Forest Warfare

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Justin Beach
Mau Mau
Dr. Sandgren
9/22/2012
Forest Warfare
The forests provided a good area for guerilla warfare as compared to prior places for the guerillas. Several smaller, relatively unorganized, groups entered the forests. These warriors, who were mainly young men who took the “warrior-oath,” entered the forest to continue their battle against British brutality. The forest provided “safety and protection traditionally afforded by the forest.”(115) Many of these young men were forced to be forest fighters by underground Mau Mau committees or a similar organizations/leaders. They were captured by force to fight. Many of them, having lost their land, entered the forest because of the natural protection provided by the mountains and overall landscape. Another perk for the guerillas of the forest was the food it provided through vegetation and the forest’s animals. Darkness also aided the guerillas. This natural protection helped the guerillas build and organize themselves free from enemy interference. Generally, the guerillas felt safe here, which was a big positive obviously. The several small groups tried to organize but were quite unorganized overall. After 7 months of random violence and battling, these groups decided to band together. They established camp in forests near their home areas to try to protect where they called home. Soon-after, the groups sought a more unified response to the British Counterinsurgency. This allowed way for the Kenya Defense Council. Now, being more organized, they established more organization and structure than they could have previously.
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