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A riveting, action-filled account that sheds light on the realities of working in a war-torn country, this is the first book on the war in Iraq by a South African.
Johan Raath and a security team were escorting American engineers to a power plant south of Baghdad when they were ambushed. He had first arrived in Iraq only two weeks before. This was a small taste of what was to come over the next 13 years while he worked there as a private military contractor (PMC). His mission? Not to wage war but to protect lives. Raath acted as a bodyguard for VIPs and, more often, engineers who were involved in construction projects to rebuild the country after the 2003 war. His physical and mental endurance was tested to the limit in his efforts to safeguard construction sites that were regularly subjected to mortar and suicide attacks. Key to his survival was his training as a Special Forces operator, or Recce.
Working in places called the Triangle of Death and driving on the ‘Hell Run’, Raath had numerous hair-raising experiences. As a trained combat medic he also helped to save people’s lives after two suicide bomb attacks on sites he then worked at.
In this riveting new book, John Laband, pre-eminent historian of the Zulu Kingdom, tackles some of the questions that swirl around the assassination in 1828 of King Shaka, the celebrated founder of the Zulu Kingdom and war leader of legendary brilliance: Why did prominent members of the royal house conspire to kill him? Just how significant a part did the white hunter-traders settled at Port Natal play in their royal patron's downfall? Why were Shaka's relations with the British Cape Colony key to his survival? And why did the powerful army he had created acquiesce so tamely in the usurpation of the throne by Dingane, his half-brother and assassin?
In his search for answers Laband turns to the Zulu voice heard through recorded oral testimony and praise-poems, and to the written accounts and reminiscences of the Port Natal trader-hunters and the despatches of Cape officials. In the course of probing and assessing this evidence the author vividly brings the early Zulu kingdom and its inhabitants to life. He throws light on this elusive character of and his own unpredictable intentions, while illuminating the fears and ambitions of those attempting to prosper and survive in his hazardous kingdom: a kingdom that nevertheless endured in all its essential characteristics, particularly militarily, until its destruction fifty one years later in 1879 by the British; and whose fate, legend has it, Shaka predicted with his dying breath.
The Jameson Raid was a pivotal moment in the history of South Africa, linking events from the Anglo-Boer War to the declaration of the Union of South Africa in 1910. For over a century the failed revolution has been interpreted through the lens of British imperialism, with responsibility laid at the feet of Cecil John Rhodes. Yet the wild adventurism that characterised the raid resembles a cowboy expedition more than a serious attempt to overthrow a Boer government.
In The Cowboy Capitalist, Charles van Onselen challenges a historiography of over 120 years, locating the raid in American rather than British history and forcing us to rethink the histories of at least three nations. Through a close look at the little-remembered figure of John Hays Hammond, a confidant of both Rhodes and Jameson, he discovers the American Old West on the South African Highveld.
This radical reinterpretation challenges the commonly held belief that the Jameson Raid was quintessentially British and, in doing so, drives splinters into our understanding of events as far forward as South Africa’s critical 1948 general election, with which the foundations of Grand Apartheid were laid.
Charlie Squadron – the iron fist of 61 Mechanised Battalion Group (61 Mech) – led the way on 3 October 1987 during the climactic battle between the South African Defence Force and the Angolan forces on the Lomba River in southern Angola. Ratels On The Lomba places the reader in the midst of the squadron of young conscripts who were taken off to the Border War to fight in this battle.
Not only were they up against a vastly superior Angolan force in terms of numbers and weaponry, but they also had to deal with terrain so dense that their sight was severely impaired and their movement restricted. Also, even though SADF tactical doctrine clearly stated that tanks had to be countered by tanks, these conscripts had to take on the Angolan tanks in armoured cars with inferior low-velocity guns and thin armour, designed to keep out nothing more than small-arms fire. Yet, during the battle on the Lomba the 47 Brigade of the Angolan forces was nearly wiped out.
Scholtz’z blow-by-blow account of a David vs. Goliath battle takes the reader to the heart of the action. It is honestly told and vividly described, thanks to interviews with veterans and diary entries that help to recreate the drama of the battle. It is an intensely human story of how individuals react in the face of death and how the war never left them, even when they returned home.
