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Steve Joubert had always wanted to be a pilot and the only way he could afford to do so, was to join the South African Air Force in the late 1970s.
As an adventurous young man with a wicked sense of humour, he tells of the many amusing escapades he had as a trainee pilot. But soon he is sent to fight in the Border War in northern Namibia (then South West Africa) where he is exposed to the carnage of war. The pilots of the Alouette helicopters were witness to some of the worst scenes of the Border War. Often, they were the first to arrive after a deadly landmine accident.
In the fiercest battles their gunships regularly supplied life-saving air cover to troops on the ground.
Charlie Squadron – the iron fist of 61 Mechanised Battalion Group (61 Mech) – led the way on 3 October 1987 during the climactic battle between the South African Defence Force and the Angolan forces on the Lomba River in southern Angola. Ratels On The Lomba places the reader in the midst of the squadron of young conscripts who were taken off to the Border War to fight in this battle.
Not only were they up against a vastly superior Angolan force in terms of numbers and weaponry, but they also had to deal with terrain so dense that their sight was severely impaired and their movement restricted. Also, even though SADF tactical doctrine clearly stated that tanks had to be countered by tanks, these conscripts had to take on the Angolan tanks in armoured cars with inferior low-velocity guns and thin armour, designed to keep out nothing more than small-arms fire. Yet, during the battle on the Lomba the 47 Brigade of the Angolan forces was nearly wiped out.
Scholtz’z blow-by-blow account of a David vs. Goliath battle takes the reader to the heart of the action. It is honestly told and vividly described, thanks to interviews with veterans and diary entries that help to recreate the drama of the battle. It is an intensely human story of how individuals react in the face of death and how the war never left them, even when they returned home.
A riveting, action-filled account that sheds light on the realities of working in a war-torn country, this is the first book on the war in Iraq by a South African.
Johan Raath and a security team were escorting American engineers to a power plant south of Baghdad when they were ambushed. He had first arrived in Iraq only two weeks before. This was a small taste of what was to come over the next 13 years while he worked there as a private military contractor (PMC). His mission? Not to wage war but to protect lives. Raath acted as a bodyguard for VIPs and, more often, engineers who were involved in construction projects to rebuild the country after the 2003 war. His physical and mental endurance was tested to the limit in his efforts to safeguard construction sites that were regularly subjected to mortar and suicide attacks. Key to his survival was his training as a Special Forces operator, or Recce.
Working in places called the Triangle of Death and driving on the ‘Hell Run’, Raath had numerous hair-raising experiences. As a trained combat medic he also helped to save people’s lives after two suicide bomb attacks on sites he then worked at.
It probably took a fraction of a second from the knock - a single bang - to the opening of the door and the entry of an unexpected visitor into the room. They had just finished their lunch. The unannounced visitor ...simply pretended that everything was normal. There he stood - unfazed and somehow gigantic in his presence. The room had suddenly been invaded by a man who was to be a landmark in the lives of the trainees...
The book opens in China, 1962. Andrew Mlangeni is one of a small select group undergoing military training. The unannounced visitor is Mao Tse-Tung. While still at school, Andrew Mlangeni joined the Communist Party of South Africa and also the ANC Youth League. These were the organisations that shaped his values. Decades of resourceful activism were to lead to his arrest and life sentence in the Rivonia trial. Mlangeni's lifelong commitment to the struggle for liberation reverberates with other biographies of leading figures. His perspective comes from a somewhat ambiguous position in the hierarchy of liberation leaders. Mlangeni was selected as one of the first-ever six members who received military training in China before the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. He seems to have been chosen because he was a dedicated, intelligent and dependable operative, rather than a leader.
Even after his release after 25 years on Robben Island, Mlangeni was not given a senior position in the post-apartheid democratic government. 'I was always the backroom boy,' says Andrew Mlangeni about himself. This story of an ANC elder is a rigorously researched historical record overlaid with intensely personal reflections which intersect with the political narrative. Above all, it is one man's story, set in the maelstrom of the liberation struggle.
This biographical project has been developed for, and published in conjunction with, the June and Andrew Mlangeni Foundation.
