Home Introduction History SOAF 55FST RAF FSTs Accommodation Clinical
Timeline Comment Photographs Documents Sources Links Site Index Update Log
     
"Oh the Adu is a rebel and he lives up in the jebel
Always playing with his RCL"
 
 
 
Who were the adoo and what could be expected of them?


"click"
 
 
"Those that know the enemy as well as they know themselves will never be defeated" (Mao Zedong)
 
 
 
SAF had much the same idea as Mao and set about distributing to all members of SAF a memorandum which would help would help them understand the adoo better. There was much about the adoo that was well understood. Many of them were, after all, Dhofaris and jebalis who had lived in the country for their whole lives and had relatives in the Sultan's forces or in the towns in Dhofar.
 
What was different about the adoo and unfamiliar to SAF was what they had been indoctrinated with either whilst they had been abroad or what was taught to them by those who had had instruction in the USSR or China. The adoo were a skilful and brave enemy who without all the advantages that SAF had gave them a run for their money.
 
 
 
 
 
SAF set about trying to cast some light on what was not familiar and widely distributed the following document
 
 
 
The Enemy
General
1.     PFLOAG (The Popular Front for the Liberaton of Oman and the Arabian Gulf) is controlled, trained and administered with Chinese backing. However, despite occasional rumours there is no evidence that any Chinese have ever crossed the border.
2.    The organisation shown is a general one. It changes from time to time as units are switched from one area to another to rest, retrain or to meet operational requirements.
3.    The enemy operate under the normal Communist Committee system with the following structure :-
      
a. The Central Committee responsible for overall policy
b. The Military Committee responsible for the military aspects of the revolution
c. The Economic Committe
d. The Administrative Committee
Basic Organisation and Tasks
4.     PFLOAG consists of the following military units:-
        a. Western Approaches.     The western military unit of three firqats each of about fifty hardcore responsible for protecting the hardcore area where supply dumps, training camps etc are.
  b. HO CHI MINH routes     HO CHI MINH Unit about seventy strong responsible for escorting camel convoys through the Centre and the East.
  c. Central Area.     Central unit of two firqats each of about seventy hardcore. Northern sub-unit responsible for Northern Approaches to Jebel including the Midway Road. Southern sub-unit responsible for the Southern Approaches including the Midway Road and also for posing threats to RAF Salalah and Raysut.
  d. Eastern Area.     Scattered elements of two to three firqats. Tasks when not being chased by SAF, are to threaten the coastal towns of TAQA and MARBAT.
5.     Each Firqat can call on militia who may double its strength. In some cases they are permanently called out, e.g. in the Eastern Area at the moment. In others they are called on when need be.
Equipment
6.     Generally speaking hardcore are equipped with SKS and AK 47 rifles. Militia usually carry number 4 rifles but some have communist weapons.
An average Firqat will have in its area :-
  a. One 75mm RCL (Range 7,000 metres)
  b. One medium mortar (3", 81 or 82mm, range of 82mm about 3,400metres)
  c. Some MMGs, 60mm mortars and anumber of LMGs. Some HMGs have AA capability.
7.     In areas which the enemy consider important, extra RCLs and heavy MGs may be mounted eg. Midway Road, Rakhuyt, facing Akoot.
RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED
 
8.     The enemy have a limited number of Walkie Talkie radios for tactical control and a rather shaky command net from HAUF to all units. In many cases messages have to be relayed. Important messages are sent by courier.
Training.
9.     Varies enormously. Many hardcore have been trained in China and North Korea and some of the men who defect have had such training. The program for a PFLOAG course in Peking is shown at Annex A. At Annex B is shown a typical day in the life of an adoo on the jebel.
9a.    Some have deserted from the TOS. One reports that training in China is not as good as TOS training. Nevertheless certain aspects are good.: -
  a. Small arms shooting very good
  b. Fieldcraft and use of ground
  c. Some well trained inthe use of mines and booby traps though some have been blown up by our own booby traps and their own mines.
  d. Coordination not good at ahigher level, relying very much on couriers. Coordinated shellings etc do take palce but usually on the clock hour.
10.    RCL and mortar fire is erratic. Sometimes very bad it has improved in the case of some crew who can produce very accurate fire. These seem hoever to be very few and far between.
Morale
 
