Lt col ron reid daly
Selous Scouts: Top Secret War by R.F. Reid-DalyThe Selous Scouts were the toughest and most efficient killing machine anywhere in Africa, and its members consisted of the finest guerrilla fighting men in the Western world. Unconventional in many ways, disregardful of parade ground discipline, unorthodox in their dress, yet a force so tightly knit in the face of danger that those who knew anything about them could only marvel.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ron Reid-Daly
Book: Selous Scouts. Top Secret War by Lt. R Copy URL. Report Ad.
As it was a secret unit answerable only to the commander of the security forces, the Selous Scouts earned a fearsome reputation for "dirty tricks" in its exploits against guerrillas, a reputation that Reid-Daly, a long-serving professional soldier, sought — unsuccessfully — to counter long after the war. In fact it was a small highly-trained body of men black and white which had undergone the most stringent selection course. It operated in groups of two or three men who posed as guerrillas, infiltrating insurgent groups and calling in air strikes to destroy them, often in neighbouring countries where the insurgents were preparing to cross into Rhodesia. It was, as Reid-Daly put it, "a good way of terrorising the terrorists" and it worked well, with the "Selousies" chalking up an impressive "kill rate". With the collapse of the Portuguese empire, Rhodesia's long border with Mozambique was exposed and the Selous Scouts were obliged to expand to include a territorial unit. The resulting drop in standards and discipline gave some senior officers in the Rhodesian army, always jealous of Reid-Daly's independence, ammunition to discredit him and his unit. Scouts were accused of poaching ivory in the Zambezi Valley, and when Reid-Daly discovered his office had been bugged he confronted Lt-Gen John Hickman, then commander of the Rhodesian army.
He rose to the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major in the Rhodesian Light Infantry and was later commissioned and achieved the rank of Captain. He retired from the Army in In late he was persuaded by General Peter Walls , then chief of the Rhodesian Army , to return to active duty in order to form the Selous Scouts , an elite special forces unit to combat the growing threat posed by communist guerrillas. Drawing on his Malayan experience, Lieutenant Colonel Reid-Daly built a skilled and highly professional regiment from scratch. Although the Selous Scouts achieved many of their military objectives, their unorthodox methods created tensions within the military hierarchy.
Ron Reid-Daly C. Ron Reid-Daly, the custodian of the Rhodesian Light Infantry and Selous Scouts photograph albums, has made this art gallery selection possible. We are grateful to the Colonel for his enthusiastic endorsement of the Echoes of an African War project.
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