A young Namibian goes into exile to join SWAPO’s military wing, PLAN, in the late 1970s. After dedicating his life to the movement, a series of purges within the organisation lead to him being wrongfully branded an apartheid spy and traitor. So begins Oiva Angula’s terrifying story of betrayal and torture by his comrades, which culminates in imprisonment in the omalambo – the hidden pits in Lubango, Angola, into which he, along with many others, is cast and left to die.
SWAPO Captive threads together personal narrative and national history, including childhood impressions that hint at a racially segregated existence, the rising tensions sparked by the apartheid regime’s rule over South West Africa, his father’s role in early liberation movements, and Angula’s own politicisation and decision to join the struggle.
SWAPO Captive reveals little-known narratives from ‘the other side’ of the Border War: life in a PLAN training camp, political education in the Eastern Bloc, and a foot soldier’s role in the war for independence.
Angula also addresses the ‘wall of silence’ imposed after independence in Namibia with respect to possible war crimes committed by SWAPO, condemning the party that claimed to fight for freedom for all.
’n Epiese reis in ’n klein seiljag van Frankryk tot aan die
Namakwalandse kus gedurende die Tweede Wêreldoorlog,
sabotasiepogings en planne om Eerste Minister Jan Smuts in ’n
sluipmoord om die lewe te bring . . . In die vroeë 1940’s is die
Suid-Afrikaanse publiek aangegryp deur die uitdagende optrede van
die Olimpiese bokser en swaargewigkampioen Robey Leibbrandt. Hy was
dodelik gekant teen Suid-Afrika se deelname aan die oorlog.
Van al die gebeure in die Kaapkolonie gedurende die Tweede Vryheidsoorlog het die teregstelling van Hans Lötter, asook dié van kmdt. Gideon Scheepers, die meeste emosie onder Afrikaners ontketen. Lötter en sy mederebelle in die Kolonie het die verbeelding van die plaaslike bevolking aangegryp en die Britte maande lank hoofbrekens besorg. Sy gevangeneming, verhoor en teregstelling deur ’n Britse vuurpeloton op Middelburg, Kaap, het groot woede en verontwaardiging veroorsaak en hom verewig as Boeremartelaar in die Afrikaner-volksoorleweringe. Nou word sy boeiende verhaal vir die eerste keer volledig vertel.
**THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER** The book that inspired Steven Spielberg's acclaimed TV series, produced by Tom Hanks and starring Damian Lewis. In Band of Brothers, Stephen E. Ambrose pays tribute to the men of Easy Company, a crack rifle company in the US Army. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the dangerous parachute landings on D-Day and their triumphant capture of Hitler's 'Eagle's Nest' in Berchtesgaden. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. Repeatedly send on the toughest missions, these brave men fought, went hungry, froze and died in the service of their country. A tale of heroic adventures and soul-shattering confrontations, Band of Brothers brings back to life, as only Stephen E. Ambrose can, the profound ties of brotherhood forged in the barracks and on the battlefields. 'History boldly told and elegantly written . . . Gripping' Wall Street Journal 'Ambrose proves once again he is a masterful historian . . . spellbinding' People
Recruited as sharpshooters and clothed in distinctive uniforms with green trim, the hand-picked regiment of the Ninth New Jersey Volunteer Infantry was renowned and admired far and wide. The only New Jersey regiment to reenlist for the duration of the Civil War at the close of its initial three-year term, the Ninth saw action in forty-two battles and engagements across three states. Throughout the South, the regiment broke up enemy camps and supply depots, burned bridges, and destroyed railroad tracks to thwart Confederate movements and suffered disease and starvation as POWs at the notorious Andersonville prison camp in Georgia. Recruited largely from socially conservative cities and villages in northern and central New Jersey, the Ninth Volunteer Infantry consisted of men with widely differing opinions about the Union and their enemy. Edward G. Longacre unearths these complicated political and social views, tracing the history of this esteemed regiment before, during, and after the war-from recruitment at Camp Olden to final operations in North Carolina.
