North of the Red Line

Recollections of the Border War by Members of the SADF and SWATF: 1966–1989

Gerry van Tonder, Hanlie Snyman Wroth

Over the years, much has been written about individuals, the forces and their operations in what became commonly known as South Africa's Border War, but never before has the human spirit of this 23-year-old conflict been so graphically and unashamedly captured and chronicled as in this book. Over a period of three years, 21,000 of them spoke. Erstw
Date Published :
September 2016
Publisher :
30 Degrees South Publishers
Language:
English
Illustration :
color & b/w photos, and illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781928211976
Pages : 540
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
In stock
$40.00

Overview
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Over the years, much has been written about individuals and the forces and their operations in what became commonly known as South Africa’s Border War, or Grens Oorlog, but never before has the human spirit of this 23-year-old conflict been so graphically and unashamedly captured and chronicled as in this book. Equally unique, was the exclusive use of social media to invite and encourage individuals to tell their personal stories, without apology or recrimination, and so provide an indelible oral history of the war.

Over a period of three years, 21,000 of them spoke: national service troopies, permanent force officers, aviators, aircrew, medics, submariners and padres. Erstwhile antagonists also stepped up to the plate, placing their own personal first-hand experiences amongst those of their enemies of yesterday: Russians, Cubans, Angolans and SWAPO.

The story is further enriched by the inclusion of a rich plethora of hitherto unseen ‘unofficial’ photographs of stolen memories, in a war situation where the taking of any such photographs was strictly prohibited. Veterans unabashedly wear their hearts on their sleeves, speaking of the psychological impact of untold tragedy and grief; of bravery and unmitigated fear; of shenanigans and mischievous escapades to relieve the pressures of war; of miracles and fate; and of camaraderie.

About The Author
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Gerry van Tonder was born in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1955. He joined the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Intaf) in January 1975, stationed at Karoi. He was then posted to Mt Darwin as District Officer. He was the Returning Officer for Rushinga during the Zimbabwean elections, liaising with election supervisors and returned guerrillas, and came to Britain in 1999. He has written extensively on Rhodesian history and local British history and has recently started a series of Cold War titles. He lives in the UK.

Hanlie Snyman Wroth is a former teacher who spent some time teaching refugee learners from Angola and Mozambique. She has been a Sales Manager at Oxford University Press, and later International Sales Manager at Juta, but now retired and painting full time at their beach home in St Helena Bay. She is a prolific reader, who believes that she has a serious dose of ‘abibliophobia’: the book lover’s greatest fear: running out of reading material. She is an ex-air force wife, and her husband Charlie ‘Backseat’ Wroth spent sixteen years in the SAAF, as a navigator on bombers and transport aircraft. He also spent time on the ground in Angola. As the mother of a soldier in the British Parachute Regiment, she is also well read in the modern war in Afghanistan, seeing that her son and husband had spent a number of years there. She has a great interest in the causes and results of worldwide wars through the ages.

REVIEWS
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– “...never before has the human spirit of this 23-year-old conflict been so graphically and unashamedly captured and chronicled as in this book.”

- War in Angola

"This book is a must-read for all who were entangled in this war, and/or have an interest in the Border War – especially the loved ones and relatives of those who lost their lives in this war. It will certainly assist them in a personalised way on their road to a better understanding and/or closure.”"

- Insight on Africa

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