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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.
Op 3 Oktober 1987 het Charlie-eskadron – die ystervuis van 61 Gemeganiseerde Bataljongroep – die kritieke geveg tussen die Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag en die Angolese magte op die Lombarivier in die suide van Angola gelei. Dié boek plaas die leser in die midde van die jong dienspligtiges wat na die Grensoorlog weggevoer is om hierdie geveg te gaan voer.
Langs die Lomba het hulle te staan gekom teen ’n Angolese mag met ’n getalsoorwig en beter wapentuig. Boonop was die terrein so dig bebos dat hul sig en beweging aansienlik ingeperk is. Die SAW se taktiese doktrine het duidelik gestel dat tenks teen tenks aangewend moes word. Tog moes die dienspligtiges die Angolese tenks aanvat in pantservoertuie met minder kragtige kanonne en dun pantser wat nie veel meer as gewone geweervuur kon afweer nie. Steeds is 47 Brigade van die Angolese magte amper uitgewis tydens die geveg aan die Lomba.
Scholtz se beskrywing van hierdie David-teen-Goliath-geveg neem die leser na die hart van die aksie. Danksy onderhoude met veterane en dagboekinskrywings dra hierdie eerlike, intense hervertelling die volle drama van die geveg oor. Dit is ook ’n diep menslike verhaal oor hoe individue reageer in die aangesig van die dood en hoe die oorlog hulle nooit uit sy kloue gelaat het nie, selfs nadat hulle teruggekeer het.
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.
In Lee's Tigers Revisited, noted Civil War scholar Terry L. Jones dramatically expands and revises his acclaimed history of the approximately twelve thousand Louisiana infantrymen who fought in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Sometimes derided as the ""wharf rats from New Orleans"" and the ""lowest scrappings of the Mississippi,"" the Louisiana Tigers earned a reputation for being drunken and riotous in camp, but courageous and dependable on the battlefield. Louisiana's soldiers, some of whom wore colorful uniforms in the style of French Zouaves, reflected the state's multicultural society, with regiments consisting of French-speaking Creoles and European immigrants. Units made pivotal contributions to many crucial battles- resisting the initial Union onslaught at First Manassas, facilitating Stonewall Jackson's famous Valley Campaign, holding the line at Second Manassas by throwing rocks when they ran out of ammunition, breaking the Union line temporarily at Gettysburg's Cemetery Hill, containing the Union breakthrough at Spotsylvania's Bloody Angle, and leading Lee's attempted breakout of Petersburg at Fort Stedman. The Tigers achieved equal notoriety for their outrageous behavior off the battlefield, so much so that sources suggest no general wanted them in his command. By the time of Lee's surrender at Appomattox, there were fewer than four hundred Louisiana Tigers still among his troops. Lee's Tigers Revisited uses letters, diaries, memoirs, newspaper articles, and muster rolls to provide a detailed account of the origins, enrollments, casualties, and desertion rates of these soldiers. Illustrations- including several maps newly commissioned for this edition- chart the Tigers' positions on key battlefields in the tumultuous campaigns throughout Virginia. By utilizing first-person accounts and official records, Jones provides the definitive study of the Louisiana Tigers and their harrowing experiences in the Civil War.
**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.
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 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.
'Tommy Atkins' has been the nickname given to soldiers of the British Army since the eighteenth century. The origin of the name is shrouded in mystery, but it has stuck. By 1914, the Tommy had changed dramatically since the days of Queen Victoria's redcoats. Edwardian army reforms had improved recruitment and training and had re-organised the regular forces and reserves. When the First World War broke out, the system went smoothly into action and the BEF was carried across the Channel to France. But the British Army was relatively small and the First World War required a rapid expansion of the ranks. Lord Kitchener's call for men raised the so-called New Army, half a million strong, but more were needed and conscription came into force. Many of those who volunteered together were also trained together and fought side by side in battle. In the fire of machine guns and amid the shell-fire, large numbers of men from city parishes, towns and villages fell together. Neil Storey takes us through the recruitment, equipment, training and experiences of these soldiers in the First World War: the Tommies, 'the poor bloody infantry'. This book is part of the Britain's Heritage series, which provides definitive introductions to the riches of Britain's past, and is the perfect way to get acquainted with the Tommy of the First World War.
In 1942, the United States War Department distributed a handbook to American servicemen that advised them on the peculiarities of the "British, their country, and their ways."
Over sixty years later, this newly published reproduction from the rich archives of the Bodleian Library offers a fascinating glimpse into American military preparations for World War II. The guide was intended to alleviate the culture shock for soldiers taking their first trip to Great Britain, or, for that matter, abroad. The handbook is punctuated with endearingly nostalgic advice and refreshingly candid quips such as: "The British don't know how to make a good cup of coffee. You don't know how to make a good cup of tea. It's an even swap."
By turns hilarious and poignant, many observations featured in the handbook remain relevant even today. Reproduced in a style reminiscent of the era, "Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain" is a powerfully evocative war-time memento that offers a unique perspective on the longstanding American-British relationship and reveals amusingly incisive American perceptions of the British character and country.
His recently discovered diary and letters recount in vivid terms what it was like to be a South African student abroad as war breaks out. Travel, love and learning jostle with international politics, militarism and confusion. We follow Terry's travels to Ireland, Paris and the United States, as well as his romantic adventures. He debates the role of the US in the War with the journalist, explorer and broadcaster, Lowell Thomas, who tries unsuccessfully to cure Terry's endemic Anglophilia. Laurence Wright's introduction sketches the trajectory of Terry's life, from his upbringing, education and wartime activities to his religious preoccupations and his later career as a lecturer in English at Rhodes University. The volume is fully annotated and illustrated with Terry's own photographs.
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