Colonel Frank Wolford, the acclaimed Civil War colonel of the First Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry, is remembered today primarily for his unenviable reputation. Despite his stellar service record and widespread fame, Wolford ruined his reputation and his career over the question of emancipation and the enlistment of African Americans in the army. Unhappy with Abraham Lincoln's public stance on slavery, Wolford rebelled and made a series of treasonous speeches against the president. Dishonorably discharged and arrested three times, Wolford, on the brink of being exiled beyond federal lines into the Confederacy, was taken in irons to Washington DC to meet with Lincoln. Lincoln spared Wolford, however, and the disgraced colonel returned to Kentucky, where he was admired for his war record and rewarded politically for his racially based rebellion against Lincoln. Although his military record established him as one of the most vigorous, courageous, and original commanders in the cavalry, Wolford's later reputation suffered. Dan Lee restores balance to the story of a crude, complicated, but talented man and the unconventional regiment he led in the fight to save the Union. Placing Wolford in the context of the political and cultural crosscurrents that tore at Kentucky during the war, Lee fills out the historical picture of Old Roman Nose.
The legions of Rome were among the greatest fighting forces in history. For almost half a millennium they secured the known world under the power of the Caesars. This pioneering account gathers together the stories of each and every imperial legion, telling the tales of their triumphs and defeats as they policed the empire and enlarged its borders. Focusing on the legions as the core of the Roman army, and chronicling their individual histories in detail, this volume builds on the thematic account of the Roman military force given by its companion The Complete Roman Army , and is vital reading for anyone who has enjoyed that book.
Established in June 1940, the Long Range Desert Group was the inspiration of scientist and soldier Major Ralph Bagnold, a contemporary of T.E Lawrence who, in the inter-war years, explored the North African desert in a Model T Ford automobile. Mortimer takes us from the founding of the LRDG, through their treacherous journey across the Egyptian Sand Sea and beyond, offering a hitherto unseen glimpse into the heart of this most courageous organisation, whose unique and valiant contributions to the war effort can now finally be recognized and appreciated. Praise for Gavin Mortimer: "With unparalleled access to SBS's archive, Mortimer draws on private papers to produce the definitive account of the SBS's extraordinary exploits in WWII." Sunday Telegraph "The SBS is finally being recognised thanks to a remarkable new book. Author Gavin Mortimer spent more than a decade interviewing veterans, scrutinising SBS archives and poring over recently declassified documents to write The SBS in World War 2." Daily Mirror "This gripping first-hand account of the raid is one of many previously unpublished resources that Mortimer's book draws on." The Times "Mortimer deserves full credit for assembling a mountain of material and presenting it with lucidity and balance" Philip Ziegler, Daily Mail
**THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER** 25th Anniversary Edition. Foreword by Tom Hanks. The book that inspired Steven Spielberg's acclaimed TV series, produced by Tom Hanks and starring Damian Lewis. In Band of Brothers, Stephen E. Ambrose pays tribute to the men of Easy Company, a crack rifle company in the US Army. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the dangerous parachute landings on D-Day and their triumphant capture of Hitler's `Eagle's Nest' in Berchtesgaden. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. Repeatedly send on the toughest missions, these brave men fought, went hungry, froze and died in the service of their country. Celebrating the 25th anniversary since the original publication, this reissue contains a new foreword from Tom Hanks who was an executive producer on the award-winning HBO series. A tale of heroic adventures and soul-shattering confrontations, Band of Brothers brings back to life, as only Stephen E. Ambrose can, the profound ties of brotherhood forged in the barracks and on the battlefields. `History boldly told and elegantly written . . . Gripping' Wall Street Journal `Ambrose proves once again he is a masterful historian . . . spellbinding' People
In 1944 the British War Office distributed a handbook to British soldiers informing them what to expect and how to behave in a newly-liberated France. Containing candid descriptions of this war-ravaged society (widespread malnourishment, rampant tuberculosis) as well as useful phrases and a pronunciation guide (Bonjewer, commont-allay-voo), it was an indispensable guide to everyday life. This small, unassuming publication had a deeper purpose: to bring together two allies who did not enjoy ideal relations in 1944. The book attempts to reconcile differences by stressing a shared history and the common aim - defeating Hitler. It also tried to dispel misapprehensions: 'There is a fairly widespread belief among people in Britain that the French are a particularly gay, frivolous people with no morals and few convictions.' Often unintentionally hilarious in its expression of these false impressions, the book is also a guide for avoiding social embarrassment: 'If you should happen to imagine that the first pretty French girl who smiles at you intends to dance the can-can or take you to bed, you will risk stirring up a lot of trouble for yourself - and for our relations with the French.' Many of its observations still ring true today. For example, 'The French are more polite than most of us. Remember to call them "Monsieur, Madame, Mademoiselle," not just "Oy!"' Others remind us of how we recently we have adopted French customs: 'Don't drink yourself silly. If you get the chance to drink wine, learn to "'take it".' Anyone with an interest in Britain, France or World War II will find this an irresistible insight into British attitudes towards the French and an interesting, timeless commentary on Anglo-French relations.
