A collection of personal accounts of military service in the South African Defence Force (SADF) and Border War.
Apologies to contributors where, in the recent move to this Domain, I've taken the liberty to put a `Sentinel' watermark on your photos, or two watermarks - I will get around to replacing these watermarks what you requested.
PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF SERVICE IN THE SADF
The following chapters are arranged in rough chronological order. I prefer to keep each contributor's material together as an integrated whole of their experiences, and where a contributor's material covers a substantial time period, I will use my discretion to decide where to place it. For your convenience, New Additions to the site are listed here.
- 5 SAI (1969) and Camps with 2nd Transvaal Scottish
- Permanent Force Major, 1 Special Service Battalion (1973 - 1985)
- School of Infantry, Oudtshoorne (1975) and training Lieutenant (1976) at 7 SAI (Bourke's Luck) and 4 SAI (Middelburg)
- SADF SCHOOL OF ENGINEERS, KROONSTAD and CAMPS (1976 - 1986)
- Operation Savannah: X-Ray Combat Group (1975-76)
- DETENTION BARRACKS 1976 (A Somewhat Different SADF Experience)
- Services School & 5 SA Infantry Ladysmith, Etale & Oshikango (1976 - 1977)
- [draft!] 5 SAI (July 1976) - Mapalela Island. SADF Mortarist 72 Mechanised Brigade
- The First Strike Craft (1977)
- ARMOUR (1978-1979) 1 SSB, Owambo (Ondangwa, Etale, Oshivello) Zeerust & early 61 Mech.
- `A Cook's Tour Of Duty': South African Army Service Corps (1978-80).
- 8 SAI - 1 Maintenance Unit (1978-80)- PT Course 83 Camp at Ruacana.
- 11 Commando,(1978-1979)Keikanachab and 1 Reconnaissance Commando)
- SAAF (1978-1980) Waterkloof (Military Transport Workshop) - Rhodesia - Camps
- 11 Commando (1979-80) Etali, Okatope, Nkurunkuru and Grootfontein
- Air Force Guard Commander (1979-80) Published in `Pro Patria'
- Sappers: Delta Troop: School of Engineers, Kroonstad (1979)
- 3 SA Infantry - Section Leader "Jakes" (1981 - 1982)
- Oudtshoorn Platoon Commanders Course And Regimental Police (1981-1982)
- 28 Squadron `loadie'- (1981 - 1985) (Photos only - so far!)
- SAAF Dog Handler, Guard Commander (1982 - 84)
- 5 SAI 83 - Nurse Training at 1 Mil - Walvis Bay Sick Bay 87-88
- South African Army Corps of Engineers (1983-84)
- 1 Maintenance Unit - Driver - Sector 20 (1983-84)
- National Service via the South African Police (1983-87)
- Walvis Bay (2 SAI), SADF Equestrian Centre (Potch), Okatope Sector 10 (1984-85)
- Sapper: 21 Field Squadron - Bethlehem - [Served with: Parabats - 101 Battalion] - Sasolburg Commando 1984-85
- 7 SAI Ops Medic & Operational Planning Officer (1985-1996) Mark Davies
- 21 Field Squadron + Sector 10 + Ops Packer (1985-86)
- 7 SAI - Ops Medic - (1985-86)
- 7 SAI Ops Medic (1985-1987) Simon Lewis
- 7 SAI - Section Leader - Eastern Cape - Barberton Nelspruit Swaziland Mozambique Border (1985-87)
- 3 SAI Ops Medic (1985-1987)
- SAMS BASICS - PA to the BRIG - SAMS College - Personnel Services School (1985-1986)
- Revved at Eenhana (14 March 1987) - 2 SAI (1986-87)
- Photos: SAMS TC & 1 Military Hospital (1985-1987)
- Clinical Psychologist (1985-86) Published in `Pro Patria'
- 5 Signals Regiment (1985-86) In progress (at present!)
- Ordnance Services (1986-87)
- Ops Medic (1986-87) - Video only at present
- Doctor: 1 Mil Psychiatry & Border (1986-87) Published in `Pro Patria'
- Health Inspector (Eenhana)(1986-87) Published in `Pro Patria'
- Clinical Psychologist at 1 Military Hospital (1986-87) Published as `1 Mil'
- School of Infantry (1986-87)
- 5 SAI Assault Pioneer (1986-87)
- 26 Field Regiment Sapper L/Cpl Elundu border base (1986-87)
- 26 Field Regiment Sapper Elundu border base (1986-87)
- 5 Signal Regiment (1986-88)
- School of Infantry (1987)
- School of Infantry (1987)
- 6 SA Infantry - (1987 - 1989)
- Clinical Psychologist's Border Duty (1987) Published as `Grensvegter?'
