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REVIEWS

Mampara

Rhodesia Regiment Moments of Mayhem by a Moronic, Maybe Militant, Madman

Author:
Toc Walsh

R250.00

Mampara

 

Military History / African Studies / Memoir

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Mapungubwe
Cultural Landscape
Mapungubwe

A Southbound Pocket Guide

Author:
David Fleminger

R69.95

Mapungubwe

 

South Africa's World Heritage Sites

Bob Truda, Indwe September 2009

In the far north of the country lies Mapungubwe, the ruins of a flourishing Iron Age metropolis. Between AD 1000 and AD 1300, the Kingdom of Mapungubwe was a key link in the Indian Ocean Arab dhow trade, and the artifacts discovered here include anything from glass trade beads to carved ivory items, and, of course, the famous Golden Rhino of Mapungubwe. Fleminger is insistent about visiting this site. "Just go!" he says. "Do not be put off because it seems far away. The landscape is unforgettable, the cultural history is fascinating and the SAN Parks accommodation is outstanding."


Kim Shaw - Style Magazine December 2006

Proud heritage. With the recent declaration of the Vredefort Dome near Parys as a UNESCO Heritage Site, South Africa is now home to seven such sites, the others being Robben Island, Cradle of Humankind, Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape and the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas. For those wanting to know more, the seven handy pocket guides are perfect for exploring each site. Packed with information, the guides vary from 144 to 208 pages and include maps and full colour photographs.they're easy to slip into your luggage and will make you even keener to travel locally.


Marion Whitehead, Getaway February 2009

"It packs a lot of information for a small book: plants, human history, suggested itineraries, where to stay and useful contacts."


Anita Henning, To Go To December 2008

In this issue of ToGOTo there is a story on Mapungubwe - a place likely to be unknown to many South Africans but one definitely worth a visit. And if you decide to do so, best would be to use this Southbound Pocket Guide, one of a series on World Heritage Sites in South Africa. With quite an extensive range of photographs of the area, artifacts, handy references and a list of links, the book will provide you with valuable historical background on this particular recently awarded World Heritage Site. There is also useful information on lodges in the vicinity. It is a soft-cover guide with a convenient flap for use as a bookmark.


Melanie Reeder, Longevity December 2006

These guides will make handy travel companions if you're anywhere near one of South Africa's official UNESCO World Heritage sites this holiday. There are seven guides available, written by expert travel authors and photo-journalists, including Robben Island, St. Lucia Wetland Park, uKhahlamba-Drakensburg Park and the Cradle of Humankind to name a few. The guides may be small, but they're literally jam-packed with information, from the fauna and flora and history of the area, to where to stay and useful websites to visit. There are also beautiful photographs and useful detailed maps, making these guides holiday must-haves for an informed and more enjoyable trip.

 
 
Masodja
Masodja

The History of the Rhodesian African Rifles

Author:
Alex Binda,

R495.00

Masodja

 

The RAR faded, almost unnoticed, into history …

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Matabele
Matabele

The War of 1893 and the 1896 Rhodesian Rebellions

Author:
Chris Ash

R295.00

Matabele

Military History / African Studies / Victorian Conflicts

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Mau Mau
Mau Mau

The Kenyan Emergency, 1952–60

Africa@War Volume 7

Author:
Peter Baxter

R195.00

Masodja

Mau Mau was less than a liberation movement, but much more...

Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world. Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s. Keep up the good work. Best regards Russell A. Burgos

 
 
McBride of Frankenmanto
McBride of Frankenmanto

The Return of the South African Insult

Author:
Sarah Britten

R120.00

McBride of Frankenmanto

 

Humour & Satire

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Men of the Mendi
Men of the Mendi

South Africa's Forgotten Heroes of World War 1

 

Author :

Brenda Shepherd

ISBN: 978-1-928359-04-3

R250.00 + shipping

Softcover / 320 pages

Men of the Mendi

 

Humour & Satire

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Mercenaries
Mercenaries

Putting the World to Rights with Hired Guns

Author:
Al J. Venter

R320.00

McBride of Frankenmanto

 

Putting the World to Rights

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More South African Insults
More South African Insults

Volume III

Author:
Sarah Britten

R120.00

More South African Insults

 

Humour & Satire

Hannelie Booyens, You magazine

This is Sarah Britten's third hilarious attempt to capture our country's peculiar and slightly mad zeitgeist, the first being The Art of the South African Insult, followed by McBride of Frankenmento - The Return of the South African Insult. The format of this little book is the same as before and each chapter is essentially a collection of witty comments and remarks about a specific topic taken from various media. As could be expected, Julius Malema gets a chapter of his own and so do road rage, crime, business, sport, religion and, last but not least, Zimbabwe.The book is funny."


Sibusiso Mkwanazi, Citizen

They say that the first words a person learns when taking on a new language are its expletives. If it was insults, the this book would be the perfect start for those who want to learn "South African". It is a collection of quotes by prominent South African politicians, critics and anyone who is deemed to be of social relevance. It covers what has become everyday topics that are discussed in length on blogs and opinion polls. These include Julius Malema (he has a chapter all to himself), The splitting of COPE from the ANC, freedom of speech and race, among others. The book can be read quickly. Different fonts make it simple to distinguish the quotes from Britten's snappy opinion. The most interesting chapter has to be "Only in South Africa". In short, it is material that comedians wish they could think of.


Bill Ryan, the Independent on Saturday

We are racists. We are tribalists. But, hell, we can laugh at ourselves.when we feel like doing it. These are the words of writer Fred Khumalo, one of many quoted in the newly published, highly amusing More South African Insults - a perfect Christmas stocking filler. The book, written with the interest of helping the nation along in the task of laughing at itself, is a follow-up to The Return of the South African Insult. And a lot has happened in SA since its publication, not least the rise of one Julius Malema, the ANC Youth kingpin to whom a whole chapter is devoted in the new book. Once again humour is milked from just about everything South African, personalities getting a jab include Jacob Zuma, Helen Zille, Steve Hofmeyr, Joost van der Westhuizen and Luke (The Puke) Watson. A really fun read.


CA, Sunday Tribune

"Oh, how I love Julius Malema. I can't help it. I'm besotted with his chubby little face, his gimlet eyes, his petulant lips. He's like a cross between an unshaved Britney Spears and crack cocaine, except half the talent and twice as addictive" - Chris Roper. Need I say more, this book is full of them. If you can't laugh with them, then laugh at them.

 
 
My memoirs of the British South African Police
My memoirs of the British South African Police

 

Author:
John Shaw

R250.00

My memoirs of the British South African Police

Military History / African Studies / Bush War / Memoir

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Mzee Ali
Mzee Ali

 

Author:
Bror MacDonell & Kerrin Cocks

R165.00

Mzee Ali

The Biography of an African Slave-Raider turned Askari and Scout

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North of the Red Line
North of the Red Line

ISBN 978-1-928211-97-6

R395.00 + shipping

Softcover / 568 pages

243 b/w photos, maps, illustrations

North of the Red Line

 

Recollections of the Border War by Members of the SADF and SWATF: 1966–1989

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Notes from Hell
Notes from Hell

HIV/AIDS

Author:
Valya Chervenyashka and Nikolay Yordanov

R95.00

Notes from Hell

“I have no expectations for the future. I am not afraid of death … I am a woman who has come back.."

Michelle Bristow-Bovey, Cape Times

In 1981, a Bulgarian nurse, Valya Chervenyashka, accepted a post in Tarhuna, Libya, dreaming of a better life for her family. Over the next 15 years she tended to Libyan children- work for which she was honoured- until her arrest in 1998. Transferred to a Tripoli jail and charged, with four fellow Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian intern, with conspiring to infect more than 400 children with HIV, she was sentenced to death. Notes from Hell documents more than a decade of torture, cruelty and despair. This intimate account is relayed with raw honesty and emotion. A cold, sobering look at some of life's injustices.


Dries Brunt, Citizen

This horror story made international headlines. Chervenyashka, with a group of Bulgarian nurses who worked in a children's hospital in Libya, was accused of deliberately infecting children with the HIV virus. They were horribly tortured by Libyan prison authorities in order to make them confess to a crime that was not committed. If there was a crime it was the neglect of hospital staff and the atrocious conditions of medical care in that country. The nurses paid a heavy price to conceal those conditions. Eight years in prison, three times sentenced to death, they came out after an international outcry, to return to Bulgaria. This story shows brutality in its most extreme form, a willful act of cruel injustice for which the Libyan government stands accused. Reading this book will make you cringe.

 
 

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OKAVANGO
Okavango

A Field Guide

Author:
Lee Gutteridge and Tony Reumerman

R495.00

OKAVANGO

Botswana’s wilderness jewel

Review by Kate Pirie African & Indian Explorations

Oh my - what a stunning book! I cannot thank you enough - truly fabulous and everything you want to know is in it! Every guide, management couple and camp/lodge (and me) etc should have a copy of this book, and everyone else with an interest in wildlife and the environment too. It is superb and you must be really pleased. I will make sure that all here know about the book and that it's a definite one to add to the collections. Again, I am bowled over! Thank you very much

 
 
Operation Dingo
Operation Dingo

Africa @ War Series - Volume 1

Author:
Dr JRT Wood

R195.00

Operation Dingo

 

Rhodesian Raid on Chimoio and Tembué, 1977

 

Operation Dingo. Written by Leon Engelbrecht - Defenceweb. Saturday, 25 February 2012

Co-issued with a British publisher, "Operation Dingo" is the first of the "Africa @ War" series of which four titles have now been released: three relate to operations - "Operation Dingo", "France in Centrafrique", and "Battle for Cassinga"; and, one focussing on a high-profile unit, the "Selous Scouts".This suggests the series does not yet have focus - looking either at operations or at units - but then there is no real requirement for such focus. Maybe well the opposite. The publishers say this will be a "ground-breaking series" studying Africa's post-1945 conflicts and military players in an informative and entertaining manner, examining some of the lesser known campaigns and shedding new light on some of the better known operations." to the matter at hand then: Operation Dingo was - even to its proponents - an almost suicidal air-ground attack on two insurgent bases deep in Mozambique in 1977. Just 184 Rhodesian Special Air Service and Rhodesian Light Infantry commandos, with such aircraft and helicopter support that was available, would attack 10 000 guerillas at their base at "New Farm" at Chimoio, some 90km into Mozambique. The attack was set for November 23, the plan being a series of of air attacks followed by a parachute and helicopter assault heavily supported by air assets. The troops would move through the base, taking documents, some prisoners and arms and destroying the rest. They would be extracted by helicopter (including ten South African Air Force-crewed Alouette III's) before sunset and return to Rhodesia to reset for another attack the next day - eyebrow-raising in itself. As it was, resistance and the the size of the base forced the commandos to stay overnight and withdraw the next day. The attack on Tembué followed on the 25th. Intelligence credited the base, some 200km inside Mozambique, with some 4000 inmates. Wood, a master on the subject of the Rhodesian "Bush War", notes that estimates of the losses inflicted vary wildly, but a "figure exceeding 6000 casualties is realistic." The Rhodesians by contrast suffered two dead, eight wounded and lost one aircraft (its pilot being one fatality). Wood says in a short epilogue Dingo was "an extraordinary joint services' operation. I have found, when lecturing on it to professional military audiences, utter disbelief tat such a double blow could be struck so far into hostile territory by less than 200 troops and a collection of aircraft that, by 1977, should have been gracing someone's museum."Operation Dingo" - and the rest of the series too - is concise, concrete, educational and gripping. Read it.


