Tuesday, October 27, 2009
This is coolbert:
This was a new one on me:
"Bounty hunting in Rhodesia"
"During the Rhodesian Bush War, cattle rustling reached epidemic proportions in the late 1970s. This was part of . . . [the] strategy of the guerrillas against the white minority government in Salisbury. . . . mercenaries were hired to confront the rustlers. They were called Range Detectives, and most of them were [American] Vietnam veterans . . . Payment was roughly 7 Rhodesian dollars a day, and a 750 Rhodesian dollars bonus for each rustler caught."
Americans, primarily [?] Vietnam combat veterans, performing a quasi-military role during the Rhodesian "Bush War". White Rhodesian settlers versus the black African insurgent forces of the ZAPU and ZANU.
An integral part of insurgent strategy was cattle rustling? Seems so. American "troops", mercenaries in Africa, combating the "epidemic" and using military style tactics, and weapons to do so. Performing an important function on behalf of the conventional Rhodesian military.
These "Range Detective" reminds one of the American Tom Horn. Frontiersman/scout/tracker/translator/STOCK DETECTIVE from the period of the American Old West, almost one hundred years earlier!!
"Mercenaries" - - military men functioning in a role normally reserved to law enforcement, and doing so in a war zone, hostile action being a given! "Troops" adept at the use of weapons and prepared to use same on a moments notice, and having to do so with regularity. As was the person of Tom Horn.
Tom Horn is seen in some circles as a hired gun - - an assassin - - a man quick on the trigger and in the pay of rich men - - Horn doing the biding of those less than scrupulous!
Tom Horn was a man probably only responding to perceived threats, in an environment that was hostile at all times, the threat of violence, as it was in Rhodesia, being an accepted way of life. Stock detective or range detective either was dealing with persons ready to kill or be killed, everyone understanding the rules of the game and behaving with ruthlessness!