- Mounted Infantry - (1987 - 1988)
- [Draft!] 1SAI (SADF), 4 SAI (1987/88)
- 2 SAI Field Engineers (Photos Only) operating out of Ruacana (1987-88)
- 7 SA Infantry - (1987 - 1989)
- SADF Military Intelligence - (1987 - 1994)
- Clinical Psychologist - Op. Modular (1987-89)Published in `Pro Patria'
- 911 Battalion SWATF - Border Duty 1988
- Psychologist at Natal Command (1988)
- School of Armour - 4 SAI - Operation Hooper (1987-1988)
- Ratels at Operation Hooper (1987-88)
- 2 SAI - School of Infantry - 4 SAI Ratels in Op. Hooper. (1987-1988)
- Psychology PTSD Debriefing Team - Op. Hooper (1988) Published in `Pro Patria'
- Psychologist at 5 SAI (1988)
- Photos: Calueque Dam Bomb Damage - 27th June 1988
- Army Cook - (1988-1989)
- 61 Mechanised Infantry (1988-1989) - Photos Only
- South African Ops Medic (1988-1989) Including `The Nine Days of War'
- South African Marines (1988-90)
- SADF Military Intelligence in the Comoros - (1981 to the 1990s)
- South African Military Intelligence - Zaire (1989-1991)
- 10 Artillery Brigade, 61 Mechanised Battalion, Walvis Bay (1989-90)
- 44 Battery, 4 Artillery Brigade at 10 Artillery HQ in Potchefstroom (1990)
- SAMS Ops Medic (1991)
- SA Prison Service (1991 ->) - Alternative to National Service.
- 4 Artillery Regiment (1993)
DOCUMENT YOUR OWN SADF EXPERIENCES
I certainly don't feel that I have any monopoly on collecting and presenting personal accounts of service in the South African Defence Force (and related forces). I feel that is something that needs to be done, before such material is forgotten. I would be delighted to draw attention to the work of others in this field, with establishing links, or whatever is appropriate. I would be happy to use my web-space, or that to which I have access to present other people's accounts of their SADF experiences.
If you might be interested in documenting your SADF experiences, but are uncertain of how to begin, I have provided a general interview format, which might help you to get started, and would be happy to provide you with whatever help I can, or to put you in touch with others who might be able to help when I cannot. Again, technology advances, and cost reduction open up new possibilities. I have started to interview people by telephone, and with their permission tape record the interview/conversation which can then be typed out and published. This is a fairly efficient way of getting the job done, but sadly isn't quite as pleasant as gradually working our way through a six pack or two during an interview, as will have been observed to have occurred during some of the interviews published.
If you were a child who grew up in the military environment of the SADF, and especially if you spent time in the operational area, I would also be very interested in documenting and publishing your account. I am developing the equivalent R-Kid interview format which you might find useful, or get in touch if you would like to discuss possibly contributing your personal account?
LOOKING FOR RELATIVES or FORMER COMRADES IN ARMS
- Lt. Keith Low B Squadron, 2nd Light Horse (Armoured Car) Regiment 1976 Etale Owamboland
- Driver Anthony 'Amigo' @ M'Patcha in 1983
COLLECTIONS OF SADF PHOTOS WITH CAPTIONS
COLLECTIONS OF SADF PHOTOS WITHOUT CAPTIONS
SPECIFIC OPERATIONS AND INCIDENTS
SPECIFIC UNIT PAGES AND HISTORIES
- SADF Military Intelligence Directorate
- 8 SA Mechanised Infantry Battalion (External to Sentinel Projects)
The following are a rather mixed bag of notes and anecdotes, from various sources, and of varying degrees of credibility. Unfortunately, much is unverifiable. Readers are asked to proceed with caution:
- Basic Training
- SAMS "The Medics"
- General Border Stories
- Township Duties
- Camps (Active Citizen Force)
- SADF Notebook
- South African Context
- Confessions (Anonymous!) - after dark in the Sick Bay
CHILDHOODS IN SADF GARRISON TOWNS
INTERESTING SADF CHARACTERS
SKETCHMAPS AND PHOTOS OF SADF AND RELATED MILITARY BASES
- "Official" sketchmap of locations of SADF bases in 1987
- Opuwa Base: The 102 BN (Koakaland) Video Tour (1986)
- Ondorrorundu Training Base (102 Bn) 1986 (From the Koakaland Video Tour)
- Okongwati Base (102 BN) 1986 (From the Koakaland Video Tour)
- Ehomba Base (102 Bn) 1986 (From the Koakaland Video Tour)
- Part of Rundu Base, Sector 20, 1980's
- Nepara Base
- Eenhana Base
- Elundu Base, Sector 10 (1987)
- Kwando Base
- Mahenene Base
- 53 Battalion HQ Base (Ondangwa) 1982
- Ombalantu BaseOkankolo Base, Oct 1982
- Okankolo Base, Oct 1982
- Plan of SWAPO attack on Alpha Tower, Oshikango, 4 March '83
- Sifumna Police Base
- Outapi HQ
- 53 Bn Base at Ondangwa, Okatope, Oshivelo, Dolfyn, Ogongo and Oshigambo Bases At Stan Le Roux's excellent Ops Medics Home Page!
WALK THROUGH-ABLE VIRTUAL SADF BORDER BASE (In Development!)