  a. Disagreement with communist anti-Islamic methods.11.    Also varies enormously. Many hardcore are brave, skilful and determined. However they are cruel and impose their will on the weaker numbers ruthlessly and many people who have argued have been executed. The large number of defectors is the biggest SAF success. Only fear of execution keeps many people from joining the government side.. Reasons for defection differ but they include : -
  b. News that the defector was due for execution anyway  i.e. Funk
  c. Lack of food
Minor Tactics
12.    Although in theory the enemy are indoctrinated in Maoist tactical thought they have not all read their little red book properly. As a result they do tend to be creatures of habit, using the same fire positions or routes until prevented.
13.    Generally speaking the enemy do not like operating outside the treeline. ie the line of scrub formed b the monsoon on the North and South slopes of the jebel.
14.    The enemy try hard to distract SAF from offensive operations by taking on targets like RAF Salalah, Raysut and the coastal towns at long range.
15.    Similarly like all Arabs they like their battles to be standoff shoots at long range. Their idea of an attack is coordinated mortar and RCL fire on a location. There have been some instances of the enemy in early a971 closing to a close fight but in the main they have learnt the dangers of this. Enemy units which have closed have generally done so by skilful pepper-potting. In two isolated recent instances, enemy troops skirmished forward and fired from short range before withdrawing again. It is thought that the two instances were both the same unit.
RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED
16.    Likewise it is the exception rather than the rule for the enemy to fight at night. They only do so if protecting something that they don't want to lose.  Although they sometimes fire at night they prefer last light to get the best shot plus achance to escape without aircraft retaliation.
17.    They use the dark to lay anti-tank mines on roads and also make good use of anti-personnell mines in old sangars, airstrips etc and areas that they know will be used.
18.    They do not hesitate to use women to give early warning of SAF approach and indeed some women fight in the Mobile Forces.
19.   Standard tactics on unexpected SAF approach are :
  a. Wailing from women
  b. Single shots as warning
  c. Local Militia turns out to harass and try to establish SAF locations.
  d. If SAF unit sits still long enough 60 to 80 men will arrive with heavy weapons.                                                    
20.    The enemy like to be able to mortar and machine gun fixed SAF locations from long range. Units who keep on the move worry them
21.    The enemy are confused by helicopter use, never being sure what troops have got in or out, what their strengths etc are.
22.    The enemy do not like jet strikes. The enemy unit anti-aircraft drills are good. They lie low as aircraft run in. After the aircraft has fired and is pulling out of its dive all enemy within range open up with every weapon that can.
23.    They sometimes use searching fire on hillsides to get SAF to show their locations by returning  fire.
24.    Their use of snipers is good and the first rounds of an engagement may only be to attract attention and to get heads up for a sniper in another location to get a good shot in.
25.     The enemy like to harass withdrawing troops and follow up very quickly.  Good communications, leapfrogging and preplanned supporting fire are essential in these conditions.
26.    The one or two SAF ambushes and enemy ambushes which have resulted in close combat have shown the enemy in poor light.
  a. Example one. A SAF platoon caught in an enemy ambush charged the ambush and routed it
  b. Example Two. A SAF ambush shot up three separate groups before the enemy reacted.
  Howeveer the enemy ambush in depth using LMG and MMG further back on higher ground to add wieght to the ambush is effective.
27.    The enemy amke skilful use of RCLs and are not in the least hindered by having to manhandle them. They are ususally fired from behind a crest with aiming marks on the crest to assist. The gun is brought into action quickly, one ranging round fired followed with perhaps three for effect. The gun is then taken out of action. The whole action may only take 90 seconds. Both RCLs and mortars are kept hidden and their locations are only known by trusted crew members themselves. When in action heavy weapons invariably have a screen of infantry picquets to cover their withdrawal.. RCLs and mortars are moved rapidly back to their caches by manpack or sometimes donkey.
RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED
Administration
28.     A certain amount of food  eg meat and milk, is obtained on the jebel. More undoubtedly gets through the food control systems from the towns on the coast. However agreat deal has to come in by camel convoy. The Jebalis does not like too much meat as it is too strong for his stomach. If denied things like tea, rice, sugar etc he suffers.
29.    There is always enough water on the jebel for small parties of men and camels. Therefore the enemy has few supply problems except where SAF is sitting on his waterholes.
30.    Enemy supplies of arms, ammunition,  medical stores and food are normally by ship to Hauf and by camel convoy thereafter. Convoys are escorted through by the HO CHI MINH unit using a screen and picquets. The camel routes are known but there are numerous varieties of the main routes so 100 percent ambush of them is not possible. Nevertheless they follow three clear main  routes. These routes have to vary during the monsoon as the rain makes some of them too slippery for camels. The enemy therefore, like the SAF, have to build up stocks immediately before and after the monsoon.. In future thenemy are likely to make greater use of the trans Negd routes.
31.    Stocks are held in dumps in the Western appraoches, and also in the Central area.
32.    Casualties are evacuated down the camel routes to Hauf. When casevac is not feasible casualties are held locally in caves. Unless severely pressed the enemy, like all Arabs, gets his dead and wounded out of action very efficiently.
Casualty Figures.
33.    From 1 January 1971 to 1 March 1972 the enemy lost : -
a. SEP to SAF 420 
b. PW 5
c. Confirmed dead 165
d. Reported dead 302
e. Reported wounded 231
34.    In the same period SAF lost
a. Two enemy SEP who redefected (However one came back to us yet again)
b. KIA 46  - including 10 in battle accidents
c. WIA 56
RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED
Annex A
COURSE PROGRAMME - PFLOAG COURSE
ANTI-IMPERIALIST SCHOOL. PEKING
1.     The course is of six months duration. It alternates between on months Political Instruction, the next Military Instruction.
2. Course Routine  
  a. 0600 Reveille and 15 mins PT
  b. 0700 Breakfast
  c. 0730 - 1200 Two lessons with 10min break in between them
  d. 1200 Lunch followed by Volley Ball and Table Tennis
  e. 1400 - 1800 Two Lessons with 10 minute break between them.
f. 1800 Dinner
  g. 1930 - 2100 Discussion period of subjects studied during the day with Tutor
 
