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