Reviewer: Major Chris Buckham is a Logistics Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

In 1977, Rhodesia was engaged in a full-fledged asymmetric conflict with a number of African rebel groups (ZANLA and ZAMU) operating out of neighbouring countries (Zambia and Mozambique). In an effort to undermine and weaken Rhodesia's main protagonist in this conflict (ZANLA under Robert Mugabe) prior to the announcement of a vote for majority rule in Rhodesia, the government of Ian Smith sanctioned the execution of Op Dingo. Launched Nov 23, 1977, this mission entailed a two part strike on ZANLA training and command and control assets located in camps at Chimoio and Tembue, Mozambique. Rhodesian SAS and RLI (Rhodesian Light Infantry) forces numbering 228 soldiers supported by fixed wing and rotary wing assets armed with 20 mm cannon would be inserted 35 km inside Mozambique by parachute in order to inflict maximum damage and casualties. Following exfill, they would then be reinserted three days later 200km beyond the border to repeat the attack at Tembue. Estimates of rebel forces were 10,000 at Chimoio and 4,000 at Tembue. The attack was an unprecedented success with ZANLA losses being estimated at 6,000 (as well as huge intelligence and material losses). Rhodesian losses were one aircraft, 2 dead and 12 wounded (8 by friendly fire). Dr JRT Wood's book Operation Dingo is a well documented and researched synopsis of this event. The layout and presentation of the book is logical and of a very high quality. Woods provides a comprehensive overview of the regional environment and international climate (Rhodesia was operating under an international embargo) in order to provide context for the reader. Additionally, he goes into detail regarding the initiatives and efforts that the Rhodesian government and military undertook to overcome the challenges that the international embargo had imposed upon them. To this end, he discusses various innovations such as the Alpha bomb, the Golf bomb and the Flechette; each designed to augment their asymmetric capability utilizing easily obtained material. This, in conjunction with Rhodesia's engagement of non-traditional assets (read mercenary) is indicative of their willingness to accept and exploit the 'real politique' of their situation. The strength/core of this book centres on the doctrinal development of the Rhodesian military's counter insurgency capability. Rhodesia was faced with a number of challenges that demanded innovation. Two factors served to drive the doctrinal development: a0 it was fighting an increasingly violent insurgent war that was divided very clearly along race lines; therefore, their pool of soldiers to draw upon was limited and, b: Rhodesia was operating under a comprehensive international embargo. To counter these, they developed light, extremely mobile infantry operating under a joint doctrine that focused on parachute and rotary wing infil and exfil supported by fast air and 'flying column's' of heavily armed jeep convoys; the so-called 'FireForce" concept. Additionally, comprehensive intelligence gathering techniques were implemented and the decision making process between the political and military branches was streamlined and shortened. Woods' book whets the appetite as it touches upon a series of themes that, due to its length, were unable to be explored in depth. For example, things such as the circumstances surrounding the international crisis that Rhodesia found itself in resulting in Prime Ministers Ian Smith's unilateral declaration of independence from Great Britain and the subsequent challenges that faced Rhodesia as it progressed through the 1960's and early 1970's are identified but not extensively explored. Nonetheless, this does not detract from the focus or quality of this book; it merely raises questions and the interest of the reader. Once the background has been painted for the reader and therefore the understanding of why such a risky and breathtaking operation was necessary, Wood focuses his attention on the planning and execution of the raids themselves. The strength of the narrative comes through in this regard. The reader is led through the operational planning process of the RLI, SAS and the RRAF (Royal Rhodesian Air Force) in anticipation of the execution of Op Dingo. This is particularly interesting because it displays the maturity of the joint capability of the Rhodesian Forces, honed after nearly 15 years of asymmetric warfare. Additionally, the level of risk acceptance within the Rhodesian military and Government is noteworthy given the lack of depth of resources at their disposal and therefore the potential downside of failure. The lessons and tactics of asymmetric warfare developed and learned through the Rhodesian experience form the basis of much of the joint operational doctrine used today. Dr Woods does an admirable job encapsulating the atmosphere under which the operation was conceived and executed. Op Dingo represents one of the most stunningly, one-sided successes ever undertaken. Dr Woods' work gives the reader a valuable insight into the high pressure environment of the special ops world where the ramifications of failure are dramatic and far-reaching. A must for those wishing to understand the intricacies and challenges of this style of operation. Major Chris Buckham is a Logistics Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He has experience working with all elements including SOF. A graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, he holds a BA in Poli Sci and an MA in International Relations. He is presently employed as a ILOC Officer with the multinational branch of EUCOM J4 in Stuttgart, Germany.


Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world. Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s. Keep up the good work. Best regards. Russell A. Burgos

 
 
One Beat of a Butterfly's Heart

A Field Guide

Author:
Ron Callander

R250.00

One beat of a butterfly's Heart

 

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Oupa, O.B.E
Oupa,O.B.E

Family Man, Fighter, Friend ; Major Richard Granville Nicholson

Author:
Shelagh Nation

R185.00

Read more

African Studies / Biography

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Out of Action
Out of Action

The powerful sequel to the international bestseller Fireforce: One Man's War in the Rhodesian Light Infantry.

Author:
Chris Cocks

R250.00

Out of Action

a cri de coeur … the casualties of war

"Just finished Out of Action by Chris Cocks. After reading Fireforce, which I thought was the best autobiography I had ever read, this sequel is something else. Absolutely the best autobiography I really have ever read, until the cheeky fellow writes a third one. For anyone who has been to war or suffers PTSD or knows what its like to live around people with it, it's a must-read. It's the only book about the aftermath of war on a man's mind I can say is out there and I'm so glad Chris had the guts to share it with people. Please, please, please read it."

LIAM NORTHFIELD

 
 
Out of Action
Out of Action

Out of print

Out of Action

 


a cri de coeur … the casualties of war

Andrew Beet, Pretoria News 11 August 2008

A descent into depravity. Former Rhodesian soldier and police reservist Chris Cocks has written a follow-up to Fireforce, delivering a shocking account of his life after leaving the Rhodesian Light Infantry. Cocks has a lot to get off his chest, and admits in Out of Action that writing down the facts of his life served as a means of coming to terms with the painful truth of the horrors he had not only inflicted on others, but also on himself. This is not an easy read. It is a story that at times not only disgusted, but angered me as a former Zimbabwean. This part of Cocks's life picks up with his move to the Lowveld of Zimbabwe with his first wife. His move to a normal life after his departure from the Light Infantry would see him working on government farms. But, he is quickly roped in as a reservist for the police anti-terrorist unit, and that is where it all came apart. In one of the horrific events he describes how he mowed down a farmer's labourers as they sat around their evening fire because they had not obeyed a curfew rule -and that despite the farmer's warnings that the men were his employees. Cocks describes how he kept marijuana joints in his ammunition pouches and hip flask when he went out on patrol so that he could get high. When he was not smoking dagga, he was- consuming vast amounts of alcohol, living his life in a constant stupor, listening to rock 'n roll and doing whatever he believed was right. He ignored reprimands from his commanders and sunk to a level of depravity that he only started crawling out of in 1995 - more than a decade after Robert Mugabe came to power. He delves into the pain of adjusting to civilian life during which he essentially became a drifter after independence and finally managed to settle down.


Lindsay Slogrove, Natal Mercury 16 October 2008

This is war and peace with a difference. In the first half, War, Cocks tells his story of his time fighting in the Rhodesian war as a stick leader in the Police Anti-Terrorist Unit. The fighting is brutal and the young men are callous and hardened. Family life is at the bottom of their list of priorities. Tops are killing, drinking and spending time with their co-warriors. It is a time of violence and hatred for their enemy; the only people close to them, their colleagues. While this portion of the story is shocking, it is the honesty and courage of the man who describes his even longer war with himself as he faces dealing with what he has become in the second half of the book, called Peace. He plunges into failed businesses, drink and drugs in his desperate fight to forget the horror of his past life and settle into the new land called Zimbabwe, where his enemy is now his equal. Cocks now run a successful business in South Africa. His examination of himself, then and now is one of the bravest stories of war, the cruelty men can inflict on each other, and how difficult it is to come to terms with peace.


CitiVibe (The Citizen) 10 July 2008

Author and publisher Chris Cocks is not your average book industry suit. The tattoos on his arms and the content of his books Fireforce and Out Of Action recall his time as a soldier in the Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI), a part of his life likely to still have repercussions far into the future. "I went to do my national service in 1976, for one year," says Cocks. "A few months in, the period was changed to 18 months, which messed up my varsity plans, so I signed up with the RLI for three years." Out Of Action picks up the story from 1979 onwards. It's broken up into two parts - "War" and "Peace", and covers the 15 months from there until Zimbabwe's independence. Cocks remembers having doubts about what he did for a living, and quotes the oft-heard soldier's line about staying in the army because of his bond with the men next to him on the battlefield. But he offers a new perspective, too. "You become part of a larger peer group. If you decide to jump ship, your family will suffer as a result of the stigma attached to that," he says. So he stayed involved, and suffered many of the hardships that face many soldiers outside of a war zone. "The army breaks you down completely in order to build you back up the way they want you to be," he says. "When the war is over, there's no 'decompression' period, so alcohol, drugs and abuse become problems because there is no other outlet for that aggression." Cocks himself endured considerations of suicide as he tried to be "normal". In the newly independent Zimbabwe, he had suddenly become a second-class citizen, unable to get a job and constantly yearning for times past. He survived, but Out Of Action includes the stories of those men he knew who weren't as lucky - or resolute. "They were victims of war as well. They just weren't recorded on the roll of honour," he says. Cocks, although he's now on his third marriage, is confident that he won't follow them down that road. "I've taken responsibility for myself," he says. "I don't blame lan Smith, the war or Mugabe. I need to keep working on myself for the sake of my own sanity." He's brutally honest about the process involved getting back on even keel. "To have a normal relationship, I've had to strip everything away -the arrogance, bitterness and hatred," says Cocks. "I've adapted the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step programme to my own situation."It doesn't matter what the addiction was: I needed to fix what they call 'defects of character'. That involved total honesty with myself, and then a rebuilding process." For Cocks, this process, though difficult, has obviously had its rewards, and it's the same with his books: you can't expect an easy ride, but you'll have a thought-provoking, moving journey


GW, Magnum Magazine November 2008

".it is a story of hope, of a man's triumph over his own demons. It will be of interest to anyone who lived through Rhodesia's war and transformation, as well as military history enthusiasts and collectors of Rhodesiana."


African Armed Forces Journal July 2008

Chris Cocks has done rather better in the decade since the publishing of Survival Course, reviewed on these pages in March 2000, in 1999. That book recounted his first 15 years after leaving the Rhodesian Light Infantry as a lance corporal and setting out to discover himself. The tale of his time in the RLI (1976 to January 1979) was told in Fireforce published by Galago in 1988, then and now an excellent read. Out of Action, the book under discussion is a reprint of Survival Course, first published by Covos Day, the publishing house associated with former Selous Scouts commander Ron Reid Daly. This time Cocks published under his own imprint, 30° South Publishers, in Newlands, Johannesburg, where the reviewer earlier this year met the author. Cocks is frankly an impressive man who runs a tidy office from his home. He has of late published a number of readable titles, including Kenya Cowboy and Delta Scout and has authored a third book, a regimental history of the RLI. Out of Action recounts a less pleasant part of Cocks' life, his years after leaving the RLI. After demobbing in January 1979 aged 21 he and his first wife, Carol, move to Middle Sabi where he is to be a government farm manager. He has no experience or training in farming. But he is a former soldier and this is good enough to get him his night job as a Police Anti-Terrorist Unit leader. His PATU work with a smattering of family and pub life form the bulk of the book, which is much better illustrated than Survival Course. Re-reading the book - the reviewer also reviewed the original incarnation of this work - one is struck with wonder that Rhodesia lasted as long as it did, considering the price that lan Smith asked of her people to perpetuate white rule a bare handful of years. Cocks does not ask or answer if the sacrifice was worth it, at least not explicitly. It is clear however, that he does not think so. The remainder of the book, the lesser part, is devoted to him failing at a series of other civilian jobs, making a mess of that first marriage and of his own life, in part driven by his own demons and in part egged on by drink and drugs. It is a depressing tale. But even so, it offers hope. We know that Cocks has since made good and has likely sought to make amends. He is a fortunate man. Meanwhile, Out of Action, like Survival Course, stands as a cautionary tale. US Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman was indeed right: War is hell. And sometimes, so is peace.

