Bushmen SoldiersThe History of 31, 201 & 203 Battalions during the Border War, 1974–90

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Weight 0.500 kg
Dimensions 23.4 x 1.53 x 1.0 cm
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ISBN9781928211389 Barcode9781928211389
Overview
The Bushman soldiers were the most outstanding all-round fighters of the Border War. As the first of the indigenous population to take up arms on South Africa’s behalf, they were among the last to lay them down.

“… an exceptional record of 31 and 201 Battalions and their remarkable personnel”
BOOKS MONTHLY

The Bushman soldiers were the most outstanding all-round fighters of the Border War. As the first of the indigenous population to take up arms on South Africa’s behalf, they were among the last to lay them down. The border’s oldest and most bush-wise people, they became feared as relentless trackers and dedicated soldiers. Coming from a primitive hunter-gatherer culture, they responded well to a crash-course in modern warfare.

Their use of automatic weapons and mortars, coupled with their phenomenal tracking abilities, made them a formidable fighting force. During Operation Savannah they were deployed in a conventional role as Battle Group Alpha, part of Task Force Zulu, and advanced approximately 2,000 kilometres in a month. Afterwards, some of the Bushmen were trained as parachutists and served as Recces behind enemy lines. Others were attached to various units as trackers and guides. Their loyalty and bravery was recognized in the award of Honoris Crux decorations to members of this elite corps. Controversy followed the battalion to South Africa after the war.

Persecuted for centuries, the Bushmen have displayed an uncanny ability to survive and have adapted remarkably well to the modern world. Their transition from the Stone Age in less than 20 years is a story which will never be forgotten. Hailed as the ‘Gurkhas of Africa’, the Bushmen have proved themselves second to none. This is an exceptional record of 31, 201 and 203 Battalions and their remarkable personnel, fully illustrated with many photographs.

Ian Uys

Ian Uys inherited his love of military history from his father, Jack (1910–59). He volunteered for and served in the SAAF Gymnasium in 1960, then attended UCT and graduated B Commerce. After marrying Barbara Bowers, a Londoner, he qualified as a chartered accountant then lived in England where he did further VC research. In 1973 he wrote and published For Valour, the history of Southern Africa’s Victoria Cross Heroes. It has a natural successor in Cross of Honour as it updates the records of valour by South Africans.

He served in the Heidelberg Commando in the seventies. In 1977 he was a platoon commander in the operational area and was awarded the De Wet Decoration. In 1989 he ran for parliament as a Democratic Party candidate for Germiston District. Uys is a practising auditor in Knysna and has three children and four grandchildren. He is a former chairman of the SA Military History Society, has completed ten Comrades’ Marathons and was a private pilot for many years. He has developed his family’s Bushman Valley Resort near Prince Albert and is a keen nature conservationist.

Additional information

Weight 0.500 kg
Dimensions 23.4 x 1.53 x 1.0 cm
Format

Pages

Size

Publisher30 Degrees South Publishers Publication Date01/04/2015

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