"Don't be too ready to listen to stories told by attractive women.
They may be acting under orders." This was only one of the many
warnings given to the 30,000 British troops preparing to land in
the enemy territory of Nazi Germany nine-and-a-half months after
D-Day. The newest addition to the Bodleian Library's bestselling
series of wartime pamphlets, "Instructions for British Servicemen
in Germany, 1944" opens an intriguing window into the politics and
military stratagems that brought about the end of World War
From the author of THE PERFECT STORM and WAR comes a book about why men miss war, why Londoners missed the Blitz, and what we can all learn from American Indian captives who refused to go home. Tribe is a look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the challenges veterans face returning to society. Using his background in anthropology, Sebastian Junger argues that the problem lies not with vets or with the trauma they've suffered, but with the society to which they are trying to return. One of the most puzzling things about veterans who experience PTSD is that the majority never even saw combat-and yet they feel deeply alienated and out of place back home. The reason may lie in our natural inclination, as a species, to live in groups of thirty to fifty people who are entirely reliant on one another for safety, comfort and a sense of meaning: in short, the life of a soldier. It is one of the ironies of the modern age that as affluence rises in a society, so do rates of suicide, depression and of course PTSD. In a wealthy society people don't need to cooperate with one another, so they often lead much lonelier lives that lead to psychological distress. There is a way for modern society to reverse this trend, however, and studying how veterans react to coming home may provide a clue to how to do it. But it won't be easy.
In 1902 het 'n jong Boeretelegrafis en offisier, Filip Pienaar, uit ballingskap in Portugal een van die eerste boeke oor die Boereoorlog geskryf: With Steyn and de Wet. 'n Maand na publikasie is die boek verban – waarskynlik vanwee verwysings in die boek na die juiste feite oor die omstrede figuur van generaal F.J. Pienaar, asook leidrade oor wat met die sogenaamde "Krugergoud" kon gebeur het. Hierdie interessante relaas is die vroee voorgeskiedenis en wat met die skrywer in die oorlog en in ballingskap in Portugal gebeur het.
In 1998 Teresa Fazio signed up for the Marine Corps' ROTC program to pay her way through MIT. After the U.S was attacked on September 11, 2001, leading to the War on Terror, she graduated with a physics degree into a very different world, owing the Marines four years of active duty. At twenty-three years old and five-foot-one, Fazio was the youngest and smallest officer in her battalion; the combined effect of her short hair, glasses, and baggy camo was less Hurt Locker than Harry Potter Goes to War. She cut an incongruous figure commanding more experienced troops in an active war zone, where vulnerability was not only taboo, but potentially lethal. In this coming-of-age story set in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fazio struggles with her past, her sense of authority, and her womanhood. Anger stifles her fear and uncertainty. A forbidden affair placates her need for love and security. But emptiness, guilt, and nightmares plague Fazio through her deployment - and follow her back home.
Initiated in 1950, this 2007 edition is the latest in a classic series of books of the same title. Journalist-historian S. L. A. Marshall wrote the first at the behest of Gen. George C. Marshall, who formed the great citizen army of World War II. The general believed officers of all services needed to base their professional commitment on a common moral-ethical grounding, which S. L. A. Marshall set out to explain. Ever since, these books have provided a foundation of thought, conduct, standards, and duty for American commissioned officers.Available now to the general public, this new edition takes the series' inspirational premise into the new century. It educates officers of all services, as well as civilians, about the fundamental moral-ethical requirements of being a commissioned officer in the armed forces of the United States. Understanding the common foundation of commissioned leadership and command of U.S. military forces is essential for achieving excellence in the joint operations of today's combat environment. This philosophy unites the officers of the uniformed services in the common calling of supporting, defending, and upholding the Constitution in service to their country.
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