately been applied to South Africa. Just how this would have affected world history is impossible to deduce but the ramifications would have been enormous. Simply put, this did not happen because the Rhodesians chose to fight and this is the story of some of the stalwarts of that struggle.” (Handful of Hard Men).
Recruit in selection carrying 66lbs of stones (public domain image)
There were two groups within the Rhodesian military that were tasked with guerrilla warfare and counter insurgency operations in the Rhodesian Bush War: C squadron Special Air Service Regiment and the Selous Scouts. Both units were tasked with “the clandestine elimination of terrorism both within and without the country.” (Top Secret War:Rhodesian Special Forces) Both units has very strenuous selection processes so that the right men joined the units. The selous scouts in particular had a notorious selection that started 25 kilometers from Camp Wafa Wafa Wasara Wasara (“Who dies-dies, who survives-survives”). Candidates were dropped off and told to run to the camp on arrival they were out through many physical event. For the first five days no food was issued. Throughout the rest of the course only rotten meat was provided. According to the selous scouts commander former SAS Ron Reid-Daly, “the smell alone was enough to make a hyena throw-up, but soldiers devoured it without hesitation.” The final events for the selection process were a 100 km march with 66lbs of rocks in the pack, followed by a speed March that had to be completed within 2 and 1/2 hours. Many who joined these units have been seen as white supremacist terrorists, this is far from the truth.
Andre Scheepers grew up in the Dutch Reformed Church (many French Huguenots migrated to South Africa) and was converted during his time with the SAS. Scheepers states, “many believe this was a racial war but that is simplistic and wrong; I did not fight for white domination or white rule but I did fight for maintenance of what I saw as Christian civilization and I do not apologize for that.” (We Dared to Win) The men who joined these units were fighting for Western Christian values. They knew the odds and that the world was against them, but they took action against all odds and took the fight enemy. Jon Coey was a Marine Officer who left to fight for Rhodesia as a protest against the increasing influence of secularism plaguing the United States during the Vietnam war. He joined the SAS and stated, “The basis of race, culture, and nation is vital for the survival of Western Civilization. Blood and soil, conservation and nationalism are what make a country and civilization sound, strong, and healthy. But faith is needed, faith in our way of life, our civilization, and faith in a Higher Destiny and the Divine Sanction of God” (A Martyr Speaks). History has many examples of small groups of dedicated and hard men coming together to fight against all odds.
Christian men can look from the Battle of Thermopylae to Francis Marion in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War. However, there it is hard to find a better modern example of a small group of men making life miserable for communists. Men who rarely lost a battle and struck fear within their enemy but were ultimately betrayed by the West. Historian Hannes Wessles stated, “The sum of it all was that a handful of hard, dedicated soldiers were making life miserable for ZANLA and their Frelimo allies in their very heartland, and at the same time severely curtailing their ability to cross into Rhodesia. A land mass the size of England had been infiltrated by no more than sixty SAS operators at any given time and they had gunned, mined and ambushed it into a state of confused disorder. Their aggression created a situation where the enemy had to be ever vigilant and defensive in territory it would have liked to call home.” Though Rhodesia lost the war, I would argue the Rhodesians indeed won. In the short time that it took for Rhodesia to become Zimbabwe all the ghouls of communism came forth. Zimbabwe is now in the top 25 poorest nations in the world, a far cry from Rhodesia. A judgement from God? America should pay attention, this is what communism brings.
A Theology of Guerrilla warfare
Rhodesia is another historical example of God preferring small groups of men. It is a very common Christian belief that God needs/desires large numbers of people to accomplish His purposes. Scripture (and history) rebukes this idea. We are taught in 1 Samuel 14 that the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few. ( 1 Sam 14:6) Jonathan and his armor bearer relied on this promise, and the Lord blessed them for their faith. Two men were able to slaughter twenty men in half an acre of land after climbing up a cliff. Let’s not soften what happened in this passage, this was brutal hand-to-hand combat on a cliff. Jonathan had no tactical advantage and was facing even greater odds than the Rangers at Point-du-hoc on D-Day. It was the Lord that brought victory. Joshua faced the same odds in Joshua 11. He faced a vast host that was supplied with the best munitions available in that time period. Ewald (Hist. Israel, 2:2 C.) stated that the enemy Joshua faced was unequal in arms and tactics. It is likely that Joshua had sent scouts forward for intelligence like he did in Chapter 2. It is reasonable to assume that receiving this intel he could have turned his forces around. He pushed forward because he was confident in the promises of the Lord of Hosts.
In Genesis 14:15, Abram pursued the four kings for 120 miles. He attacked from different directions by night to gain surprise. Showing Abram’s wisdom and knowledge in tactics. Faithful men do not hinder wise strategies and tactics. To drive away his defeated enemies, he chased them another 50 miles beyond Damascus. In Judges 3, the Lord blesses Ehud with a successful assassination of a Tyrant. An assassination that was planned by one man who had none of the resources of the KGB. King David fought with 400 men and brought down a giant with a well placed smooth rock. He engaged in psychological and guerrilla warfare in 1 Samuel 24 when he cutoff a piece of Saul’s cloak in a cave (imagine the intensity of this situation and David having to calm his psychological state so that he would not be compromised). Gideon went to war with 300 men. The resolve in these men to stay when 30,000 left in the face of greatly superior foe. Though God gave the victory lets not forget these men still had to put their faith into action against impossible odds. God blessed their strength of purpose, iron firmness of nerve and reliance in His promises. And finally our Lord Christ chose 12 men, who still suffered attrition, to spread His gospel throughout the World. The same principle is throughout the Bible: God’s preferred choice of instrument to demonstrate His excellency of power is small bands of hard, dedicated and holy men.
“For masculinity is, in extremis, lethal. Males fight. They fight for both the present and for the future. The enemy who’s killing them now, in the moment of combat, may well—will—fall to one of their sons. The revenge drama is one of the theater’s mainstays for a reason. It is elemental” Last Stands: Why Men Fight When All is Lost
It matters little how much history or doctrine a man knows in regards to guerrilla warfare. What matters is what you do with the knowledge that you have now obtained. My answer and the answer commonly asserted on reformedoperator is that men should strive daily to increase their lethality. This means dying daily to sin and diligently killing sin. Raising and leading a wife and family in Godliness. Increasing in knowledge and wisdom. Maintaining physical readiness and developing a minuteman type of skill set (Christian/Father/ former ST6 operator Bill Rapier sets this out well). Working daily to build a local Christian culture. Doing these things daily will prepare a man to fight well along side a small group of dedicated men. God will bless your efforts. Glory awaits us in those hard places, go make a stand.
Article by Charles Melson on the Top Secret War in Rhodesia
Articles by Dr. Peter Hammond
Bill Rapier minuteman fitness standards
Book by Michael Walsh on manhood
Highly Recommend these two books by Hannes Wessel
–https://exmontibusmedia.co.za/product/we-dared-to-win/ (Andre Scheepers lineage traces back to the French Huguenots)
–https://exmontibusmedia.co.za/product/a-handful-of-hard-men/ (The last chapter shows how Rhodesia’s situation is very similar to what is happening today)
John Cooey’s war diary
Rhodesia to Zimbabwe chronology
Pastor Matthew Trewhella exposition on The Theology of Guerrilla Warfare