Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


This is coolbert:

Here is something that just not so long ago would have been considered to be another military anachronism. Man-tracking.

Following a person or persons [quarry] as a big-game hunter would follow wild [and very dangerous] game. A quarry that does not want to be found. A quarry that will fight and kill pursuers.

A "skill" that was thought to have been applicable perhaps in the 1840's or so. By Texas Rangers or such. Finding and following ["cutting sign"] the trail left by hostiles. NOT a skill pertinent to modern warfare where armor/artillery/aircraft or the use of nuclear weapons is more to be expected.

Man-tracking as practiced today was brought to a high level of development by the British military. An art [man-tracking] found to be of great value in such conflicts as the:

* Malay insurgency.

* Mau-Mau uprising.

* African anti-poaching operations.

"the concepts of irregular warfare and tactical tracking by Allan Savory, a game ranger known for his innovative and successful concepts in hunting down heavily armed elephant and rhino poachers."

[see my recent blog entry on the anti-poaching teams of the Central African republic.]

With regard to the Malay Insurgency, Dayaks from the island of Borneo were found to be man-trackers of the highest caliber. Persons, hunters/gatherers still following a way of life where tracking is an essential for survival. British soldiers serving with these "primitives" were amazed again and again at the ability of a Dayak to follow a trail where NO ONE else could do so. Essential to defeating the communist terrorists [CT's] of that era.

[a Dayak will trail a "quarry" ONLY either at sunrise or sunset. "Sign" is most visible during those two time periods. Recall too previous blog entries mentioning the Dayaks. Persons still carrying swords as part of the standard dress and using same with relish!!]

Man-tracking is being practiced RIGHT NOW ALONG THE BORDER WITH MEXICO. A special anti-intruder unit of American Indians armed with M-16 "cuts sign" and follows persons suspected of drug smuggling.

At the end of the Second World War [1945], WHO would have thought that an ancient art such as man-tracking would be resurrected and brought a high state of development? Surely NOT the thinkers of the Rand Corp.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home