The warrior heritage: a study of Rhodesia
Alphin, Arthur Brent
Vandiver, Frank E.
Master of Arts
A warrior is a person who adheres to values which inspire in him a willingness to engage in certain activities regardless of risk to his life. In battle such people accomplish great things. The heritage they leave to others is frequently said to be an advantage when a nation is embroiled in military troubles. Rhodesia is a nation in trouble and they have such a heritage. In 1893 Major Allan Wilson and thirty-three men died in a last stand against some four thousand Ndebele tribesmen. The fight was so bitter that the Ndebele lost heart for further combat and surrendered immediately thereafter. A rebellion by two tribes in 1896 was put down; and, in so doing, Rhodesians left a heritage of intangibles, such as courage, and tangibles, such as proper use of forts. World Wars I and II saw sacrifice by Rhodesians that, on a per capita basis, exceeded the sacrifice of any other nation in the free world. In the current anti-terrorist war, Rhodesians are, in some cases, making good use of their heritage. Yet in other areas, like the use of forts, they seem to have learned nothing from their mistakes and eventual success in the 1896 Rebellions. Their heritage of courage from Major Wilson and from their efforts in World Wars I and II seems to inspire no one as they lose hope and shun sacrifice in a brutal and lonely war. Rhodesia is beset by a tide of trouble that is so great and so lacking in other favorable factors that they cannot seem to win. Their warrior heritage, though a great thing, is not sufficient alone.