 
 

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Pathfinder Company
Pathfinder Company

The Philistines

Author:
Graham Gillmore

R195.00

Pathfinder Company

 

On Ascension Day, 1978, a composite South African parachute battalion jumped -

Pathfinder company 44 Parachute Brigade

Little known or written about before this history, Pathfinder Company of 44 Parachute Brigade owed its brief existence to one man, Colonel Jan Breytenbach, who provides an illuminating foreword to the book. Formed in early 1980 as a direct result of lessons learned in the airborne assault on Cassinga in May 1978, this unusual Company was comprised exclusively of highly trained and skilled regular soldiers, mostly recruited from foreign militaries in the recently defunct Rhodesia, as well as Britain, the United States of America and even New Zealand and Australia. Their function was to be dropped in advance of any main airborne assault to assist in the rapid and successful deployment of that force when the latter arrived at a given target, something that had not taken place at Cassinga and had almost led to disaster on the ground. The author of this unit history served in both British and Rhodesian military forces, before throwing his lot in with the South African Defence Force and becoming a member of Pathfinder Company upon its formation. In his own languid and understated style, he describes the formation of the unit, their training in South Africa and then subsequent operational deployment and finally disbandment in late 1981. Drawing upon not only his own experiences, but those of a number of his fellow pathfinders, he has written an excellent if somewhat short history of their trials and triumphs, nicely rounded out with one of the best personal photographic collections this reviewer has seen yet in any SADF related publication. Images in fact are perhaps the best feature of this large glossy publication, with the latter dominating many pages and mostly in full colour, although black-and-white images are included too. Many of these photographs are not for the faint of stomach either, as they show dead insurgents and smashed vehicles and buildings in all their vivid detail, and are not the sanitised images so often seen from official sources. This is to be welcomed as it gives a far more honest depiction of war, and the ultimate cost paid by some when it is fought, be they enemy or friend. There are also many useful colour maps showing details of the areas described in the text, as well as the areas in which Pathfinder Company fought or served. A glossary of terms and an appendix of Al J. Venter photographs taken during the attack on a SWAPO camp near Cuamato during Operation Protea are also included. The history is neatly divided into sections which make the whole easy to follow. For example, section 1 - Formation, is subdivided into commentaries on conditions prevailing in Southern Africa in 1980 and then recruitment and the formation of the unit, whilst subsequent sections detail conditions and experiences at the training camps, during operational deployment into South West Africa and Angola, in Operation Protea, and post-Operation deployments leading up to the unit's disbandment. All aspects are covered too, and what I found very interesting were the personal recollections by a number of fellow pathfinders that are included. The latter bring to life just what it was like for these foreign soldiers, how they had to adapt to a military that was essentially Afrikaans dominated and hostile in many cases to them and their unit, for no good reason other than they were uitlanders it would seem. Misused and reduced at times to conducting patrols in out-of-the-way places, they nonetheless acquitted themselves well, inflicting losses on the enemy and suffering a few casualties themselves, one of whom was the author. Earning their nickname from their somewhat irreverent attitude to spit and polish soldiering in the operational area, the latter is something that comes through in many of the pathfinders' personal accounts; their frustration at the treatment of both themselves and of the National Servicemen on operational deployment by a handful of senior officers in the operational area, and the resentment shown to them by the latter. Upon Col Breytenbach being reassigned, their unit was promptly returned to South Africa and then disbanded, its members either reassigned to 32 Battalion in some cases, or mostly taking their leave when their contracts expired. Overall, this is a well thought out and written history of a unit perhaps un-appreciated by senior SADF officers who should have known better, and a very interesting insight into the men who served with Pathfinder Company. If I have any criticism it is that the author has understated much of what he has written, and he could have perhaps gone into more detail, as this is one reviewer that would have enjoyed reading more. Highly recommended. Peter Chapman.


Garth Johnstone, The Ridge/ the Crest

"It was an honour to have faced incoming lead with them," says talismani leader Col Jan Breytenbach, who was instrumental in forming the eclectic Pathfinder Company. It was a rag-tag collection of special forces type troops assembled from a league of nations but which fought for South Africa's cause during the struggle on the South West Africa/ Botswana border in the 1980s. Their chief task was deep penetration reconnaissance to inform crack of SA troops of the strategic deployment of the enemy and where their strengths and weaknesses lay. The Pathfinders, mainly ex Selous Scouts, but also including British, USA and Australasian recruits, tended to do things their own (often unsentimental) way, and many weeks of rough bush living rendered their appearance a tad alarming.thus their nickname, the Philistines. They were battle-hardened soldiers who'd volunteered for cash and adventure, and were not keen on sitting cleaning gear and marching around the parade ground. Author Graham Gillmore faithfully tells of their adventure, victories, frustrations and disappointments. The blow by blow account will, ofcourse, make riveting reading for those who were there or served on the border at the time.


Msasa Mail

"It was an honor to have faced incoming lead together with them." Thus wrote Col Jan Breytenbach, possibly South Africa's most decorated soldier of the apartheid era, referring to the men who served with the Pathfinder Company of the SADF's 44 Parachute Brigade. Graham Gillmore was Signals Troop Sergeant in Support Commando 1RLI before joining the SADF. His book is about the operational experiences of men in the Pathfinder Company, many of whom were former members of Rhodesian Army units. In his foreword to the book, Jan Breytenbach - the first commander of 44 Parachute Brigade - wrote: "Suddenly a number of former Rhodesian soldiers were left without a job (when the monstrous misfit, Robert Mugabe, took over from Bishop Abel Muzorewa).and with nowhere to go I grasped the opportunity to use this splendid reservoir of combat-experienced operators to fill.the pathfinder company, with combat-experienced former members from the RLI, the Selous Scouts and the A.S.A." It could be said that the pathfinders were South Africa's foreign legion. Their combat experience gained in Rhodesia made them ideally suited to operate in an armed reconnaissance role beyond South Africa's borders.


AlienFTM, Arsse

Throughout the Cold War and through to today, copious histories of the Second World War were available. During the Cold War, paranoia became the norm as each side expected the other to have a spy around every corner, hoping to glean that tiny bean of intelligence that would give one side into a radioactive titans or a race to turn the other side into a radioactive hell. Nothing ever came out from behind the Iron Curtain and the Ministry of Defence maintained a permanent blanket ban on any information coming out from this side. Then the Iron Curtain came down and, following the Bravo Two debacle, suddenly military personal histories are big again. With the threat of instant nuclear Armageddon lifted, the world suddenly became a far more dangerous place as wars erupted in Europe and the Middle East and tales of soldiers' personal wars became a ten-a-penny. If you wanted any sort of history from the Cold War years, you might look at the French Foreign Legion and their operations in South East Asia and North and Central Africa or the Americans in Vietnam, but realistically, there is a big Military History hole between 1945 and 1990. I was asked if I'd like to review a book called Pathfinder Company. I assumed it was yet another story from either Iraq or Afghanistan on the 21st Century and while I was quite happy to take it away on holiday and go through the motions, I didn't expect to be any different from a large number of similar books. The book arrived and I was immediately struck by a picture which showed a pair of squaddies with the ubiquitous 1970s "Porno Tash" moustache as worn by so many squaddies of the age, haircuts to match and sunglasses of similar vintage. I realized that the book's full title was Pathfinder Company, 44 Parachute Brigade - the Philistines. I'll not claim to be intimate with all formations of the British Army, either current or historic, but I had never heard of this bunch and my interest had been tweaked. Turning to the back cover, I found a Colonel describing events in south West Africa in 1978 and how a battalion-sized parachute drop had exceeded all expectations while demonstrating how a lack of specialist Pathfinder skills might have led to disaster. Clearly all of my preconceptions about the book were wrong. The book's author is listed as Graham Gilmore, a former Grenadier Guardsman, but as he freely tells the reader, the book relies on the stories of a long list of names. The book is summarized thus on the back cover: 44 Parachute Bridage was formed [late in 1978], with the need for a specialist Pathfinder Company patently clear. Into the ranks came professional veterans from the UK, USA, Australasia, Rhodesia and elsewhere, from such Special Forces units as the SAS, Selous Scouts and the RLI. "This is their book, a collection of stories about the founding and deployment of a unit of 'Foreign Legionnaires' from different parts of the world who became welded together into a remarkable combat unit, unsurpassed by any other South African Defence Force unit in their positive and aggressive approach to battle." The book's chapters describe six periods in the history of the unit: 1. Formation of the Pathfinder company in Southern Africa in 1980 out of the death throes of Rhodesia and recruitment.
2. Acquisition of a motley collection of vehicles which they promptly equipped in the manner of SAS Pink Panther Land Rovers. The Brigadier's dislike of the unit and his struggle to keep the "band of buccaneers" out of sight and out of mind.
3. A home base found bear Pretoria for the company, but the peace-time soldiery did not sit well with qualified pathfinders doing duty in the kitchen. The company expands and improves its vehicle collection.
4. The company goes on operations in South West Africa (now Namibia) and Angola.
5. Operation Protea "to smash the Soviet-supplied radar and air defences" to help "end permanently [the threat of Cuban troops and Warsaw Pact advisors] to the border" between Angola and South West Africa.
6. Operations post-Protea and disbandment of a unit of Philistine (hence the nickname) foreign mercenaries within and disliked by a regular parachute brigade.

The book is unlike any other military history I have read. This is in part to do with the nature of the unit, a band of seriously experienced soldiers of fortune absorbed largely from outcasts from an overthrown regime as Rhodesia became Zimbabwe with a regular army. You might liken the unit to something from the French Foreign Legion, but in fact, these men all brought their experience with them and there was no need to turn them into basic soldiers. Virtually every page of the book is festooned with pictures, which means that the whole book is printed on glossy paper. The format is reminiscent of books made up from glossy week-by-week magazines saved in folders, more so because when interstitial information is provided, rather than interrupt the flow of the narrative, it is boxed into a margin of the page. All in all, the book is an easy read, giving a good insight into life in a combat unit which pent its existence defending the country that raised it. The action is fast-paced and leaves nothing to the image of counter-guerrilla combat, liberally illustrated by photos, many taken during the combat described. To sum up. If you are fed up of reading yet another recent story from the front line in Iraq or Afghanistan, this book is entirely worthy of a place on your shelf.


African Armed Forces Journal

Pathfinder Company: The Philistines by Graham Gilmore is an account of the South African Defence Force's (SADF) attempt to create a Permanent Force (PF) pathfinder company to, among other things, perform this specific task for the SADF's airborne forces. The nucleus of a pathfinder unit had already been put in place in 1976 when a small group of free-fall qualified DZ safety officers were identified to perform the function. Further training, however, saw various members of this ad hoc group transfer to Special Forces with the result that a Pathfinder Company, able to function in the way that National Service Pathfinder Companies would be able to in the mid 1980s, did not exist. Two years later in 1978, Operation Reindeer- the air assault on Cassinga- exposed the SADF to the serious limitations faced by an airborne force when conducting a parachute assault without the benefit of accurately marked DZs. In this particular case the planners had worked from incorrectly scaled photographs resulting in the DZs being too short to accommodate the C-130s and C-160s. In light of this, and the fact that the SADFs airborne capability had been expanded to Brigade level, Col Jan Breytenbach set himself the task of creating a company of Pathfinders able to fulfill the function for the recently formed 44 Parachute Brigade. In the book's foreword Col Breytenbach writes that he used an order from Gen Viljoen to create an "anti-hostage squad" as the "gap to start recruiting for. [a] pathfinder company". The story of this initial Pathfinder Company, recruited from veterans of various military organizations but with the majority coming from Rhodesia, is the subject of Gilmore's book. It must be remembered that this group, often referred to (by themselves) as "The Philistines", had nothing to do with the national service pathfinder companies created in the wake of their disbandment in January 1982. While some accounts of "The Philistines" have emerged over the years in press and the media, most natably Peter McAleese's description of the unit featured in his autobiography No Mean Soldier (1993) and Graham Gilmore's article Bush Pathfinders, published in the Orbis partwork The Elite (1986), this is the first attempt to address the unit's history in a single volume. As such, it should prove a welcome addition to anyone interested in the history of both the Bush War and the SADF. The book itself is divided into six sections, the first of which deals with the recruitment and formation of the unit. What immediately strikes the reader is the diverse backgrounds and military experience of many of the recruits. With a healthy sprinkling of Rhodesians, such as Dennis Croukamp, a Bronze Cross of Rhodesia (BCR) holder who had served both with the Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) and the Selous Scouts, and Peter McAleese, a former British and Rhodesian SAS veteran, the fledgling unit had a solid reservoir of combat experience upon which to draw. Under the auspices of McAleese, the initial selection for the unit took place in the Drakensberg and followed the lines of the old Rhodesian SAS selection. Included in this opening chapter is an account of their first operational deployment which includes both employing a disguised Land Rover "Q-Car", (undoubtedly a reference to WWI "Q ships", armed vessels disguised to look like defenceless freighters ansd so attract) as well as fully fledged ground assault on a Peoples Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) base in Angola. The next chapter discusses their move to Murray Hill just outside Pretoria and the company's assimilation into South African military culture as well as the development of the Sabre Vehicles - heavily armed, highly mobile light vehicles, usually modified Land Cruisers and Land Rovers - that were to become their hallmark. The Sabre vehicles were unfortunately neither armoured nor mine-protected making their occupants exceedingly vulnerable to landmines as the author was to discover. The ensuing three chapters then go on to deal with the Company's operational record. Operations varied greatly, often consisting of Sabre (vehicle mounted) operations, such as the insertion of a 32 Battalion reconnaissance team under Willem Ratte into Angola, interspersed with long periods of patrolling, either on foot inside Angola or in the Etosh Pan mounted on Buffels. Judging by the author's comments there were frequent periods of tension between the unit and the military hierarchy. The discussion between CSM Croukamp and Brig Badenhorst concerning the lack of discipline in the unit, real or perceived, did not auger well for the Company's future. Neither did the solution of deploying the Company in Angola on a semi-permanent basis. It gives one the impression that, rather than dealing with the issues, both sides simply wanted to wash their hands of the other. The remaining two chapters deal with Operations Protea and Daisy as well as the Company's final disbandment in early 1982. One of the strongest features of the book is its photographs, most of which are in colour and many of which have not been seen before. The book is worth its price for this alone.

