A historical perspective on light infantry by Scott R McMichael; Combat Studies Institute (U.S.)

By Scott R McMichael; Combat Studies Institute (U.S.)

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Wingate believed that adept jungle fighters could be developed out of any unit through good leadership and training. Speaking about the first Chindit expedition, he declared: What was it that made these ordinary troops, born and bred for the most part to factories and workshops, capable of feats that would not have disgraced Commandos? 8 Figure 1. Chindit organization 13 It is noteworthy that one of the original (1943) Chindit battalions was the 13th Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment, a battalion of older men brought up in the urban manufacturing city of Liverpool.

Brigadier Fergusson, for instance, still favored the old Chindit style, even when directed onto a substantial target. " 29 In his study of the Chindit War, Brigadier Bidwell concluded: "There is a marked contrast between the operations of Calvert's brigade and Fergusson's. The difference was not of skill, but of style. Calvert had veered more and more toward the conventional. He closely controlled his columns, had trained them to dig and fortify positions and was fully prepared to assault the Japanese, controlling his vital air support through his brigade Royal Air Force officer.

During the course of the operation, the men grew to love many of their animals, and they cared for and protected them just as if they were fellow soldiers. Incidentally, the Special Force debrayed their pack animals for security. Hunter, however, refused to debray Galahad's animals, stating that braying was one of the few pleasures a jackass enjoyed. He later claimed that to his knowledge their brays never posed a noise problem. Apparently, the mules were just too tired to bray. 20 Training periods ended with lengthy field-training exercises under nearcombat conditions.

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