In A Short History Of South Africa, Gail Nattrass, historian and educator, presents the reader with a brief, general account of South Africa’s history, from the very beginning to the present day, from the first evidence of hominid existence, early settlement pre- and post-European arrival to the warfare through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries that led to the eventual establishment of modern South Africa.
This readable and thorough account, illustrated with maps and photographs, is a culmination of a lifetime of researching and teaching the broad spectrum of South African history, collecting stories, taking students on tours around the country, and working with distinguished historians.
Nattrass’s passion for her subject shines through, whether she is elucidating the reader on early humans in the cradle of humankind, or the tumultuous twentieth-century processes that shaped the democracy that is South Africa today. A must for all those interested in South Africa, within the country and abroad.
When the Boer Republics invaded Natal on the north-east coast of what is now South Africa in 1899, they could have been driven out with nominal casualties. Instead, Britain was to lose nearly 9,000 men killed in action, more than 13,000 to disease and a further 75,000 wounded and sick invalided back to Britain. The war ended in 1902 with an unsatisfactory Peace Treaty. The Boer commandoes represented a new challenge to the British Army, practising a mobile form of warfare equipped with smokeless Mauser rifles and modern European field and siege artillery. The British forces did not have the training to deal with this new form of warfare.
Perhaps the greatest blunder was the failure in the beginning to take advantage of local advice and capability. The organisation of locally raised Volunteers was designed to meet the threat. They soon demonstrated how the Boers might be defeated and when finally given their heads, they chased the invaders out of Natal at the gallop, while suffering only nominal casualties.
When the Siege of Ladysmith was finally raised, the relieving force found the garrison and civilian population suffering from malnutrition and disease. This book uses primary source material to chronicle the experiences of the people of Natal - soldiers and civilians, black and white, men, women and children - during the Natal Campaign.
A companion volume to the highly successful Field Guide to the Battlefields of South Africa, this features the pivotal sieges that characterised the Cape Frontier, Anglo-Zulu, Basotho and Anglo-Boer wars in one volume.
Accounts of 17 sieges over the last two centuries explore in detail the historical context in which they occurred, the day-to-day military actions that sustained the investments and the conditions both soldiers and civilians faced while defending their territory against a hostile force. The siege descriptions are animated by maps and a variety of information boxes and human-interest stories, gleaned from diaries, letters and eye-witness accounts, while longer features focus on the practical aspects of siege warfare, such as artillery, medicine, food, and the psychological effects of besiegement. The book also provides practical information for visitors who wish to explore these historical sites.
A fascinating read that will appeal to anyone interested in the volatile history of the country – armchair historians and travellers alike.
Op 3 Oktober 1987 het Charlie-eskadron – die ystervuis van 61 Gemeganiseerde Bataljongroep – die kritieke geveg tussen die Suid-Afrikaanse Weermag en die Angolese magte op die Lombarivier in die suide van Angola gelei. Dié boek plaas die leser in die midde van die jong dienspligtiges wat na die Grensoorlog weggevoer is om hierdie geveg te gaan voer.
Langs die Lomba het hulle te staan gekom teen ’n Angolese mag met ’n getalsoorwig en beter wapentuig. Boonop was die terrein so dig bebos dat hul sig en beweging aansienlik ingeperk is. Die SAW se taktiese doktrine het duidelik gestel dat tenks teen tenks aangewend moes word. Tog moes die dienspligtiges die Angolese tenks aanvat in pantservoertuie met minder kragtige kanonne en dun pantser wat nie veel meer as gewone geweervuur kon afweer nie. Steeds is 47 Brigade van die Angolese magte amper uitgewis tydens die geveg aan die Lomba.
Scholtz se beskrywing van hierdie David-teen-Goliath-geveg neem die leser na die hart van die aksie. Danksy onderhoude met veterane en dagboekinskrywings dra hierdie eerlike, intense hervertelling die volle drama van die geveg oor. Dit is ook ’n diep menslike verhaal oor hoe individue reageer in die aangesig van die dood en hoe die oorlog hulle nooit uit sy kloue gelaat het nie, selfs nadat hulle teruggekeer het.
Daar is nie ’n grondpad te sinkplaat, plaasdraad te hoog of aanwysings te gebrekkig om Jackie Grobler te keer nie. As hy eers ’n monument in sy visier het, sal hy dit vind.