 
 
PK van der Byl
PK van der Byl

Memoir/Politics/African Studies

Author:
Hannes Wessel,

R195.00

PK van der Byl

 

African statesman

Philip Garbett, the Rhosarian

There can surely be few modern (post-1948) Rhodesians whose lives were not in some way affected by' PK' and his works: this well-researched historical memoir will substantiate that. The author chronicles the European and Cape ancestry of the van der Byl family and traces it forward to the Rhodesias of the 20th century. Pieter Kenyon was born on his father's estate among the anglophile 'aristocracy' and visiting royalty on 11 November 1923 - two dates significant in Rhodesian history! He first went to Southern Rhodesia on an elephant-hunt at the age of 13. Thus began his' love affair with Rhodesia and big game hunting'. A somewhat chequered education at Rondebosch, Cambridge and Harvard, was followed in 1942 by wartime military service in South Africa, Egypt and with the British Army 7lh Hussars as a subaltern to occupied Italy. It was there that his characteristic accent and mode of speech emerged: "the second World War was the best part of my life". All these experiences served to shape the future public (and private) figure and he thereafter 'decided to make the family fortune out of tobacco in Rhodesia', and emigrated there in 1951. Like many before him, that fortune was not made, and so PK turned on a tobacco tickey to first local, then national politics, joining the Rhodesian Front as 32 founder-member in 1962 amidst African turmoil. Thus began the career of one of Rhodesia's most controversial and confrontational politicians. MP for Hartley, Parliamentary secretary to Clifford Dupont, (Deputy) Minister of Information Immigration & Tourism ("a skilled propagandist who believed in his own propaganda" wrote The Times). Minister of Foreign Affairs (sanctions-buster extraordinary, deal-maker, 'secret emissary') Minister of Defence ("like no other we had seen before. He was determined to be directly involved.") until 1 976, when relieved by lan Smith, whose right-hand man he had become, and whom he loyally supported until 1987 when the 'white seats' in the Zimbabwe National Assembly were abolished by Robert Mugabe' s ZANU PF regime. PK has been described as an extremely colourful character with a devilish sense of humour, a "provocateur, contrarian and eccentric" ... even "a glorious ruin "! Surely somebody who became more Rhodesian than the Rhodesians. But perhaps his ultimate accolade is to be found in the sub-title of this book ... Pieter Kenyon Fleming Voltelen van der Byl died in exile in the Western Cape on 15 November 1999 aged 76 and was buried on the family estate at Fairfield


Leon Engelbrecht, defenceWeb

"PK van der Byl, african statesman" is both very funny and quite sad. Humorous in that by all accounts Pieter Kenyon Fleming-Voltelyn van der Byl, known universally as "PK", was an "extremely colourful character with a devilish sense of humour." Tragic in that this arch supporter of Ian Smith and the November 11, 1965 Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) opposed Britain and South Africa's efforts to hand the country to Marxist nationalists, fearing that disaster would follow. And it did. PK was a bon vivant - "when the work was done he knew how to misbehave" - but also quite blunt and the publishers warn that even this biography "is likely to give offence to some because it portrays him as bluntly as he was in real life." The reviewer agrees. They add his "very nature was controversial and confrontational." The British 'The Times' newspaper called this a "man calculated to give offence" - at least to the British. But was that because he stood up tothem? Because he did not go gently into that good night Britain was determined to send Rhodesia into? Van der Byl was born in 1923 in Cape Town to Major Piet van der Byl, a minister in Jan Smuts' wartime government. PK himself served in the Union Defence Force before transferring to the British Army and receiving a commission in the 7th Queen's Own Hussars in which he served in Italy and Austria. He moved to the then-Southern Rhodesia in 1950 and quickly moved into Politics. By 1964 he was deputy minister of information and in 1968 he was promoted to minister of information, immigration and tourism, a post he held until 1974 when he became minister of defence and foreign affairs. He held the former post until 1979 but lost the defence portfolio in 1976 due to South African pressure: the latter's Prime Minister John Vorster detested him and it appears the ill-feeling was mutual. After losing defence, he retained foreign affairs and gained the public service ministry. In 1977 he regained information, immigration and tourism in addition to what he already had, though in 1978 he lost the public service job. In 1979 he was for a time transport and power minister. Wessels researched his subject well and the book is a good synthesis of interviews with PK 's brother William, his widow Princess Charlotte of Lichtenstein, his friend Lin Mehmel, former Selous Scouts officer commanding Ron Reid Daly, his secretary Marge Bassett and Ian Smith himself. There is no indication Wessels interviewed PK himself - he died in November 1999 - but he clearly had access to his records. He is no hagiographer, including much adverse comment, including that by British reporter Max Hastings, who thought PK "a sort of white caveman", a "grotesque parody of a Dornford Yates English gentleman, "appaling" and "dreadful." He certainly could be. In 1968 or 1969 he was quoted saying: "I have never met a woman with an original idea in her head," adding "no woman could do may job because she would have to command a large staff of senior men who would object and I would agree with them entirely." Wessels says PK's subsequent non-appearance at a dinner of the Business and Professional Women's Club was duly noted by the Rhodesia Herald: "He had been called away to the comparatively safe task of tracking a wounded buffalo," the paper reported... Indeed! Harold Wilson called him "this very competent brainwasher". PK responded that "Mr Wilson must realise we cannot be brought down by sanctions, but nevertheless this dangerous little man,whose conceit matches his arrogance, is still determined to try an crush us." But why? From Wessels' account it seems various British administrations were determined to punish Rhodesia for defying the crown. This accounted for the spite and malice, duplicity and lies in their dealings with Salisbury. Vorster was feeding the crocodile that was African nationalism in the 1970s, to him Rhodesia was a sacrifice to his idea of détente that he was quite willing to make. Van der Byl's defiance left him livid. Smith, at least, in the words of Henry Kissinger, took being sold up the river "like a true gentleman, "which made it worse."


David Mitchie PhD

I still have a vivid memory of a political meeting I attended back in 1979 at which PK presided. Although I was politically conscious from a young age, and had read all about him in The Herald, none of this prepared me for encountering him in person. He was unquestionably one of the most instantly charismatic people I've ever come across. When I saw you'd published a biography on him, I immediately ordered a copy and have spent the past few evenings reading it from cover to cover. Even though I realised it would ultimately be a painful story, whose ending we all know too well, I have been thoroughly enthralled by the book, and just wanted to say 'thank you' for publishing it. I certainly have a much clearer idea about where PK came from, why he was the way he was, and what happened to him after 1980. I really did find Hannes' book engrossing. It is certainly a significant new contribution to the documentation of Rhodesian history - thank you so much for publishing it.v


Aubrey Paton, Sunday Times

Notorious throughout Rhodesia for his compulsive womanizing, he cultivated what he imagined to be the languid drawl of the British aristocracy - earning himself the sobriquet The Piccadilly Dutchman at University - and antagonized apartheid politicians by referring to blacks as "munts": he was P K van der Byl. First minister of information and then of defence, "Tripod" did not marry until his late 50s because he enjoyed his bachelor lifestyle too much - huntin' (romantic conquests) shottin' (terrorists) and fishin' (for international supporters of the Smith regime). Controversial, charming, provocative and infuriating, PK is a fascinating character, byt by over-praising him Wessels does not do him justice. An invaluable cultural and political history.

 
 

R

 
Recce
Recce

A Collector's Guide to the History of the South African Special Forces

Author: Paul Matthysen, Matthew Kalkwarf and Michael Huxtable

R1,595.00 – Website price R1, 195.00

Recce

OUT OF STOCK

 

 

The quintessential professional...

 

Linda de Jager, producer/director of the M-Net TV series Grensoorlog

I would highly recommend anyone interested in the worldwide phenomenon of special forces to buy Recce. Fifteen years in the making, it claims to be the "definitive publication on the recces." The attention to detail in this book by Matthysen, Kalkwarf and Huxtable serves the aptitude of the special forces operator well. Often operating behind enemy lines and self-reliant, the devil for them was certainly in the detail. The book covers the origin of the South African Special Forces Brigade, awards and decorations and practically anything you can think of - from traditions to museums. My favourite chapter is "Tools of the Trade". It is painfully thorough with stunning detailed photographs, which are dotted throughout the other chapters. I miss, however, a detailed psychological perspective on the mindset of the operator. Was their ultimate "tool" not their warrioir attitude - the mind-over-matter principle? I would have enjoyed a chapter highlighting the imaginative, maverick qualities of many of those professional soldiers. This book will add value for the novice, the collector and the "outsider" looking in; not to forget the unique brotherhood of these men themselves. Those who served in South Africa's special forces are still respected worldwide for their special set of skills. The foreword by the late Major General FW Loots sets the tone of the sentiments expressed in this book: "Our special forces, although one of the youngest in the world, are by no means the least." I quote from the book Memory an Anthology: "The frail memory of man slips away and the written record always restores memory." Recce restores memory. I am always humbled when remembering that it "is blood that watered the freedom" of Namibia, to quote from the national anthem of the country of my birth.


Leon Engelbrecht, defenceWeb

The just-released "A Collector's Guide to the history of the South African Special Forces" is essential for anyone with an interest in the South African National Defence Force's unconventional troops. It is by a margin the best illustrated work yet produced on the South African Special Forces, old and new, with exhaustive detail on insignia, proficiency badges, uniforms, equipment an much else. The artwork and photography is spectacular and the captions topical and educational. The access the authors had to the Special Forces impresses in particular and this book is certainly the most up-to-date (current to October 2010) brought to print. The Special Forces has been careful to stand in the shadows since 1994, making this book a breakthrough in terms of detail on the post-1994 organisation. We South Africans have much to be proud of. From a more historical perspective, "A Collector's Guide to the history of the South African Special Forces" is a very useful addition to Peter Stiff's "The Silent War" (Galago, Alberton, 1999) and Paul Els' "We Fear Naught but God" (Covos Day, Johannesburg, 2000).

 
 
Return to Morogoro
Return to Morogoro

With the South African Horse through East Africa to France and Flanders

Author:
J. F. Bourhill

R250.00

Rhodesian Return to Morogoro

 

 

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Rhodesian Combined Forces
Rhodesian Combined Forces

Roll of Honour 1966–1981

Author:
Adrian Haggett, ,Gerry van Tonder, & Richard Wood,

R250.00

Rhodesian Combined Forces

 

The dreams for which young heroes died...

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Rhodesian Fire Force
Rodesia Fire Force

- Volume 20

Authors :

Kerrin Cocks

Military History / African Studies

R195.00

Rodesia Fire Force

 

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Rhodesia Regiment.
1899 - 1981
Rhodesia Regiment

Authors :

Peter Baxter, Hugh Bomford & Gerry van Tonder

R1, 150.00+ NB SHIPPING SURCHARGE of R50

 

Rhodesia Regiment

Military History / African Studies

 
 
 
Road to Ulundi Revisited
Road to Ulundi Revisited

The Zulu War Sketches of an Artist on the March: John North Crealock

 

Author:
Ken Gillings

R1, 250.00

Road to Ulundi Revisited

 

Military History / African Studies / African Pictorial

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Robben Island
Robben Island

A Southbound Pocket Guide

Author:
David Fleminger

R69.95

Robben Island

 

South Africa's World Heritage Sites

Bob Truda, Indwe September 2009

Now a symbol of the oppressive Apartheid regime, Robben Island was home to exiled prisoners as far back as 1525, and through the years has been used as a criminal and political prison; a 'hospital' for lepers and the criminally insane; and a military base. A visit nowadays is much less daunting and includes the ferry trip from Cape Town, as well as tours of the island and the prison. "Pre-book your tickets online before you arrive," advises Fleminger. "That way you won't have to stand in the queues or run the risk of being turned away." He also recommends getting an outside seat on the ferry, as "the views of Table Bay are nearly as inspiring as the tour of the island itself"


Talking Travel Africa February 2007

Robben Island, the desolate island off the coast of Cape Town to which ex-President Nelson Mandela and his colleagues were sent, including an exclusive interview with Mtlakana Philemon Tefu who was incarcerated there for 21 years.