SADF SCRAP BOOK
Sentinel Projects is a small publishing house specialising in publishing personal accounts of ordinary people who were involved in major historical events. At present our main project is the publication of `Sentinel SADF Monographs', dealing with mainly personal accounts of South African conscripts involved in the South African Defence Force between 1975 and 1994. Sentinel Projects is a non-profit publisher.
Official recognition of Sentinel Projects.
OFFICIAL SADF DOCUMENTS
- South African Medal Certificate Suffix should be `PE' for Permanent Force.
- Our Defence Force in South West Africa - Why?
- SADF R4 Assault Rifle Repair Manuel (as a *.pdf)
SEMI-OFFICIAL SADF DOCUMENTS
SPOOF SADF DOCUMENTS
Mainly comprising material harvested from Army-Talk discussion.
- Multiracial SADF
- SADF Detention Barracks
- SADF Insults
- SADF Troepie Songs ... enjoyed by ...
- SADF Gippo'd Tikkie Phone Calls
- SADF in the Townships
- SADF Vocabulary
- Living in the NEW South Africa
OTHER SADF RELATED MATERIAL
- South Africa's Nuclear Deterrent by Marcus Duvenhage
- Psychological Experiences of Military Conscription in South Africa during the 1970's and 1980' by Catherine Draper
- A South African Peace Keeper In East Timor (1999)
- SA Police in Rhodesia >1980
- Apparently in Sector 10 (Owamboland)
- Kim Rolstone's non-Operational Photos
- Kim Rolstone's photos from Potchefstroom `Army-Day'? 1989
- The SADF School of Armour Museum
- South African National Museum of Military History
Training Units within South Africa
- South African Parabat (External Link)
Combat Units in South West Africa (Now Namibia)
FORMER SADF INSTALLATIONS & BASES AS THEY ARE NOW
- Walvis Bay 2001 (Manuel Ferreira)
- Sector 10, Owamboland revisited in 2006
- 61 Mechanised Infantry Battalion, 2010
SOUTH AFRICAN ARMY TALK
SOUTH AFRICAN DEFENCE FORCE EMAIL DISCUSSION GROUP
Anyone interested in the South African Defence Force, either in the time period covered by Sentinel Projects, or the South African National Defence Force as it is now known, is likely to be interested in the lively - occasionally outrageous! - discussion. South African Army Talk.
REFERENCE LIST FOR THE AREA OF THE SADF
I have been aware of the diverse number of publications that are around relating to the SADF, and the lack of a comprehensive reference list. I tried initially to maintain such a list, but there was no way that I could keep up, so can I direct people to a SADF related bibliography developed on Wikipaedia by Dave Kenny and Peter Chapman - maybe with others. One has to sign up to access Wikipaedia, as I understand it, but this is the reference list that I would endorse.
SADF RELATED BOOK REVIEWS
Useful And informative SADF Related Book Reviews are published here with the reviewer's permission.
(WITHIN SENTINEL PROJECTS)
I try to keep an eye open for references relating to Namibia whether or not it is relevant to the involvement of the SADF or related forces. These include government publications, travel guides and road maps.
(EXTERNAL TO SENTINEL PROJECTS)
The following might also be of interest:
- Southern Cross Africa Home Page
- Adrian Scheepers's SADF Experiences
- South African Special Forces League (The "Recces")
- South African Operational Medic Home Page
- SADF Info
- SA Bushwar
- Bush Warrior
SADF Re-enactment (UK Branch)
(EXTERNAL TO SENTINEL PROJECTS)
THE RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE ON THE WAR IN ANGOLA
OTHER SOUTH AFRICAN MILITARY RELATED MATERIAL
(Not related to the `Border War')
- Peace, War and Afterwards (1914-1919) by Frederick Brian Wade
- WWII SAAF Pilot's photos of Egypt by Jack Fowler
OTHER SIMILAR MATERIAL ON-LINE
PUBLISHED BY OTHER PEOPLE
- Robert Crouch: 1 SAI 1972 - Camps until 1984
- National Serviceman at 1 Reconnaissance Regiment, The Bluff (1984-85)
- Recovery Tiffie - Operational Area 1984-86
- South African Bush War Collection
As an experiment, I am making accessible from this site various items of information and Rushes etc. which I am prevented from actually publishing at the Sentinel Projects site. This can be for one or more of several reasons; some are drastically incomplete, need substantial editing, or else I am waiting clarification on some aspects or details. In view of the slow rate at which I have been able to post material up to the site of late, I present this material but do not take responsibility for it, though I expect that in the passage of time, some of the material will migrate up to a more respectable position in the Sentinel Projects site!
Downloadable SADF Memorabilia
Contact Sentinel Projects
Email Sentinel Projects or just email to email@example.com.
Latest upload: May 2015 major maintenance undertaken, after which new material will be added, after which I hope to keep on top of it in a much more consistent manner than I have been able to manage in recent years!
This specific upload - well, on line tampering - 20 April 2020
And my grateful thanks to `Mister Wald' for all the help in getting this site as jacked up as it is!