In hierdie boek reis hy oor berge en dale van Lichtenburg in Noordwes tot die heuwels van Tabankulu in die Oos-Kaap. Grobler reis onder meer op die spoor van Voortrekker Carel Trichardt deur Mpumalanga en in KwaZulu-Natal gaan hy na die slagvelde van die Anglo-Zoeloeoorlog. In Gauteng vind hy monumente ter ere van twee van Suid-Afrika se grootste leiers: Nelson Mandela en Jan Smuts. In die Vrystaat soek hy na oorblyfsels van twee konsentrasiekampe en in Limpopo kom hy af op monumente aan ’n Anglo-Boereoorlogkanon (die Long Tom). Sy reise na die Oos-Kaap neem hom na gedenkplekke vir Steve Biko en in die Wes-Kaap gaan hy op die spoor van die Portugese ontdekkingsreisigers.
Elke provinsie sal ’n kaart hê wat die monumente aandui.
It is September 1987. The Angolan Army – with the support of Cuban troops and Soviet advisors – has built up a massive force on the Lomba River near Cuito Cuanavale in southern Angola. Their goal? To capture Jamba, the headquarters of the rebel group Unita, supported by the South African Defence Force (SADF) in the so-called Border War.
In the battles that followed, and shortly thereafter centred around the small town of Cuito Cuanavale, 3 000 SADF soldiers and 8 000 Unita fighters were up against a much bigger Angolan and Cuban force of over 50 000 men.
Thousands of soldiers died in the vicious fighting that is described in vivid detail in this book. Bridgland pieced together this account through scores of interviews with SADF men who were on the front line. This dramatic retelling takes the reader to the heart of the action.
From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author Ben Macintyre: the first ever authorized history of the SAS.
In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would inflict chaos and mayhem behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS. Now, 75 years later, the SAS has finally decided to tell its astonishing story. It has opened its secret archives for the first time, granting historian Ben Macintyre full access to a treasure trove of unseen reports, memos, diaries, letters, maps and photographs, as well as free rein to interview surviving Originals and those who knew them.
The result is an exhilarating tale of fearlessness and heroism, recklessness and tragedy; of extraordinary men who were willing to take monumental risks. It is a story about the meaning of courage.
A fresh, nuanced look at an extraordinary woman and her lifelong fight for justice. Defying the constraints of her gender and class, Emily Hobhouse travelled across continents and spoke out against oppression. A passionate pacifist and a feminist, she opposed both the 1899-1902 Anglo-Boer War and World War One, leading to accusations of treason. Elsabe Brits travelled in her footsteps to bring to life a colourful story of war, heroism and passion, spanning three continents.
Marianne Thamm delves into her own unconventional life story.
Her German father fought for Hitler and made munitions for Verwoerd. He married her largely illiterate Portuguese mother who worked as a cleaner in England. Today Marianne is the proud mother of two (black) teenagers... Hers is the story of the last century, of the defeat of bigotry and a new era ushered in by Mandela.
Sad at times, deeply moving and, like Marianne, hugely entertaining.
As kampvegter vir vrouestemreg en in haar uitgesproke teenkanting teen onreg is Emily Hobhouse ’n ikoon wat vandag nog inspireer. Ontdek die onbekende sy van ’n verbasend moderne vrou in hierdie volkleur pragboek propvol foto’s, interessante dagboekinskrywings en briewe. So gee sy ’n genuanseerde, vars blik op ’n buitengewone vrou wat voortdurend in die spervuur was. Van kleintyd het Emily haar verset teen haar lot. Vir vroue was daar min geleenthede en sy moes boonop haar siek pa oppas. Tog raak sy wereldwyd betrokke by die stryd teen onreg en oorlog. In twee oorloe het sy duisende lewens gered, en tog is sy – ’n ware patriot – in haar eie land onbekend en alleen dood.
Van sy eerste dag as nasionale dienspligtige was Francois Verster in die sop weens sy ingebore rebelsheid. Hy vertel op skreeusnaakse wyse van sy basiese opleiding en lewe as troeponderwyser op Omega.
Hierdie geensins verromantiseerde storie bied ’n vars hoek op die Grensoorloggenre en ’n blik op hoe Afrikanermans die nuwe Suid-Afrika beleef.