Garden Route Living Winter 2007

Since SA ratified the World Heritage Convention in 1997, seven biologically diverse and historically significant sites in South Africa have made it onto Unesco's prestigious World Heritage Site List. In an extraordinary tribute to these sites, a series of informative pocket guides has been published. It comes as no surprise that our prized Cape Floral Region (CFR) measured up to the criteria needed to be listed. With an astounding 9 600 species, it is the richest of the world's six floral kingdoms. In addition, about 6 500 of these botanical beauties occur nowhere else on Earth. Eight regions, fragmented across the Cape, are now protected under the CFR umbrella which the United Nations deemed valuable enough to "identify, promote and protect... for the entire world citizenry". These designated areas - Table Mountain, Groot Winterhoek, Cederberg, Boland, De Hoop, Boosmansbos, Swartberg and the Baviaanskloof - contain exceptional richness of species and high degrees of endemism. Packed full of useful info, including tourist listings, maps and colour photos, this guide is the perfect travel companion for those even remotely interested in our floristic heritage.

 
 

S

 
SAAF's Border War
SAAF's Border War

Africa @ War Series - Volume 8

Author:
Peter Baxter

R195.00

SAAFs_Border_War.htm

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War

Model Art – Aug – Sep 2013 Review: Africa @ War Volume 8:  SAAF’s Border War – The South Africa Air Force in Combat, 1966 -1989 by Peter Baxter

If, like me, the majority of readers out there have little, or no knowledge of the operations of the South African Air Force, particularly on their home continent, then you may find this title fascinating. I know I did. This particular title which is listed as Africa@War Volume 8, so there are seven previous titles in this series detailing these conflicts within the continent of South Africa in general, deals specifically with the operations of the South African Air Force against the spread of communism throughout the region via the local agencies such as the Cuban military, the Angolan based FAPLA (The People’s Armed Forces for Liberation of Angola) and Namibia’s SWAPO (South West African People’s Organisation), amongst others during the Cold War years. Early chapters provide an overview of the political background of the time against which these operations were conducted as well as a detailed background of the South African Air Force itself, its units and its equipment. Later chapters provide detailed accounts of the various conflicts, the SAAF squadrons and personnel involved and the roles undertaken by SAAF squadrons during these operations. The commentary is factual but still very readable without being flowery. This is a measure of the extensive research undertaken by the author. The book is profusely illustrated with large selection of period black and white images, all informatively captioned, depicting personnel, aircraft, locations and even some images taken during the battles themselves. These are enhanced by the inclusion of a number of maps, drawings illustrating battle tactics and a comprehensive glossary of terms. But the coup de grace, particularly for modellers, is the 16 page colour spread in the centre of the book featuring colour photos and camouflage and marking profiles of the major SAAF aircraft types complete with full colour details. This title will appeal to historians and modellers alike, particularly as there has been little written about these operations, and indeed about the activities of the SAAF in general, in the past.


Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world. Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s. Keep up the good work. Best regards Russell A. Burgos

 
 
Selous Scouts
Selous Scouts

Africa @ War Series - Volume 4

Author:
Peter Baxter

R195.00

Selous Scouts

Rhodesian Counter-Insurgency Specialists

Selous Scouts Written by Leon Engelbrecht - Defenceweb Saturday, 25 February 2012

"Selous Scouts" is the fourth in a new series on African conflict, "Africa @ War" and unlike the other three volumes in the series that look at specific operations, focuses on a unit, the Rhodesian Selous Scouts regiment. "There can be no doubt that the Selous Scouts Regiment fast-tracked into legend", writers author Peter Baxter, "and in doing so drew attention to itself in a manner most unbecoming of a covert reconnaissance unit in the in the special forces stable of any army. In fact, in the words of British historian and journalist David Caute, commenting in his 1983 book "Under the Skin", about the decline of white Rhodesia, the Selous Scouts were "upstarts in a hurry to describe themselves as legendary." Baxter replies that the Selous Scouts "were an elite regiment, and bearing in mind that the legend has survived three decades beyond the existence of a regiment that was operational for a mere six years, there can be few who could effective argue against that." Baxter argues that the principal weakness of the Rhodesian army and security system in general was its limited size. The response was the "fire force", a formidable combination of air and ground forces that could close with, and destroy guerilla groups. The rub was finding them. This would be the task of the Scouts. "The successful symbiosis of the Selous Scouts and Fireforce was undeniable, and remained in deadly use until the war ended. In simple terms, a Selous Scouts call-sign would be deployed covertly . after which the team would move either to an observation post, normally situated on high ground, or into an insurgent operational area posing as an incoming [guerilla] group". A fascinating primer for those interested in counter-guerilla warfare and the Scouts.


Review in: Gorilla Journal 42, June 2011 Editor: Dr. Angela Meder Stuttgart, Germany

Tamar Ron, the biologist who has been working on the conservation of the Maiombe Forest, and Tamar Golan, the first Israelian ambassador in Angola, wrote a book on their experiences in this difficult and exciting country. The fascinating stories of each author are printed in a certain type, and the different themes they cover comple ment each other very nicely.


Reviewer: Russell A. Burgos, Ph.D. teaches at the International Institute, University of California, Los Angeles USA.

I wanted to take a moment and commend you for the Africa @ War series. I am a political scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and one of my areas of research and teaching is conflict in the developing world. Ideally, someone will write a strategic-level analysis of warfare in post-colonial Africa, but I do believe these campaign histories and tactical histories have much to teach us, and I've been finding them especially useful in fleshing out my understanding of the scope and shape of conflict in Africa since the 1960s. Keep up the good work. Best regards Russell A. Burgos

 
 
Shadows in the Sand
Shadows in the Sand

A Koevoet tracker’s story of an insurgency war

Author:
Sisingi Kamongo & Leon Bezuidenhout

R250.00

Shadows in the Sand

 

Where dust can tell time ... for the first time, a Koevoet operative’s story of the bush war

Just got a new book by Sisingi Kamongo called, "Shadows in the Sand: A koevoet Trackers Story of and insurgency War"

The book is about 300 pages long and has a chronological arrangement of a combat trackers story over 6 years in the 80's in a bush war between angola and south africa. I just got it on amazon and it looks like a good read. about 30 pages of pictures mostly of tracker lines, vehicles for bush wars, trackers and such, but plenty of discussion about the war as well. half the pictures are in color. topic covered include charge tactics, tracking tactics, and a trackers view of politics. I have not read it, but looks good. for those interested in combat tracking looks like a good read. Apparently the Koevoet was a special tracking unit on the front lines in this bush war, but I know little about it. Any history on these? 10/22/2011 10:48:20 AM so I have read little of the book, maybe 50 pages. Its an interesting backdrop, with communist forces during the cold war in namibia and surrounding countries and a noncommunist, segregated south africa. The south african police and the military dont get along, whites command blacks at that time, but blacks have the most experience and are the trackers. Trackers are always men pulled from the veld, or maybe some bushmen hunter/gatherers. most have grown up tracking to keep track of cattle and are constantly on sand. They cut for sign or get tips from villagers and as part of a larger combat tracking team, track for 2 weeks and hunt communists. the black trackers are armed with old guns, and like after busting a covey of quail, they hunts small groups and singles. they employ signcutting with vehicles, maybe several hundred or more yards at a time.They use combat tracking vehicles designed for sthe bush call cassirs I believe, much like some of our anti-personel mineresistant vehicles and have them mounted with 30 callibers. The book is not well written, in a choppy, not first language style, but it is not hard to read and not wordy. Lots of descriptions by the tracker with lots of details about names, times, who was there, and such that is not necessary, but adds validity to it. I can recommend it so far, it is a real novel read. I like all the tracking references and especially tactics.


10/30/2011 2:56:51 PM

Finally finished the book. Apparently it was translated into afrikans as well as english, which may explain the choppiness, but on the whole a worthwhile book. I learned that combat tracking in africa took place all over africa, not just where david scott donelan lived in rhodesia. the communist crap that went on during the cold war went on all over africa, and on many fronts. all over africa, indigenous trackers were used to track communists and promised many things for tracking. most got screwed and then when they returned to theeir people were frequenly persecuted by the former communists. sad really, but real effective, due to low tech, good substrate, teams of trackers well trained from childhood and motivation. It really sounds like the way many north american indiginous were used in wars on this continent. I would love to see more of this, especially in africa where I have been, but stories about vietnam trackers, south american trackers, middle east trackers and the like. the techniques werent a plentiful as I would have liked.


African Armed Forces Journal - August 2011 Shadows in the Sand, the book under review, gets its title from the tell-tale signs of disturbed earth searched for by trackers in their pursuit of PLAN insurgents. This brings us to one of the most important elements in Koevoet's success, its tracking capability. Locals brought up herding and tracking lost livestock, as well as hunting, were past masters of this subtle art. They formed the nucleus of Koevoet's success. Shadows in the Sand is a personal account by one of these skilled sign readers, Sisingi Kamongo. A six year veteran of Koevoet, Kamongo served in the unit for roughly half of its twelve year existence. His story is typical of most local Koevoet constables. Unlike his white South African Police counterpart who was able to rotate back to South Africa, the South West African Police Counter Insurgency (SWAPOCOIN) constable was in it for the duration, or until he was killed or resigned. The upshot was that many of these constables developed a wealth of operational experience, often in excess of the white counterparts. Kamongo, for example, was a veteran of some fifty fire fights. During this period he was also involved in at least three POM Z detonations. POM Zs were a favourite PLAN weapon. When being pursued by Koevoet trackers running in front of their Casspirs, PLAN insurgents would often set up a POM Z. A POM Z was a stake mounted anti personal mine detonated by means of a trip wire. A skilled insurgent would set one up quickly hoping to either kill or maim an unwary tracker and thereby slow the pursuit to buy him enough time to escape by anti-tracking. There was also the ever present danger of an ambush. Kamongo recounts how he survived an incident in which his Casspir was hit by an RPG 7 projectile, killing the car commander Naas van Zyl instantly, and severely wounding the driver. Quick thinking by a fellow constable, Josef Bernabe, saved the situation. An intriguing aspect of Kamongo's account is the insight he offers on the conflict as a Kavango, a local, who fought on the losing side. The grudging respect he has for the PLAN insurgents is noteworthy as are his criticisms of certain practices. In particular he mentions what he refers to as the "grey area" of southern Angola. While all deaths in South West Africa had to be reported, those in Angola did not. Kamongo recounts how a wounded insurgent captured north of the cutline and suspected of withholding information, was shot out of hand despite their objections. Shadows in the Sand is a remarkable book that offers us a rare insight into the mindset of a Koevoet tracker. For that alone it is worth its price. This reviewer, for one, would like to see more books of this nature. One reservation, however, is the unsuitable choice of the cover photograph. It would appear that whoever decided on it, did not think the matter through.


Leon Engelbrecht - defenceWeb

"In 2010 I heard that someone was willing to write our story. I knew I had the ability to write down my feelings and experiences, so I started to put them to paper. . It was only when I wrote them down that I began to realise what a remarkable life I'd had, because of one factor: my ability to analyse shadows in the sand."So writes former South-west Africa Police (SWAPOL) sergeant Sisingi Kamongo in Shadows in the Sand - A Koevoet tracker's story of an insurgency war, co-written with another former "Koevoet" (crowbar), Leon Bezuidenhout. Kamongo, now wheelchair bound and in self-imposed exile in South Africa, grew up in the Kavango region of Namibia, joining the police in 1984. Assigned to the police counterinsurgency unit best known as "Koevoet", Kamongo would quickly become an intimate of combat, which would continue until war's end in 1989.