3. Political Course and Subjects
  a.   General lines of Chinese revolution. Extracts were made when applicable to Dhofar
  b.   Cutting lines of communication and isolating towns and communications from one another.
  c.    Founding and building a Revolutionary Party
  d.    Founding and building a Communist Party in the country concerned.
  e.    Founding and building a Peoples' Revolutionary Army.
  All teachings and instruction were based on MAOISM with some MARXIST-LENINISM
4. Military Course.  The course started with lessons in
the school based on MAOs Seven Military Sayings
  1. Arouse and organise the people
  2. Achieve internal unification politically
  3. Establish bases
  4. Equip bases
5. Recover material strength
  6. Destroy enemy national strength
  7. Regain lost territories
This was followed by an initial three day training exercise in an area 2 - 3 miles north of the school. No night training was undertaken.
Subjects were
  a. Use of Recce patrols
  b. Isolation of units
c. Basic radio instruction
  d. Basic mining and explosives work
  e. Leadership
  f. Engagement of aircraft with SA
RESTRICTED

RESTRICTED
Annex A Contd
5. Weapons   Instruction was on : -
a. DSHK 912.7mm HMG)
  b. 75mm RCL
  c. 82 mm mortar
  d. 60 mm mortar
  e. GORYUNOV 7.62 MMG
  f. RPG 2 (shoulder controlled antitank weapon)
  g. F 1 Grenade
6. All students learnt the theory of mine detection and neutralisation but taught entirely on Chinese mines.
7. The instruction given on weapons had its emphasis on how they should be controlled and used rather than on actual operation.
  Annex B
A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN "ADOO"
1. Daytime
  a.  Dawn Stand to.
  b.  0800 Tea (if available)
  c.  1200 Lunch. Meat or rice,ghee,tea (if available) (Note- Rice and ghee are almost non-existent)
  d. 1600 Short patrol out to clear area
  e. 1800 Stand to, then tea (No sugar available
  Note : Although no particular time of day is allotted for political discussion units not in contact or in sensitive areas will have Maoist indoctrination periods during their working day.
2. Night
  a. On Patrol. Patrols move normally in 2 x 6 man groups in single file with a gap between the two groups

b. In Base  When not on watch patrols split into threes and individuals sleep up to 20 yards apart. Sentries are normally posted


There is another account of "Enemy Tactics in Dhofar" , which was included in the Northern Frontier Regiment's Operation Order for the 24th October 1972,  in the back of Bryan Ray's book "Dangerous Frontiers"