Night after night, he guided the U.S. Navy SEALs through Iraq's most dangerous regions. A translator operating under the code name "Johnny Walker," he risked his life on more than a thousand missions and became a legend in the U.S. special-ops community. But in the eyes of Iraq's terrorists and insurgents, he and his family were marked for death because he worked with the Americans. Fearing for Johnny's safety, the SEALs heroically took it upon themselves to bring him and his family to the United States. With inside details on SEAL operations and a deeply personal understanding of the tragic price paid by ordinary Iraqis, Code Name: Johnny Walker is a gripping and unforgettable true story that reveals a side of the war that has never been told before.Includes a new afterword on the rise of ISIS
Historian Karen Horn painstakingly tracked down a number of former POWs in which their interviews reveal rich narratives of hardship, endurance, humour, longing and self-discovery. Instead of fighting, these men adapted to another war, one which was fought on the inside of many prison camps.
In their interviews, all the POWs expressed surprise at being asked to share their experiences of almost 70 years earlier.They returned home in 1945 to a country which soon afterwards tried its utmost to promote national amnesia with regard to the country’s participation in the war.
With great insight and empathy, Karen Horn shines a light on a neglected corner of South African history. Karen Horn is a lecturer at Stellenbosch University.
Now a major motion picture directed by Clint Eastwood.
From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him "The Legend"; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head.
Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle's masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.
Includes new material by Taya Kyle about the making of the American Sniper film.
In Pompie van der Westhuizen se plaaskombuis buite Tsumeb het die skote nooit geklap nie. Maar die oomblik wanneer sy agter haar weermagradio’s ingeskuif het, het die Grensoorlog om haar begin woed.
Hierdie aangrypende boek vertel die ware verhaal van die boeregemeenskap van die sogenaamde Driehoek van die Dood in Suidwes en hoe hulle by die oorlog ingetrek is. Swapo-insurgente het die land jaarliks deur dié gebied binnegesypel om sagte teikens aan te val.
Deon Lamprecht herskep die gebeure om ’n Swapo-hinderlaag in die gebied met ’n onmiddellikheid wat jou aan die keel gryp. Hy beskryf dit vanuit die perspektief van kommandant Roland de Vries, bevelvoerder van 61 Meg, die burgerlike vrywilligers en tannie Pompie, wie se man en skoonseun in die hinderlaag was.
’n Spannende en diep menslike storie wat wys daar is geen wenners in ’n oorlog nie.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, Southern Africa was a jumble of British colonies, Boer republics and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. Into this frontier world came the Reitz family, Afrikaner gentry from the Cape, who settled in Bloemfontein and played a key role in the building of the Orange Free State.
Frank Reitz, successively chief justice and modernising president of the young republic, went on to serve as State Secretary of the Transvaal Republic. In 1899, he stood shoulder to shoulder with President Paul Kruger to resist Britain’s war of conquest in Southern Africa. At the heart of this tale is the extraordinary life of Deneys Reitz, third son of Frank Reitz and Bianca Thesen. The young Reitz’s account of his adventures in the field during the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), published as Commando, became a classic of irregular warfare. After a period of exile in Madagascar, he went on become one of South Africa’s most distinguished lawyers, statesmen and soldiers. Martin Meredith interweaves Reitz’s experiences, taken from his unpublished notebooks, with the wider story of Britain’s brutal suppression of Boer resistance.
Concise and readable, Afrikaner Odyssey is a wide-ranging portrait of an aristocratic Afrikaner family whose achievements run like fine thread through these turbulent times, and whose presence is still marked on the South African landscape.