Shadows in the Sand is simply written - and thus powerfully eloquent. "To anyone who thought this was an idyllic, low-key affair in a far-off African land, I can tell them the opposite. Do you know the sweet, coppery smell of blood? It is a smell that you never forget. The blood of a human smells differently from other creatures - it is the smell of a soul. If you have smelt it once you will never forget it. Do you know what the intestines of a man smell like when he has been shot to pieces? And how quickly the bloated blue flies come to feast?" Kamongo would eventually take part in some 50 or so "contacts" with People's Liberation Army of Namibia guerillas, surviving five anti-personnel mine explosions and a rocket propelled grenade attack on his Casspir MRAP vehicle. He was wounded three times, spending a total of a year in hospital recovering from his injuries - unpaid. Shadows in the Sand is well worth the reading

 
 
Skadus in die Sand
Skadus in die Sand

’n Koevoet spoorsnyer se verhaal van ’n insurgensie oorlog

Author:
Sisingi Kamongo & Leon Bezuidenhout

R250.00

Skadus in die Sand

Waar stof ‘n aanduiding van tyd kon gee ... vir die eerste maal, ‘n lid van Koevoet se verhaal

Jeanette Ferreira - Rapport 03.09.2011 Dr. Jeanette Ferreira is 'n skrywer en redakteur.

'Dit was 'n broederoorlog' "Jy is jonk. Jy moet versigtig wees. Baie van hierdie manne rondom ons sal nie alles deursien nie." Bokant ons het 'n gunship gedans, gespeel soos 'n jong arend. Ek het nie verstaan wat hierdie man vir my probeer sê het nie. Maar dit sou profetiese woorde word in die lewe van Sisingi Kamongo, 'n Kavango wat tydens die Grensoorlog lid was van Koevoet, die elite- Suid Afrikaanse Polisie- teen-terrorisme-eenheid, gedurende die Suidwes-Afrika-Angola-Bosoorlog in die 1980's. (Sy boek Skadus (sic) in die sand, uitgegee deur 30° South Publishers, het pas verskyn. Die Engelse weergawe het die titel Shadows in the Sand). Kamongo is gebore in 1965 in die landelike gebied van Ndonga Muramba in Kavangoland in die noorde van die destydse Suidwes-Afrika. Kamongo oorleef 'n POMZ-anti-personeelmyn, maar die skrapnel in sy rug kon nie verwyder word nie omdat dit te naby sy rugsenuwee is en die risiko dus te groot dat hy die gebruik van sy bene kon verloor. Die gevolg is dat sy bene in 2003 onder hom padgee. Vandag is hy rolstoelgebonde en leef van R1?000-ongeskiktheidspensioen per maand in Radium in Limpopo waar hy 'n gemeenskapsleier en sokkerafrigter is. "Ons het vir bitter min geld ons lewens [sic] op die spel geplaas. Die blankes het 'bos pay' gekry, maar ons swart lede moes sien kom klaar met 'n karige salaris," skryf hy. En bykomende "kopgeld" vir gevange of dooie insurgente. Tog was hy trots om deel te wees van hierdie eenheid: "Die olifante was voorwaar op pad water toe." Telkens is daar ook in Kamongo se weergawe die gebruiklike oorvereenvoudiging - en teenstellende opvattings - van die komplekse onderliggende motiewe wat tot die Grensoorlog gelei het. Hy verwys na die opposisie as "die kommuniste" wat hulle teengestaan het en "ons moes [...] betaal vir 'n stryd wat sy oorsprong ver in Moskou gehad het". Die ander kant daarvan is 'n ou man in 'n kraal naby Nkurunkuru wat sê die Kavangolede van Koevoet word beskou as moordenaars wat apartheid gesteun het. Retrospektief skryf Kamongo hulle "was vasgevang tussen die twee kante waarvan nie een van ons veel verstaan het nie" en dat hulle van politiek niks verstaan het nie. Elders moes 'n gevange insurgent hoor: "Wat weet jy as kommunis van die Bybel?" Sy antwoord was dat hy 'n wedergebore Christen is, waarop hy 'n tien minute lange gebed doen. Die betrokkene het later ook by Koevoet aangesluit. Groot dele van elke afdeling is saaklike uiteensettings van wapentuig, taktiek en kontaksituasies. Hierdie soort inligting sal insiggewend wees vir lesers wat nie die Grens beleef het nie, maar meer oor die oorlog te wete wil kom. Aan gewoon menslike waarnemings is daar egter genoeg vir die leser wat bereid is om daarna te soek; oomblikke wat nie lig vergeet kan word nie, en wel om uiteenlopende redes. By meer as een geleentheid pleeg 'n insurgent selfmoord ten einde nie in Koevoet se hande te val nie ("Wel, ons het probeer. Alweer (sic) kopgeld en ons hoef nie eens die skietwerk te gedoen het nie.") Sulke bloedlose sinisme is nie die uitsondering nie: "Het ons hulle geskiet vir geld? Tien rand vir elkeen in die span?" en "... ons het drie koppe om te tel". Kamongo gee ook toe ondervraging het soms die "perke oorskry". Daar is verwysings na 'n "elektriese opwekkertjie" en houe met 'n graaf op die gevangene se sitvlak. Hy voeg by dat gevangenes nie as gevolg hiervan gesterf het nie en ook nie uit helikopters gegooi is nie, want "helikopters was skaars en duur" en dit sou praktieser wees om die gevangene te skiet. Aan ligter oomblikke ontbreek dit weliswaar nie. In die hitte van die geveg draai 'n adjudant-offisier net op die regte oomblik sy kop. Skaars drie meter van hom af staan die dood in die vorm van 'n insurgent met 'n SKS-granaat. Toe doen die verskrikte man die enigste ding wat hy kon. "Sit neer daai fokken ding," bulder hy op die insurgent, "voor jy iemand seermaak! As ek hier afklim, donner ek jou dood!" Die twee fotoseksies bevat nie veel van waarde nie. Party foto's is so swak dat dit eintlik maar kon gebly het. 'n Duidelike foto van Kamongo ontbreek - wat seker verstaanbaar is omdat hy en sy Kavangomakkers nie by almal gewild was en steeds nie is nie. Maar een duidelike foto wat die bloed laat stol, en sekerlik van die vreesaanjaendste oomblikke vir 'n insurgent verteenwoordig het, is die toneel wanneer die spoorsnyers begin hardloop?.. Toegelig met Kamongo se verstommende vermoë om uit die geringste, onbedagsame tekentjie in 'n spoor tyd, plek en identiteit af te lei, kan mens aanneem hierdie spoorsnyers van Afrika was een van die SA offensief se mees gedugte wapens. Kamongo het met die hand sy verhale opgeteken in 'n skool¬oefeningboek met blou lyntjies. Sy Kavango-Afrikaans is volgens die inleiding "oorgesit in standaard Afrikaans (sic)". Maar dit is regtig nie Standaardafrikaans nie. Daar is nie kritiek te lewer op die taalversorging nie, want daar was geen taalversorging nie. Die titel bevat 'n spelfout, die bandteks "spog" met verskeie, en daar is 'n magdom op elke bladsy. Wat 'n klaaglike jammerte, en dit in so 'n uiters waardevolle boek. Kamongo se Kavango-Afrikaans sou eerder reg laat geskied het aan sy herinneringe. Hopelik vergoed Kamongo se laaste, waar woorde vir sy uitgewery se agtelosigheid: Die wêreld moet weet dat hierdie oorlog 'n broederoorlog was... Almal het gedink hulle het die goeie stryd gestry - en hulle was almal reg.

 
 
So Far and No Further!
So Far and No Further!

Rhodesia’s Bid for Independence during the Retreat from Empire 1959–1965

Author:
Dr JRT Wood

R99.95

So Far and No Further!

Richard Wood’s definitive series of 1950–1980 Anglo–Rhodesian histories

Michael Hartnack, Spectator

"Once in a lifetime comes a book which must force a total shift in the thinking person's perception of an epoch, and of all the prominent characters who featured in it . This is the best informed book that has yet been produced on Rhodesia-Zimbabwe"


Michael Hartnack (independent reviewer) March 2006

Researchers' bible on Rhodesian UDI crisis. Once in a lifetime comes a book which must force a total shift in the thinking person's perception of an epoch, and of all the prominent characters who featured in it. Such a publication was Alexander Solzhenitsyn's 1973 "Gulag Archipelago" which made liberal commentators such as the BBC's Alistair Cooke abandon their long-cherished view of the West's Second World War ally, Josef Stalin, as a "tough but fair" Soviet ruler. His record was as bad as Hitler's, admitted Cooke. After decades of meticulous research, Dr Richard Wood of the University of Durban Westville has produced a history of the fateful years 1959-1965 in the long Rhodesia-Zimbabwe crisis. It is not going to be possible for anyone, ever again, to write anything about the country, or any of the key personalities in the crisis, without detailed reference to it. Wood, formerly of the University of Rhodesia, has painstakingly combed through British cabinet minutes and Commonwealth Office records, now released for public consumption. His unprecedented access to the papers of the last Rhodesian prime minister, lan Smith, has not made him unduly subject to bias, though he is justly cynical of the "liberation historians" who have liberally applied whitewash or tried to create an aura of vainglory around the sordid deeds of Robert Mugabe and his associates these past 40 years. Attempts to equate Smith and Mugabe have been wildly overworked by contemporary writers anxious to appear non-racist and even-handed in their censures. The two men were, in reality, very different in personality, values, styles of rule and the "levers of power" at their political command. But anyone who has had dealings with Mugabe must be struck by this lament about Smith by former British High Commissioner to Rhodesia Sir Jack Johnston: "It was like banging ones head on a brick wall to try and break through the stubbornness and self righteousness of Smith's parochial arguments .. Smith made these arguments with the ardour of a zealot and met any challenge with a more emphatic assertion." This is so exactly how Mugabe browbeats anyone who dares to demur about his disastrous current policies. It is not, alas, an "easy read" either in style, or content, or presentation. The 500 page double-column volume looks like a high level text book, which is exactly what it is. The marvel is that its half-million words got into print at all - Wood's previous tome, "The Welensky Papers" (1984) required sponsorship by South Africa's Oppenheimer Foundation. He has further volumes 1965-70 and 1970-80 in preparation. They will be immensely welcome. Again and again Wood demonstrates inaccuracies and distortions in previous sources and memoirs, as well as exposing a wealth of new material. Space permits just one of innumerable revealing examples from his cross-examination of the British records. As prime minister, Alex Douglas-Home appalled his Commonwealth Office chiefs by telling lan Smith, then (Southern) Rhodesian Minister of Finance, at a meeting in London on October 31, 1963, "not only could Southern Rhodesia declare herself independent, but would be within her rights to do so." The Whitehall mandarins deliberately withheld the minutes from their Rhodesian colonial subjects. Douglas-Home, like Macmillan before him and Wilson after him, went on to temporise and prevaricate over dominion status for Southern Rhodesia, for fear of causing newly independent African states to walk out of the Commonwealth. It is clear from Wood's research that the aim of successive British Governments, at the instigation of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, was to manoeuvre into power a regime acceptable to the Organisation of African Unity, regardless of its character. The respectability of "majority rule" was a figleaf to be abandoned with the first retreat of that regime from constitutional government. Effective power came to be vested in an even smaller minority than the 293 000 Rhodesian whites (of whom less than 30 000 are left in Mugabe's Zimbabwe today). The country's institutions fell into the hands of those who ignored their original social and economic purpose in the quest to make them a source of easy status and profit. British policy aimed to withhold a "diplomatic free lunch" in Africa from the Russians and the Chinese. More importantly, policy makers were motivated by the new national religion of "Commonwealthism" which was grafted onto the British collective psyche in place of lost pride in empire, said that cynical and sinister genius of British politics in the 1959-65 era, Enoch Powell. Without "Commonwealthism", the British upper classes would have faced a social revolution infinitely more drastic and menacing to themselves than the one that did take place in the wake of the 1956-57 Suez debacle (and the sudden demise of Britain as a great power). Conscription ended, then came The Pill and The Beatles. The sex scandal surrounding John Profumo, minister for the army, who has recently died aged 91, gave impetus to youth revolt and the birth of "The New Multi-Racial Multi-Cultural Britain". Having unilaterally dissolved the 1953-63 Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Whitehall and Westminster effectively turned Rhodesia into what it is today under the name of Zimbabwe: a satellite and protectorate of South Africa. In the circumstances - although they were of their own making - the British could not trust the Rhodesians to stay out of the evil ambit of apartheid if given full independence, any more than the Rhodesians trusted them not to impose a Black Nationalist regime that that would reduce them to living in Rhodesia on suffrance. Such had been the lot of racial and religious minorities to the north, from the Ugandan Asians to Zambia's Lumpa sect, Ethiopia's Falasha Jews and Malawi's Jehovah's Witnesses. The impasse was hopeless. It was just faintly possible that some supreme feat of statesmanship might have averted the tragedy that has continues to unfold in Zimbabwe. Perhaps -just perhaps - an American-style presidential system might have been introduced, with a black-white pair or triumvirate elected as running mates. Perhaps there might have been a system of proportional representation, favouring parties that had candidates drawn widely from different racial groups. Perhaps Rhodesia's long foretold demographic-ecological crisis might have been delayed enough for a strong civil society to emerge, along with a black lower middle class. Perhaps - perhaps - But the balance of probabilities was that with the African population increasing at an inexorable four percent a year, extremism was almost certain to win, as it was likely to do had whites been increasing at four percent a year while African numbers stagnated or declined. Inspired by "progressive" theoreticians the world over, all African nationalist factions - not just Mugabe's -punted the simple line that "bourgeois" white Rhodesians were parasites, an unnecessary evil, and their dispossession would automatically uplift blacks. It had to be demonstrated to ordinary black voters that this was not so before forces of moderation would mobilise, but by then it was too late: Having gained power, an authoritarian nationalism was determined to hang onto it at any cost in human suffering or economic ruin. But it is not Wood's business to moralise, theorise and ponder what might have been. His duty as a historian was "to tell us what actually happened". He has done so. There is going to be no getting out of it by anyone, ever again. This is the best informed book that has yet been produced on Rhodesia-Zimbabwe.


