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4 - Bureaucratic Counter-Terror and MNLA Main Forces

January 1949 to February 1950

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2021

Karl Hack
Affiliation:
The Open University, Milton Keynes
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Summary

Revisionist literature portrays a British counter-terror stretching across 1948–9, if not longer. This chapter shows how, in fact, counter-terror was ‘bureacratised’ in 1949, becoming far more controlled but also larger-scale, with ‘structural violence’ (slow-burn long-term reduction in life chances due to deportation, huts burned etc.) taking off as excess killings declined. Meanwhile, the insurgents tried, and failed, to establish main bases and larger forces. On failing, they switched to attempting to build multiple, local-based company-level forces, more indirect roots towards growing their strength. This sent incident levels soaring again. This chapter therefore revises the revisionist accounts, but just as importantly tells a cohrent story about the main-base strategy that the MCP hoped would set it on the path to victory, and its replacement strategy of building from more numerous, smaller base areas.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Malayan Emergency
Revolution and Counterinsurgency at the End of Empire
, pp. 139 - 190
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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