Die Nederlandse historikus, Martin Bossenbroek, het in 2013 die Nasionale Nederlandse Geskiedenis-prys gewen vir sy nuwe kroniek oor die oorlog wat Suid-Afrika gevorm het, en die boek is ook in 2013 op die kortlys vir die AKO Letterkunde-prys geplaas. Beide hierdie toekennings is vername Nederlandse letterkundige pryse. Hierdie Afrikaanse hardeband, wat in 2015 as 'n Engelse en 'n Afrikaanse sagteband uitgegee gaan word, sal die lof en byval bevestig wat Bossenbroek reeds ontvang het, en aan Suid-Afrikaanse lesers die geleentheid bied om sy unieke storieverteltegniek te ervaar. Die Anglo-Boereoorlog (1899-1902) is al verskeie dinge genoem: die oorsaak van apartheid, die voorganger van die Eerste en Tweede Wereldoorloe, en die eerste media-oorlog (waar joernaliste vir die eerste keer by 'n oorlog ingebed was). Dit het gehelp om die nasiestaat van Suid-Afrika te skep en meer as 'n honderd jaar nadat die oorlog geeindig het, lei dit steeds tot vurige debatte. In Die Boereoorlog bied Martin Bossenbroek vir die eerste keer aan lesers die volledige storie met ongeewenaarde insig en detail. Bossenbroek volg drie kleurvolle hoofkarakters: die Nederlandse prokureur, staatsprokureur van die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek, staatsekretaris en uiteindelike Europese gesant Willem Leyds; die Britse oorlogsjoernalis Winston Churchill, en die Boerekryger en toekomstige Suid-Afrikaanse politikus, Deneys Reitz. Bossenbroek se fassinerende nuwe blik op die oorlog troef Thomas Pakenham se klassieke topverkoper, en is 'n moet-lees vir alle Suid-Afrikaanse geskiedenis-entoesiaste.
Posterity has not been kind to Douglas Haig, the commander of the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front for much of the First World War. Haig has frequently been presented as a commander who sent his troops to slaughter in vast numbers at the Somme in 1916 and at Passchendaele the following year.The Good Soldier re-examines Haig's record in these battles and presents his predicament with a fresh eye. More importantly, it re-evaluates Haig himself, exploring the nature of the man, turning to both his early life and army career before 1914, as well as his unstinting work on behalf of ex-servicemen's organizations after 1918. Finally, in this definitive biography, the man emerges from the myth.
This is the story of a Kavango tracker who served for six years with Koevoet ('Crowbar'), the elite South African Police anti-terrorist unit, during the South West African -Angolan bush war of the '80s. Most white team leaders lasted only two years; the black trackers walked the track for years. Sisingi Kamongo tells the story of the 50 or so firefighters he was involved in; he survived five anti-personnel mine and POMZ explosions and an RPG rocket on his Casspir APC vehicle; he was wounded three times; he tells of the trackers looking for shadows on the ground, facing ambush and AP mines at every turn; he tells of the art of tracking...where dust can tell time. Kamongo's story is supported by two accounts from renowned Koevoet team leaders, Herman Grobler and Francois du Toit- a powerful collection of experiences from South Africa's most successful counter-insurgency unit. The first-ever account of the bush war by a non-white member of the South African security forces. A unique, previously untold perspective of the bush war, by an on-the-ground tracker. A powerful, harrowing read; the tension is palpable.
This comprehensive overview traces the evolution of modern Mozambique, from its early modern origins in the Indian Ocean trading system and the Portuguese maritime empire to the fifteen-year civil war that followed independence and its continued after-effects.
Though peace was achieved in 1992 through international mediation, Mozambique's remarkable recovery has shown signs of stalling. Malyn Newitt explores the historical roots of Mozambican disunity and hampered development, beginning with the divisive effects of the slave trade, the drawing of colonial frontiers in the 1890s and the lasting particularities of the north, centre and south, inherited from the compartmentalised approach of concession companies. Following the nationalist guerrillas' victory against the Portuguese in 1975, these regional divisions resurfaced in a civil war pitting the south against the north and centre, over attempts at far-reaching socioeconomic change. The settlement of the early 1990s is now under threat from a revived insurgency, and the ghosts of the past remain.
This book seeks to distill this complex history, and to understand why, twenty-five years after the Peace Accord, Mozambicans still remain among the poorest people in the world.
The Anglo-Boer War in 100 Objects brings the victories and the tragedies, the full extent of the human drama behind this war – to life through 100 iconic artefacts.
While a Mafeking siege note helps to illustrate the acute shortages caused by the siege, a spade used by a Scottish soldier at Magersfontein and the boots of a Boer soldier who died at Spion Kop tell of the severity of some of the famous battles.
The book follows the course of the war but also highlights specific themes, such as British and Boer weaponry, medical services, POW camps, as well as major role-players on both sides.
The text is interspersed with striking historical images from the museum’s photographic collection. A further 200 secondary objects have been included to help tell the story of a conflict that left an indelible mark on the South African landscape.
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