James Mitchell, the Star 10 November 2005

"Whatever legacy survives in Zimbabwe is being demolished as I write," asserts Dr Richard Wood in his acknowledgements. That includes historical records, but this is a magnificent attempt, by the indefatigable biographer of Ian Smith, to fill the gap, at least for the immediate years leading to Rhodesia's UDI in 1965. It includes some delightful sidelights, such as British Prime Minister Harold Wilson trying to phone Smith on the eve of UDI, but being frustrated by the fact that the phone system closed down for the night! Appallingly small print, but that means a huge amount packed in

 
 
Somalia
somalia, Peter Baxter

Africa @ War vol. 9

Author:
Peter Baxter

R195.00

somalia, Beter Baxter, Africa @ War vol. 9

The end of the Cold War introduced an altered global dynamic. The old bond of...

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South Africa
South Africa

2010 Travel Guru

Author:
Kerrin Cocks

R125.00

South Africa

 

The all-in-one pocket info-directory for South Africa

Bruce Dennill, the Citizen

Of it's time. This to-the-point guide - Cocks includes a "top ten attractions" blurb for each province, but otherwise sticks to contact details for stay, eat, watch shows and so on - contains much more information than a single visitor will be able to use during the course of the soccer tournament, which is just as it should be, of course. Locals would do well to use this resource going forward, as it cuts out several steps usually required in tracking down a suitable answer to the question, "What shall we do this weekend?"


Margaret Lane, Reviewer's Bookwatch

'South Africa has much to court the modern world traveler. "South Africa: 2010 Travel Guru" is a guide to South Africa and what can be experienced through it. With plenty of full color photos and a good deal of references of where to find such attractions, Kerrin Cocks gives reader a solid and very thorough understanding of South Africa's tourist destinations. "South Africa 2010" is a choice and solidly recommended read which shouldn't be missed.'

 
 
Standby!
Standby

Aviation/ African Studies

Author:
Dick Lord (Deceased)

R250.00

Standby
OUT OF STOCK

 

South African Air Force Search and Rescue

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Stories from the Field
Standby

YDF Footprint in Africa

Author:
Youth Development Football (YDF) & Prof. Cora Burnett, University of Johannesburg

 

R265.00 + Shipping

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The benefit of teaching life skills is

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Striking Inside Angola with 32 Battalion

 

Author:
Marius Scheepers

R135.00

Standby

Join ‘The Terrible Ones’ on clandestine operations and in conventional warfare

Written by Leon Engelbrecht at defenceweb Tuesday, 03 July 2012

A dry but rich account of time spent with the famous 32 Battalion. Marius Scheepers was a national service signals officer (9C) with the unit from late 1982 to late 1983. This placed the young officer in a unique position, alongside the commander to know what was going on and where. As 9C he was also required to keep records and report. Here he puts this knowledge to good use. Scheepers also had the SANDF documentation centre declassify many relevant documents, adding detail so often missing from other accounts, especially regarding operations Snoek and Dolfyn, anti-People's Liberation Army of Namibia area-operations in south Angola. Although he was not part of it - his term of service had by then ended - Scheepers gives a good account of Operation Askari (January 1984), including a reproduction of an official assessment of its success. "The year 1983 can generally be regarded as the pivotal year in the Angolan bush war. During this period the war zone in southern Angola was firmly secured by our SADF forces." http://www.defenceweb.co.za

 
 
Surviving the Ride
Surviving the Ride

 

Author:
Steve Camp & Helmoed Römer Heitman

R495.00

Surviving the Ride

A Pictorial History of South African-Manufactured Armoured Vehicles

 
 
 
Special Branch War

Book Review: Special Branch War by Ed Bird Andrew Field 6 November 2013

http://justandrewbooks.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/book-review-special-branch-war-by-ed-bird. Having served in the same organisation and unit as Ed Bird, and indeed having visited him on several occasions at the border station where he served, I was obviously pleased to receive a copy of his book, Special Branch War. The Special Branch (SB) station in Beit Bridge would have been a popular posting during times of peace, but the advent of a bitter counter-insurgency campaign put paid to that. What's more, the station was unique in that its area of responsibility fell within two operational areas, JOCs Repulse and Tangent. Bird, twice decorated while in the force, joined the BSA Police in June 1964 and served as a District policeman in the then Victoria Province. With the 1972 escalation of insurgency agitation in the north east of Rhodesia, Ed soon found himself embroiled in intelligence work as an attaché to SB in the Zambezi Valley, as many of us did. The author was eventually transferred to the plain clothes branch of the police and invited to join SB. He was involved in the early establishment of a section experimenting with pseudo-terrorist operations; a forerunner unit and indeed the SB origin of the Selous Scouts, later formed by the Rhodesian Army. Ed Bird was at one time an SB Selous Scouts Liaison officer. Bird manages to describe life on an SB station in an operational area very well. He tells of the, hereto generally unknown and unsung, commitment, huge risks and sacrifices made during the 'hondo' by many dedicated members of SB. Exposed are the frustrations of intelligence gathering with counter-insurgency work, where useful information often fell on deaf ears, or where the clue-less, who should have known better, could never use the 'int' efficaciously. But there were exceptions, brave men who took to unconventional, if not dirty, tactics and with whom lifelong friendships endured. One point will be clear to anyone who reads this book. That is the magnitude of ZANLA operations into the south east of Rhodesia, then on its last political legs after being sold out by foreign influence, including that of our then erstwhile neighbour, South Africa. The south east was a vital communication link for Rhodesians to the south and ZANLA's strategy was for full scale conventional warfare in the south, aided by regular FRELIMO infantry. The pounding taken by those who plied the two major routes to Beit Bridge is ever evident as you page through this book; nauseatingly so. Unfortunately there is criticism. While it is acknowledged that much of the source material for this book was an SB incident log, maintained by the station in Beit Bridge, its verbatim, SITREP like, extract in the book does tend to be repetitive. Personal issues aroused after being dropped for promotion detract from the real story that Bird has put together so well, but then personalities were all a part of it. The book is a good read, especially for those who were involved in the fray. Ed Bird joins a list of former servicemen committing their experiences to paper for posterity, clearing the fog of political falsehoods with the truth. I recommend this book.

Standby

Slaughter in the Rhodesian Bush

Author: Ed Bird

R295.00

Standby

A litany of incidental slaughter …

This searing account primarily covers

 
 
Swaziland
Swaziland

A Southbound Travel Guide

Author:
David Fleminger

R145.00

Swaziland

Discover the Kingdom of the Reed Dance

Lisa Johnston, Getaway

Swaziland's landscapes range from dramatic mountain peaks to lush green valleys and bushveld plains, making it hard to believe its Africa's third-smallest country. It measures just 175 kilometres north to south and 115 kilometres from east to west - perhaps these 'village-like dimensions' is why the people are so friendly and laid-back. As Fleminger writes in the introduction to his guide: 'Just like Aesop's tortoise who won the race against the rushing rabbit, time in Swaziland moves at snail's pace, steady and slow.' He admits to having had his heart stolen by the charming mountain kingdom and this informal and light. The information, however, is concise and relevant, with chapters on each region and the country's rich history. There are suggested itineraries for every budget and plenty of ideas for things to do, from river rafting and mountain biking to hiking and horse-riding trails. Lists of places to stay range from backpacker accommodation to five-star hotels. This is touted as the first guide specifically on Swaziland to be published internationally since 1983 and is a good, easy-to-read source of information on South Africa's tiny neighbour.


Lisa Witepski - Freelancer Magic kingdom

It feels as if I'm being hugged by nature. That's the only way I can describe the depth of peace that descends when I look about me-left, right, forwards and back-and am met on every side with a seemingly endless vista of rolling green. The infinite horizon which has so beguiled me is, perhaps, the greatest hallmark, and most remarkable asset, of Swaziland. That, combined with the country's syrupy pace-Swazi time makes ordinary African time, legendary for its languor, appear to rival a New York minute-creates an ambience which is entirely unique. It may be more chilled than a winter Sunday in Cape Town, but at its heart is a tranquillity, rather than a laziness, that you just can't help surrendering to. Don't get me wrong. It's not as if nothing happens in this little kingdom; far from it. But, like the best fairytale kingdoms, it's enchanting-and relatively unknown. Think about it: apart from King Mswati's approach to nuptials-which make Elizabeth Taylor's seem conservative-how much do you know about Swaziland? If your answer is 'not much', you're not alone; nor can you be blamed. It's been a while-two decades, in fact-since Swaziland was last granted a dedicated travel book of its own; usually, it's had to make do with a few pages sandwiched between the Big Five boastings of larger sub-Saharan countries with whom it can barely compete. If we were talking Hollywood, Swaziland would be a starlet, blessed with talent and good looks, but lacking the PR power and clout of the heavy hitters. Until now, that is, and the release of Swaziland Southbound Travel Guide by David Fleminger. We predict that with its own showcase, Swaziland is poised to start hitting back. And it has plenty of ammunition with which to do so. Round One: game parks. Yes, every African country can boast a nature reserve (or seven), and most are truly impressive. But conservation in Swaziland has a story that would impress even the most hard-bitten, green-washed cynics. It's the story of Ted Reilly, a visionary whose family farm, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, is now the flagship of Big Game Parks, and who is largely to thank for arresting wildlife poaching in the country. Mlilwane is, of course, a tribute to the spirit of conservation; but more than that it's an ode to nature's bounty. We're talking silver rivers, undulating valleys and scenery that startles. It's also just one of several nature reserves: for such a small country, Swaziland has an astonishing percentage of land under protection. For similarly spectacular scenery, visit Malolotja Nature Reserve, Hawane Nature Reserve, Mantenga Nature Reserve and Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge and Nature Reserve. The latter, especially, deserves special mention: although I became accustomed to literally drawing my breath at the new revelation of beauty with every bend in the road, Phophonyane stands out as one of those extra special places where you can feel your soul sing. But enough about pretty places. Swaziland's Round Two is culture. We're talking all types of culture, here: move over Paris and Milan, the country has its own fashion week. It also has outstanding live performances at one of the most memorable venues you're likely to see: House on Fire. Take the eccentricity and warmth of the Market Theatre, and amplify its heart exponentially, and you have an idea of just how special and laid back this place is. I think that this is because it's been built with love, colour and passion: lyrical verses line the walls, and mosaics splash vivid hues across imaginatively designed walls that wouldn't appear out of place in Barcelona. It's also an ideal spot to do some shopping: the quirky creativity that seems to run deep in Swaziland's veins (no kitsch zebra prints here, thank you very much) appears to have its source here. Visit Baobab Batik, Gone Rural and Zoggs Handicrafts for one-of-a-kind items with true character. There are also plenty of treasures to be found at Mantenga Craft Centre: look out for delicate, organic-inspired pottery, whisper-soft mohair weaves, and singular carvings that will tickle your sense of humour even as they delight your eye. There's nothing twee or clichéd about Swazi crafts: from baskets to blankets and inimitable soapstone carvings, they're design items in their own right. Of course, no discussion of Swazi crafts would be complete without mention of Ngwenya Glass or Swazi Candles-so be sure to visit these landmarks, too. Oh, and if it's living culture you're looking for, you'll find it here. The Swazis maintain a vibrant connection with centuries-old traditions, which means that rituals like the Umhlanga Festival are still highly respected and a major highlight on the Swazi calendar. Swaziland's next great draw card: adventure. I tried my hand at caving in the Gobholo caves-a strange choice for a self-confessed claustrophobe-and found it to be extraordinary. The soft darkness of the caves, hugging to themselves billions of years of the earth's secrets, high-pitched squealing of the bats and-most importantly-the triumph of navigating channels only as wide as my shoulders made it an experience I'll never forget. But, if earth isn't quite your element, you can always try your hand at white-water rafting, or any of the other many daredevil activities offered by Swazi Trails, from quadbiking to rap jumping. The next offering: glamour. It may not be Monaco, but like any kingdom, Swaziland has its glitzy side. Here, it comes in the form of the Royal Swazi Sun; the Grande Dame of gambling. What I'll remember most from my Swazi sojourn is its gentle pace; a polite decline to join in the stresses of the modern world. As Rod de Vletter, my host at Phophonyane, commented, Swaziland seems to attract an entirely different sort of person: those who enjoy opening their hearts, minds and eyes, and the result is an experience that's vastly different to the African safari stereotypes that we've become used to-and far richer.


