Lifetime bronze benefactor
Problem is the ones that saw the most action are the most modest and reserved about that.
ITO forum members, read Kevin Thomas’ book Shadows in an African twilight, which details most of his time in the Selous Scouts, as well as his time as a Zim PH. It is a fantastic book.
South Africa has a bizarre situation at present where most young white men would not serve in the military or police, even if we wanted to. The current government and high ranking military officers are the terrorists and communists (as in real communists in the form of the SA Communist Party supporting the ANC, and supported by Cuba, Russia and China, not just calling Joe Biden commieJoe) that my father, uncles, father-in-law, and his brothers, and almost all other older men that we respect fought against in a bloody war on the South West border. There is not a chance in the world I’m going to spend two or three years of my life trying to serve SA under the leadership of those clowns. And now I’m not even going to get into the current HIV and TB situation in our military on a public forum. Suffice to say in 2011 78% of the soldiers on a particular base in Northern KZN were HIV positive when I managed the sickbay there.
Yet most of us love the country and try to remain patriotic and positive despite these fools.
On the way back south from my buffalo hunt in the Caprivi almost ten years ago - I and my young PH (who was as avid a military history student as me) spent the better part of a day exploring the ruins of Buffalo Camp. Probably the most poignant part of our exploration was the vast cemetery. The Namibian Government has made no attempt to maintain it, and it has gone back to the bush. As one would expect the "men with no names" or "the terrible ones" of 32 Battalion had crosses only marked by a number.Agreed. I have hunted with a couple of outfitters who served in the Southwest Africa Territorial Force or SADF. Some of the stories of what they did to the Cubans and SWAPO in Angola left my jaw hanging.
This summer my son and I hunted Mahango. 32 Buffalo Battalion was stationed across the Kavongo River from our camp during the war. The outfitter dug up two mortars while building the camp. We were going to drive around to the Battalion ruins but ran out of time. There is so much rich military history in northern Namibia and also throughout Zimbabwe. The participants are still with us. Probably a few members here on this forum. There is a tremendous amount of history to learn on our hunts if we only ask.
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The company barracks areas had long since been picked to their foundations for usable wood, but the stone walls remained of the headquarters, hospital, and officer quarters.
It was interesting to stand on what was likely once Breytenbach's patio staring at buffalo and hippo grazing in the marshes along the river and to wonder whose shades shared the view with us. They were men who deserve better than to be forgotten.