About the book

Published by Southbound, an imprint of 30° South Publishers, David Fleminger's Swaziland Southbound Travel Guide takes a fresh, new look at a country that truly deserves one. Fleminger's chatty and informative style will make you feel as though you have a guide with you all the time-one who keeps you laughing. Most importantly, he covers every element of the country-from its history to politics and, of course, the landmarks and attractions that set it apart-in extraordinary depth. Don't think of visiting Swaziland without it.


Africa Talks May/June 2009

"Once again author David Fleminger has excelled with his latest guides.Thus the reader can be assured of the latest information."


Georgina Haupt, Saturday Star 11 July 2009

"David Fleminger's Swaziland, a Southbound Adventure, is an indispensable guide. It's the first travel guide written about the country since 1983... For an insider's guide to Swaziland, visitors are advised to take one along before entering the country."

 
 

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Tale Gunner
Tale Gunner

The lighter side of South African military life

Author:
AJ Brooks

R145.00

Tale Gunner
OUT OF STOCK

Nothing quite beats that rawness of military humour.

Garth Johnstone, The Ridge/ the Crest

This is definitely a boy's book. a selection of short tales and anecdotes about Brook's experience during his national service, first in Potch and then with the artillery. As Brooks notes, for so many carrying out their military service, there was no choice, you just got on with it. The melting pot of personalities and circumstances often led to hilarious situations, and Brooks has woven a wonderful pastiche of the ups and downs, the curious and colourful, and the not so enjoyable characters in the service. The author is a bit of a character, who seems to get involved in every scrap on the go - and a great storyteller too. You can almost see him standing around the fire, the audience sipping their beers while hanging on to his every word. Tale Gunner's good fun. And a great stocking filler for guys!


African Armed Forces Journal

Tale Gunner: The Lighter Side of South African Military Life is a humorous look at military life and, while broadly intended for former national servicemen and Reserve Force members, it is particularly directed at those who served in the Artillery. The title itself is a play on the author's Artillery roots (Brooks served as Battery Sergeant Major [BSM] of 9th Battery in the Transvaal Horse Artillery). This is his second book. The first, The Border, a novel set during the South African Border War, is currently being made into a film. Based largely on his personal experience of twenty years and peppered with accounts gleaned from friends and colleagues, Tale Gunner is everything you expect a book of this genre to be. As with all books of this nature, there is much to amuse the unwary reader. Brooks is clearly an entertaining raconteur. In an Apology, immediately after the Acknowledgements, Brooks states that "all these stories are true". While many undoubtedly are, a sneaking suspicion emerges that some have grown in the telling. If that is not the case, then we must believe that is not implausible for a Bombardier (a corporal in the Artillery) to fly a Puma helicopter, albeit with assistance, in the operational area and that a dog-handler and tracker could, on their own initiative, go on a walkabout for four days in the operational area without food and, much more important, water (this after an apparently grueling eight day follow-up). While some of the more exotic tales may be loosely based on actual occurrences, it is apparent that some old soldiers have, as Shakespeare warns us, remembered with advantages.


Leon Engelbracht, defenceWeb

Attention! Eyes Right! Stand at Ease! Sergeant Major AJ Brooks has some memories for you! That is if you are male, aged between 40 and 60 and received that cunningly worded invitation from Magnus Malan to join South Africa's Border War somewhere between 1966-1989. Or if you know someone who was and want to see what they're on about when sharing memories. Brooks was conscripted into the South African Army Artillery, thus this book of anecdotes and tales has a distinctly "Gunner feel" about it, down to the St Barbara's lightning motif along the top of the dust cover (Barbara being the patron saint of the Artillery) . But non-gunners, do not despair, we are also catered for. Brooks has an eye for detail and a good turn of phrase. Recalling his basic training at 14 Field Regiment in 1979 he recalls: "Anyone who went there will tell you that 14th Field Regiment Potchefstroom was a hell-hole. Basic training in the Defence Force was ostensibly the same wherever you went but because ours was a tented camp a little way out of town, our instructors had been seduced by a sense of isolation. As a result, they believed they could run the place as they saw fit. This didn't bode well for us..." The author later volunteered for for junior leader training, rightly thinking "he'd rather shout at people than be shouted at." Later during his national service, he and a fellow bombrdier was assisting Sergeant Major "Samil" Venter firing a 120mm mortar for a radar locating exercise. Due care was apparently not taken and after a bomb failed to fire, the trio decided to slide tip the tube to slide the bomb back up. In the end the bomb slid up the barrel, then back down again, striking the firing pin and firing. Recalls Brooks: "The noise of the explosion was horrendous and I lay on my back and gazed at my shredded shirt. When will the pain start? I thought, or will I die before that? I think I'd prefer to die than have the agony. I wiped my stomach and expected see copious quantities of blood. There was none, so I sat up. Van was already sitting. He too studied his body for mortal wounds and found none. We looked at each other and grinned. It was so silly. But where was Samil Venter? We stood and began dusting ourselves off as a groan caught my attention. Then we saw him: Sergeant-Major Venter was stalking around clutching his one hand. His thumb had been blown clean off, but so too had his trousers and underpants. His shirt was shredded and bits of material that used to be his combat pants hung from his webbing belt. Then there were his bare, long sinewy legs and finally his boots. The tops of his socks were also gone. "He looked up at me, his face full of anguish, his teeth AWOL. His mouth was once again a maw: 'Brookth, jou poeth! Kom hier!' I went to him immediately. 'Yes, sergeant-major,' I stammered.'Ith my jewels nog daar? Ith my fokken jewels nog daar?' I lifted my hand and felt, probably the way a doctor does when he asks you to cough. His genitalia were burnt black as were his inner thighs, also his leg hairs, but his precious jewels were there, intact. I smiled up at him. 'Hulle is a bietjie gebrand, sa'majoor, maar hulle is nog daar,'" Brooks later served with 7 Medium Regiment as a "camper" and transferred to the Transvaal Horse Artillery where he was promoted to the rank of warrant officer and battery sergeant major of 9 Battery, allowing him many more (mis)adventures and interactions. And its not just Brooks that gets up to mischief. Quite prominent too is one Roy Andersen, now Major General and Chief of Defence Reserves. 

 
 
Teddy Luther's War
Teddie Luther's War

The diary of a German-American in an Irish-Boer commando

Author:
Donal McCracken (ed.)

R185.00

 

Teddie Luther's War, Donal Mc Cracken

A German-American, in South Africa, fighting the British, in an Irish commando, in the Boer army

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The Bushveld
The Bushveld

A South African Field Guide, including the Kruger Lowveld

Author:
Lee Gutteridge

R495.00

The Bushveld

Revised, updated and expanded second edition ...

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The Caged Bird Sang No More
The Caged Bird Sang No More

My Biafra Odyssey 1966 - 1970

Author:
Major General Philip Efiong

R295.00

The Caged Bird Sang No More

 

This is Philip Efiong’s account of the Nigeria–Biafra Civil War (1967–70)....

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The Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain
The Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain

1820 Settler

Author:
Ralph Goldswain

R350.00

Jeremiah Goldswaine

History / African Studies / Memoir

Book reviews: The Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain

The Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain

Review by Patricia McCracken

Farmer's Weekly - 26 September 2014

English 1820 settler Jeremiah Goldswain found himself involved in three Frontier wars, and observed the impact of the Cattle Killing and a Boer uprising. His original account is renowned for its energy, characters and action, but its rough-and-ready jumble of language has made it of mainly academic interest. Now Goldswain's great-great-grandson has effectively re-mastered it to make it much more readable. It is a pity that it has no index. This cannot be a completely authentic document, but like an historical re-enactment, it breathes new life into a fascinating piece of heritage.


The Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain. Reviewed by Steven Lang. Grocotts Mail - 11 September 2014

I doubt there is any better description of what life was like for the 4 000 British settlers who came to the Albany area in 1820. The Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain is a vivid, first-hand account of a young sawyer's journey from Great Marlow in England to Grahamstown on the Eastern Frontier. The Chronicle is unique in that it was written by an artisan who evidently had very little formal education. Most accounts of early life in Grahamstown reflect the lives of senior military or government officials and show us the settler life from a rather privileged point of view. Goldswain's Chronicle, on the other hand, describes much of the day-to-day existence of brave artisans and common workers who came out to the Cape in search of a better life. Most of the Chronicle reflects the rather mundane tribulations that Goldswain and his fellow settlers had to deal with, but because the descriptions are so lively, the book makes for fascinating reading. It reveals how much life has changed not only in physical respects such as having to search for stolen oxen for several days before continuing with a journey that today would take less than an hour, but also in terms of our customs. For example, before Jeremiah could marry the 22-year old Eliza Debenham, she had to have written permission from her father as well as consent from the leader of the Hyman Settler party.


Large sections of the book are taken up with wars between the British Settlers and the indigenous populations. The Goldswain Chronicle uses a term to describe the locals that would certainly not be acceptable today. A footnote explains that the use of such a word today is 'actionable', but at that time it was 'simply a descriptive term for a particular ethnic group'. The conflicts claimed the lives of many people on both sides and while history tends to reduce the human losses to facts and figures, Goldswain's frank accounts reveal the horror of relatively minor skirmishes. He tells the story of how a group of wagoners volunteered to go in search of the body of British settler adjutant, John Armstrong, who had been missing. They'd hoped to find him alive. "But alas, poor man, he found that he had fallen among murderers. He must have defended himself most desperately for several of his fingers were broken and his arms were much bruised, and also his head. Several assegai wounds were found on his body; one or more had gone through his heart." Jeremiah Goldswain wrote his Chronicles in the 1850s and 90 years later Una Long transcribed the settler's memoirs virtually word-for-word into two volumes. She remained faithful to his original text only making the smallest changes for purposes of clarity. Ralph Goldswain, editor of The Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain, has revised the original text to make it more accessible to the general reader. He explains in the introduction that the original text was difficult to read because his ancestor used very little punctuation and spelled out a large proportion of the words phonetically according to his own Buckinghamshire accent. The Chronicle of Jeremiah Goldswain is a fascinating book that anyone who is even mildly interested in the history of the Albany region should read.

 
 
The Fighting Doc
The fighting doc

Military History / African Studies / Bush War / Memoir

Author:
John Coey

R250.00

The fighting Doc

 

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The Rebel in Me

A ZANLA Guerrilla Commander in the Rhodesian Bush War, 1974–1980

Author:
Agrippah Mutambara

R250.00

Rebel in Me

 

 
 

The Rebel in Me

Want to learn what it was like on "the other side," then "The Rebel In Me," is crucial reading. Very few books tell what it was like fighting the Rhodesian government and its various armed forces from the perceptive of the guerrilla. This book does and more. The author writes about the politics, the leadership, and the involvement of foreign powers and their support of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army (ZANLA). This is a crucial and important book and a must have for anyone who wants to understand the difficulties, the fears, but the sophistication of the "guerrilla movement." An intriguing, fascinating and thrilling read. Review by The Balsak(Renato Palmi)

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This page contains information about Books published by 30 Degrees South Publishing Company, South Africa history, South African memoirs

 

Books published by 30 Degrees South Publishing Company, South Africa history, South African memoirs

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